JUBILANT higher education students from York College attended their graduation ceremony at York Minster.

Students graduated in a range of subjects on Thursday night including media make-up and hair design for TV film and theatre.

Canon Christopher Collingwood from York Minster welcomed graduates and guests and an opening address was given by principal Dr Alison Birkinshaw, followed by a key note speech by Julia Unwin CBE, the chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.

This year York College higher education students achieved excellent results with students on newly established HNC programmes performing to exceptional standards, 74 per cent of students graduating from BA programmes achieving either a First Class or 2:1 Degree classification and 70 per cent of Foundation Degree graduates achieving a merit or distinction grade.

Among those graduating was Steve Campbell, 50, from Fulford, who having nearly lost his life in a horrific scooter accident in January this year, completely amazed his doctors, family, friends and tutors by recovering sufficiently to return to his studies and graduate alongside his peers at the Minster.

Following his accident, Steve was air-lifted to Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and was in an induced coma for ten days. He broke his spine in several places, had a crushed neck, broken ribs, damaged pancreas, liver and lungs and some brain damage.

Steve said: “It was a very unstable break, so I was in danger of being paralysed for life.

“Then both my lungs collapsed whilst I was on the operating table and my family were told to prepare themselves for the worst. Eventually, the surgeons managed to successfully bolt and screw my spine together – I don’t remember any of it. Thankfully I am back on my feet now.

“After the accident I was determined to finish my degree, even though I am still in a lot of pain.”

Steve is well-known for his distinctive artwork using scrap metal. He got a 2:1 in his BA degree in Contemporary 3D Crafts. He is looking now planning his career as a freelance artist.