Local students celebrate their summer graduation

July 11, 2019

The outstanding achievements of over 400 Degree, Foundation Degree, HNC and Postgraduate students from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's colleges were celebrated at a ceremony earlier this week marking the end of the academic year.

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. 

Not only did Gareth Smith from Rhuddlan graduate today with a BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree, he has recently been appointed as Deputy Mayor of his hometown, Rhuddlan. Gareth, who is employed by global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald, now plans to study for a Master's degree and apply for a chartership with the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Alisha Williams from Penmaenmawr graduated with a First-Class-Honours degree in Policing and Criminal Investigation. Alisha is now hoping to gain employment with the North Wales Police. She said:

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the degree course and have been fully supported and encouraged by my tutors".

Nichola Ryan from Bangor graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts. She is a full-time single parent to her 6-year-old daughter and also works 16-hours a week cleaning holiday homes around Anglesey.

She said: "Being a young mum, I wanted to build a more financially stable environment for my child to grow up in. I wanted to not only be able to provide things for my daughter in the future, but also show her that with determination and consistency your dreams can become a reality.

"The course has also helped me with my mental health problems, as I have always suffered with anxiety and depression. It helped turn these feelings into creative ones. It made my life infinitely more interesting and fulfilling and helped me find a way around obstacles in my life, instead, looking at them as opportunities.

The college in one word is 'amazing': it exceeded any of my expectations. The confidence I now have in myself as an artist has increased so much, that I now enter exhibitions around the country".

 Dafydd Evans, CEO of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: "I am very pleased to welcome guests, graduates and diplomates to this 2019 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".

"The event has grown considerably alongside the increase in the provision 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, Macmillan Cancer Support, 100 commemorative teddies were sold to graduates, with all proceeds going to the charity.

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.