Success for Abertay Graduates

9th July 2009

Almost 1,000 academic awards, including three honorary degrees and the University’s first ever Doctorate of the University, were conferred today (Thursday, 9 July) at the University of Abertay Dundee’s summer graduation ceremonies.

Some 3,000 graduates, friends and family members thronged Dundee’s Caird Hall for morning and afternoon ceremonies conducted with full academic pomp and pageantry.

This year marks Abertay’s 15th anniversary of gaining university title. In his address to the new graduates and the audiences at both ceremonies, Professor Bernard King, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, congratulated all the graduates and spoke about how the university’s goals from 15 years ago, to offer a unique student experience and cross disciplinary learning, continue to benefit today’s students.

Professor King told the students: “Fifteen years after our establishment as a university, our intellectual approach, our industry links, our international outlook, our sense of entrepreneurialism, our new curriculum and programmes ranging from oil and gas accounting to food innovation and from behavioural therapy to legal practice, our interdisciplinary ways of working and even our organisation of working and social spaces combine to create a student experience quite unlike that of any other university, thus enabling you to make our graduates to make disproportionate impact on society.”

Professor King continued: “Being a graduate of Abertay is about being able to do difficult things well. The rich multidisciplinary approach to which you have been exposed will produce exactly the kinds of creative, high-tech and high-skill technologies and people from which the businesses and public services of tomorrow will be created, and on which we will increasingly rely for jobs and prosperity.”

Professor King highlighted the unique graduate attributes that Abertay builds into its teaching. “You have all been taught in ways designed to make you confident thinkers, determined creators and flexible collaborators, capable of challenging complexity and driving change,” he said.

“These qualities, developed with the specific aim of equipping you for the knowledge economy, plus your subject mastery, will support your development in challenging and rewarding careers.

“This year, of all years, equipping you properly for your careers is more important than ever. Abertay will do whatever it can to help you find employment or continue your studies. Just because you have graduated does not mean severing contact with us. You are and will remain members of the Abertay family, and all the University’s services remain and will continue to be open to you,” Professor King continued.

Professor King also spoke of Abertay’s success in the most recent UK-wide research assessment exercise, the results of which showed that Abertay are the best modern university in Scotland for environmental sciences, law and psychology. Professor King said this was “a very significant achievement for a modern university that has never had access to the levels of funding on which older institutions have built their research reputations.”

Professor King went on to describe the leading role that Abertay academics are currently playing in national research programmes in informatics and computing, in mental health and counselling, in policing and community relations, and in environmental sciences. He also spoke about the growth of Abertay’s international standing with recent partnerships with Peking and Shanghai universities and Abertay’s first students in Canada graduating this year.

The university’s outgoing and founding Chancellor Lord Airlie, was awarded he first ever Doctorate of the University. Honorary degrees were awarded to Professor Geoff Palmer (Honorary Doctorate of Science), Philip Carmichael (Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration) and Sir Bill Gammell (Honorary Doctorate of Education)

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