Newbattle Abbey College held its 2013 annual Awards Ceremony on 7 September 2013. The event, which was held in the college’s Drawing Room, honoured the many students who have successfully completed the Arts and Humanities Access Course and those who have gained a National Certificate in Rural Skills.

Ann Southwood, Principal of Newbattle Abbey College, said:-“The Awards Ceremony held at Newbattle on Saturday was a huge success. Each of our students has taken a decision to return to education and improve their situation or fulfil a long held ambition, often facing challenges along the way. We really enjoyed celebrating their significant achievements with them.”

The one-year Arts and Humanities Access course is run in conjunction with the Scottish Wider Access Programme, which aims to support adults in progressing onto higher education. The residential course allows students to study a wide variety of different subjects such as Sociology, Psychology, Politics, History, Philosophy, Creative Writing and Core Skills to prepare them for entry into further education. Over 75% of students who complete the course go on to progress to higher education programmes each year. Several former students who have since gone on to graduate from university were invited to the Awards Ceremony to serve as an inspiration to current students.

Annie Hendry, who recently obtained a 2:1 honours degree in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh after leaving Newbattle Abbey College in 2008, attended the event. The graduate, who is already in employment, said: -“It was really lovely to have been invited back to this year’s Awards Ceremony. I really enjoyed my time there and found it really prepared me for going on to study at university. After leaving school at 16, I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to go to university so was really pleased when I found out about Newbattle and the fantastic access courses they offer.”

As ‘Scotland’s Adult Education Residential College’, Newbattle Abbey College aims to give people aged 19 and older, especially those with few or no formal qualifications, a second chance at education.

Submitted by Writer