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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The first in-person summer graduations since lockdown have taken place at the University of Bradford this week

The University of Bradford kicks off the first in-person summer graduations since the pandemic, allowing students from the previous years to finally graduate in a cap and gown ceremony.

On Monday 18 July the first week of the University of Bradford’s graduation ceremonies began, which are the first in-person summer graduations since lockdown.

With graduates of 2020, and 2021, around 3,000 graduates and associated guests are in attendance from Monday through to Friday.

A cohort of graduates at the University of Bradford queuing in the atrium for their ceremony which is about to take place in the Great Hall in the Richmond Building. Image: RF Media and Publishing.

For graduates who missed out on the ceremonies due to lockdown, it was also an opportunity for the university to celebrate its honorary graduates from the past two years.

With the current climate and the UK’s prevailing national heatwave, the University wished its graduates a huge congratulations and advised:

“With the hot weather alert for today and tomorrow, don’t forget to keep yourselves hydrated, wear loose-fitting, breathable fabrics, avoid rushing and leave plenty of time when travelling to the University”.

The 2022 graduations are also the last under the tenure of the Chair of Council the Rt Hon Baroness Ann Taylor, who steps down this year after seven years in the role, as she is succeeded by Eileen Milner.

Vice-chancellor Shirley Congdon said:

“Today marks the successful completion of years of study during the most trying of times, the tenacity and resilience you have shown to achieve your award are remarkable.

“I hope you relish every moment of your celebration and feel very proud to be a University of Bradford graduate”.

Students from 2020 and 2021 attending the ceremony said they were pleased they had been given a chance to attend an in-person event to mark their graduation.

Accounting and Finance BSc graduate from 2021 Mirza Baig, said: “I am glad the university has run ceremonies for the 2021 year because it’s great for my parents to be able to experience this moment.”

Another recent honorary graduate Zaynah Munirah and her fellow classmates and comrades from the University of Bradford completed their studies in 2020, however, their graduation ceremonies took place two years later.

Zay Munirah told Asian Standard:

“I was apprehensive to attend graduation two years later, as I felt the moment had passed and I wasn’t as excited as I would have been when I completed the degree”.

Having graduated on Monday 18 July with her university fellows she said, “Attending the ceremony and finally getting to celebrate what he had achieved and outing on the hat and gown was a lot of fun and a special moment for us all”.

Having been awarded a Doctorate from the University of Bradford for her work in the community, Dr Ruby Bhatti OBE said:

“I’m really humbled and honoured to have recognition from my own city where I’m from and where I was born and bred. It makes a big difference because the community work, the work and the work that I do for the University, that I have been doing for many years has been recognised”.

Dr Bhatti, who works as a solicitor, was awarded an OBE by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list 2019, in housing and young people and works with communities locally, regionally and nationally.

Dr Ruby Bhatti OBE was awarded a Doctorate from the University of Bradford for her work in the community. Image: RF Media and Publishing.

She also said, “I can’t take all the credit myself, because I feel I am where I am because my husband and my daughter did support me when I had to do the work and go down and do the time, go out to the communities, they’ve always been there working with me”.

She shared how receiving the accolade was a bittersweet moment for her “I did miss my mum and dad’s presence because if they were alive, they would have been over the moon, Asian parents are so proud and unfortunately two opportunities in my life, with the OBE and now the doctorate couldn’t be shared with them, because they passed away many years ago.

“My parents were my foundation, I am where I am because the ethics, the morals, were instilled in them to help others, those ethics and morals were instilled into me by my parents and I’m proud of what I have achieved, but the credit has to go to my parents as well”.

Dr Bhatti also said the accolades won’t change her as a person “It is absolutely wonderful to be appreciated I will do nothing different than what I am already doing, whether I have the accolade or not, I will continue doing what I am, but the appreciation is there that the University of Bradford has recognised my hard work and recognised what I do”.

Also, to be awarded the honorary doctorate is the former corner shop owner Amjad Pervez, who went on to found one of the UK’s largest cash and carry-food retailer chains, the Seafresh-Adams Group, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford.

Amjad Pervez was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford, the university presented the accolade for “his valuable and continuous support for the City of Bradford, to the University and for internationally championing a culture of enterprise”.

Commenting on his Doctorate, Mr Pervez said he was “absolutely delighted” and went on to offer some advice to students of today saying “Don’t be afraid of mistakes”.

Javed Bashir was also awarded Doctor of the University in Wednesday’s ceremony and is the Founder and CEO of the Professional Muslims Institute, Safeguarding Consultant for the Strengthening Faith Institution.

The University awarded him the Honorary Doctorate as he has “played a pivotal role in promoting better understanding, integration and community cohesion in the City for many years”.

The University also awarded Dr Amir Khan an Honorary Doctorate for services to health education and the work he has done with the students.

Notable awards that were given to students from the South Asian community were:

The Student of The Year Award was awarded to Mohammad Tahmid Ahmed.

In awards for scholarships, the Baroness Lockwood Memorial Scholarship went to Aysha Khan, Muhammad Sohaib and Waleed Ahmed Shaikh were granted the Bestway Foundation Scholarship and the GREAT Scholarship for India went to Raj Parasbhai Virani.

The Deans’ Prize for Best Performance and Highest Mark for Final Year Project in the Bradford Community Challenge went to Sarah Akbar.

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