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Higher Education learners don caps and gowns for the 2023 graduation

Last week we celebrated the achievements of our HE learners as they graduated from their HNC/D courses.

In an afternoon filled with pride and celebration, we congratulated our Higher Education (HE) learners as they enjoyed their well-deserved moment in the spotlight and graduated from their Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses having studied at NSCG.

The atmosphere at Newcastle College’s Performing Arts Centre was jubilant as friends and family watched on with pride as learners took to the stage to receive their certificates in a range of subjects including Business, Computing, Digital Content Creation, Engineering, Health and Social Care and Performing Arts.

Principal and Chief Executive of NSCG, Craig Hodgson, opened the event and welcomed graduates and their guests, lecturers, employer partners and governors to the HE graduation ceremony before Becky Castrey, Curriculum Leader for Musical Theatre, read ‘It Couldn’t be Done’ by Edgar A. Guest.


Steve Tellwright, Managing Director of Capula, was also invited to speak at the prestigious occasion and shared some inspirational words with the audience before Performing Arts lecturer Katie Crnokrak sang a moving rendition of World in Union by English composer Gustav Holst. Performing Arts HNC student Holly Connor also performed at the event singing Summertime - the jazz classic made famous by Ella Fitzgerald.

Among those collecting their qualifications were students from both Newcastle and Stafford College with a range of success stories from overcoming serious health conditions to learners returning to education after many years. There were also a number of students who had been juggling working and caring for families while studying and also inspirational and motivational stories of determined learners on their own personal journeys.

A number of HE Student of the Year awards were also handed out to unexpected graduates and specially invited continuing students during the event in recognition of the hard work, commitment and determination they’ve shown throughout their programme of study.

Faye Menzies, who completed the HND in Digital Content Creation at Stafford College was one of nine to receive a Student of the Year award. She said: “I had no idea I was going to receive this award, it was such a wonderful surprise and has made the day extra special.

“The whole event has been really lovely and has rounded off my HND perfectly. I’m going to be completing my degree at Manchester Metropolitan in September but will never forget the starting blocks NSCG has provided. I’ve really enjoyed studying at Stafford College and would recommend it to anyone looking into further and higher education courses.”

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Current Foundation Degree in Education student Clair Morris is studying at Newcastle College. She was invited to attend the event but had no idea she was going to win a HE Student of the Year award, saying: “I was totally overwhelmed to have received a nomination let alone win an award! I am thrilled to have been recognised by my amazing tutors who have not only provided me with an education but inspired me to be the best I can be.

"I am loving every minute of my studies and the opportunities NSCG has provided I couldn’t recommend studying here more. Thanks must go out to my family for their continued support I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

“For anyone thinking of returning to education do it!!! One of the best decisions I have made, NSCG and its staff are incredible.”

Commenting on the event, Craig Hodgson, Principal and Chief Executive at NSCG, said: “Graduations are regarded as a landmark in the lives of both the graduates and their families and will be remembered for many years to come. We are therefore incredibly grateful to all who attended to celebrate such a special occasion.

“Our graduating scholars have proven that with hard work and dedication you can achieve great things and progress to fantastic destinations, such as degree apprenticeships, top-up degree courses or employment in their chosen sectors.

"Whatever their next steps, we wish them all the very best of luck for the future.”

Find out more about the wide range of Higher Education courses available to study at NSCG here and to see the full gallery from the HE Graduation, click here.