Poet, President, family and friends

Graduation ceremony

Renowned poet Tony Walsh joined staff, family and friends to celebrate the achievements of UCEN Manchester’s graduating Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

UCEN Manchester’s first in-person graduation event since 2019 saw the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 join their families, friends, peers and tutors at Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire Cricket Club in Manchester, to celebrate the momentous occasion. 

Guest speaker for the day was Tony Walsh, one of the UK’s most widely acclaimed professional poets. Tony is the founder and co-director of Longfella Ltd, an Ambassador for National Poetry Day UK, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a multi-award-winning professional writer and performer, and a patron of several charities. Born in Manchester, he has led a fascinating and inspiring life, a journey which he shared during his speech, which ended with a rousing rendition of his poem ‘Now Forever’ followed by cheers and applause from the audience.

Since 2019 over 1,500 students have completed higher education qualifications at UCEN Manchester and were recognised at three special ceremonies throughout the day.

The event was an opportunity for graduates to revisit their shared experience of studying at UCEN Manchester and reflect on their own personal journey.

Cosmin Zetes, studied Computer Network Engineering on a part time basis and graduated with his Class of 2021. He said: “I’m the first person in my family to have graduated. While taking the part time route meant that I was studying over a long period of time, it also meant that there were a lot of different opinions and different subjects that I came into contact with over the four years. So it was a good experience.”

Danielle, who studied on the Level 5 Therapeutic Counselling course and graduated with the Class of 2022, summed up her time at UCEN Manchester:

I had a wonderful experience. I met some amazing people and had a really supportive experience from my tutors. I’ve gone straight into work and private practice. So, all good all round!

The student vote of thanks was delivered by Class of 2022 Musical Theatre graduate and current Students’ Union President, Molly Butcher, who gave a heartfelt speech on behalf of all graduates. Speaking after the ceremonies, Molly said: “I was so lucky to represent the Class of 2020, Class of 2021 and Class of 2022 at graduation. It’s been an absolutely amazing day, full of cheers, a few tears, and a wonderful atmosphere.”

Congratulations to all our graduates.