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Shetland Unites for Graduation. Students and prize winners were honoured for their academic achievements and dedication today (Wednesday 14 August) when Shetland College UHI and NAFC Marine Centre UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, celebrated a unique graduation ceremony.

Held at Mareel in Lerwick, the event saw a full auditorium packed with family and friends coming together will college staff and invited guests. The historic occasion brought together graduating further and higher education students from both colleges for the first time.

In this last year almost 330 students have completed studies, with many now in employment or embarking on further study.  Together Shetland College UHI and NAFC Marine Centre UHI offer an extensive range of courses.  These areas include Aquaculture, Business and Hospitality, Engineering, Computing, Maritime Health & Care, Creative & Cultural Industries and Construction.

“Willie Shannon – NAFC Marine Centre UHI (Interim Director) said: “I am delighted to see so many of our students graduate today. It has been a year full of marvellous moments and this joint graduation with Shetland College UHI is a fitting pinnacle. Whilst we miss our students unable to make the celebrations today, we wish everyone a great success as they embark on international sea careers or pursue other on and off island employment or further study.”

The colleges’ partnership with industry is reflected in the fifteen business sponsored prizes. Susan Berry, Shetland College UHI (Acting Principal) described the significance of these relationships for further and higher education students: “The support we receive from local business and industry is vital. It underlines that the qualifications being achieved are equipping our students for the future world of work. All our students should be proud of their achievements and can step forward with confidence in their abilities and skills.”

Awards were also presented to four UHI students of the year. NAFC UHI students of the year Alasdair Bendall (further education) and Huw Baxter (higher education) who are both deck cadets were at away at sea so unfortunately unable to attend.

Lailey Sinclair who has completed the NC in Child, Health and Social Care is the Shetland College UHI further education student of the year and Danny Gold who graduated with HNC in Computing is the Shetland College UHI higher education student of the year.

Rachel McLeod studying an HNC in Childhood Practice received the SQA local college prize with the Shetland Students’ Green Team named as the HISA Society of the Year.