Stewart shines with Star Award nomination

Stewart Kirkland

Stewart shines with Star Award nomination

A former Forth Valley College student has been nominated for a SQA Star Award for his efforts while at FVC.

Stewart Kirkland (53) from Falkirk is up for a prize in the Lifelong Learning Category at the awards ceremony which will take place at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow’s West End on 9 November.

The RAF veteran and Police Inspector studied for an Access to Degree Studies course at FVC’s Falkirk Campus and was nominated for his work as a class representative and encouraging other students to achieve as much as they can.

The annual SQA Star Awards is a celebration of the outstanding achievements in education and training across Scotland, the UK and around the world.

It recognises the Success, Triumph, Achievement and Recognition of its learners and its SQA centres who have made particular efforts to make sure their learners are not only well supported, but also well-positioned to use the qualifications they have gained.

Stewart, who has just started his BSc in Psychology at Napier University and who also now works part-time with sparqs who train class reps at all of Scotland’s colleges and universities, has now set his sights on becoming a college lecturer.

He said: “I was surprised by the nomination and was quite humbled by it as I feel it could have gone to any number of people I worked with at the college. I don’t think I did anything special. But it will be great to go to the ceremony and I will have a good night regardless as it is on the day of my birthday.”

Curriculum Manager Scott M. Harrison, said:  “I am delighted at Stewart receiving a Star award nomination. I knew when I first met Stewart that he was going to be a positive role model and influence on his course and classmates.  He has never demonstrated any behaviour other than positivity, enthusiasm and teamwork.  Although being a busy father and volunteer as well as student, Stewart still kept volunteering for more and more events, programmes and charities.  I told him that I will not be surprised to see him as the President of the Napier University Student Association as well as a member of staff in our college in the very near future.  I would say I wish Stewart the best of luck, but I know that he does not need it.  His natural charisma and talent will take him very far in his future studies and career.”

Stewart thoroughly enjoyed his time at Forth Valley College, so much so that he has even set his sights on working here as a lecturer.

He said: “I have already asked Principal Dr Ken Thomson that I would like a job here!”

The father of two, went on: “When I left school I did not have any qualifications and had to go to night school to get my O’Level English. Also, when I was in the RAF police I had to do a distance learning course in Maths to get into the civilian police force.

“But I am very proud of the fact that despite this I ended up becoming one of the most senior police officers in the Central Scotland area out of regular day hours and for someone who left school with no qualifications that’s not bad.

“It was brilliant studying at Forth Valley College. It was such a friendly environment and everyone wants you to succeed and it was totally different from what I remember from school.

“I would recommend it to anyone and my advice to anyone thinking about starting a course there would be to seek out the extra stuff the college offers, as there is so much to do and get involved with.

“I myself became a class rep, joined the gym and completed mental health and first aid training courses. It is so much more at college than just turning up and sitting in the classroom!”

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