Student of the Year demonstrates exceptional commitment

Michael demonstrates exceptional commitment to his studies and profession

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Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI Principal and Michael Duthie with his award

A student with a determined approach to his studies has been awarded the University of the Highlands and Islands Undergraduate Student of the Year Award 2020 for Perth College UHI. Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI Principal presented him with his award on 16 June 2021.

Michael Duthie, from Comrie completed a BA Childhood Practice. He said: “I am delighted to win this accolade. My time in college was a good experience, where I have made friends for life and allowed me to build the confidence that I needed professionally and personally to help me speak to various people and organisations.

“I enjoyed myself from day one at the induction - where I met a lot of people who all had the same goals and objectives and they were also all really friendly. The staff were amazing at supporting me during my journey at Perth College UHI.”

His Personal Academic Tutor, Debbie Corbett explained: “Michael began with the NC Early Education and Childcare, then completed his HNC Early Education and Childcare that secured him a post in a local nursery in Perth. Michael embraced this role supporting, children, families and staff and mentoring other college students on placement. Michael has been an exceptional example of helping to change the gender stereotype of such a role – this is commendable in an industry where there is a considerable imbalance in terms of gender within professional roles.

“To further develop his knowledge and demonstrate his commitment to the children and families that he worked with, Michael began the BA Childhood Practice degree in 2015.

“I have had the privilege to be Michael’s Personal Academic Tutor during this time. He worked hard academically and always took on the feedback/feed forward that he was given by staff, proving that academic skills can be developed through consistent effort. I know there were times that he felt that he may not achieve his degree, particularly as he never thought he would be able to work to such a high academic level. However, the fact that he completed his course is testament to his hard work, determination, and outstanding commitment to the industry where he now works. Recently, Michael has been recognised within the industry by securing a new, senior role with a clear progression route towards management.”

Dr Margaret Cook added: “Michael exemplifies the well-rounded graduate that all employers seek and Perth College UHI is proud to have supported. He has made the most of his time in his educational journey and is an outstanding role model for children and other males who also have so much to offer in Early Education and Childcare Services. He is a very worthy winner, and it was a pleasure to present him with the University of the Highlands and Islands Undergraduate Student of the Year Award 2020 for Perth College UHI.”

Laura Geekie, Manager and joint owner of the Apple Tree Nursery in Perth said: “We were delighted to welcome Michael to Apple Tree Nursery in July 2019. After working as an Early Years Practitioner within a baby room, Michael embraced the challenge, moving to a Room Leader position within our age 3-5 playroom where has he built wonderful relationships with children, parents, and staff. Michael continued to commit his personal time to his academic studies and we are absolutely delighted that his hard work and commitment has been recognised.”

We have a range of Early Years courses if you are interested in following in Michael's footsteps.