Shrewsbury students' parade celebrate higher education success - with pictures
A procession of students proudly wearing mortar boards and gowns made its way through Shrewsbury town centre as part of their graduation ceremony.
Led by the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Phil Gillam, the group made its way from The Square to St Chad’s Church in the annual Shrewsbury College graduation parade.
The college has been teaching higher education for over 20 years and numbers are steadily increasing, with 235 students graduating overall this year and 95 collecting awards as part of the ceremony.
Vice principal Chris Pemberton was the master of ceremonies at the event and welcomed the ceremonial procession and audience, made up of family and specially invited VIPs.
Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group James Staniforth gave a formal address and special guest speaker, Stuart Bramwell, a former student and film and media composer gave a keynote address.
Addressing the graduating students, principal James Staniforth, said: “Higher education courses in colleges, particularly in HE cold spots like Shropshire, are an essential part of the education system.
"Today we recognise our 2019 graduates. Some students are returning to education as part of retraining or training for employment; some are in work but developing higher level skills and knowledge; some are students progressing from their further education courses.
"In all cases, local, high quality, affordable higher education is critical to their story. And the additional knowledge and skills these graduates bring to our town and our county are critical, whether it is in counselling or engineering, education or IT, art or sport.
“Today is important as a celebration of the wonderful achievements of our students. We are so proud of each and every one of you. Your graduation is special individually, but also collectively. Our procession today reminds our community that higher education thrives in Shrewsbury."
Throughout the event there were various performances from A-Level music, vocational performing arts and Higher Education (HE) Music Production students; followed by Mr Staniforth and Mr Bramwell presenting the awards.
Stuart Bramwell, 21, originally from Shrewsbury, was also invited to speak at the ceremony as a former student of the college, having studied music, geography and psychology A-Levels in 2016.
He is now at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland completing a prestigious joint-principle composition and violin music degree.
Helen Fellows, HE lead at the college added: “We have been running higher education courses at the college for over 20 years and enrol over 250 students each year to study with us at a higher level.
"Our graduation ceremony is a wonderful opportunity for students and staff to celebrate their successes, particularly as we are seeing our higher level achievement rates rise year on year.
"Student satisfaction is high because we have small class sizes, we are affordable and now have a fantastic HE Centre at London Road - a purposefully designed building for our HE learners, which includes social areas, private study spaces, a computer suite and classrooms.”