University Centre Sparsholt had a lot to celebrate this year including celebrating a year of holding a prestigious Gold award from the national Teaching Excellence Framework , above national average National Student Survey (NSS) results and the opening of the Rider Performance Studio. Graduates, lecturers, family, friends and supporters finished off the academic year in style with its graduation ceremony in the awe-inspiring setting of Winchester Cathedral. Students were presented with their well-earned degrees and prizes for individual endeavour and academic success as the class of 2019 embarked on the next stage of their lives.
In a bursting cathedral, Principal Tim Jackson reviewed Sparsholt’s achievements through the year. He said: “I’m delighted to see over 1400 qualifications presented at today’s ceremonies. Many of our students are already in employment, often hundreds of miles from Winchester and overseas. Sparsholt graduates are recognised as a valuable asset to any business or organisation where the combination of expert knowledge and skilled professional standards with relevant industry experience is required. Sparsholt undergraduate and postgraduates follow many decades of their predecessors into professions involving Animals, Zoo, Veterinary Nursing, Equestrian Science and Performance, Aquaculture, Marine, Wildlife, Ecology, Conservation and Horticulture.
Joining Tim Jackson was Guest of Honour and speaker David Axam, Chairman of EM3 LEP and Managing director of Ai2eV Ltd*. He gave a spirited commendation of the benefits of pursuing your dreams. Quoting Walt Disney, he remarked: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” He continued: “You have now reached the pinnacle you have been working towards by achieving this award and looking forward to the next mountain ahead of you. Remember, there is no right path, choose your own way, the one that’s right for you. Going forward, think about what you want to achieve and then remember whatever you do it’s all about the people, people matter so be yourself because yourself is really great.”
“You have the skills to unlock your future, I’m excited for you and for what you have achieved. Your friends and family are excited for you. Your teachers and lecturers are excited for you and your future employers are excited by you. Don’t dwell on the challenges ahead of you but the opportunities you have in your grasp.”
After the presentation of awards, BSc (Hons) Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation graduate Danielle Norbury and BSc (Hons) Applied Zoo Biology graduate Jake Scales gave their vote of thanks on behalf of students. They used their speech to draw attention to the amazing support they were given from tutors, classmates, friends and family and to draw attention to species protection and climate change. Danielle commented: “Those of us who study and teach at Sparsholt share a common interest and passion for the natural world. Sadly, species extinction is at an alarming rate, and it’s not just big cats and rhinos. Species and habitats in our immediate environment that maintain our landscapes are being lost. Be the one to make a difference, build a pond, plant trees and please stop pulling all the dandelions from your lawn.”
The day also included presentations to Level 3 Diploma students who have concluded their studies at Sparsholt this year. The Principal emphasised the importance of showing students the benefit of studying at degree level, at University Centre Sparsholt and other prestigious institutions and sharing the very special experience of a ceremony at Winchester Cathedral:
“A number of our students from Level 3 programmes progress to University Centre Sparsholt, recognising the quality of the offer, the extent of the industry contacts and career openings available. When you consider the superb National Student Survey feedback this year from our former students and the Gold Award for our Teaching excellence awarded last year it’s not difficult to see why.”
There are still some places available to join University Centre Sparsholt in Clearing for September 2019 – for more information please visit our clearing page or call 01962 776441.