A perfect day for Thursday’s graduation ceremonies at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral

Image of LJMU Vice-Chancellor shaking hands with graduate
The School of Education, Leisure and Sport Studies celebrated their achievements in the morning, with students from the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology and the Astrophysics Research Institute graduating in the afternoon.

Image of Nichola Davis with sonNichola Davis graduated with first class honours in BA (Hons) Dance Practices. Nichola was applauded by Senior Lecturer Pauline Brooks for achieving outstanding results while also raising a young family. Nichola said: 

"I always felt so confident about approaching staff about academic work but also any other issues whilst at university. I felt that they always went beyond their job role in order to help me and I feel this had a massive positive impact on my learning. I’m so glad I chose to study at LJMU. After visiting other local Universities I felt LJMU offered better facilities and support from lecturers. 

"After attending the Dance Practices Open Day, my mind was immediately made up as it gave me the chance to look round facilities, talk to tutors and see a performance from the current students, which was at a very high and challenging standard. I am now taking a year out to do teaching on a freelance basis and next year I am doing a PGCE at LJMU."

Image of Gemma Cragg with familyGemma Cragg, who graduated with a First Class in BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, was accompanied by her grandmother Dr Diane Grant of the School of Education, Leisure and Sport. Twenty years ago Gemma, who was then a toddler, was present at Dr Grant’s Graduation. The family restaged the photo of Dr Grant’s Graduation photo, which was brought along to Gemma’s ceremony.

Image of Barbara WalshThe morning ceremony also saw several staff members receiving awards. Co-Director for the School of Education, Leisure and Sport, Barbara Walsh, received her PhD for her research entitled An Investigation of Beginning Teachers’ Journeys Through Complete Landscapes of Practice

Image of Diahann GallardSenior Lecturer Diahann Gallard was awarded her PhD for her thesis entitled Anthrozoology in Early Childhood Education, which studied the educational experience in early childhood linked to animals, with a particular emphasis on the role and perspectives of early education practitioners in England.

Image of staff with PhDsMargaret Charnley and Genevieve Stone both received their PhD with Julie Abayomi, Director of Studies for both their PhDs, commenting that they had both overcome significant challenges to complete their doctorates.

Honorary Fellowship: Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee

The University conferred Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee with his Honorary Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to education in Malaysia.

Image of Senator in Honorary Fellow robeSenator Al-Habshee is the Chairman of Kolej Teknologi YPC-iTWEB (Kolej YPC) in Malaysia, a not-for-profit organisation, which offers opportunities for students from less privileged backgrounds to undertake higher education by providing scholarships and financial assistance. 

The mission of Kolej YPC is to provide affordable education opportunities for all and it specifically aims to equip students with the most current knowledge and skills in business and technology, to ensure that future generations are well prepared to face the progressive and ever-changing world of industry. LJMU and Kolej YPC run a number of collaborative partnerships which enable Malaysian students to study in Liverpool and Senator Al-Habshee is a keen supporter of the University.  

On receipt of the University’s most prestigious award, Senator Al-Habshee said he was very humbled commenting that "changing life through education" has always been in his heart. He talked about the Kolej YPC and its work in helping secure successful futures through teaching and learning with an ethos of "education for everybody". He finished by congratulating the graduates and thanking them for letting him be a part of their ceremony.

You can read the full oration for Senator Al-Habshee here

Afternoon ceremony

During the afternoon ceremony, the achievements of students from the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology and the Astrophysics Research Institute were celebrated.

Image of Tom and AlexAlex Cameron and Tom Vincent both graduated with a BSc (Hons) Geography. Tom is beginning an MPhil project in Africa in July on the environment of early humans. He has just returned from a research project relating to this in Africa and now has plans to carry on this work through a PhD.

Alex won the Ede & Ravenscroft prize for outstanding academic performance at Level 5 and for also making excellent and sustained contribution to the Geography community through the Geography Society and ambassadorial roles on applicant days. He has plans to become a climate and weather scientist. 

Alex commented: “I couldn't have picked a better university to study my degree. the staff have been wonderful, the course content has enabled the development of employable skills and these skills have been put into practice through fieldwork both local and internationally. In addition, communication and assignments have been clearly set out with help guidance and an open door policy with the lecturers enabling all questions, queries to be answered and thus increase assignment success.”

Image of Sean and OliviaSean Tipper and Olivia Condon both graduated with a Masters of Physics (Astrophysics) and are going to work for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Sean commented: "I fell in love with the city when I visited for an open day. Through the course my my scientific communication skills have vastly improved, something which is incredibly useful both in academia and in industry. There is also a practical side to it. I have worked in radiation, optical and chemical laboratories as well as at the observatory in Tenerife.”

Olivia added: "The lecturers and staff at the Astrophysics Research Institute have made my degree. They are the main reason why I will leave with such fond memories. They have always been helpful, and the doors of the offices are always open if you need help. A particular highlight was the field trip to Tenerife in the summer of our second year. We were taught how to use a manual telescope and we also saw how other professional telescopes were run and how they worked.”

Teaching and Learning Award

Image of LJMU Geography team The Teaching and Learning Excellence Award was given to the Geography programme team in recognition of the diverse variety of student engagement strategies used in their undergraduate degree.

Honorary Fellowship - Professor Sir Howard Newby CBE

Also during the afternoon ceremony, Professor Sir Howard Newby CBE received his Honorary Fellowship for outstanding services to higher education.

Image of Sir Howard NewbyProfessor Sir Howard Newby CBE was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 2008 to 2015. 

Sir Howard grew up in Derbyshire and attended the University of Essex where he gained a BA and PhD. He was previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England (UWE), having also been Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton from 1994 to 2001 and Chairman and Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). 

From 1999 to 2001, Sir Howard was President of Universities UK, the UK body which represents the university sector. He was also President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for 2001-2002. He was made a CBE in 1995 for services to social science and received a knighthood in 2000 for services to higher education.

Receiving his Honorary Fellowship, he commented: "Thank you for giving me this Honorary Fellowship, it means a great deal to me. Liverpool is a canny, edgy city and it doesn't give away its awards lightly and I really appreciate this."

Sir Howard explained he was the first in his family to go to university and he said it transformed his life and would also transform the lives of today's graduates. He added that whereas graduation used to mean the end of education, it is now the beginning, and we spend our lives learning to keep up-to-date in our careers and professions. 

He praised LJMU as a cornerstone of life-long learning, and offered graduates one piece of advice, commenting: "Keep on learning and the rewards will flow towards you. Higher education gives you the knowledge and skills to flourish in a very fast-changing world."

You can read the full oration for Professor Sir Howard Newby CBE here

For more student stories and photos visit the LJMU Facebook page
Take a look at a round-up of the day's celebrations



Congratulations to our graduates in Dubai!


Spring graduation 2024


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