Proud friends and family members of Cornwall’s students gathered at Truro Cathedral in a bumper ceremony to celebrate graduates from university-level courses at The Cornwall College Group (TCCG).

The impressive setting played host to three ceremonies that captured the pride and excitement of students who chose to study in Cornwall and Devon. More than 400 students graduated from one of the group’s colleges, which include Duchy College Stoke Climsland.

Principal and chief executive of TCCG, John Evans, congratulated all the graduates and thanked the families, colleagues and friends who supported them through their degrees, especially over the last two years against the backdrop of the pandemic.

He said: “Securing a degree is already a momentous achievement that anyone should be rightly proud of.

“But doing so in the face of the most challenging period of time many of us have ever witnessed, is even more extraordinary.

“The resilience, grit and sheer determination our students have shown, over the last 18 months in particular, prove they are concluding their time in education and heading out into the world of work with a set of skills like no other.

“I know they all will have a tremendous amount of success with whatever they chose to do next – and as a college, we could not be more proud of them.”

The ceremony saw graduates from both 2020 and 2021 receiving their scrolls due to coronavirus postponing the celebrations last year.

Mr Evans added: “We could not hold a ceremony this year without also giving our deserving 2020 graduates their moment to shine.

“It has been tough logistically to make this happen with over 400 students across the three ceremonies, but it is absolutely worth it to see them celebrate with their families today.”

In addition to the handing out of scrolls, TCCG announced six students of the year awards, representing each ceremony and graduating year.

Among the winners of the Student of the Year awards was Bridie Head, a Veterinary Nursing student who suffered a tragic riding accident in her second year of studies.

Despite long-term injuries she sustained, Bridie remained determined to continue with her studies, and soon returned to a clinical placement in a veterinary practice.

She put in extra effort in the last year of her course and went on to pass her final exam with flying colours. Bridie is now employed in the industry and was named a “shining example of what can be achieved against the odds” by her tutors.

The other award winners were Kieran Murrant, Amanda Baines, Maria Nolan, Rachel Collins and Bethany Renfree, who also gave a vote of thanks in front of her classmates and their guests.

TCCG’s university provision boasts more than 60 specialist courses in business, agriculture and animals, engineering, horticulture, health, teaching and social sciences, marine, sports, technology, tourism and much more.

The spectacular ceremonies were broadcast live online to friends, family and college staff unable to attend.