Argyll College graduation ceremony 2019

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More than 300 graduating students and guests assembled in the spectacular setting of the Argyllshire Gathering Halls, Oban, last Friday for Argyll College UHI’s annual graduation ceremony.

New principal Martin Jones welcome the students and their guests, and he, UHI vice principal Gary Campbell, college chairman Andrew Campbell and the academic staff were led into the ceremony by piper Emma Hill, a pupil at Oban High School.

Guest speaker at the event was David Duke MBE, the founder and chief executive of Street Soccer Scotland, which is a non-profit social enterprise that uses football to help create positive change in the lives of socially disadvantaged adults and young people. He is also global ambassador for the Homeless World Cup organisation.

More recently, David set up Change Centre Scotland, a social enterprise aimed at tackling homelessness by creating personal development and self management centres. He was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

David gave an inspirational address, recounting his own story and the importance of his own college education, an HNC in community work, in part for helping him turn his life around.

More than a third of the students graduating studied in the college’s Oban centre, and local student Kerry Anne Wallace received the Mary MacKenzie Memorial Cup for Hairdressing.

Kerry Ann is hard working mum of two who, in her tutor’s words, ‘put 100 per cent into her college work. She’s a great team worker.’

Kerry Anne has been a student at the Oban centre for three years and now that she has completed her SVQ level 3 in Hairdressing, she is employed in the salon where she undertook her work placement.

Oban-based tutor Rachael Hathaway picked up the Highlands and Islands Student Award for Most Engaging Video Conference Tutor. This award is voted for by students throughout the highlands and islands and recognises tutors who demonstrate an exceptional use of video-conferencing technology to enhance the student experience.

Rachael said: ‘I’m delighted to receive this accolade as there are so many inspiring tutors in the university. Argyll College is one of the most prolific exponents of video conference in the university partnership so it’s fantastic for us to be recognised with this award.’

Argyll College UHI has also recently been shortlisted in the national College Development Network Awards for Innovation and Digital Learning.