UHI Shetland students celebrate at graduation

Over 80 UHI Shetland students enjoyed a magical Christmas graduation at Mareel on Friday 08 December. Students who completed their studies in a wide variety of subjects, from aquaculture, art, computing, health care amongst many other, in academic year 2022/23 were invited to graduate.

UHI Shetland were delighted to welcome Brian Chittick, Chief Executive for Shetland NHS, who delivered an inspiring speech on his own educational journey and the importance of learning. Laura Anderson Stronach from Shetland Women’s Aid delivered the ever-popular student speech, reflecting on her learning journey.

Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Highlands and Islands Vicki Nairn joined UHI Shetland staff and students to celebrate their achievements.

UHI Shetland Principal Jane Lewis expressed how proud she and the staff are of all the students’ accomplishments. “Graduation is one of the highlights of the student journey; a fantastic opportunity for our hard-working students, who have put in many hours enhancing their skills and knowledge, to celebrate with their friends, family and colleagues”.

Longstanding, recently retired UHI Shetland staff received the prestigious UHI Vice Chancellor’s Award. The Vice Chancellor’s Medal is awarded to members of staff or recently retired university partnership staff to recognise an exceptional and outstanding contribution to the University of the Highlands and Islands. The recipients were Caroline Hepburn and Dr Lesley McEvoy.

Until her retirement earlier this year, Caroline had worked for Shetland’s colleges and training providers for nearly 30 years. Latterly Caroline worked extensively in Student Support, and therefore has supported many of our students over the years.

Lesley retired earlier in 2023, after dedicating over 40 years to the aquaculture industry, including carrying out research as well as education and training. Lesley’s passion for aquaculture has been an inspiration for many students and staff over the years. This was exemplified when she was awarded the Unsung Hero at the 2023 UK Aquaculture industry awards.

The UHI Shetland Student of the Year was also honoured at the graduation ceremony, this year awarded to Viktor Jaszfi from the Hospitality department. His tutors noted that Viktor had made huge leaps this year and achieved so much. Not just in terms of his professional cookery skills and kitchen craft skills, but with a growth in confidence in wider skills and teamwork.