The University College Isle of Man (UCM) recognised graduates who have completed their degrees and awards in 2017 at the annual higher education awards ceremony at the Villa Marina.
For the third consecutive year, Island-based graduates exceeded the the UK average for top grades, with 83% of UCM students achieving a first class or upper second class grade (UK average 75%; HESA).
111 degrees and higher education awards were achieved by UCM students in 2017, an increase of 30% on last year.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, opened the event and said:
‘I am particularly proud of the quality of our higher education provision through UCM, the development of which is a priority within our Programme for Government.
‘As our economy diversifies, and as we seek to attract new investment and new sectors to the Isle of Man, we must ensure education keeps pace with the skills required.
‘UCM’s higher education courses run in close partnership with Island’s businesses and industries, so valuable relationships are forged with employers through placements and research projects while gaining their qualifications.’
More than 240 guests attended the event last Friday, including Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK and President of Tynwald the Hon Steve Rodan. The Lieutenant Governor, Sir Richard Gozney, sent video message of congratulations to all the graduates.
UCM is an Associate College of the University of Chester and Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Chris Haslam from the University presented the awards.
Jo Pretty, Principal of the UCM, said:
‘Not only are our students results outstanding but they are also in high demand with Island businesses seeking to employ qualified and capable local graduates.
‘The evening recognised not only the hard work of students but also the support of family, friends, employers and, of course, UCM staff. We believe the quality of the higher education offer at UCM, and UCM’s overall curriculum offer, is an increasingly important driver for the islands economy.’
The prestigious Student of the Year award recognises not only academic achievement but someone who has provided leadership within their programme, supporting others and/or overcoming particular challenges. This year, the award, sponsored by Derivco, went to Svetlin Krastev, BSc Hons in accounting and finance (pictured with Mr Sean Davey, Manager of Support Services at Derivco).
This year, UCM has launched a new degree course in cyber security: knowledge that all businesses require if they are to avoid of one of the biggest global threats. Other new courses include an MSc in computer science and a foundation degree in sport.
UCM’s postgraduate courses also allow Manx students who graduate in the UK to continue their studies – and start their careers – back home.
For more information on higher education opportunities at UCM, visit http://www.ucm.ac.im/