UCLan Graduation Ceremony: Wednesday 18 July 2018 – Morning

UCLan Graduation Ceremony: Wednesday 18 July 2018 – Morning


Please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the
University of Central Lancashire I am delighted to warmly welcome you to
Preston Guild Hall and to this graduation ceremony. On this special day
we are here to proudly celebrate the achievements of our students from the
Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences and the Faculty of Health and
Wellbeing. I now call upon the Vice-Chancellor professor Mike Thomas to
give his address. Good morning everyone. Honoured guests
ladies and gentlemen, members of the University Board honorary fellows and our
graduates it’s a great pleasure to welcome you to this graduation ceremony
in which we acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of you our graduates and
post graduates. I always look forward to graduation ceremony and the chance for
the university, the staff board members honorary fellows and honored guests to
celebrate such an important day for you your family and your friends. This is
your day, I hope you enjoy the ceremony itself and the celebrations which I know
will continue afterwards with your families and friends. It’s customary for
a Vice-Cchancellor to use graduation as an opportunity to comment on economic
affairs, politics or to speak about the university in general so I’ll say a few
words which I hope will be of interest. This has been an interesting period for
you to have studied and gained your awards that we celebrate here today.
There’s been a number of quite radical changes both within the university
sector are more widely in our society. I’m mindful and hopeful that much of the
university sector changes would not have impacted adversely on the experience
you had while you were studying. We’ve had to adapt to a number of regulatory
changes, introductions of new regulatory bodies, and there’s more scrutiny on how
universities work, and more focus on what we do internally as well as what we do
with our communities. The regulatory burden will continue to grow as
successive governments wrestle with a thorny question of university funding
and for many of you personally university fees. The university here has
responded to these governmental concerns by developing and
now putting into practice new types of educational programs. We hope in due
course that the university will be able to offer different degree routes, for
example future students will do one year of their degree here in the university
and pay one year’s fee, the remainder of the degree will then be studied
externally and students will receive a salary not pay any fees and the
university will seek other forms of external funding. Such students will
still graduate, they will still attend days like today, will still celebrate
with the mortarboard and the gown and the different colors and the theatre
that you deserve, but the financial burden will be substantially less. We’re
also developing a new second innovative program where students can undertake a
degree and whilst doing so with the permission of the government and the
regulatory bodies study vocational programs with partners at the same time,
so when they graduate they will have other vocational awards alongside their
degree. So your university’s not complacent in the face of external
regulatory changes in the sector, and more generally in wider society we are
actively engaged in discussions on how we can support the economy post Brexit.
For example we’re looking at economic initiatives such as developing a trade
fair between local businesses and countries abroad such as China and the
Middle East, but I think it’s difficult for people not ingrained in university
life to fully comprehend that universities are not public sector
organisations though we have a large amount of public sector responsibilities
due to the funding mechanisms. Equally we’re not fully a commercial
organisation though we have to raise our own revenue and fully engage in
income generation activities while retaining our primary mission of
developing knowledge, teaching, research and enterprise and many universities
including your university is registered as a charity but we’re not solely a
charity because of our engagement in the commercial and public public sector
worlds. As an organisation, universities really are strange beasts – we are
simultaneously a public sector organisation, a commercial company and
a charity and we managed to incorporate those
three areas by focusing on you our students – you are our main reason for
existing as an organisation. We are wholly committed to ensuring that you
have the relevant learning, knowledge skills and resources to broaden your
intellectual horizon, your tolerance of other people and your passion to support
your communities. The School of Medicine this morning is graduating our first
cohort of undergraduate students at this ceremony but also our first cohort of
physicians associates in addition to students who have undertaken a number of
postgraduate programs. Today you arebecome part of the fabric and history of the
school as the first students to complete full time courses from medicine. The physicians associates graduates have already demonstrated that the
medical school’s aim of providing highly trained health professionals for the
region is becoming a reality with the majority of the graduates remaining in
the region for your first jobs. You’re already helping with the NHS
recruitment shortages in the region and proving to be impressive
ambassadors for the relatively new profession. The staff of the School of
Medicine are immensely proud of you today you have been pioneers who have taken every opportunity to help develop the
culture and ethos of the school in its early years, and you leave behind a
wonderful legacy of a job well done students following you in your
footsteps will benefit from the work that you have carried out. Equally, for
you here today from the School of Dentistry, you are consistently placed
highly in the completed foundation training selection process and the
results this year are the best so far out of approximately 1200 applicants
nationally over a third of our students ranked in the top 100 with one of our
students ranked third in the UK. This is a reflection of the high standards of
clinical experience and dedication that you receive in the dental education
centres and the enhanced training practices. It looks like the
success is continuing as our students progress through their early years with
a recent graduate achieving the highest score in the country in the dental core
training selection process. And our School of Social Work, Care and Community
graduates go on into employment with local authorities, community groups
volunteer sector organisations across the county. And much further afield you do
some fantastic work with vulnerable people and during your studies you’ve
contributed to your local communities across the region. So far the Center for
Community and Voluntary Leadership has worked with 2177 students and you
committed over 31,000 hours of volunteering – if that was paid work
that would equate to nearly half a million pounds of salaries that you’ve given
free so I would argue that you should never underestimate the experiences you
have in your university life and the way it shapes your thinking and how it can
influence your future. The University has a long history of transforming lives. We
were first established on the 7th of October in 1828 here in the city of
Preston as the Institute for the Diffusion of Knowledge, and this year as
you graduate your university celebrates this 190th birthday, and the original
group that formed what became the University of Central Lancashire were
radical in their thinking about education and learning and innovation
and we recognise that in today’s world. We have a duty to continue that mission
and spirit of radicalism to continue to be innovative and implement creative
thinking and help you to continue with your lives more equipped and more
resilient. But our success is achieved together – you, staff, students seeking new
knowledge to provide clarity and certainty and in the midst of this
uncertain period there are certain things we know about you. We know today
you are graduates and post graduate;s we certainly know that you’ve worked for
your awards; we know another certainty; we know if you hold on to those beliefs and
values that promote and support our communities the principles and values
that are enshrined in your university you will continue to commit to the
communities in which you live. For instance, common sense – the judgment
to do the right thing for others compassion – to treat others with
consideration care and honesty; teamwork ≠ to think and act together valuing
collective as highly as individual achievements; attentiveness – to take
personal and professional pride in the quality of your work but show that you
can listen and care for others as you carry out that work; and trust – showing
respect and integrity in all that you do. I hope that the university provided a
space for you to discuss ideas and pursue different views and perspectives
and new ways of doing things. So take your university values with you as you
go on with your life. We know other things about you. We know you have the
ability to understand complex issues. We know you can be critical in making
judgments. We know you have the confidence to challenge. We know you can
impact on the status quo. We know you have developed a value for civil society
and a willingness to make a personal contribution – this is why you’re here
today as graduates and post graduates, so
continue to observe and watch, analyse devise new solutions to the things that
life brings to you. Keep learning, exercise that intellect of yours and be ready to
intervene as you go on with your life make the most of every opportunity, don’t
be afraid or unwilling try new things but equally be ready to compromise when
you need to. We look to you – you are our future hope. Participate in processes and
debates, in organisations, in businesses and commerce, seek to make a difference.
We know another certainty about you. We know all of you sitting here today
gaining your awards have earned that award, that’s why we celebrate it and we
know it’s been difficult – that must be so I make no apologies for that, few things
in life of genuine value are easy to gain, and success in a university is far
from easy. The university would have demanded from you dedication, commitment,
intellectual endeavor and hard work. I’m sure that many of you here in the
audience today, families friends and colleagues would have been called upon
to provide a helping hand in your journey, so on behalf of you our
graduates and post graduates I would like to thank you the audience for that
invaluable support and ask the graduates that you join me in sharing our
appreciation to you. [APPLAUSE] Universities are genuinely and uniquely
strange organisations. We bring together a group of people to form an academic
community. We dedicate our lives to learning and supporting transformation.
You would have been taught by a dedicated group of academic staff many
of whom are international leaders in their field
all of whom devote their professional lives to the teaching, learning and
development of their subjects. You have also been supported by many highly
dedicated professional staff members who provided the services and infrastructure
that have made your success possible. On your behalf I would like to thank every
one of our staff and ask once again they join me in applauding them. [APPLAUSE] In a few minutes, the names of our
graduands we will be will be called out we will applaud and cheer – please
everybody make as much noise as you can this is a celebratory ceremony. If there
are any babies or infants in the audience and they start to cry or wish
to run around and make a noise please let them do so, we appreciate that noise
it’s a pleasure to us. Each of you will enter the stage on my right as
graduands and post graduands, you’ll cross the stage you’ll shake my hand
I’ll personally congratulate you and you’ll exit stage left as graduates and
post graduates. We do this to publicly acknowledge your individual
achievements, but also to congratulate you personally – I know everyone in the
hall will be as enthusiastic with your applause for our first graduate as you
will be for our final graduate. We take great pride in your achievements. I’m
confident you’ll go out into the world and bring not only real social and
economic benefit to yourselves but also to the communities in which you
live. Whatever you decide to do next wherever in the world you find yourself,
you’ll always be a member of this university. I hope at some stage you will
return to your academic home, but for now on behalf of everybody here very well
done congratulations and good luck for a happy and successful life.
Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Chancellor, honoured guests, ladies and
gentlemen the academic board confers an honorary fellowship on Kevin McGee. Chancellor, it would be no overstatement
to say the university’s School of Medicine would not be accepting its first UK
funded students this year were it not for the extraordinary faith Kevin McGee
showed in the university when he was in his role as chief executive of the East
Lancashire Hospitals Trust, and the successful development of the school
hinged on strong relationships with our NHS strategic service provider partners.
Kevin’s confidence in our ability to become the key provider of health care
graduates for the region and in particular East Lancashire has been
nothing short of inspirational, having worked tirelessly behind the scenes to
ensure our aspirations were aligned to the strategic direction of the trust. He
has more than 30 years experience in the health care sector during his career.
Kevin has excelled in a wide variety of roles including director of finance
chief operating officer, chief executive of a large acute hospital and director
of commissioning and performance management,
and chief executive in two teaching primary care trusts. In 2014 Kevin took
up his current position as chief executive of East Lancashire Hospitals
NHS Trust which is one of the largest trusts in the North West.
Looking ahead, Kevin’s ambition is to help develop and
lead a first-class health and social care system for local communities as
well as facilitating the development of future healthcare sector leaders. He will
also continue to work locally to help ensure UCLan’s medical school achieves
its ambition to provide highly qualified health care professionals and industry
support across Lancashire. Chancellor, on behalf of the Academic
Board, it is with great pleasure that I present Kevin McGee for the award of
Honorary Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire. [APPLAUSE] I would now like to invite honorary
fellow Kevin McGee to deliver his response. Thank you and gosh what an
audience! You guys should be so proud of yourself you graduates. I remember back
to mine over 30 years ago and I can still remember it vividly, it was a
wonderful day and the start of a fabulous career for myself in the NHS.
You should be very proud of what you’ve done, what you’ve achieved over the last
few years ,and I’m sure it will be the start for you of a wonderful career so
well done. I started in the NHS over 30 years ago
as a finance trainee, and I never imagined over 30 years later I’ll be
standing in front of such an audience as Chief Executive of East Lancashire
Hospitals Trust, and having such a fabulous honour from the university and
I’m deeply grateful to the university for this honour. I hope to be able to
carry it through and to be able to support and protect local services of both
health and social care for the future. Our communities, you, our communities
deserve the very very best and that’s our ambition, and that’s the ambition of
our hospitals our community services, our primary care services supported by the
university. Throughout my career I’ve been supported by many different people.
I’ve had some wonderful colleagues both past and present
and I’ve got two dear colleagues with me today. But most importantly I’d like to
thank my family – my family have supported me through good times but also through
difficult times, and I suppose in any career as in life there are good times
and there are difficult times and it’s the quality of the relationships that you
develop both with your family and with your work colleagues that will see you
through those times. I’ve been lucky to work with some fabulous people during my
career and I’ve had some really great advice. The first bit of advice I would give
to anybody is you’re only as good as the teams that you work with. Always look to
work with people and to be part of people who can extend you, who are
brighter than you ,who will work with you that way you can achieve great and
fabulous things together and it’s really fitting to be standing here in the 70th
year of the NHS. I was very lucky a couple of weeks ago to go to a fabulous
ceremony at Westminster Abbey where we celebrated the NHS and its 70th birthday
and it was a really moving humbling experience. There were a number of
patients one particular patient I can remember
who wa part of the Manchester bombing the speech that young girl gave that day
was inspirational, and it made many people in the audience cry. But what it
brought home was a fabulous work that we do in our NHS, in our health and social
care services – there is nothing more important to our communities and to our
families, and so standing here looking what all these bright young graduates
for the future, I hope my aspiration is that so many of you will be working in
the NHS, you will be our professionals you will be our bright people who will
really push the NHS for social care on to the next level. So thank you again for
the honour,, to the university, and I wish all graduates a fabulous and happy
career and please make sure you enjoy and remember this day. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor, the presentation of the
graduates and award holders will now take place. Vice- Chancellor, on behalf of the
Academic Board I present those who have gained awards in the School of Medicine. Vice-Chancellor, that
concludes the presentation of awards from the School of Medicine. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the
Academic Board I present those who’ve gained awards in the School of Dentistry. Vice-Chancellor, that concludes the presentation
of awards from the School of Dentistry. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the
Academic Board, I present those who have gained awards in the School of Social
Work, Care and Community. Vice-Chancellor, that concludes the
presentation of awards from the School of Social Work, Care and Community. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor, the presentations are
completed I call upon Gemma Ghouse, Vice President
Education from the Students’ Union of the University of Central Lancashire to
respond on behalf of those awarded today. Vice-Chancellor, graduates, families
friends and loved ones it is my honour to stand here before you today and speak on
behalf of students. Firstly I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate
you all on your incredible achievements you should all be very proud of
yourselves well done [APPLAUSE] University is much more than just
getting the qualification and a certificate. For many of us here today, it’s
a means to transform our lives, to gain opportunities, to create social mobility
and to escape the disadvantages and oppression we face in day to day life.
UCLan is rooted in a strong working class and diverse community in Preston.
It prides itself on being a widening participation university, and
many of you here today are proof of what can happen when we challenge adversity.
Coming to university for many of us was a dream we did not dream when growing up
we never believed it could be a reality. Some of you graduating today will have
been scared, will have questioned your right to be here and will have felt like
you’d never succeed. Well to those of you who felt this way just take a moment,
look around, look at where you are and how far you have come and how much you
have achieved, you’re here and you have done it. Studying is a big part of the
university experience, but let’s not forget about all the amazing things
students achieve alongside this, whether you have volunteered, been a course rep
or been part of a sports team, a society the passion you have demonstrated is
something to treasure – hold on to that passion and let it drive you forward
wherever that may lead. So all the families, friends staff and loved ones
that have supported you on your journey we thank you. And last but not least I
want to say as you navigate the next steps in life, always remember we all
have a bubble around us that we like to call the comfort zone; this is a place we
feel safe and secure. But unfortunately just outside of this bubble is all the
good stuff in life, so burst that bubble break out of your comfort zone and go
get the good stuff, it’s out there and it’s just waiting for you.
So Class of 2018, go celebrate because you did it! [APPLAUSE] It is now my pleasure to introduce the
University of Central Lancashire Chamber Choir. The members of the university
chamber choir are all students of music theatre within the School of Journalism.
Media and Performance. The choir is directed by the university’s musician in
residence Mark Goggins. The university is extremely proud of the growing
reputation and success of the chamber choir. In recent years the choir has won
national competitions including the BBC Radio 3 Adult Choir of the Year. The
chamber choir has performed on BBC One BBC Four and on BBC Radio 3, as well as
at some major performance venues including the Royal Festival Hall
Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Bridgewater Hall. In June the chamber
choir returned from the latest overseas concert tour which once again received
great critical acclaim. This morning the chamber choir will sing ‘Africa’ by Toto. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Today is of course a day of
great celebration for everyone here and we need to celebrate in an appropriate
way. Family and friends there is a good photo and
video opportunity coming up so you might like to have your cameras ready. Could I
please ask all the graduates to stand and take off your mortarboards – this will
be a great relief a good number have been balancing rather precariously. In a
moment I’m going to ask you to wave your mortarboard
and as is the tradition at UCLan, you must wave as vigorous as you can in
recognition of all your endeavors and achievements. However do keep a tight
hold of your mortarboard as it is now yours to keep and take home. So on a count of three I want you to all
wave your mortarboards in the air and give an even louder hearty cheer than
that and then we will all follow with a further three cheers. Are you ready guys?
One two three… hip hip hooray! [APPLAUSE AND CHEERS] That looked really cool from up here!
Thank you, please have a seat. As we bring the ceremony to a close, I
would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making today such a
happy and memorable occasion, and thank you for coming and sharing this special
day with the university community. I would like to invite you all to return
to a reception in the university’s Foster Building where we will continue
to celebrate the success of today’s graduates. And gowns can be left at
Foster Building after the event. Please may I ask you all to now stand for the
National Anthem. [APPLAUSE] I will explain our exit strategy. It is
simple. The platform party will now leave the stage and form a celebratory guard
of honour. We are going to conclude the ceremony with a final opportunity to
applaud the success of today’s graduates. Graduates, you will
shortly be processing out of the hall. A university usher will prompt your row
when you need to stand up. Please make sure you take all of your belongings
with you, and guests please may I ask that you all remain seated until the
guard of honour is completed and the platform party has left the hall. You
will be able to rejoin your graduates downstairs. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

Author: Kevin Mason

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