University Centre Sparsholt celebrated the outstanding academic achievements of the class of 2017 this week at their annual graduation ceremony. Set within the grandeur of Winchester Cathedral, families, friends, lecturers and invited guests proudly watched students receive their hard earned degree awards marking the successful end of their time at Sparsholt.
This was the first ceremony under Sparsholt’s new designation as a University Centre which was further endorsed recently by the achievement of a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Silver award.
Principal Tim Jackson presided over the ceremonies and reflected on the College’s achievements highlighting the exciting developments within the faculties which offer specialist degrees as diverse as Aquaculture and Zoo Management. He said: “The past academic year has been another highly successful one for the College. Over 2000 qualifications have been awarded with around 700 of these being presented at today’s two ceremonies.
“I know a lot of our students progress to our University Centre, recognising the quality of the offer and the extent of the industry contacts and career openings available. When you consider the superb National Student Survey feedback given by our former students and the Silver Award for our Teaching excellence it’s not difficult to see why”.
Joining Tim Jackson was Guest of Honour and speaker Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council. Before the presentation he praised the students for doing something which interests and fulfils them and they enjoy. During his address to the congregation he also said: “This is an important day in your life, marking the conclusion of one phase in your education. It is a day you will always remember, but note it is one phase – learning is life-long so must never stop. You have made a good start- but to really succeed in your dreams my one word of advice is ‘persevere’”.
BSc (Hons) Ecology & Conservation Manager student Annette Middleton-Burke and BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology student Brogan Krook gave the vote of thanks on behalf of students. During their speeches they both singled out the expert lecturing team for high praise with Annette commenting: “They are a very special group of people who are exceptionally good at what they do. We wouldn’t be here today without the unerring support and faith of these warm, caring and funny people”.
Brogan went on to comment: “The lecturers here are second to none. Their professionalism and support has been outstanding, encouraging each of us to reach our full academic potential. Being taught by industry experts gave us experience and valuable connections. Sparsholt is unique in this way, allowing students to feel part of the active industry while studying and then upon graduating students already have ties with their careers”.
The ceremonies also included presentations to Level 3 Diploma students who also concluded their studies at Sparsholt this year. The Principal outlined the importance of recognising the achievements of students who have chosen a specialist vocational path rather than A levels which will give many a head start with their career. He said “We want our Level 3 students to share the experience of receiving their awards in a formal setting such as the cathedral – to recognise the value of their qualification as a key starting point for their future; and to inspire them to continue their studies at Sparsholt or other prestigious institutions”.
Special guests also included the College Vice President, the Earl of Malmesbury, Chairman of Governors, Michael Coombes, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor David McLean and The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester Cathedral.
Degrees awarded to students from Sparsholt College were conferred by the University of Portsmouth. Places are still available for September – for more information click here or call 01962 776441.