Double HE Awards held after pandemic halted ceremonies

18th March 2022 4:07pm - Return to press releases

Double HE Awards held after pandemic halted ceremonies

168 graduates and over 700 guests attended East Riding College’s HE Awards ceremonies in Bridlington on Saturday.  An unusual ‘double graduation’ was held at the historic Priory Church of St Mary to award degrees to students who completed their studies in 2020 and 2021. 

Honours were conferred by the University of Hull and the University of Huddersfield to graduates from across the East Riding.  For the morning session the address was given by Dr Lynn Senior, Consortium Director, University of Huddersfield and in the afternoon the address was given by Dave Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), University of Hull.

Graduate and he student of the year stands between two robed members of staff

Kelly Silvester was named HE Student of the Year 2020 at the ceremony.  Kelly gained a first class honours in her BA in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Hull. 

The Hull-based student started her studies in 2017 and has since trained to teach as well, completing her PGCE at the College.  She now teaches part-time on the degree programme she studied, alongside working at Bricknall Primary in Hull. 

HE Programme Leader Sara Rackham said, “When Kelly first turned up to College she didn’t have a lot of confidence in her ability but she worked hard and took on board all the constructive feedback that was given from the tutors. She showed great perseverance and tenacity to ensure that the work she submitted was of the highest quality. She did all this whilst juggling a job working in schools and being a parent to two young children.”

Kelly’s ambitions haven’t stopped there, she is currently studying for a Masters in Education at the College and has started to teach on the Foundation Degree in Learning Support.

Kelly said, “I would recommend East Riding College as there is support throughout your studies. It is a warm welcoming college and starting my studies here in 2017 was the best decision I ever made.   I would also encourage anyone thinking about teaching to start. Inspiring others, sharing experiences, and passing on expertise is very rewarding.” 

Will Smith stands outside the Priory smiling and holding his student of the year trophy

HE Student of the Year for 2021 was Will Smith from Aldbrough near Hornsea. Will, who has dyslexia achieved a first class honours in BA Contemporary Media, Design and Production.  He said, “The degree at ERC was much more practical than some other degree courses I looked at, really hands-on – you learn what you’ll do in the job.  I really do recommend East Riding College, the course is amazing, the price is amazing, the small class sizes are a bonus and the tutors are great – I can’t praise them enough - they know you on a 1-2-1 basis, you can ask them anything.”

Head of Curriculum Tracey Murray said, “Will is the perfect candidate for student of the year. He went above and beyond in his commitment whilst studying for his degree and his enthusiasm and work ethic is infectious.”

Will is about to start his first marketing job, which is where he sees his career heading.  He said, “I’m really proud, I worked hard to get a first and I’m confident the practical nature of the degree has got me ready for the industry I want to work in.  In my new job I’ll be creating marketing content using all the skills I’ve learned and practised on the course.”

Higher education at East Riding College is built on partnerships with the University of Hull, the University of Huddersfield and other national validating bodies.

The College runs an expanding range of degrees, foundation degrees and higher national certificates and diplomas in a wide variety of subjects, as well as a Master’s in Education and various teacher training courses.  The HE Awards ceremony also celebrates the success of Access to Higher Education Diploma students.  Access courses prepare people to step up to higher education and are especially appropriate for people who have been out of education for some time.