Over 200 students celebrated achieving their Access and Higher Education Awards at the College’s graduation ceremony held at the Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena.
Students graduated from four departments: Business, Computing and Creative Industries; Care and Access: Engineering and Built Environment; Science and Service Industries. Guest speaker at the morning ceremony was Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest NI, while students in the afternoon were addressed by Stewart Watt, founder and director of Virtus HR. Both speakers are College alumni.
Northern College offers a range of Foundation Degrees in subject areas such as Built Environment, Engineering, Applied Science, Business and Computing, Social Care, Counselling and Media as well as professional qualifications. Higher Level Apprenticeships which are based on the student remaining in paid employment whilst gaining recognised higher level qualifications are also available. Subjects covered include Engineering, Accountancy and Computing.
Speaking at the event, Principal & Chief Executive, Professor Terri Scott reminded the audience that people are the most important asset of any organisation.
She said: “Essentially Northern Regional College, like other educational institutions, is in the people business. Our students rely on us to deliver a valuable and high-quality educational experience. We rely on them. It is a symbiotic and healthy relationship.
“Upskilling people is at the core of what we do, providing a workforce ready to answer the call of local and inward investing businesses; up-scaling our students’ ambition and providing structured work-based learning. All of this work helps to support small and medium enterprise and prepares our students for employment and further study.
“The digital world now programmes everything we do. We have rightly placed digital learning at the centre of our delivery. With the allure of technology, we are conscious that behind every screen and smart device there is a person with unique aspirations and very different learning styles. We will continue to explore ways to use technology to empower and engage with our students.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the staff of the College who been at the forefront of innovation by have embracing these digital technologies with characteristic enthusiasm and dedication. Our goal is not just to adapt to change, but to lead the way, and lead the change if that is what is needed.”
Just the job for Rebecca
Rebecca Henry graduated today with a HND Business from Northern Regional College – and is also celebrating her new role as a Recruitment Account Co-ordinator with Riada Resourcing thanks to attending a conference as part of her studies where she met Frances Lundy who owns the company.
Frances explained: “While at a Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council event ‘Managing Your Business in the 2016 Economy’ in May this year I got talking to Rebecca over lunch and was so enthused with her positive attitude that I invited her for an interview the next day. As a result she is now working for Riada and is responsible for looking after a major client’s requirements.”
Rebecca said: “I chose to take on the HND Business course at the College in order to further my career prospects and it has done exactly that. Thanks to attending the Council event, I met Frances and got the opportunity of an interview which has resulted in a full-time job. As an added bonus of my role, I am helping to recruit the College’s BTEC Level 3 Business students into part-time jobs.”
Mum knows best!
Bridget McIlroy is a mum who literally does know best as she graduates today with a Distinction in HND Business from Northern Regional College – a feat she achieved while also working as part-owner of the Magherabuoy Hotel in Portrush and running a busy home.
In 2014 Bridget decided to ‘go back to school’ when her son Stephen left the same HND Business before completion in order to prove to him that if she could do it, then so could he. Not only has she inspired him to get back into education, mother and son are now both studying together part-time at the College’s Coleraine campus for the Accounting Technicians Ireland Diploma.
Bridget said: “Going back to study again after more than 20 years was a bit daunting at first, but I can thoroughly recommend being a more mature student to anyone. The fact that I was able to achieve my HND and encourage
Stephen to sign up again has been great and I’m delighted that we are now studying together for our accountancy qualification. Fingers crossed we’ll both be graduating together in a couple of years’ time.”
Anne McCallum, lecturer in Business at Northern Regional College, said: “Bridget is to be congratulated on her success which is well deserved. She was a pleasure to teach and a fantastic role model for some of the younger students in the class. I wish her and Stephen every success in their future studies.”
Start the new year with a new qualification at Northern Regional College : part-time courses starting in January 2017 www.nrc.ac.uk