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Petroc student awarded overall winner for ‘Outstanding Commitment to Study’

Former Petroc student, Tanya O’Connor has been awarded the overall winner for ‘Outstanding Commitment to Study’ in the national ‘Keith Fletcher Memorial Access to HE Student Prizes’.

Tanya, who is currently studying Primary Teaching at the University of Plymouth, started her journey at Petroc, studying Access to HE Diploma in Education (Humanities).

Last year, we were delighted to announce that she had won the regional CAVA Award for Outstanding Commitment to Study. But it didn’t end there for Tanya! The award-winners from each Access Validation Agency across the country were put forward as nominees for the national Keith Fletcher Memorial Award, and we were delighted to learn that Tanya was the overall winner for Outstanding Commitment to Study.

One of the award judges commented: “Exemplary commitment shown. Despite the learner joining the access programme with lots of issues, organisation and planning had supported these. The pandemic threw up further issues and the student had to plan and manage not only her own learning but that of 4 children. It was astounding to read who the student used her experiences to support the next cohort of access learners by creating learning materials especially about remote learning.”

We were also incredibly proud to hear that Michael Phillips, who won the CAVA Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, was a runner up in the Awards too – for Outstanding Academic Achievement!

Suzi Smale, Access to HE Faculty Manager, said: “I am so proud of Tanya and Mikey – they were fantastic students who worked incredibly hard to achieve outstanding results on their Access to HE Diplomas despite extremely challenging circumstances. Tanya is now completing a Primary Teaching (with QTS) degree at the University of Plymouth and is going to be a wonderful teacher. Mikey is studying Chemistry at the University of Bath and has a bright future ahead of him in the field of science. They are clear evidence of the life-changing effect that studying an Access to HE Diploma can have, and I would like to congratulate them on their achievements and thank the staff team who supported them throughout their studies.”

Although the Award Ceremony could not take in person, due to the current pandemic, you can view the online ceremony here.


21 February 2021