The outstanding achievements of over 400 Degree, Foundation Degree, HND, HNC and Postgraduate students from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's three colleges were celebrated at a ceremony today marking the end of the academic year. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the annual awards ceremony.
Representatives from the colleges' associate and partner universities in both England and Wales officiated at the Graduation Ceremony, at a sun-baked Venue Cymru in Llandudno, in front of a full house of 1,500 students, families and friends.
The number studying on university-level courses has increased steadily year-on-year. Today, the Grŵp has around 1,200 Higher Education students studying on 50 different degree courses, with over 400 students graduating each year, many with first-class honours. Grŵp Llandrillo Menai comprises Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor.
One student had cause for a double celebration. 21-year-old Milly Byrne from Llandudno Junction, not only graduated with a BA (Hons) Management of Travel and Tourism, but will be getting married to her partner the following day!
She explained more during the ceremony:
On 7th July, the day after graduating, I will be getting married at Caer Rhun Hall just outside of Conwy. I will then move up to Lossiemouth, as my husband-to-be is in the RAF. I haven't decided what I'm going to do next as there are many major changes going in my life, but I have plenty of opportunities with my degree and I will see where life takes me.
I never did very well in school, so I decided to come to college. The Travel and Tourism department was able to bring out my full potential: they helped, guided and supported me, and I excelled. Also, the Additional Learning Support Unit put me through a dyslexia screening which allowed me additional support to complete my assessed work. Without this dual support I would have never been in this position where I am, graduating with a 2:1.
Milly's classmate Chelsea O'Connor from Denbigh, who also graduated with a BA (Hons) Management of Travel and Tourism, is now planning to work her way across the USA and Canada.
Geoffrey Lunn from Llangefni graduated with a BSc in Commercial Construction Management. Geoffrey is one of ten children and all his 9 siblings attended the Graduation Ceremony!
Gordon Milton, 60, from Rhyl, who is originally from South Africa, achieved a first-class honours for his BA (Hons) degree in Creative Media.
In the BSc Computing (Software Development) class, where there are seven in the group, five achieved first-class degrees and the other two achieved 2.1s!
Dafydd Evans, CEO of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said:
I am very pleased to welcome guests, graduates and diplomates to this 2018 Graduation Ceremony, which represents the completion of many years of intense study, commitment and effort by our students and teaching staff. The ceremony formally recognises the award of degrees and diplomas to our Higher Education students.
This marks the twenty-fifth year of the Graduation Ceremony, an event which has grown considerably with the number of our Higher Education courses. The number of students has grown too, since Coleg Llandrillo merged with Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor in 2010 and again, with Coleg Menai in 2012, to form Grŵp Llandrillo Menai. Today, we are celebrating the achievements of students from all three colleges. Many are moving on to work for businesses in Wales, the UK and beyond, and I congratulate them all on their success.
In support of the Student Unions' chosen charity of the year, Mind, 100 commemorative teddies were sold to graduates, with all proceeds going to the charity.
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai continues to expand its portfolio of Higher Education courses, both independently and in partnership with Higher Education institutions including Bangor University, the University of Central Lancashire and Glyndŵr University. As well as the more traditional honours degree programmes and higher nationals, the college has been at the forefront in developing and promoting innovative and unique Foundation Degrees and vocational courses.
The £4.5million University Centre Coleg Llandrillo (UCCL) at the college's Rhos-on-Sea campus, which was built in partnership with Bangor University and is the base for nearly 1,000 learners, provides Higher Education students with bespoke teaching and learning facilities in one dedicated centre, rather than in different locations across the campus.
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai is one of the largest Further Education colleges in the UK. It now employs around 2,000 staff and, in addition to its business and research facilities, the Grŵp delivers courses to around 27,000 students across four counties at campuses from Rhyl to Dolgellau.
For more information on Higher Education courses available at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, contact the Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.