UHOVI award winner Thomas Rudge with Real Radio's Jagger and Woody
Thomas Rudge, a student from the Rhymney campus, has been crowned The College Ystrad Mynach UHOVI Learner of the Year 2013.
Thomas was awarded the accolade at the UHOVI (Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute) celebratory evening which took place at the General Offices in Ebbw Vale. The hosts of the event were Real Radio’s Jagger and Woody plus special guests included weather presenter Behnaz Akhgar, Richard Parfitt, lead singer of 60 Foot Dolls, and Huw Williams of Pooh Sticks and a key figure in the Welsh music industry.
Thomas was one of eight worthy award winners recognised for their outstanding commitment and achievements. He has been studying the Foundation Degree in Digital Photography at The College Rhymney for the past academic year. Thomas started the course as a shy and quiet learner but his tutor says he has become more confident, researches extensively and is continually gaining knowledge. He consistently meets deadlines and delivers strong bodies of work, successfully combining the course with significant responsibilities at home.
Part of the University of South Wales, UHOVI provides opportunities to study higher education courses at venues across the Valleys region. Working in partnership with further education colleges, businesses, local authorities and work based learning providers, UHOVI is inspiring people to continue or return to education in order to improve their skills or gain a qualification.
University of South Wales Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of UHOVI Graham Rogers said: “UHOVI has gone from strength to strength, providing a first class learning experience for students and working with communities to raise aspirations.
“The award winning students are truly inspirational and it is a privilege to be able to share their stories which demonstrate how learning can make a positive difference to the lives of individuals and their families.”
Alun Davies, AM Blaenau Gwent said: “Higher education should not be something that can only be accessed in our cities; it is something that should be accessible to everyone who wants to learn, irrespective of age and location.
“This is why UHOVI has been such a success. By tapping into a wealth of students in the Valleys area who have shown a commitment to learn and better themselves, UHOVI has helped to unleash a new generation of qualified professionals into the workplace.
“Its students are a shining example of its success and it is an organisation I am proud to support.”
A videos of award winner Thomas Rudge and tutor Peter Britton who nominated him are available online at http://www.youtube.com/user/UhoviVideos
UHOVI award winner Thomas Rudge with BBC weathergirl Behnaz Akhgar