Lisburn students were among those who graduated from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) at the Waterfront Hall Belfast on Friday 4 September.
Joined together with family, friends and tutors, the graduation celebrated the efforts and academic achievements of the ‘Class of 2015’ at their appropriately themed ‘Inspiring, Transforming and Enriching’ Graduation Ceremony.
The event, generously sponsored by East Down and Lisburn Education Partnership, recognised the hard work and dedication of hundreds of full and part-time students.
College Principal and Chief Executive Mr Ken Webb said: “The annual Graduation Celebration is a highlight in the college calendar; it showcases students’ achievements at Higher Education level in a variety of programme areas.”
This year’s guest speaker, Gillian Winters CEO at the Engineering Training Council, praised the hard work and commitment of both students and tutors.
Speaking to the congregation Gillian explained how her career stemmed from studying within the further education sector.
Following the graduation ceremony seventeen further awards were made, congratulating students on their enthusiastic approach to life and learning. The Excellence in Project award was won by Performing Arts students who run the SERC Student Company ‘The Glass Umbrella Theatre Company’.
These awards were established as an opportunity for SERC to honour and reward those students whose commitment to learning and training has set them apart from their peers.
Rebekah Playfair, Liverpool John Moore’s Business Studies graduate from Lisburn made the inspirational and emotional closing address.
After thanking the staff, fellow graduates’ and her family for their support, Rebekah added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teaching staff at SERC for their dedication and support to the students graduating here today.”
Eight special awards were also presented to local businesses who have enriched the student learning experience through the provision of industry projects, educational visits and work placement opportunities.
Congratulating the students, Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “This graduation ceremony clearly recognises the significant role the further education sector plays in delivering higher education in Northern Ireland.
“It is important that we recognise that these higher education courses delivered in FE Colleges are an integral part of the delivery of our economic vision for Northern Ireland.”
To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0845 600 7555 or visit www.serc.ac.uk .