By James Somper
With graduation season in full swing one university decided to do things a bit differently – and have its students graduate on a rollercoaster!
Students on Staffordshire Univeristy’s Visitor Attraction and Resort Management foundation degree marked the end of their course by riding on Oblivion at Alton Towers theme park.
The students, who all complete placements at the theme park as part of the course, received their graduation certificates in traditional cap and gown, before taking their seat on the coaster. It then ceremonially climbed 65ft before overhanging the 197ft drop, then free fell vertically at 68mph to the ground below.
The two year, full-time, Visitor Attraction and Resort Management foundation degree course was launched in 2015 and sees the students work at the world famous theme park, situated in Staffordshire.
This unique course is taught at Staffordshire University in partnership with Alton Towers Resort.
The course was launched to help staffing levels within leisure/theme parks, anticipated to increase to meet this growing demand.
Carol Southall, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader at Staffordshire University, said: “Our foundation degree in Visitor Attraction and Resort Management is unique and exciting, with its combination of paid placements and academic study.
“Our students have the chance to experience a diverse range of job roles across the operational areas of the business, giving them the edge when they graduate. As a ‘connected’ university we are extremely proud of our partnership with Alton Towers and the benefits this brings for our students.”
Charlotte Hall, who was amongst the group that graduated today said: “I studied Visitor Attraction and Resort Management at Staffs University in partnership with Alton Towers.
“It has been a really great mix of hospitality and management, paired with placements get us ready for the world of work. – I even have a permanent job here now which is really exciting.
“It’s been a totally unique course, with a unique graduation all together to top it off. ’’