Graduation 2017 - awards presentation and interviews


31st Jul 2017




Every single one of our graduates has achieved something incredible by studying online for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. We take our hats off to you! But on our annual graduation day, we also like to recognise those who have taken their studies to the next level and done something truly inspirational.

Our University of Essex Online prizes are awarded to the top students in each subject, and this year the winners were:

Top Undergraduate Business Graduate 2017 – Michelle Michaelides – BA (Hons) in Business & Management

Top Undergraduate Criminology Graduate 2017 – Margaret Taylor – BA (Hons) in Criminal Justice

Top Postgraduate Business Graduate 2017 – Douglas Clarke – MBA

Top Postgraduate Health Graduate 2017 – Nikolai Stankiewicz – MSc Infection Control

Here are some videos from our winners:

The Alan Jenkins Memorial Award

Each year, we also present the Alan Jenkins Memorial Award to the student that we feel has the most inspirational study experience story. This year, the winner of this extremely prestigious award was Emmy Foulkes.

Emmy’s journey to overcome hardship and poverty to achieve an education, while also trying to change the future of his village back home in Uganda was deemed truly inspirational by the judging panel. Born in Uganda, Emmy worked as a farmhand to pay for his school tuition fees. As he had to work before school to support his family and 22 siblings, he was caned regularly for lateness. Emmy moved to the UK in 2011 and took a part-time cleaning job while beginning his studies with University of Essex Online. As he studied, he was taken on as a trainee manager with a housing association and eventually was able to use the knowledge from his online degree to progress to his current management role.

Emmy has also used his knowledge to help other children in Uganda; he has teamed up with a couple of friends to spot talented youngsters and support them through their education. Emmy has now been offered a fully funded Social Research MSc and PhD at a Russell Group university.

See more about graduation day itself here.