University of Wales Trinity Saint David celebrates record number of skills graduates


A record number of students graduated from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) with a Certificate of Higher Education in Skills for the Workplace this year.

Skills for the Workplace graduates

Of the 110 students who graduated from UWTSD’s Swansea Business Campus, 70 have gone on to a degree course, while 40 of the 80 students who graduated from UWTSD’s Outreach Development Centres in Cardiff and Newport are going on to study BA degree programmes.

The increased number of graduates coincides with the introduction of daytime provision for the course this academic year. Previously, it was only available as evening and weekend classes.

“The students on the daytime provision course come from a variety of backgrounds,” says course lecturer Brynach Heffernan. “We have recruited from the local Bangladeshi and Bengali communities, plus many students who originate from Eastern Europe and work for local employers such as Amazon, as well as a significant number of Welsh people. Many of the students are in their 30s and older.”

One such student is Jorna Ali, 43, from Cimla. She had to leave education when she was younger as she had to care for her own children and for her brothers and sisters after her mother died.

“I applied last year because my kids are older; I was looking to do something to improve my qualifications,” she says.

“The course has been a joyful experience. At the time it was a bit hard because I’d been out of education for over 25 years, but I’ve made great friends with the lecturers who helped me, and in the end I achieved my goal.”

Jorna has graduated with a distinction and is now going on to complete the BA Leadership and Management Skills for the Workplace course.

“It’s a humbling experience to have got onto the BA Leadership and Management Skills for the Workplace course,” she says.

Jorna Ali

Pic: Jorna Ali

Brynach says Jorna is an excellent example of the hard-working students on the course, many of whom do not come through the usual educational routes.

“This course offers opportunities for people to gain higher level qualifications and improve job opportunities even though they have not been in formal education for a while or held high level roles at the workplace,” he says.

“Many of our students require support from our lecturers and support teams and face learning and family challenges. They have praised this help and guidance that has enabled them to achieve qualifications that they could not imagined. They speak of improvements to confidence and competence and how much they have proved to themselves and their families.”

This is certainly true for graduate Mosamaa Marjana Khatun, who credits the warm welcome and support offered at UWTSD’s Swansea Business School with encouraging her to succeed with the Certificate of Higher Education and beyond.

“My perspective and opportunities in the business world are constantly growing and I am truly thankful to UWTSD for offering such an awarding experience,” she says. “I am now hoping to achieve a degree, progress onto the MBA and finalise one of my many business plans that have advanced throughout my time on the course.”

Marjana Khatun

Pic: Marjana Khatun

Another graduate, Nishat Choudhury, joined the course as a way to build confidence and skills and now has greater career aspirations as a result.

“The course fits in perfectly with my career aims,” says Nishat. "It has helped to enhance my skills, build my self-confidence and most of all, the support and encouragement has inspired me to move forward. This achievement will hopefully open up more opportunities for me and my career.”

Nishat Chaudary

Pic: Nishat Choudhury

Jorna is also delighted with the opportunities her qualification has opened up: she is now following in the footsteps of her son and daughter, both of whom have gone on to higher education.

“I made use of all the study skills support the university offered and here I am now,” she says. “Let’s see where it takes me.”

Dr Maggie Inman, Head of UWTSD's Swansea Business School said: “This is a transformational experience for many students who would not have had the opportunity of higher education. We are delighted to see so many graduating and congratulate them on their success.”

To find out more about the Skills for the Workplace Certificate of Higher Education offered at UWTSD, please visit:

Further Information

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies by emailing / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476