25 October 2021

On Friday 15 October, UEL hosted its 2021 Convocation at the Docklands campus - the start-of-academic-year ceremony that formally acknowledges the admittance of the student body into the University of London  (UEL) and welcomes them as part of the UEL community.

After a hiatus last year due to the pandemic, the 2021 event – the second for the University – extended an invitation to all UEL students in acknowledgement of a much-anticipated return to in-person teaching and a look forward to the coming academic year as a new chapter after the challenges of the past 18 months.

The University has been steadily implementing ways to support the student population with their long-awaited return to campus. One of the ways UEL is doing this is through its 'Dual Delivery 2.0' approach, a new way of learning for students that includes both face to face and online learning options so that students can maintain continuity with their studies while having the flexibly to adapt to any further pandemic-related challenges.

More than 400 new and returning students joined the day's festivities. Those in attendance learnt about the many ways UEL supports its students to achieve their goals and potential and the many ways they can get involved in their UEL and east London communities. UEL is proud of its close ties to east London and many of its students come from here. Many of the placement and volunteering opportunities UEL offers its students as part of their careers-focused studies are with east London-based organisations.

We are absolutely committed to equipping you with everything you need to find the right career path for you and to make the best possible start to your career. I want you to enjoy your time here and enjoy learning and to explore your potential using the amazing tools we have available. More than that, I want you to explore the limitless potential in yourselves,"

Professor Amanda Broderick, UEL's vice-chancellor and president, said in her Convocation speech.

Current and former students took to the lectern to give a student’s-eye view about their experience and impart some wisdom to the ‘next generation’. Aisha Labefo-Audu, who works as partnership manager for UEL and was a UEL student ten years ago, gave a rousing speech encouraging students to "be the change." Of her student days, she recalled an unexpected offer to volunteer at an all-boys school that turned out the be “the best volunteering experience of my life” and set her on a path to gain a Master’s in career coaching.

SportsDock, UEL's state-of-the-art sports and fitness facility located on the University’s Docklands campus, played host to this year’s event, and it was SportsDock’s fitness team who came through with the most blood-moving, foot-stomping activity of the day. UEL’s finest fitness instructors brought the audience to its feet, leading them through a series of dance moves to much cheering and whooping – a real crowd pleaser.

The ceremonies ended with a heart-warming performance from some of the University's talented performing arts students, who delivered a love-themed poetry and choir performance that ended with 'Love is All You Need'.

After the ceremony, guests were invited to sample some transatlantic treats at an American-themed diner restaurant before enjoying an open-air 'silent cinema' – equipped with deckchairs and headphones – in the campus’ entertainment square overlooking the river.

One student who took part, Tracy Kibel, who is pursuing a nursing associate degree, said, “I chose UEL because I work full time and being close to home I can still attend my lectures. UEL has great links with clinical placements, which would really help with my studies.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Atharva Tupe, who is studying for an MBA in supply chain management. He said, '"UEL is in a great location, and the course I’m doing will really help me gain knowledge about the right organisations. UEL also offers high quality work placement opportunities, which not many universities do."

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