Nelson and Colne College’s ‘Class of 2019’ University Centre graduates have received their honours at a glittering graduation ceremony.

Held at the Fence Gate, graduates enjoyed an evening to remember as they celebrated with photographs and fizz alongside family, friends, tutors and employers after gaining qualifications in subject areas including Business, Biology, Computing, Engineering and Teaching.

Honoured guests on the night included the Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, and guest speaker Professor Hazel Bryan from the University of Huddersfield, who joined Nelson and Colne College’s Deputy Principal David Rothwell, Vice Principal Alison Rushton, Dean of Higher Education Charlotte Scheffmann and Director of Academic Standards Dr Steve Wright in the platform party.

One of those graduating was Simon Cocker, 38, from Barnoldswick, who achieved his HND in Manufacturing Engineering, almost 20 years after completing his HNC.

Simon, who works full-time as an engineer at Rolls-Royce, also collected the Student of the Year accolade for the distinction he achieved in his qualification. He said: “The Student of the Year Award is a complete surprise! It’s very nice to be recognised, and I’m happy to have graduated.

“Coming back into learning after such a long time was pretty terrifying at first but I have found the tutors at Nelson and Colne College to be excellent and very helpful, and classes were very personable.

“The classroom environment was not for me when I was younger, but my motivation now is learning something that I enjoy and I’m doing it for career development, so I have approached it with a totally different mindset.

“I love the manufacturing aspect to engineering, but I want to progress more into design. I have chosen to continue studying at College with the BEng top-up degree to support that aim.”

Amy Kershaw, 22, from Preston, graduated having completed her HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Amy, who works for Chubb Systems as a Project Engineer at Heysham Power Station, said: “I’m delighted to graduate. The work has been a real challenge, especially balancing the qualification with working full time for Chubb, but it has all been worth it.

“I have found my tutors to be very knowledgeable and the support has been very good, and I would definitely recommend Higher Education qualifications with Nelson and Colne College to others.

“My ultimate aim is to become a Project Manager and my qualification has definitely supported my aspiration as it has included design, mechanical and electronic aspects, as well as CAD. There was also content on projects which was perfect for me as it is exactly what I needed.”

Asiya Khanim, 47, from Burnley, graduated after achieving her Certificate in Education. Asiya, who works as an ESOL tutor in Nelson and Colne College’s Foundation Learning department said: “I’m thrilled to have achieved my Certificate in Education and mine has been a long journey to where I am now.

“There are too many people to thank, but my family, friends, tutors and colleagues at College have been incredibly supportive to me.

“My father always said I should go into teaching and my motivation was that I wanted to do something different after being a teaching assistant at College for seven years. My children were grown up, so I thought ‘it is my time now’. It is never too late to learn, and 30 years after being a student at this College, I am now a teacher here.”

Dean of Higher Education, Charlotte Scheffmann, said: “Our Graduation Ceremony was a wonderful, celebratory occasion, and we are extremely proud of all of our graduates.

“We hope that the qualifications that our graduates have worked so hard to achieve provide a platform for much future success. Higher Education qualifications are renowned for having a transformative effect on career prospects – they really can be life-changing – and I hope that is true for our ‘Class of 2019’ graduates.”

Following Nelson and Colne College’s successful merger with Accrington and Rossendale College, Higher Education is offered at two campuses – one in Nelson, and one in Accrington. Currently, programmes are offered in Applied Sciences, Building and Engineering, Business and Professional Services, Education and Childcare, Health and Social Studies and Humanities.

If you would like to enrol on to a Higher Education course at the Nelson campus or the Accrington campus, please contact the Higher Education Admissions Team at 01254 354047, or visit or