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22 Jan

Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen receives Honorary Doctorate of Letters

Celebrated writer, broadcaster and Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the University of East London (UEL) at a special ceremony held at the Institute of Education in Russell Square, London, on Saturday 19 January. 

Michael, a Hackney resident, joined hundreds of Tavistock graduates celebrating academic success with family and friends as he accepted his award from Professor Martin Everett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of East London. During the ceremony, Professor Everett personally awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates to more than 120 graduates of postgraduate programmes delivered at Tavistock and validated by UEL.

Michael Rosen is a broadcaster, children’s novelist and poet, and the author of over 140 books, including the famous ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. He was appointed as the fifth Children’s Laureate in June 2007 – succeeding Jacqueline Wilson – and received the Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his ability to express emotional life in accessible and beautifully written stories and poetry.

During his acceptance speech, Michael talked about his own student years and delighted the audience by reading from his story ‘Kaleidoscope’.

Michael said: “This award symbolises the marriage of science and literature, which both attempt to understand the world and all the creatures abounding in it. Writers of literature are often interested in lying – or what’s commonly called ‘imagination’ – but literature, like science, can lead us to truth. I’d like to thank all of you very much for this honour, and to wish every one of you the very best for the future.”

Professor Everett also presented honorary doctorates to Dr John Steiner, an internationally-renowned former consultant in the adult department of the Tavistock, and Lord John Alderdice, a celebrated psychotherapist and politician who played a key role in the Northern Ireland Multiparty Talks. 

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which was granted Foundation Trust status in November 2006, trains more than 2000 postgraduate students each year. The Trust is Britain's leading provider of multidisciplinary postgraduate training in mental health and a major regional provider of clinical services for people of all ages.

For the last 13 years, the Tavistock has enjoyed a successful partnership with the University of East London, which validates a wide range of postgraduate programmes, including diplomas, certificates and degrees in Social Work, Early Years Development, Psychoanalytic Studies, Working with Groups, and Black Leadership in White Organisations.

In her address to the assembled graduates, Trudy Klauber, Dean of Postgraduate Studies at the Tavistock, said: “We share with the University of East London a deep interest in improving professional standards, in going beyond teaching competencies and skills and developing capable, confident practitioners in health, social care and education.

“Most of you have been working, often full-time, attending your courses and managing family life as well. Mature students, as most of you are, seem to have the most complicated lives and yet the challenge of undertaking a course at the ‘Tavi’ is one which nearly everyone who attempts it succeeds in, and often leaves with an ambition to do more.”

The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks from Beth Miller (48), of Muswell Hill, who graduated from her Masters in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: Child and Adolescent.

Beth said: “My time here at the Tavistock has equipped me with the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to play a fuller, more effective role outside of the seminar room. A quality of genuine excellence and warmth permeates the teaching at Tavistock, and I’ve developed a real affection and respect for the whole institution.”


For details and pictures contact Daniel Cherry: 020 8223 2194

Notes to Editors

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with over 28,000 students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.

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