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Thousands of UEL students receive their degrees at inspiring graduation ceremonies

UEL students graduation

University celebrates the achievements of its graduations over two days of ceremonies at ExCeL London

By Lee Pinkerton

Nearly 2,000 University of East London (UEL) students and 7,000 guests celebrated the culmination of years of study and hard work on July 18 -19 at the University’s graduation ceremonies at ExCeL London.
 
Accounting and Finance graduate Ochuko Okagbare summed up the mood of his peers when he said, “I feel like it’s a new chapter now, and I can move forward and see what opportunities are out there for me.”

Hospitality Management graduate Julius Nguti said, “Doing a degree is like climbing a mountain, and graduating is like reaching the top.  I feel like I’m at the top of a mountain. I’m ecstatic.”

Before the first ceremony on July 18, students were joined by the Deputy High Commissioner of South Africa to the UK, Golden Neswiswi, and UEL’s Chancellor, Shabir Randeree, and Chair of Governors, Geoff Thompson, on a mile-long walk to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of South African President Nelson Mandela.

Graduating students and academics wore their academic gowns as they walked the ‘Mandela Mile’ on Royal Victoria Dock along with hundreds of family members, friends and UEL staff members.
 
Over the two days and four ceremonies which marked Graduation 2018, UEL awarded honorary doctorates to leading architect Dr Renata Codello (awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Architecture); local environmentalist Terry Lyle (awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Social Sciences); Catherine Roche, Chief Executive at Place2Be (awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Psychology); and London’s ‘Night Czar’ Amy Lamé, (awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration). 
 
Podiatry graduate Mary Adeniji mused, “It’s great to be graduating and sad at the same time, because obviously I’ll miss my cohort and my lecturers, who were really helpful.”
 
It was also a memorable day for the families of those graduating. Fiona Nkansah, sister of Business Management graduate Samuel Mensah said, “When I saw my brother graduating today I felt on top of the world.  He’s the youngest of four siblings and he’s the first of our family to graduate from university. So I felt immensely proud of him that he’s been able to go that extra mile and take that extra leap.”
 
Accounting and Finance graduate Mahid Islam said simply, “It’s the best day of my life”.

To experience a flavour of the ceremonies, watch our video below: