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Newest University of East London graduates celebrate at the ExCeL London

Hackney pirates

University graduates embark on next chapter

Over 1,200 new University of East London (UEL) graduates crossed the stage at the ExCeL London on 29 November to celebrate earning their degrees.

Allison Vitalis, who received a first-class bachelor’s degree in clinical and community psychology, said, “I'm really excited to graduate today. Even more so that my children, mum and brother will be there to see me walk the stage. It took four years of hard work and determination and I made it. I'm so proud of myself.

“I am grateful to have been taught by some of the best professors and lecturers at UEL who have dedicated their expertise and excellence to giving me the best possible education.”

Chris Davies earned a distinction for his master’s degree in psychology. He said, “I am very happy to receive this award and it’s nice to be recognised. This is very much a family award and I have been supported by my wife throughout the entire thing.

“There are lots of other deserving graduates here today.”

The University awarded three honorary doctorates during the graduation ceremonies:

  • Kathryn Halford (Honorary Doctorate of Science) has been recognised in honour of her 38 years of service to the National Health Service (NHS) which has seen her save lives of victims of the 7/7 bombings, develop bone marrow transplants for children and progress the treatment of HIV and AIDs. Kathryn has been deputy chief executive and chief nurse at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust since 2016. In 2018, she was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to nursing.
  • Dinesh Bhugra (Honorary Doctorate of Science) is the first UK-based psychiatrist to be voted president of the World Psychiatric Association, a post he held from 2014-2017. While there, he developed a Bill of Rights for people with mental illness which was launched in the house of Lords in October 2016. He was former president of the British Medical Association from 2018-2019 and president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists from 2008-2011. A passionate advocate of mental health awareness, Dinesh has devoted most of his career to this cause.
  • Gerison Lansdown (Honorary Doctorate of Education) is a champion of children’s rights and has worked with the Council of Europe, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and international organisations such as Save the Children. Her work covers a range of children’s issues. These include the concept of children’s participation, the rights of children with disabilities, the right to education, promoting human rights institutions for children, and developing strategies and tools for implementing children’s rights. Her stature in the field of children’s rights makes her an essential contributor to the understanding of how children’s rights must be promoted.

Graduates celebrated their achievements in the heart of London’s historic Royal Docks.

Congratulations to all 2019 graduates. Join in our online conversation at #UELGrad2019.