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Celebrations at the University as students collect their degrees at graduation

Celebrations at the University as students collect their degrees at graduation

 

STUDENTS from the University of Chichester have celebrated the conclusion of their degrees at graduation after many years of hard work.

Nearly 1,500 undergraduates collected certificates on stage at the Chichester Festival Theatre in front of thousands of friends, family, and guests. The graduation ceremonies marked a high-point in what has been a commemorative year for the University, which celebrates its 180-year anniversary in 2019.

Now the students have revealed their stories about what it means to study at Chichester and how gaining a degree at the University changed on their lives for good.

 

Sandy Newman

Sandy Newman

Mother-of-five Sandy Newman finished a full-time degree in Philosophy and Ethics with a first while still working night-shifts and raising her young family. The mature student was also joined at the University of Chichester by her oldest child, who is studying become at teacher.

Sandy said: “This has been quite the journey but it was a dream I’ve had for a long time. This is a degree for me but it’s really to show my children of what you can achieve if you work hard. It’s never too late to get a degree.”

 

Rachel McAlpine

Rachel McAlpine

Rugby player Rachel McAlpine, 21, is on a pathway to teaching having completed a degree in secondary education. “I didn’t think I’d make it to this point in my first year,” she admitted, “I grew up in care and found my settling in a challenge, but it was thanks to the help of my University tutors that I stayed on."

Now Rachel plans to stay at the University to undertake a postgraduate course to teach primary schoolchildren with special education needs. “I love it here so much and am so grateful for my lectures for helping me during that difficult period. Studying at Chichester changed my life.”

 

Paul Milross

Paul Millross

Creative writing graduate Paul Millross is registered blind and dedicated his degree to the University for supporting him throughout his three-years of study.

The 47-year-old, who is about to start the MA in creative writing at Chichester, added: “Without the help and support from my lecturers and University community I wouldn’t be here graduating today. I’m very proud of myself and my cohort, and it’s a special feeling to celebrate it with my friends.”

 

Moyin Ekundayo

Moyin Ekundayo

New Students’ Union president Moyin Ekundayo – or Mo to his friends – graduates with a degree in community sports coaching. At the heart of the degree is using sport to make a difference to people’s lives by bringing the community together.

“Seeing everyone smile today is so great,” said the 21-year-old. “I love Chichester and Bognor Regis, and I want to use my time in office to share the remarkable and exciting aspects of our University with our community, and to show what makes this place so special.”

 

Dewmi Ranasinghe

Dewmi Ranasinghe

Working life has been a breeze for graduate Dewmi Ranasinghe, who studied a BA (Hons) in children and families. The 21-year-old, who works in a residential home for people with severe disabilities, has already been promoted to a senior leader role, after only starting in the summer. “I want to help people get the right care and live their best life,” she said.

 

Onwa Wonci

Onwa Wonci

Graduation marks the end of four years at the University for Onwa Wonci, who course allowed her to take a year-long placement at a job between study. The 24-year-old finance and accounting graduate proved such a success that she was given full-time job by employers Enterprise rent a car.

She said: “It’s the best feeling in the world to graduate – but I’ll miss Chichester, particularly meeting up with my friends. You never stop learning, and I start my professional accounting exams from September.”

 

Joe Paveley

Joe Paveley

Joe Paveley is the new vice-president of the Student’s Union, working alongside Mo. The 21-year-old football coaching and performance student was happy the celebrate three years of hard work but said he is now focused on his role of representing the students.

He added: “Being here with all my friends is wonderful. There’s a lot of talented people in this year who will make a big impact on our region and across the UK. I am now looking forward to returning to the University in a new capacity.”

 

Dan Andrade

Dan Andrade

Dan Andrade was part of the first cohort of the University’s sports media degree, which is the only of its kind in the UK. The 21-years-old is an aspiring broadcast journalist, and has already been accepted a job working with BBC Jersey.

“The course taught us a lot about working as a journalist,” he said. “We did a lot of training in the University’s new Tech Park, which has lots of state-of-the-art equipment.”

 

Gaby Hobday

Gaby Hobday

Gaby Hobday, 21, hopes to become a football coach at a high-level team, having undertaken a degree in football coaching and performance. The former Chichester City Ladies FC winger is due to fly out to Boston, USA, later this month to teach child from inner-city schools.

She said: “My three years here have gone really quick. I started on the foundation course at the University because I only had two A-Levels, and then worked my way up to the full degree. I love Chichester, and the city has become my second home – I’ll miss it a lot.”

 

Kian Church

Kian Church

New teacher Kian Church has already found a job at a Portsmouth primary school. The 24-year-old, who will teach pupils in year four from early September, is also an outdoor sports instructor and hopes to bring his love for alternative sports into the classroom.

“Choosing the University of Chichester was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said the 24-year-old. “The pastoral care was great, I always felt supported, and you can always ask lecturers for help.”

 

Donna Carpenter

Donna Carpenter

Donna Carpenter celebrated finishing her BA (Hons) in literature and language by enrolling onto an PGCE in secondary teaching. “Every child needs a good English teacher,” said the 21-year-old. “The people here at Chichester are so special – and I’ve made lots of special memories.”

 

Find out more 

See more photos of graduation on the University’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UniversityofChichester. Alternatively Join the University of Chichester's alumni association by visiting www.alumni.chi.ac.uk.