Around 400 students are graduating today from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) at a ceremony in Belfast.
The students will be honoured this afternoon at the Waterfront Hall where they will be joined by their families and staff from the college.
SERC was formed in 2007 through the merger of Lisburn Institute of Further and Higher Education, North Down & Ards Institute and East Down Institute.
Lambeg man Andrew Campbell will be one of those celebrating the award of a Higher National Certificate (HNC).
Andrew, who has worked for FG Wilson for almost 20 years, went back to college to improve his knowledge and skills and develop himself professionally in the area of Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering.
He said: “I am delighted to have completed the HNC course at South Eastern Regional College.
“I first attended the college over 20 years ago when I studied welding.
“I feel it is no coincidence that all those years ago my lecturers helped me to find employment with FG Wilson where I have been employed ever since.
“When I approached my em
ployers about returning to |college to study the HNC in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering they were very supportive and also funded my course.”
Also celebrating a successful result at South Eastern Regional College today is Tracey Welsh from Bangor, who will graduate with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Business Management.
Tracey, who last year was at university studying geography, decided that she needed to take a different route and applied to the college to study on the BA (Hons) Business Management degree, which runs in association with Liverpool John Moore’s |University.
She said: “After completing my A-levels I went on to university to study geography but quickly discovered that it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.
“After consulting with careers’ professionals I was told that SERC offered the BA Business Management which I really felt was a good fit with my life.
“I secured a place on the course and after three years of study secured a 2:1 degree. The highlight of the course for me was going to China on a study visit.
“There were only five places offered to undergraduate students from across Northern Ireland so I was amazed when my classmate and I were chosen as two of the five.
“The visit was a brilliant experience which involved visiting the financial sectors in Shanghai and job-shadowing young professionals from the region.
“Now that I have finished my course I have secured employment with Next as senior sales supervisor for their home department in the new Springhall store. I am looking forward to applying my newly-acquired business skills to this project when it opens in |October this year.”
Ken Webb, SERC principal and chief executive, said today’s event — which is sponsored by Lisburn City Council — marks an important day in the lives of the hundreds of higher education students who have completed their course.
“The college has an ethos of inspiring, transforming and enriching the lives of each student who comes through its doors,” he said.
“We have found that increasing numbers of professional people are returning to education to retrain or upskill, in order to prove their skills level and enable them to become more competitive in the current job market.
“By upskilling and reskilling these individuals within a culture of excellence I feel that South Eastern Regional College is now seen as one of the top 20 educational providers in the United Kingdom.”
For details on South Eastern Regional College visit serc.ac.uk or call 0845 600 7555.