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‘Resilience’ Of Student Stars And Graduates Praised At College Awards

Students at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) have been praised for their ‘dogged determination to succeed against all odds’ at a celebration event to recognise their achievements.

The event, on Friday 20 January at the Leonardo Hotel, Hinckley, was held in person for the first time since 2020.

‘Resilience’ Of Student Stars And Graduates Praised At College Awards

In an inspirational keynote address, Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC highlighted how students from across the college had demonstrated high levels of resilience over a challenging period, gaining skills and qualifications to form a sound basis for their future careers.  

The celebrations recognised representatives of over 10,000 students and apprentices aged 14 and above who studied with NWSLC last year completing qualifications from foundation to degree level across the college’s seven campuses. Congratulating the students and graduates and presenting the prizes was guest of honour Andrew Turner from NWSLC’s governing body. More than 200 students collected certificates for their higher education and professional qualifications on the night. 

Marion Plant said, “I have been extremely impressed by the determination and commitment of our whole college community. Our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that our students can continue their studies and achieve their qualifications in spite of external pressures. And our students have worked extremely hard to achieve their goals.

“At NWSLC, we help our students to develop a solid foundation for employment with a broad range of skills that provide them with the aptitude to join the workforce. We welcome all students, regardless of their starting point. There is a place for everyone at NWSLC and we support a high number of students for whom achieving their qualifications has called on them to overcome significant odds.”

Awards winners collecting STAR Awards on the night included:
  • Hattie Parnham from Wigston who was named Construction Apprentice of the Year and also won the Principal’s Prize for overall Student of the Year. Hattie, an apprentice with Ashby Decorator Centre, competed in the painting and decorating skills competition in the finals of WorldSkills UK 2022 – and came home with the Silver medal! 
  • Automotive and Engineering Student of the Year, Grace Ayliff from Hinckley is set to exceed her target grades as part of her engineering diploma and supports her peers so well, she has been described as a ‘second lecturer’ in the classroom. 
  • Matehullah Mastan from Nuneaton was named as 14-16 Rising Star after he joined the college in 2021 as a Year 10 student from George Eliot Academy. Matte was born in Afghanistan so English is not his first language. Matte's progress was exceptional, and he achieved the highest GCSE grades for his cohort including a Grade 6 for geography. Matte has moved to Oxford with his family and secured a place on a business T Level.

Marion Plant added, “NWSLC enjoyed a fantastic year of success as a WorldSkills Centre of Excellence and was delighted to lead the medal table for foundation skills in the WorldSkills UK finals in 2022. We are particularly proud of our success in this discipline which was originally conceived by NWSLC. 

“Our college continues to grow through industry and commercial partnerships and the past year has seen us celebrate the launch of the Centre for Logistics Education and Research (CLEAR) at Magna Park in Lutterworth. The college has also made progress with its plans to launch an additional state-of-the-art campus in the town centre of Nuneaton which will host a new Digital Skills & Innovation Centre and training kitchens to serve a new restaurant and café.

“The college was proud to gain chartered status which was formally conferred on us by the Chartered Institute for Further Education at the Hall of the Apothecaries’ Society in London in December."

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