Posted: Wed 28th Oct 2015

Students Celebrate as Graduation Ceremonies at Glyndwr University Begin

This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 28th, 2015

Hundreds of students will collect their degrees in front of proud family and friends at the first of Glyndŵr University’s annual awards ceremonies today.

Health and Social Science students have collected their qualifications this morning, followed by the 2015 cohort of Undergraduate Business students in the afternoon.

The ceremonies are two of six taking place in the Wrexham institution’s William Aston Hall from Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 October.


They mark the culmination of years of hard work by students from across the world, who now go on to further study, training or into their chosen careers.

Professor Graham Upton, Interim of Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, and Chancellor Sir Jon Shortridge will lead proceedings.

Professor Upton said: “These will be the first award ceremonies which I’ve been involved with at Glyndŵr University and I’ve been looking forward to them immensely.

“For many of our students this will be their final day at university as they go on to the next chapter in their lives within employment.

“We hope that we have played an important part in their journey to get them to where they wanted to be and we look forward to celebrating with them this week.”

The first of Glyndŵr University’s fellows for 2015 are also being honoured today, organic farmer Lord Newborough and artist Ben Johnson.

Two more ceremonies take place at the university tomorrow, with education students collecting their degrees in the morning followed by postgraduate business and computing students in the afternoon.


Glyndŵr University’s 2015 graduation concludes on Friday with applied science, engineering, media, arts and design, psychology and sports science students the final ones to receive their degrees.

Four more honorary degrees will be awarded this week – Peter Davies, current Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales at Cynnal Cymru and chair at Climate Change Commission for Wales; artist Bedwyr Williams; environmental scientist Prof Sir John T Houghton and Wrexham soldier James Wharton, who became an icon for the Army’s changing attitude towards homosexuality.

The ceremonies will see both undergraduate and postgraduate students collect their degrees. Individual awards for outstanding achievement are also being handed out across all subject areas.


A nursing student who overcame the challenges of dyslexia and bereavement while studying says gaining a first class degree has changed her life “in ways she never thought possible.”

Nettie Thomas pictured above from Flintshire completed a lifelong ambition when she collected her BA (Hons) Nursing (Pre-Registration) degree at Glyndŵr University on Wednesday October 28.

36-year-old Nettie harboured ambitions to become a nurse from the age of 16 but lacked the confidence and belief that she could undertake education at a higher level.

But that all changed when she undertook a higher education diploma in psychology, criminology and forensics at Coleg Cambria, gaining distinctions in all three.

She started her degree at Glyndŵr University in September 2012 and went on to become a student information officer, and later a nursing learning representative, for the Royal College of Nursing.
Nettie, who also devised a scheme for improving nurse health and wellbeing which is currently being developed for trial in Welsh hospitals, now works as a community psychiatric nurse.

She said: “I knew that nursing was my calling but it took until I was in my 30s to feel ready. Up to then, my working life was varied, with roles in sales, marketing and event management and, for two years, working as a personal assistant to the British Ambassador in Oslo.

“I’d spent years driving past Glyndŵr dreaming of the day I would eventually have the courage to return to education and obtain my degree.

“I wanted to stand on the steps of the front entrance in my cap and gown and feel that sense of achievement – also knowing that I was starting a career I have dreamed of for 20 years. Like many other students, I had my highs and lows and days when I felt I could have quit while studying, but the drive to stand on those steps was too great to give in.”

Nettie discovered she had dyslexia while studying at Coleg Cambria and Glyndŵr University provided support to help her with it through her degree.

“During high school education I did not do that well academically but I thought nothing more of it,” she said. When I went to college we received a talk during induction which asked us questions about whether we struggled with concentration and other such things, which led to my initial assessment.

“It was the full assessment and following support at Glyndŵr University which I can honestly say has changed my life for the better.

Studying ambitions haven’t stopped yet for Nettie, either, as she’s currently exploring opportunities to complete a doctorate in nursing. She added: “I never thought I would ever be at the stage of obtaining a degree let alone a first. I completed the course saying that I would be happy with a degree but when it became apparent through my final essays that I was close to a first I became more determined than ever.
“I’m so glad that I have as it’s opened so many doors. Without Glyndŵr University it would not have been possible.”

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