UCLan Graduation Ceremony: Monday 16 July 2018 – Morning

UCLan Graduation Ceremony: Monday 16 July 2018 – Morning

October 15, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


Please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen on behalf of the
University of Central Lancashire I’m delighted to warmly welcome you to
Preston Guild Hall and to this graduation ceremony. On this special day
we are here to proudly celebrate the achievements of our students from the
Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. I now call upon the Vice-Chancellor Professor
Mike Thomas to give his address. Good morning everyone. Honoured guests,
ladies and gentlemen members of the University Board honorary fellows and our
graduates it’s a great pleasure to welcome you to this graduation ceremony in
which we acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of you and new graduates. I
always look forward to graduation ceremonies and the chance for the
University of Central Lancashire, its staff, board members, honorary fellows and
our honored guests to celebrate such an important day for you our graduates your
families and your friends. We’re here today to celebrate and welcome our
graduates and their guests from the School of Community Health and Midwifery,
School of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing. This is your day I hope you
enjoy both the ceremony itself and the celebrations which I know will continue
afterwards with your families and friends. It’s customary for a
Vice-Chancellor to use graduation as an opportunity to comment on economic
affairs politics or to speak about the university in general so I hope you will
be interested in just a few words that I’ll say. It’s been an interesting period
for you to have studied and gained your awards that we celebrate here today.
There’s been a number of quite radical changes both within the university
sector itself were more widely in our society. I’m mindful and hopeful that
much of the university sector changes would not have impacted adversely on
the experiences that you had while you were studying, but we’ve had to adapt to
a number of regulatory changes introductions of new regulatory bodies
and more scrutiny on how universities work and more focus on what we do
internally as well as how we work with our communities. The regulatory burden
will continue to grow as successive governments wrestle with the thorny
question of university funding and for you personally university fees.
The university here has responded to these government concerns by developing
and now putting into practice new and exciting approaches to university
education. We hope in due course that we can offer different degree routes where
for example an undergraduate can study one year one year full-time here in the
university paying only one year’s fee then doing the remainder of their degree
externally. Future students will also receive a salary not, pay fees and the
university will seek other forms of funding. Students will still graduate,
they will still attend days like today, we will still celebrate with the
mortarboard and the gown and the different colors and the theatre because
you deserve it but the financial burden will be
substantially reduced. We’re also developing a second new and innovative
model which allow our students to study here in the university but take other
short vocational programs with partner colleges, and we are in deep discussions
with different government departments and regulatory bodies on when exactly we
can start to model such a program, but basically it means that in the future
students like yourselves will graduate with both a degree and vocational awards
and qualifications which should add significantly to your skill sets and
employability. So your university is not complacent in the face of these external
or regular changes in the sector equally and more generally in wider society we
are actively engaged in discussions on how we can support the economy post
Brexit. we are looking at enhancing our degree apprenticeship programs and we’re
looking to work with the communities. For example in running a trade fair between
local businesses and countries abroad such as China and the Middle East. It’s
difficult I think for people not ingrained in university life to
fully comprehend that universities are not public
sector organisations, though we have a large amount of public sector
responsibilities due to the funding mechanism. We’re also not fully a
commercial organisation, though we have to raise revenue and fully engage in
income generation activities while retaining our primary mission of
developing knowledge teaching research and enterprise, and whilst many
universities are registered as charities including this University, we are not
solely a charity because of our engagement in the commercial and public
sector environment. Universities are strange beasts… we are simultaneously
public sector, commercial and charitable all at the same time, and here in the
University of Central Lancashire, we incorporate those three aspects of the
organization by focusing on you our students. You are our main reason for
existing as an organisation. We are wholly committed to ensuring that you
have the relevant learning, knowledge skills and experience to broaden your
intellectual horizon your tolerance of other people, and your passion to support
the community. The School of Community Health and Midwifery prides itself in
the development of graduates and post graduates who are able to provide a
much-needed boost to health and social care. This past year we’ve seen students
across the school engaging and supporting their community nationally and
internationally, and our student midwife Alison Brindle was nominated as Student
Midwife of the Year for both the Student Nursing Times and Royal College of
Midwifery Awards. She should be commended for her leadership which led to winning
the UCLan SU Society Event of the Year and the Students’ Union Volunteer of the
Year. And colleagues or the students studying health and social care also
travelled to Calais to volunteer for the Charity Care for Calais and
received a special commendation from the charity for their work with displaced
people and refugees camps. Pre-qualifying graduates from our School
of Health Sciences will soon be contributing to the care of patients and
clients as members of the professions of physiotherapy, operating department
practice, paramedic practice and sports therapy within the NHS and beyond. Post
qualifying graduates are already contributing to the care of other people
and have the opportunity to specialise clinically, and gain academic credit for
their specialisation. Graduates from Nursing make a unique and valued
contribution to healthcare practice with all of our undergraduates and
postgraduates securing employment prior to completion, and our post graduates use
their time at UCLan to work in practice on many improvement projects to ensure
that people receive the best standards of care that they possibly can. Students
within the school have access to supervision and support from staff at
the forefront of research and innovation, particularly in the area of stroke care
in which six staff from our stroke research team in nursing became members
of the National Stroke Nursing Forum which aims to promote research that
advances the discipline. I would argue that you should never underestimate the
experiences that you have in your university life and the way it shapes your
thinking and how it influences your future. We have a long history in the
university of transforming lives. We were first established on the 7th of
October 1828 as the Institute for the Diffusion of Knowledge, and this year as
you graduate your university celebrates its 190th birthday. The original group that
formed what became the University of Central Lancashire were radical in their
thinking about education and learning and knowledge and innovation. We
recognise that in today’s world we still have to continue that original mission
and spirit of radicalism. We look to you to be innovative, implement creative
thinking, and as our graduates and post graduates continue with your life
more equipped and more resilient to deal with periods of uncertainty. The
university is both an anchor and a civic role. By anchor we play an economic part
in our community and by civic we also support our community. As a
broad-based institution we will continue to help you our talented people from all
walks of life to make the most of your potential. We look to you to be future
leaders creative thinkers and bold business
brains. Continue to develop your dreams and be inspired an uphold community
cohesion, promote and develop peaceful means of dealing with social issues or
difficulties. Support your Lancastrian culture when you can through health,
social care, the public sector music, arts, food, farming and
our regional tourism. We do this in the university because we believe that we
are here to ensure that people in Lancashire, our community, have a sense of
place and of engagement and of belonging. But our success is achieved together.
Students and staff seeking new knowledge and providing clarity and certainty. For
in the midsts of this uncertainty there are certain things we know. We know today
you are graduates and post graduates. We know that you’ve worked for your
qualifications. There is a sense of certainty if you hold on to those
beliefs and values that promote and support your communities, the principles
and approaches that we value and are enshrined in our University. For instance
common sense, the judgment to do the right thing for others, compassion to
treat others with consideration care and honesty, teamwork to think and act
together valuing collective as highly as individual
achievements, attentiveness to take personal and professional pride in the
quality of your work but show that you can listen and care for others as you
carry out that work, and trust, showing respect and integrity in all that you do.
We hope that we provided a space for you to discuss ideas, pursue different views
and perspectives to explore new ways of doing things and apply different
methodologies, to seek new solutions. But remember there is more to your degree
and postgraduate degree than a reductionist economic return. Keep those
university values with you as you go on with your life. We know another
certainty. We know sitting in front of me today that you understand complex issues,
we know you can be critical in making judgments about what is happening in the
world, we know you have the confidence to
challenge things, we know you can challenge the status quo by applying
your own intellect, we know because we’ve measured it that you’ve developed a
value for civil society and a willingness to make a personal
contribution to how it functions. This is why you’re here today as graduates and
post graduates. So keep observing, keep analysing, keep devising new solutions to
the things that life brings you. Exercise that intellect and be ready to intervene
as you go on. Make the most of every opportunity that comes along.
Don’t let chances and opportunities pass you by, and don’t be afraid or unwilling
to try different things. Forge your own path, but equally be ready to compromise
when you need to. I repeat myself when I say we genuinely look to you – you are our
future hope. Participate in processes and debates. Participate in organisations.
Participate in business, commerce, health and social care
and seek to make a difference. We know another certainty. Many of your families
and friends will know this. We know that gaining the awards that you have today
has been earned, we know it’s been difficult I make no apologies for that –
that must be so – few things in life of genuine value are easy to gain, and a
success in any university is far from easy. The University in its staff would
have demanded from you dedication commitment, intellectual endeavor and
sheer hard work, and I’m sure that many of you here in the audience today –
families, friends and colleagues would have been called upon to provide a
helping hand in your journey, so on behalf of you our graduates and post
graduates I would like to thank everyone in the audience for that invaluable
support and ask that you join me in sharing our appreciation to you
[APPLAUSE] The university is a strange beast – we
pull together a community of academics dedicated to learning and supporting
transformation. You would have been taught by a dedicated group of academic
staff, many of whom are intellectual and international leaders in their field, and
all of whom devote their professional lives to the teaching and learning and
development of our students. You have also been supported by many highly
dedicated professional staff members who provided the services and
infrastructures that have made your success possible. So once again on your
behalf I’d like to thank every one of our staff and ask that you join me in
applauding thanks to them [APPLAUSE] in a few minutes, the names of our
graduands will be called out. We will applaud and
cheer – please make as much noise as you want, this is a
celebratory ceremony. Each of you will enter on stage right as graduands, you’ll
cross the stage, shake my hand and exit stage left as graduates or post
graduates. We do this to publicly acknowledge your individual achievement
and congratulate you. Personally I know everybody here will be as enthusiastic
with your applause for our first graduate as you will be for our final
graduate. We take genuine and great pride in your achievement. I’m confident that
you’ll go out in the world and bring not only real social and economic benefit to
yourself but also to the communities in which you will live. Whatever you decide
to do next wherever in the world you find yourself
you will always be a member of this University. I hope at some stage you will
return to your academic home but for now on behalf of everybody here very well
done congratulations and good luck for a happy and successful life. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Chancellor, honored guests, ladies and
gentlemen, the academic board confers an Honorary Doctorate on Sheena Byrom OBE. Chancellor, Sheena Byrom is among the
most distinguished and accomplished individuals in midwifery. Born and bred
in Lancashire, Sheena first realised her calling during a placement in a
maternity ward while training as a registered nurse. She qualified in 1978
and has worked almost entirely in the NHS since then. In 2002 Sheena became one
of the UK’s first consultant midwives, a role that involved supporting the most
vulnerable maternity service users. The following year she achieved an MA in
midwifery studies here at UCLan and went on to lead the development of three
birth centers in East Lancashire. Her extensive professional knowledge and
wide-ranging experiences have enabled her to provide consultancy services to
both NHS trusts and international organisations helping them to promote
physiological childbirth as a positive experience. It’s no surprise then that she
was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to midwifery, and made an honorary fellow
of the Royal College of Midwives in 2015. Sheena runs all4maternity.com, an
online hub for midwives and maternity workers with her daughter Anna who is a
midwifery lecturer at UCLan – you could say it runs in the family! And if that
wasn’t enough, her midwifery memoirs ‘Catching Babies’ is a Sunday Times
bestseller, while ‘The Roar Behind the Silence’ which Sheena jointly edited with
Professor Soo Down of UCLan is used to improve maternity care
worldwide. For anyone wishing to pursue a career in midwifery, Sheena is a shining
example of where dedication can take you. Chancellor, on behalf of the academic
board, it is with great pleasure that I present Sheena Byrom for the award of
Honorary Doctorate of the University of Central Lancashire. [APPLAUSE] Good morning graduates and your families
who I’m sure are very proud this morning to the Vice-Chancellor and to the party
guests here on the platform. First of all I’d like to express my thanks to the
University of Central Lancashire, thank you for such a humbling citation and for
bestowing this prestigious award on me. This is my local university as you’ve
heard, and what one which I have deep connection, and I am forever grateful.
Eternal gratitude must go to those who are close to me and in the audience
today – my husband Paul my children their partners Anna and
James, James and Annie Tom, and Angela Olivia and Curtis, to my sisters and
brother brothers-in-law, to my dear friends especially Lynn, for each of you
have influenced my life, you’ve encouraged and supported me and been
there, and to our parents who aren’t with us anymore, to my parents James our Irish
dad who passed on a love of fun and friendship, and to our beautiful and
courageous mother Kathleen who gave us the example and capacity to be kind, a
quality that’s irreplaceable and holds the potential to change the world. There
are others too who have mentored and guided me and modelled behaviors that
I’ve tried to emulate. There are two special midwives who have majorly
influenced my life and I owe so much to one of them is Pauline Quinn OBE, my role
model and mentor throughout my career and secondly to Soo Down, Professor Soo
Down OBE who’s always by my side inspiring, coaching, encouraging me and
loving me. My attention now must go to those of you in the room you are here
graduating on your very special day – how brilliant is that your journey so far
will have been both joyous and challenging, I remember it well. During my
work, I visit universities regularly and I talk to student midwives and I
also connect regularly with many of you on
social media – you give me so much hope for the future. Many of you are already
leaders and we’ve heard about one this morning. You are our future and I feel
that the the midwifery profession and the nursing profession and the social
care is safe in your hands. Recently a student midwife unhappy with
some of her mentors told me that she’d feel happier once she qualified. I gently
reminded her that there would always be challenges and walls to climb, some they
would conquer and get over, and others it’s better to walk around. So as you
celebrate today I’d like to respectfully offer you some of my thoughts for you to
consider as you follow your dream. Remember that love and science are the
two most important things the skills you have and build on is fundamentally
important, but the kindness and compassion you show will always make the
difference. Your eyes tell a story to the people you care for. Keep those you serve
at the center of all your actions. Speak up for your rights to have enough time
and resources to provide the care that you’re qualified to give. Don’t fit in
with negative culture. Remember the passion and the desire you talked about
when you came for your interview to become a student here, the words that got
you chosen, and keep them close to your heart.
Remember the importance of authentic positive feedback – it creates virtuous
cycles. Take care of yourself and nurture those you work with. You are going to be
professional servants to the public. More often than not you will be an uninvited
guest into a sacred space where people are vulnerable – what you do
and how you do it what you say and how you say it will be
remembered for the rest of their lives. One thing for sure your work will take
you to the core of life itself birth and death are the most important
times for humanity – everyone is born and we all die. For the future midwives in
the room, birth is a rite of passage that makes a difference to women
her infant and her family socially physically, psychologically and
spiritually. For all other future health and social care workers today you may be
dealing with the consequences of how a baby was born. For those of you going to
be midwives you are hugely privileged being part of the English maternity
service. I have been to and studied child bearing practices around the globe where
women and human rights are violated there is no such thing as choice and
obstetric violence is accepted. Please learn more about this and join in the
political quest to influence change – your voice is needed. As they say there are
two things that define you – your determination when you have nothing and
your attitude when you have everything so embrace your calling, your work with a
smile from your eyes, and courage from your heart – you can and you will
make a difference, and your work will enrich your life too. So it’s now time to
take flight… where will you soar? Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor the presentation of the
graduates and Award holders will now take place. Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the
academic board I present those who have gained awards in the school of Community
Health and Midwifery Vice-Chancellor, that concludes the
presentation of awards from the School of Community Health and Midwifery. Vice-Chancellor on behalf of the
academic board I present those who have gained awards in the School of Health
Sciences. Vice-Chancellor that concludes the
presentation of awards from the School of Health Sciences. Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the
academic board I present those who have gained awards in the School of Nursing. Vice-Chancellor that concludes the
presentation of awards from the School of Nursing. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor the presentations are
completed. I call on Laura Crichton, Vice President of Media from the Students
Union of the University of Central Lancashire to respond on behalf of those
awarded today. Vice-chancellor, graduates families, friends, loved ones it is my
honour to stand here before you today and speak on behalf of students. Firstly I’d
like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your incredible
achievement – you all should be very proud of yourselves [APPLAUSE] University is more than the assignments
and the exams. It’s more than the price paid to better your future. It’s more
than the piece of paper at the end because university is an unforgettable
experience. The people that you’ve met and the memories that you have created
together make each of your journeys to graduation unique and special. For most
of us studying is only one part of university life, and whether you became a
course rep, joined a sports team or Society, or volunteered in a project that
you are passionate about, it has molded you into the graduates that I see before
me today. As graduates of UCLan, each one of you strengthens this university’s
worldwide alumni network. Today’s award is a landmark in both your personal and
professional development and a stepping-stone to your future success.
The world at this moment in time may seem like a scary place, and you may feel
like you’re heading towards a place of uncertainty – the most natural thing to do
would be to stay in your comfort zone but don’t… it does not do
to dwell on dreams and forget to live. So now is the time to aim higher,
take advantage of opportunities and take on challenges, because the degree you
hold in your hands today is really just your learner’s permit for the rest of
your drive through life. But don’t be disheartened if things don’t go right
straight away – remember if plan A did not work the alphabet has 25 more letters
don’t worry! Last but not least, I would like to thank the families, friends and
university staff, and loved ones that have joined you here today and supported
you throughout your UCLan journey. I wish you all the best for the future
Class of 2018! [APPLAUSE] It is now my pleasure to introduce the
University of Central Lancashire Chamber Choir. The members of the university
chamber choir are all students of Music Theatre within the School of Journalism
Media and Performance. The choir is directed by the university’s musician in
residence Mark Goggins. The university is extremely proud of the growing
reputation and success of the chamber choir. In recent years, the choir has won
national competitions including the BBC Radio 3 Adult Choir of the Year. The
chamber choir has performed on BBC One BBC Four and on BBC Radio 3, as well at
some of the major performance venues including the Royal Festival Hall,
Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Bridgewater Hall. In June, the chamber
choir returned from the latest overseas concert tour which once again received
great critical acclaim. This morning the chamber choir will sing ‘Seasons of Love’
by Jonathan Larson. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Today is of course a day of
great celebration for everyone here, and we need to celebrate in an appropriate
way family and friends, there is a good photo
video opportunity coming u,p so you might like to have your camera’s ready. Could I
please ask all the graduates to stand and take off your mortarboards which
will be a great relief as I noticed many of them have been balancing in a rather
precarious manner So in a moment I’m going to ask you to
wave your mortarboard, and as is the tradition at UCLAN, you must wave as
vigorousLY as you can in recognition of all your hard work and achievements
however do keep tight hold of your mortarboard as it is yours to keep and
to take home hip-hip… HOORAY! hip-hip… HOORAY! hip-hip… HOORAY! That looked greatfrom here thank you
please have a seat. As we bring this ceremony to a close I
would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making today such a
happy a memorable occasion, and thank you for coming and sharing this special day
with the university community. I would like to invite you all to return to a
reception at the university’s Foster Building where we will continue to
celebrate the success of today’s graduates, and gowns – not mortarboards – can
be left at the Foster Building after the event. Please may I ask you all to stand
for the National Anthem. If you can all just be seated for a
couple more minutes as I explain our exit strategy. It’s fairly
straightforward but quite impressive. The platform party will now leave the stage
and form a celebratory guard of honour. We are going to conclude the ceremony
with a final opportunity to applaud the success of today’s graduates graduates
you will shortly be present processing out of the hall. A University usher will
prompt your row when you need to stand up. Please make sure you take all
of your belongings with you. And guests please may I ask that you all remain
seated until the guard of honour is completed and the platform party has
left the hall. You will be able to rejoin your graduate downstairs. Thank you.