Oldham College pair short-listed in Student of the Year awards

Date published: 11 October 2021

Two Oldham College learners are celebrating after being shortlisted for the Association of Colleges (AoC) Student of the Year 2021/22 awards.

Ian Kenworthy, a BA (Hons) Business Management student at University Campus Oldham (UCO), which is Oldham College's Higher Education provision, has been shortlisted for Higher Education Student of the Year.

Katie McDonald, an NVQ Diploma Level 3 learner in Decorative Finishing, is Oldham College’s first-ever learner to be in the running for Apprentice of the Year.

Both were selected from an outstanding number of eligible applications to be put forward to a judging panel.

Their shortlisting success follows in the footsteps of Grace Prestwood, Oldham College’s Level 2 Media Make-Up learner, who was a Young Student of the Year (aged 16-18) grand finalist at the 2020 awards.

Ian is described as a “truly outstanding student” and a highly valued member of the UCO community.

Dave Fallon, Director of Curriculum at UCO, said: “Many Higher Education (HE) students around the country excel in their studies despite often facing challenges and overcoming barriers.

“There are, no doubt, many students deserving of this award – but it is truly rare to meet one like Ian.

“He is an exceptional story of the power of HE, and what an individual can achieve with the right attitude, self-determination, drive and ambition.

“UCO is incredibly proud of his achievements.”

Katie has been praised for proving to be an excellent role model who is hardworking, passionate and a “real go-getter”.

Michael Perry, Tutor Assessor for Painting and Decorating, said: “I have been in this profession for more than 35 years and, in that time, I can honestly say that have never seen an apprentice with such a high level of skill.

“What makes Katie stand out from the crowd is her dedication to succeed and break down barriers – not just to improve herself, but also to inspire and empower others to do the same.”

Katie and Ian are two of 22 students from 18 colleges nationwide who have made it through to the judging panel. 

The finalists will be revealed at the AoC Annual Conference at Birmingham ICC on November 16-17.

The winners and runners-up will then be announced at a Parliamentary reception in January, 2022.

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