UCEN Manchester students celebrate achievements at annual awards

Photograph of Aitor Martinez Gonzalez on stage collecting the UCEN Manchester Student of the Year award.

Staff and students from across UCEN Manchester came together at the National Football Museum in Manchester city centre on Thursday 6 June for UCEN Manchester’s 2024 Student Awards.

The event, which takes place every 12 months in partnership with The Manchester College, showcased some of the incredible achievements that UCEN Manchester’s students have accomplished over the course of the 2023/24 academic year.

All the students that attended the awards were nominated by a member of staff or fellow student in one or more of this year’s categories.  A panel of judges, which was made up of staff and students from across UCEN Manchester and The Manchester College, then shortlisted the best nominations in each category.

Finalists got the chance to take two guests with them to the ceremony and throughout the night they were treated to delicious food and incredible entertainment, including performances from Omogbolahan Solarin, a remarkable saxophonist who came second in The Manchester College’s student talent competition earlier in the academic year, and Cafu Jackson the talent competition winner.

Over the course of the evening, which was hosted by the President of UCEN Manchester’s Students’ Union and a current student at The Manchester College, attendees heard about the finalists’ amazing achievements and found out why their nominators were inspired to recognise them.

The night ended with the coveted Student of the Year award, presented by The Manchester College’s Principal, Rachel Curry. Speaking at the awards, Rachel said: “Our Student Awards ceremony is one of the highlights of the year, and I’m incredibly proud of everything that all our finalists have achieved.  The standard of this year’s nominations was outstanding and all our students here tonight have done remarkably well to be shortlisted in their respective categories.

Our finalists have seized every opportunity afforded to them, they have completed amazing work, developed high level skills that employers want and need, gone above and beyond to support their fellow students and expertly balanced their studies alongside their personal commitments.  There are incredible back stories and life changing experiences represented in the room tonight.  Anyone in need of joy should come to our Student Awards.

Shortly after collecting the Student of the Year award Aitor Martinez Gonzalez added: “It feels great to win Student of the Year.  All of that hard work and effort has paid off.  Tonight has been a really good experience; amazing food and spectacular music.  I want to thank everyone involved.”

Full list of winners

The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester awards

  • Rising Star - Dantai Sonne-Owen
  • Most Inspiring - Chloe Burton.

UCEN Manchester awards

  • UCEN Manchester Accelerate2Industry Award - Lucy Hockenhull
  • Access to HE Student of the Year - Shannon Melling
  • Creative Arts & Media Industries Student of the Year - Richmond Nti
  • Higher Technical & Professional Industries Student of the Year - Nasara Jallow
  • UCEN Manchester Student of the Year - Aitor Martinez Gonzalez.

Find out more about courses at UCEN Manchester, get in contact via 03333 222 444 or online.