University Centre Somerset’s Class of 2023 have donned gowns and mortarboards and celebrated their graduation at Wellsprings Leisure Centre in Taunton.

Over 400 students completed their university-level or professional qualifications at UCS in 2023, in a range of subjects, including Agricultural Management, Media Make-up, Counselling, and Motorsport Engineering.

North Somerset Times:

Among the guests were staff, families, governors, and VIPs including Councillor Nick O’Donnell, Mayor of Taunton. UCS also welcomed guest speaker Dr Ian Kelham, Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset,  and representatives from each of University Centre Somerset’s university partners conferred the awards for their respective institutions.

Several years ago, Student Prizes were introduced to recognise outstanding commitment and achievement. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

  • Samuel Tull, BSc (Hons) Animal Management and Wildlife Conservation.
  • Shara Manes, BA (Hons) Media Make-up.
  • Holly Bonner, Foundation Degree Agricultural Management.
  • Jake Tanner, BA (Hons) Creative Fashion & Textiles.
  • Holly Tucker, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies.

As is customary at UCS graduations, the ceremony closed with the Student Vote of Thanks, a speech written and delivered by a lecturer-nominated student. This year, Dayell Scott, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, did the honours and delivered a moving, occasionally tear-jerking speech that perfectly summed up her student experience at UCS.

North Somerset Times:

The nods of agreement in the room suggested that her words resonated with her peers, as she recalled the highs and lows of managing her studies alongside work and life: "At some point on this journey we have all felt overwhelmed, anxious, maybe even sad, but no matter what our individual battles have been, we didn’t give up and it has led us to exactly where we need to be, right here, celebrating our accomplishments, graduating with pride and honour while becoming the newest members of our field, I, you, we, did that!"

Andy Berry, Principal and Chief Executive of University Centre Somerset, said: "The University Centre Somerset Graduation is a highlight of our academic year. It is an opportunity for students to celebrate and share their hard work and success with families, friends and lecturers. Congratulations to all of the graduates on their achievements, I wish them all a bright and prosperous future."

You can experience the celebrations by taking a look at the video below.

UCS is the higher education offer of Bridgwater & Taunton College. It currently delivers around 50 full and part-time courses and apprenticeships, including degrees, HNCs, HNDs and professional certificates. Its campuses are in Taunton, Bridgwater and Cannington. Applications are open now for courses starting in September 2024. Visit the website to find out more.