UK Versity held its 3rd annual Graduation Ceremony at the St Thomas Centre in Ardwick, Manchester on Monday 23rd July 2018. These events are a wonderful opportunity to bridge the gap between students and teachers and celebrate the achievements and learners over the past year.
The 2017-2018 academic year was one of growth for UK Versity. We received an endorsement from qualification body Pearson, meaning we can now offer popular BTEC courses, and signed on more students than ever before. We received prestigious awards from Emagister and CorporateLiveWire and were mentioned in the 2018 parliamentary review for businesses.
The big day
Staff arrived at the venue bright and early for the event. We received help from staff through Berry recruitment, which made the whole thing run a lot smoother. Guests began arriving as early as eight o’clock! By this point, we barely had our balloons where they were supposed to be. As soon as they arrived, students were lead into a room just off the main hall to put on their graduation robes.
Around half an hour before the ceremony started we received the guest of honour, Councillor June Hitchen the Lord Mayor of Manchester. She was happy to speak to guests, students, and staff, and to give interviews for our broadcasters (Geo News, Akaal TV, and K2 TV).
Giving out the awards
Students received both a scroll and a copy of their certificate, presented by staff and the Lord Mayor. Professional photographers took pictures of proud students holding their certificate with the Lord Mayor, a wonderful memento of the day. A photography studio was also set up in one of the rooms, with props available for fun photos with family and friends.
Throughout the ceremony, we were treated to wonderful cello music from classical duo Arioso. They provided backing music while students were receiving their awards and for other parts of the ceremony. Their oeuvre ranged from classical to pop, although they kept the movie themes and rock covers for the catering part of the day!
We were treated to speeches from Principal and director Ramanjeet Singh, The Lord Mayor, and teacher Phillip Hodkinson. We also heard from Alex Birks of ATHE, Kate Winter of OTHM, Dr Yemi Olabiran, and Paul Penman of the London School of Marketing. Guests at the head table praised students for their hard work and spoke eloquently about the future of education. Once the students had received the certificate they participated in the traditional tossing of the hats and a cake cutting ceremony by the Lord Mayor
After the official ceremony came the fun part. Students were able to take off their formal robes and head straight for the buffet. Our catering was provided by Costco, including the themed chocolate and vanilla cakes, which proved to be the biggest hit of all. Besides that, we had sushi, sandwiches, wraps, veg, fruit, drinks and desserts. Students and guests could mingle, take pictures, and hit the buffet, all to the ongoing music of the Arioso cello duo.
As the day died down we assembled the staff to take pictures. While a lot of hard work goes into the graduation by staff, we relish the chance to celebrate the culmination of a year’s efforts and recognise the achievements of our students. Our plan for coming years is to continue our pattern of growth, with more students, more guests, and more esteemed head table attendees. Thank you for all your hard work this year!