BRADFORD College students celebrated their incredible achievements last week when they graduated over two spectacular ceremonies.

More than 400 students donned their cap and gowns with family, friends, staff, and VIP guests at Bradford’s Life Centre. Speaking to a capacity audience, Bradford College Principal & CEO Chris Webb said: “Graduation ceremonies are such a wonderful highlight in the academic calendar. I am proud to be the Principal of Bradford College and I want to take this opportunity to say congratulations to all our graduands on this incredible achievement.

“You should all be very proud of yourselves. I hope that graduating today will give you the confidence to be brave and go out and change the world; to use your learning and education for the betterment of society.”

The 11am ceremony welcomed graduates from the Bradford School of Art, School of Engineering & Construction, Science, Health & Meditech and Business, and Accounting & Law. Special guest Shanaz Gulzar, Creative Director of Bradford UK City of Culture 2025, then delivered an inspiring speech about the exciting things that await Bradford and what the bid will bring to the city and its residents.

As well as degrees, two new special awards were announced recognising the exceptional achievement of certain graduates. The Principal’s Outstanding Resilience Award and Principal’s Award for Excellence were presented at each ceremony.

Chelsea Brown received the Principal Outstanding Resilience Award for staying power and fortitude in the face of adversity. Chelsea overcame many challenges in her personal life over the three years with the College, but still delivered her BA (Hons) Business Management & Entrepreneurship degree independently and to a very high standard.

The Principal explained: “She is a great team player - responsible, helpful, and an organic leader. She didn’t realise her own strengths when she started the course, but over the last two years, she really took off and became confident and strived for excellence.”

In her final year, Chelsea participated in work experience, volunteered more hours than were required, and engaged with colleagues on her placement. She demonstrated exceptional values, being inclusive and showing integrity in everything she does.

He continued: “This student is an example of what perseverance means and a deserving winner of this title.”

The Principal’s Award for Excellence went to BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing graduate Mahmuda Islam, who achieved the highest grades against all peers graduating in the morning. Mahmuda said, “Getting this award is an incredible achievement. It is a culmination of years of dedication to my course and the pursuit of knowledge.”

The 4pm ceremony celebrated students graduating from the Margaret McMillan School of Education and School of Social Care & Community Practice. The afternoon ceremony welcomed Lord Mayor of Bradford Gerry Baker and Leader of Bradford Council, Susan Hinchcliffe.

At this ceremony, the Principal’s Outstanding Resilience Award was given to Olivia Shaw. She took the plunge into a full-time BA (Hons) Youth Work & Community Development degree, juggling the demands of parenting, college, and work placements.

Chris Webb said: “The academic story of this individual is one of determination and grit. She returned to education at Bradford College, studying part-time and completing her Level 2 and 3 in Youth Work while also working full-time and being a single parent.

“Despite being severely dyslexic, she spent a lot of time trying to get through her studies by herself, never asking for help or support. She is a role model for how to keep going when things are tough. She has now secured a full-time position at her final-year placement.”

The second Principal’s Award for Excellence went to Frazer Ormondroyd, a BA (Hons) Counselling & Psychology in Community Settings student who achieved the highest grades against all peers graduating in the afternoon.

Frazer said, “I’ve really worked hard. This is such a wonderful validation of all that hard work and a reminder to believe in myself.”

Bradford College is one of the biggest education and training providers in the region and teaches Higher National Qualifications, Degrees, Higher Level Apprenticeships, and Postgraduate courses.

The College also teaches Access to Higher Education courses that offer the chance to refresh skills, learn a new subject, and gain the required entry qualifications for university.

Like other higher education courses offered at Bradford College, these flexible programmes fit around work and family commitments and can spread the cost of investing in the future.

Over the next few years, the College is also set to enhance facilities further with transformational multi-million-pound funding.

Find out more about higher education and degree courses at Bradford College. You can apply via UCAS or directly through Bradford College.