Graduation and Awards Ceremony 2019

Wednesday 14th August 2019 was a historic occasion marking the first joint graduation ceremony with Shetland College UHI and NAFC Marine Centre UHI.

Held at Mareel in Lerwick, the event saw a full auditorium packed with family and friends coming together will college staff and invited guests. The historic occasion brought together graduating further and higher education students from both colleges for the first time.

Staff and students from NAFC Marine Centre UHI and Shetland College UHI celebrating in Mareel

Staff and students from NAFC Marine Centre UHI and Shetland College UHI celebrating in Mareel. 

In this last year almost 330 students have completed studies, with many now in employment or embarking on further study.  Together Shetland College UHI and NAFC Marine Centre UHI offer an extensive range of courses.  These areas include Aquaculture, Business and Hospitality, Engineering, Computing, Maritime, Health and Care, Creative and Cultural Industries and Construction.  

“Willie Shannon - NAFC Marine Centre UHI (Interim Director) said: “I am delighted to see so many of our students graduate today. It has been a year full of marvelous moments and this joint graduation with Shetland College UHI is a fitting pinnacle. Whilst we miss our students unable to make the celebrations today, we wish everyone a great success as they embark on international sea careers or pursue other on and off island employment or further study.”

The colleges’ partnership with industry is reflected in the fifteen business sponsored prizes.   Susan Berry, Shetland College UHI (Acting Principal) described the significance of these relationships for further and higher education students: “The support we receive from local business and industry is vital. It underlines that the qualifications being achieved are equipping our students for the future world of work. All our students should be proud of their achievements and can step forward with confidence in their abilities and skills.”

Stephenie Pagulayan, artistic director of The ALICE Theatre Project and MA Art and Design student was the guest speaker. Stephenie gave an inspirational speech on her own work and study journey emphasising the recent #nowrongpath campaign. 

Professor Crichton Lang presided over the ceremony with joint chairs of the New College board, Peter Campbell and Davie Sandison opening and closing the ceremony. Stuart Fitzsimmons of NAFC Marine Centre UHI was the Mace Bearer. 

Awards were also presented to four UHI students of the year. NAFC UHI students of the year Alasdair Bendall (further education) and Huw Baxter (higher education) who are both deck cadets were at away at sea so unfortunately unable to attend.

Lailey Sinclair who has completed the NC in Child, Health and Social Care is the Shetland College UHI further education student of the year and Danny Gold who graduated with HNC in Computing is the Shetland College UHI higher education student of the year. 

Rachel McLeod studying an HNC in Childhood Practice received the SQA local college prize with the Shetland Students’ Green Team named as the HISA Society of the Year.

Industry sponsored prizes were also presented. These included:


FE Computing Student of the Year




HE Computing Student of the Year



NB Communication

Business Student of the Year



A9 Partnership

Accounting Student of the Year





Hospitality Student of the Year



Business Gateway


MA Carpentry and Joinery Student of the Year

Billy James


Gary Couper Memorial



HE Construction Student of the Year



Shetland Construction Training Group

ESOL Prize



Greig Seafood

Contemporary Textiles Student of the Year



Jamieson and Smith Shetland Wool Brokers


Professional Practice Prize



Jamieson and Smith Shetland Wool Brokers

Exhibition Award




Shetland Wool Week

NC Art and Design Student of the Year



Shetland Art and Craft Association

Fine Art Student of the Year



Shetland Amenity Trust