Graduation is one of my favourite times of year; it’s a wonderful celebration of both the University and our students.
I always feel a small element of tension in the air on graduation week – not just for the students about to cross the stage, but also amongst the presenters on the platform. Academic presenters put a huge amount of effort into reading out accurately the names of thousands of students so that their moment on stage is perfect. I’d like to thank all of those staff, as well as all of the academic and professional services staff who contributed to another set of joyous ceremonies.
I had the honour of presenting all MA, PhD and MPhil students with their certificates at 5 graduation ceremonies – some 541 students in 48 hours. My favourite part of these ceremonies is when graduates turn to face their family and friends and thank them for their support. It’s always emotional and a definite highlight of the ceremony for me.
Staff achievements were also recognised and I extend my congratulations to Professor Emerita Dame Teresa Rees who was awarded an Honorary Fellowship. I was delighted to be able to spend time with both Dame Teresa and award-winning novelist Sarah Waters who was also honoured during the ceremonies.
Of the 6,339 students who graduated this year, 3218 came from within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Amongst those we celebrated some firsts for the College. Notably, the School of History, Archaeology and Religion celebrated its first graduating class from the ‘Exploring the Past’ pathways programme.
We also celebrated the first of three Master’s in Educational Practice (Wales MEP) cohorts graduating from the School of Social Sciences. This Welsh Government funded programme gives newly qualified teachers the chance to gain a Masters from Cardiff University and I am delighted to announce that 198 students graduated in this first cohort. I look forward to celebrating the success of the second and third cohorts in the coming years.