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Lifelong learning success for St Andrews graduates

Soon-to-be University of St Andrews graduates Katrina Peattie, Sarah Ramage, Audrey Field and Yvonne Smith celebrating on St Andrews Pier.

Lifelong learning students celebrate graduation success this week as part of the University of St Andrews 2021 virtual degree conferral ceremonies.

Progressing to higher education through the Scottish Wider Access Programme, SWAP East, five outstanding graduands will share their degree success on Wednesday 30 June with St Andrews graduates celebrating around the world.

The five students, who returned to education after time away focussing on career and family commitments, progressed to their St Andrews degree programmes following courses at Fife College and Dundee and Angus College, supported by SWAP East and the University. SWAP East is a partnership between colleges and universities in the east of Scotland that aims to promote and support access to higher education for adults.

Kerri Samson will graduate with an MA (Hons) Geography (First Class) and is included in the Deans’ List, an annual award celebrating academic excellence. Kerri will also receive the prestigious Geography Citizenship Prize which recognises the student who contributed the most to the class, programme, the University, and the wider community.

Audrey Field graduates with an MA (Hons) Geography, as does Sarah Ramage. Sarah was a Saltire Scholar, taking part in the First Abroad programme which gives students the opportunity to visit William and Mary, the world-leading research university, in Virginia USA, to learn about the benefits of study abroad first-hand. Sarah has also been an advocate for lifelong learning opportunities and was the Student Representative Council Member for Lifelong Flexible Learning and was President of Lifelong Learners Forum 2018/9.

Yvonne Smith will receive an (Hons) Sustainable Development and Katrina Peattie will graduate with an MA(Hons) Geography. Tina was previously President of Townsend Society for 2 years. The Townsend Society is a dedicated student society for commuter students and is open to all students who are not linked to a hall of residence or who commute from out of town.

Soon-to-be University of St Andrews graduates Yvonne Smith, Audrey Field, Sarah Ramage and Katrina Peattie on the East Sands.

All five graduands progressed through the University’s Further Education (FE) – Higher Education (HE) Pathway programme which provides a supported entry to St Andrews for anyone studying alternative qualifications, such as the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) or HNC/HND’s at Scottish Further Education Colleges.

Working closely with local colleges, the University’s FE-HE Pathway programme seeks to encourage students who are studying access and college courses to consider St Andrews as an option. The FE-HE Pathway offers class visits, campus visiting days and supports students from the point of application through to the transition to university life and into study.

The purpose of the programme is to support new students who are not coming directly from school navigate the transition to university, help them meet other students who have a similar journey and encourage them to get involved in everything St Andrews has to offer, beyond the classroom.

Lesley Dunbar, Director SWAP East, said: “I’m delighted to hear that our SWAP students have done so well in their studies at St Andrews. Every year, the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) provides opportunities for hundreds of adults, who didn’t take their education further at school, to enter university through access programmes run at colleges.

“It is fantastic to see our students thrive in the university environment and we are very appreciative of the support and encouragement they get from the access team at St Andrews. These students bring with them a wealth of life and work experiences that contribute so much to the diversity of the student population. A huge well done to these wonderful SWAP students and I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Due to Covid restrictions, the summer 2021-degree conferral ceremonies will take place online as virtual celebrations from Monday 28 June to Friday 2 July. Graduands can watch the virtual ceremonies online via the University website and social media channels.

Soon-to-be University of St Andrews graduates Yvonne Smith, Audrey Field, Katrina Peattie and Sarah Ramage celebrating with a paddle in the North Sea.
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