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Canterbury student shortlisted for prestigious award

A Canterbury College student has been highlighted as one of the top Higher Education students in England’s Colleges.

The Association of Colleges has shortlisted Amanda Roberts for the Higher Education Student of the Year Award in its annual celebration. She is one of just five students on the shortlist, which was selected out of nominations from across the country’s Colleges.

Amanda, 33, is currently completing her BSc in Animal Management and Wildlife, after completing her two-year HND at the College.

On top of caring for her two children, working at a care home and completing her degree, Amanda also volunteers for Animal Rescue, responding to emergency calls from the public regarding injured wildlife.

Upon receiving the news of her shortlisting, she said: “I found out after being away for a couple of weeks, so I was very shocked - quite overwhelmed but definitely excited.

“To win would mean a lot because I’ve been through a lot, it’s been really tough so even being put forward by my lecturers has given me a massive confidence boost.

“My College experience has been really good but also really challenging. I started my course during Covid so we were at home, learning through Microsoft Teams while also home-schooling two young children which was quite challenging but we got through it.

“Then when we finally got back into College, my nan – who I was very close with – passed away. That was another struggle I had to deal with while looking after my children and completing my course, which was again quite difficult and has meant I’ve had quite a lot of mental health issues on and off throughout my College experience.”

Despite all of this, she was singled out by the Programme Director of HE Animal Sciences pathway for her work ethic and attitude.

Maureen Collins said: “Amanda’s just an incredible student, such a kind person with so many other things going on in her life outside of College.

“She’s had a close bereavement in the family, she’s got two children and she’s had her own mental health issues, yet she gets all her work in on time. Also she always cares about us lecturers to a level which is uncommon among students – she always asks how we are and when I was personally unwell, a bunch of flowers arrived from her.

“Academically she’s a model student and she’s also a role model to the rest of the group, as well as to other mature students who have been out of education for a while.

“All round, Amanda is the perfect student.”

The results of the Association of Colleges’ HE Student of the Year Award are expected to be announced later this year. For more information on the Students' Awards, click here.