College student wins ‘Learner of the Year’ award


Phillip Watkins, a Foundation Degree IT student at The College Merthyr Tydfil, has won a UHOVI Learner of the year award.

Phillip, who was one of 10 winners at the awards which were hosted by Heart FM breakfast duo Jagger and Woody, with Welsh tenor Wynne Evans on hand to present the awards, was nominated by his tutors for both his excellent academic results and dedicated commitment to his studies.  

IT Tutor Karl Jones commented “I couldn't ask for a more conscientious and studious student. He has really made the most of his time at college, participating enthusiastically in extra-curricular and enrichment activities that have enhanced his academic studies and personal development. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him and he will always volunteer his services to help in any way he can with college initiatives.”

Phillip, who returned to learning when the factory he worked in closed, commented “I had not studied for 15 years but decided to return to learning when I was made redundant. I’ve always taken an interest in IT and I really wanted to get into the industry so I decided to study on the Foundation Degree in Information and Communications Technology. I have really enjoyed the course, it has helped to develop my confidence and given me a great foundation for employment. Through the course, I have now secured a position in the IT industry working as a first line support technician for SRS Blaenavon. I would recommended returning to learning to someone in a similar situation to me as it has helped me to improve my prospects and secure employment. I was really pleased to win an award; it’s a fantastic achievement for me.”

Dr Robert Payne, Director of UHOVI Operations and Partner Curriculum said:

“UHOVI is a vital part of the University’s commitment to make education accessible for people in every community in our region.

“What we heard and saw at our awards ceremony were the achievements of some truly inspirational students, and I’m so proud of both them and of our partners for the hard work and dedication they have shown throughout their studies.

“I look forward to seeing their continuing development and success.”


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