YEARS of hard work have paid off for thousands of Anglia Ruskin University students graduating this week.

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Cambridge has been awash with the university’s colours as graduates received their awards from vice-chancellor Michael Thorne to the sound of applause from family and friends at the Corn Exchange.

The vice-chancellor said: “We celebrate both the achievements of our students, many of whom will have commenced their studies some time ago, and look forward to the rest of their lives.

“For us the pleasure in the ceremonies comes from sharing the delight of our students’ families, partners, friends and loved ones.”

For many graduates it was a well deserved triumph for which they had worked for years.

• Roslyn Chard, 55, received a BSc Hons in the Creative and Expressive Arts in Counselling.

She said: “I changed career 12 years ago after becoming dissatisfied with working in a bank but now I work in a school giving bereavement and self confidence which I love doing.”

• Eloisa Panopio and Ian Winter studied for a Diploma in Mental Health nursing with Mischa Vos and received a BSc Hons.

Eloisa works in Kneesworth House, which homes people who are sectioned under the mental health act, said: “The best part of the course was that we had a great tutor who was very passionate.”

Ian, who lives in March, said: “My diploma has enabled me to get a job in the Cavell Centre, a mental health centre, in Peterborough City Hospital. I wanted to come here because it was so close.”

Mischa added: “I have always been really interested in mental health and have been able to get a job at the Springbank at Fulbourn that specialises in split personalities in women which is fascinating.”

• Zoe Blackley qualified as a registered nurse and now works at Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s haematology ward.

She said: “I chose Anglia Ruskin because I live in Cambridge.”

Her mum, Marie, said: “The world is now her oyster.”

• Josh Holdship, 20, went to the graduation ceremony with his mum and dad Roy and Jackie and his partner Matt Ansell. Josh said: “I just have always wanted to work as a mental health nurse. I started when I was 17 and today seemed a million miles away. I used to work at Matalan.”

• Andrea Phillips, a nurse at Peterborough City Hospital, was accompanied by her husband John and daughters Emma and Hannah. She said: “After 3 years of hard work trying to be a nurse this is the proudest day of my life.” Her parents, Alvar and Hazel Thomas, said: “Today we are the proudest people on the planet.”

• Eric Haynes, 61, read English Literature and Geography at Anglia Ruskin at the same time his son, Alan, studied Pyschology.

The hypno-pyschotherapist graduated eight years ago but was in Wales for a teaching degree and was unable to attend the ceremony.

He said: “My son and I used to cycle into lectures together, it was quite good fun studying at the same time.

“It’s been some time since I graduated but I contacted the university earlier this year to come and have my day.

“In hypno-psychotherapy I tell people stories with morals and meanings whilst hypnotised to help them get through their problems.

“Having an English degree means I am better equipped to tell these stories and I am able to offer something different to others who have just studied psychology.”

• Twenty-one-year-old Maria Reyes graduated with a degree in Film Studies.

The half Filipino, half Spanish graduate was born in the Philipines and moved to Spain for eight years before coming to England 10 years ago. She said: “I’ve had a great day but it hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve had to adjust quite a lot over the years to the different cultures but the challenge of learning in another culture was great.

“The challenge of meeting people from different countries, to motivate myself and to do work has helped to succeed.

“I work at Dyson as a demonstrator at the moment but I have applied to Apple so I can use what I have learnt in my degree in my career,”

• Romanian Bogdan Chis, 22, studied Communication Studies with David Cowans, 23, and Magda Klek, 23, at the university.

Bogdan flew in from Italy, where he is studying for a masters degree in Communications for Business, Media and Complex Organisations. He said: “The tutors are really helpful and great here. The system works really well and helps you progress through the three years and I’ve made some great friends.”

Magda is continuing her studies at Anglia Ruskin with a masters in Intercultural Communications. She said: “I started a degree in Poland but I dropped it. You can see the difference between the two countries, at the university here it’s more informal than abroad, the tutors are friendly and we spend more time with them and they help us more here.”

David, who wants to become Prime Minister, said: “It’s been an honour to study in Cambridge and a fantastic opportunity to study in England and in a great city.

“The atmosphere is great and I don’t want to leave as I’ve grown attached but I’m going to York, which is a similar city, for a masters in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.”

• Manlia Kagovere, 22, studied English Language and Linguistics at the university, and has spent the last few days in the city with her mum and sister so they could attend the ceremony.

She said: “We have come from Estonia, and I have only spent the three years studying in the country. My mum thinks its lovely in Cambridge. I always dreamed of coming to England to study – I guess Harry Potter got to me.

“I want to get a job somewhere in Europe, either as a teacher or translating.”

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