Skip to main content
News Dashboard
All the latest news and events

Keith Fletcher Memorial Prize Access to Higher Education Student Prize Winners 2022-2023

Today, four Access to HE students were awarded prizes for their outstanding dedication to study at an awards event in the House of Commons.

The awards, presented by Rob Stroud, Director of Assessment Services and Access to Higher Education at QAA, are managed by the nine Access Validating Agencies in England and Wales.

Now in its 13th year, the national Keith Fletcher Memorial Prize has long been synonymous with honouring the outstanding achievements of Access to HE students. The prize is named in memory of Keith Fletcher, who worked for many years in the South-West of England and was a great supporter and enthusiast of adult learning. His family continues to support this award which is run by all nine Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) across England and Wales.

The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a qualification which prepares students for study at degree level. It provides relevant academic subject knowledge and the opportunity to learn how to approach study at university-level. In 2021-22, over 40,000 students registered to study an Access to HE Diploma.

Celebration

The successful candidates attended the special event and were presented with their awards in front of an invited audience from colleges, AVAs and friends. They each received a certificate and bursary to help them with their future study; the winners received £750 and the runner-up £350. 

 

Outstanding Academic Achievement Winners

Winner: Vlad Starchenko successfully completed an Access to HE Diploma (Engineering) at City and Islington College in London.

“The generation of exceptional assignments within an Access to HE course in Engineering is to be celebrated. This student is clearly determined to succeed and has the potential to complete work at a high standard. It is interesting to note that such achievement was against a background of numerous personal challenges.”

Keith Fletcher Awards Judge 

“Vlad Starchenko is an extraordinary individual whose journey and accomplishments are truly inspiring. His outstanding academic achievements, particularly in the face of adversity and personal challenges, demonstrate a level of excellence and dedication that is rarely seen.” Spokesperson, City and Islington College"

Highly Commended: Sophie Clark, successfully completed an Access to HE Diploma (Science) at Nottingham Trent University.

“It is clear that this student is most able in academic terms. A poster presentation, based on the oral contraceptive pill, was excellent. This assignment demonstrated the ability to research a topic and to consolidate the most important facts in a clear manner. The supporting statement provided by her tutor(s) was very positive and reflected the challenges faced by this student during her period of study. She is very much worthy of this recommendation.”

Keith Fletcher Awards Judge

“It has been an absolute delight to teach Sophie this year and we too have learned an awful lot from her about determination and resilience. After the challenges and difficulties that Sophie has been through previously it would have been so easy for her to remain low key and under the radar but she pushed herself every single day to be the best that she can be and she really has been a huge inspiration to all those that have had the pleasure of her company. I highly recommend that Sophie would be a well deserved winner of this award.”

Spokesperson, Nottingham Trent University

Criteria for nomination: Students proposed in this category should have excelled in their academic study by producing assessed work of a consistently outstanding quality whilst on their Access to HE courses. They should have shown evidence of some or all the following:

  • outstanding commitment to their Access to HE studies, perhaps in the face of difficult and challenging personal circumstances.
  • having made an inspirational journey which demonstrates the life transforming power of learning.
  • individual achievement beyond standard expectations.
  • clear evidence of extra effort above and beyond that which would normally be required of a student.

Outstanding Commitment to Study

Winner: Sara Head, successfully completed an Access to HE Diploma (Health Science) at Cardiff and Vale College in Cardiff.

“This student has achieved to a high standard despite some extremely serious health challenges. The determination that drove her to turn her disability into something that she could use, through sport, to achieve, was then shown after her near disastrous brush with Covid. Despite this she completed her diploma with good grades. Her achievements will change her life and give her an entirely new career.”

Keith Fletcher Awards Judge 

“Sara’s commitment to study has been exceptional: she has inspired both learners and tutors with her positivity and resilience. She has proved to be a role model for everyone and deserves to have this commitment recognised."

Tutor, Cardiff and Vale College

Highly Commended: Danny Svenson, successfully completed an Access to HE Diploma (Land Based Studies) at Bishop Burton College in Beverley.

“This student clearly had to work hard to develop and master the basic study and IT skills needed to succeed, and it is to his credit that he did this while his personal life was stressful. He has done well to persevere and achieve.” 

Keith Fletcher Awards Judge

“Throughout the course, even when Danny was struggling, he also went out of his way to ensure other people on the course were keeping up, and to ensure that when other students had personal problems, he was there as a friend supporting them through it. Danny has shown outstanding commitment to his access course, and is now thoroughly enjoying his first year on degree.”

Tutor, Bishop Burton College

Criteria for nomination: Students in this category should have shown evidence of some or all the following:

  • outstanding commitment to their Access to HE studies, perhaps in the face of difficult and challenging personal circumstances
  • having made an inspirational journey which demonstrates the life transforming power of learning, individual achievement beyond standard expectations
  • clear evidence of extra effort above and beyond that which would normally be required of a student.

Judging Panel

Many thanks to this year’s Access Validating Agency’s nominated judges: 

  • Darren Howells, Agored Cymru 
  • Teresa Flowers, AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group
  • Dr John McCann, CAVA 
  • Yvonne Savage, Gateway Qualifications 
  • Sally Kent, Laser Learning Awards 
  • Julie Farmer, OCN London 
  • Dr Gordon Laing, Open Awards

Supporting AVAs

The following Access Validating Agencies support the annual Kieth Fletcher Memorial Prize. Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) develop, approve and monitor Access to HE courses. QAA licenses AVAs to act as awarding bodies and award the Access to HE Diplomas to successful students. AVAs develop, approve and monitor Access to HE courses, and work with course providers.

For more information

In the first instance, please contact: jill.minter@aimgroup.org.uk
 

Keith Fletcher Memorial Awards 2024


< back

9 July 2024

Keep your learners engaged over summer

Keep your students learning during the summer break, so they are engaged and well prepared for the next academic year with Capital Tutorials and the LearningPlus online platform
Read more