24 August, 2021 2:10 pm

An inaugural Awards Night has celebrated ‘the resilience and focus of the whole higher education learning community’ at Keighley College.

More than 80 students have now completed Foundation Degrees at the college since it introduced the HE provision, through its University Centre, in 2018.

Some 40 students and their families took part in the HE Awards Night – an online event that was hosted by Keighley College’s Higher Learning team.

As well as noting each student’s commitment to their studies, the awards also celebrated their ability to cope with the many extra challenges that were thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special achievements during extraordinary times

Head of Service Professions at the college, Kevin Burke, said: “This is our third year of running foundation degrees but, due to the COVID-19 lockdown last year, this is the first one where we are able to celebrate the achievement of our learners.

“This has been even more important to us because of how committed our learners have been to continue studying during these extraordinary times – we wanted to celebrate this.

“All of our learners come with their own story. From continuing learning from post-16 to returning to learning for adults, the whole HE community at Keighley College has shown how resilient and supportive they are of each other, especially through this pandemic.

“Like the whole country, our learners have battled lockdowns, been part of bubbles closing down and home-tutored their own children while managing their family lives – but they have continued right to the end!

“The focus that they have maintained and the consistent drive to get to their destination makes their achievements that bit more special.”

Meeting the community’s needs

“These learners are the second cohort to complete their two year studies in both Health and Wellbeing and Supporting Teaching and Learning degrees at Keighley.

“We wanted to celebrate each learner’s uniqueness and this was achieved by having Silly-But-Sensible, Personal and Purposeful awards where staff told achievement stories about each learner’s growth and development.

“The knowledge of our students is essential for us to understand how they learn best and what we need to do in lectures to really drive their individual achievement and learner identity.

“Since we started HE at Keighley we have supported over 80 students with higher education opportunities and, as we establish higher learning in the town, more degrees will be developed in response to what our community want.”

Foundation degree benefits

Many of the college’s HE students decide to continue their studies for an extra year to top up their qualification and attain a full BA (Hons) – and secure places at local universities or other higher education institutions.

Mr Burke added: “The great thing about starting on the Foundation degree route, which takes two years, is that you can top it up and end up with an Hons degree after an additional year.

“Some of our learners also go into work: as apprentice teachers, health care supervisors, cover supervisors, learning mentors, Special Educational Needs co-ordinators, or lead carers.”

The University Centre at Keighley College will launch a new foundation degree, in Policing, this September. For more details about higher education courses at Keighley College visit, call (01535) 685000 or email:

Keighley College University Centre Students