Con-grad-ulations: Sisters celebrate Graduation on same day

Two sisters found themselves in the unlikely scenario of graduating on the same day earlier this week after successfully completing their degrees at BCU.

Birmingham City University graduations returned on Monday 11 July for the first time since January 2020 after disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The celebrations brought together students from the Class of 2022 across all four faculties, as well as Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

Included in the celebrations were sisters Aysha and Anna-Symone Bateman, who have a 15-month age gap, however both began their studies at BCU in September 2018.

Due to them both choosing courses with a placement year, they were able to graduate together on Wednesday 13 July along with students from the Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences.

Aysha, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Management, chose to study at BCU to focus on her personal development. She said: “I chose to study at BCU due to the urban location, but also the personal development aspect which is built into the course.

“I knew that it would improve both my business and personal skills in order to become a great manager and leader. My favourite things about studying at BCU are the community feel and friendly staff.”

Anna-Symone, who graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, pursued a different route and wanted to choose something unlike other courses she had seen. She said: “The content on the course looked really varied and interesting, so I researched further into it.

“I felt that by studying the combined course that BCU offered, I would gain knowledge in multiple disciplines that would better prepare me for the real world. My highlights from BCU definitely include the support from academic staff and services.”

Although the sisters studied at BCU at the same time, they also enjoyed doing their own thing. Aysha said: “We tried to travel to university together as much as possible, and we loved studying with each other as it just made the experience much more fun.

“Although we often volunteered and attended events together, we also enjoyed our own time and joined societies relevant to our own interests.”

The sisters were delighted to share their special graduation celebrations together. Anna-Symone said: “It was great to graduate on the same day, it was a fantastic finale to our educational journey.

“We both got to celebrate each other in our ceremonies. It was a long day for our family, but ultimately, everyone enjoyed it. After our graduation ceremonies, we headed to a local Caribbean restaurant for a meal and cocktails to continue the celebrations.”

Life for the sister’s post-university is looking exciting too, with Aysha heading into a graduate position within a local authority, while Anna-Symone plans to explore her avenues within the education sector and student support.

BCU graduations will return in August 2022, for more celebrations for both the Class of 2020 and 2021.

Photo credit: Nathaniel Williams