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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


On the final weekend of September in 2023, we were delighted to confer a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate awards to over 400 learners during three joyful ceremonies.

The events were all inspiring occasions, hosted at Madingley Hall with many friends and family in attendance.

For these student awardees, the day of their ceremony was long awaited due to having studied during the Covid impacted years. The classes of 2019-20, 2020-21 2021-22 finally got to receive the recognition they deserve for their incredible achievements.

Reflecting on her special day, Binita Mahato who studied the Undergraduate Certificate in Strategic Business Management, shares her reflection.

“The day of the Cambridge University ICE award ceremony was nothing short of a surreal and momentous experience. It was a culmination of years of determination, hard work, and a deep belief in the power of education. It felt like a dream and a testament to the incredible opportunities that life can offer.

Like any other day, my husband played an important role in supporting me to give my speech. Unfortunately, he was taking care of our daughter so could not be there. It was a bittersweet moment, as I felt a pang of sadness to not have him present for my big moment. Thankfully, technology allowed him to watch the recorded speech later.

I was a bit shy and nervous at the beginning of my speech, as the weight of the moment bore down on me. However, as I spoke and shared my journey, the warmth and encouragement from the audience eased my anxiety.

Completing my speech and attending the award reception was a significant moment. The applause and positive response from everyone attending the ceremony truly made my day. Many people approached me, offered their congratulations, and even embraced me with warm hugs. This overwhelming support filled me with immense pride and a deep sense of accomplishment.

What the ceremony meant to me cannot be easily expressed in words. It was a reminder of the transformative power of education and the belief that every individual has the potential to make a difference in the world.”

Sarah Ibbetson, Studied the Diploma in Creative Writing. She speaks of her day at the awards: “

"It has been a long haul to get there, I can jolly well tell you, and not just because Cambridge is a long way away from the Lake District. I am doing a Master’s degree at Madingley now, but a couple of years ago, when I first put my trembling fingers to the keyboard to apply to study for their Diploma, it seemed most likely that somebody would pick up my low-brow application with a set of genteel tweezers and deposit it, carefully, in a distant litter bin.

We celebrated our awards at the Madingley Hall bash. All the academic hopefuls I had got to know through a computer screen, had turned out to be just as anxious as I was. We had read our stories to one another and secretly confided our ambitions to one another. We had listened and learned and frowned and pondered, and slowly, Cambridge taught me to write.

It was the most amazing, wonderful weekend, filled with good food, and wine, and listening to some of the cleverest, most interesting people I have ever met. We took a punt down the river and sang songs around the piano, and walked around the beautiful gardens, and talked and laughed and shared our stories.

I shall never forget our kindly tutors. They believed in me. They looked past the tea-stained jumper and listened to what I thought I wanted to say.

Then they helped me to say it better.

I am trying to write a novel now. If one day you read it in print, it will be thanks to their patience. I will always be grateful.”

Many students in attendance will likely mirror the positive reflections shared by Binita and Sarah and will hold fond memories of the weekend for quite some time.

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