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Students celebrate degree results

Students from Peter Symonds College Adult & Higher Education Division (PSC AHED) are celebrating the College’s most impressive set of degree results to date.

111 students from PSC AHED attended a ceremony at The Hospital of St Cross to honour the achievement of their degrees. The majority of these graduands returned to education as mature students, opting to upskill, retrain or find a new direction in life. During their time at PSC AHED these students have conquered the many challenges of studying as an adult; juggling caring for young families, managing demanding work commitments and gruelling commutes to achieve the college’s most exceptional results to date.

For the first time ever 40% of students received first class honours degrees (compared to a nation-wide figure of 26%) with a further 36% receiving a 2.1. These results are testament to a pioneering approach to learning whereby students study for a degree one day a week, whilst continuing in employment. With fees rising at mainstream universities, this new approach to higher education proves to be both professionally enriching and cost effective.

The high quality of teaching offered at AHED consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements, and was recognised this year with a Silver award from the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). This commitment to high teaching standards is also recognised by the student body, who recently rated standards of teaching at 94% in the National Student Survey - well over the sector-wide average of 84%.

Director of Adult & Higher Education Alex Day says, “Graduation is truly a great day for us all, in particular our students, many of whom do not have the traditional entry qualifications for university, but through determination, natural intelligence, creativity and drive manage to juggle study with work and family commitments. It is a tremendous privilege to share the joy and excitement of graduation with them”.

Reflecting on her achievement, 47 year old BA Management and Business graduate Louise Harfield says, “Doing a degree through Peter Symonds AHED has completely changed my life. Going back into education was a daunting thought, but I knew I needed a degree for my own career progression. The collaboration of support offered between Peter Symonds College lecturers, Chichester University and my peers got me through the 3 year course. The innovative teaching methods made everything clear. Previously a Housekeeper, I am now an Executive Assistant for the One Acute Network, a vanguard for the Clinical Services Review Merger re-configuring the clinical services across Dorset”.

Another student, Andrea Huskinson, says: “I loved my degree course at Peter Symonds and did it simply to prove I could. It definitely inspired me and gave me the confidence to start a new job at a higher level. My Foundation degree in Early Years has led to me being made the Preschool Supervisor at a school in Swanmore, so I am no longer just an assistant. I am in charge.”

For many, graduation day is the beginning of a new chapter either professionally or academically. One such student deciding to continue their academic journey has been accepted to do a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Management at Downing College, Cambridge – another first for a PSC AHED graduate.

Sara Russell, Peter Symonds College Principal, said “It is an honour and a pleasure to celebrate our best-ever degree results with our hard-working and dedicated students and staff. Adult and Higher Education is an important part of the College’s curriculum offer and these results are a testament to the high quality teaching and the dedication of the staff that deliver our Adult and Higher Education qualifications. Our graduates have shown that it’s never too late to take advantages of the transformative opportunities life-long learning provides. We are so very proud of their achievements.”

Andrea Huskinson (centre) with daughters (L to R) Hayley, Stephanie, Courtney and Sophie

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