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Access to HE students honoured at event in parliament

Date: March 7 - 2024

A special event took place on 6 March at the House of Commons to recognise the achievements of students on Access to HE Diploma courses. 

The winners included the winner of the Outstanding Academic Achievement award, engineering student Vlad Starchenko, who arrived in the UK from Ukraine in 2022.

Vlad was described by his tutors at City and Islington College as 'an extraordinary individual whose journey and accomplishments are truly inspiring'. They added that his 'outstanding academic achievements, particularly in the face of adversity and personal challenges, demonstrate a level of excellence and dedication that is rarely seen.'

Sophie Clark was also highly commended in that award category.

'We have learned an awful lot from her about determination and resilience,' said her lecturers at Nottingham Trent University. 'She pushed herself every single day to be the best that she can be, and she really has been a huge inspiration to all those that have had the pleasure of her company.'

Described as exceptional, resilient and inspirational by her teachers at Cardiff and Vale College, former British Paralympian Sara Head won the award for Outstanding Commitment to Study. Danny Svenson from Bishop Burton College was also highly commended in that category for the academic and personal support he offered his peers on his course.

These annual awards are named in memory of Keith Fletcher, a tireless and well-respected champion of access qualifications who had served as director of Open College Network South West Region, and who died in November 2010.

QAA's Rob Stroud spoke at the event in the Palace of Westminster.

'We gather here to celebrate these student achievements, their resilience, and their unwavering commitment to education,'' he said. 'The Access to HE Diploma is a long-standing and important part of the education landscape in this country. Access students are an inspirational part of the fabric of our society and our educational communities with their ambition and drive.'

You can find out more about Access to HE on the Access to HE website.