A group of 11 Royal Mail staff have become the first graduates to complete a specialist UCLan course in Preston.Advertisement
The staff, based throughout the UK, gained first-class BEng (Hons) Mechatronics and Intelligent Machines degrees. They all completed the programme part-time while working full-time for the national postal delivery company.
Tim Brook, who works at the Leeds depot, and Andrew Leslie, based at the Chelmsford office, were among the first graduates.
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Tim, 46, a dad-of-two from York, said: “It’s been nearly 30 years since I left education, and it was quite a scary prospect at first, but I wanted to do it for my personal development.
“I’ve got more confidence and feel I am operating at a higher level, so there’s a chance it could open more doors in the future.”
Andrew, 41, who had undertaken some Open University modules in the past, said at 18, all of his friends went to university while he started working.
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Andrew said: “I always thought I’d like to give it a go. This course has shown me what’s possible in my chosen field. It has given me a deeper knowledge and the confidence to be more innovative in my workplace.”
Manoj Vadher, Head of Central Engineering for Royal Mail, has been integral to the relationship and attended the graduation ceremony.
He said: “It’s been the most incredible day, and I’m so proud to see their hard work rewarded. It’s part of our strategy to give more employees an opportunity to upskill themselves and create intelligent ways of working.”
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Royal Mail approached the university to develop the programme, and it took six months to review the curriculum. The course required all students to attend the Preston campus for four lots of two-week blocks throughout the academic year but was replaced by online teaching during the pandemic.
Professor Ian Allison, Executive Dean of Faculty of UCLan’s Faculty of Science & Technology, said: “We’re very proud of our relationship with Royal Mail. We’ve worked collaboratively to ensure this programme has delivered top-class, confident graduates.”
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