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New graduates celebrate a ‘first’


PBD and the University of Suffolk (UOS) are celebrating the first graduates from a new online foundation degree in early years practice.

The first ever students to complete the degree at the UK’s youngest university graduated at the ceremony in Ipswich Town Hall on 19 October.   The new graduates included four of PBD’s level 5 students and three of its team of early years assessors.

One of PBD’s assessors, Heidi Andrews, was also awarded a prize for outstanding academic achievement and is pictured receiving the award from PBD training director Janet Dawson.

The online degree was developed as a direct result of the collaboration between UOS and PBD over the City & Guilds level 5 diploma in early years leadership.  In 2014, the university (then University Campus Suffolk) agreed to exempt any of PBD’s 300 level 5 students who achieved the work based qualification from the first year of its early years degree programme.  20 successful level 5 students have already taken advantage of this streamlined access and PBD has since signed similar agreements with the universities of Brighton, Leeds and London Metropolitan.

Ross Midgley, PBD’s managing director, said “We are delighted to be involved in this unique bridge from work based learning to higher education, which has created opportunities for many students who might otherwise not have had the time, resources or self-confidence to study for a degree.  Congratulations to all the new graduates on a very fine achievement!”

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