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Largest graduating cohort in Birkbeck’s history begins new chapter

More than 1600 students from across the college's five Schools invited to graduate

The largest ever cohort in Birkbeck’s history is graduating from the college, with over 1600 students drawn from across the college’s five Schools invited to take part.

Taking place on Monday 2nd , Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th November, Birkbeck’s largest graduation week will see both undergraduate and postgraduate students from across the college community be awarded their degrees personally by the Master of the college, Professor David Latchman.

Baroness Joan Bakewell, President of the college, will also be in attendance to offer her personal congratulations to each graduating student.

The size of this November’s cohort had its seed in the expansion of the Birkbeck’s successful full-time, three year undergraduate degree programmes available – for the first time – through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Demand for the courses has consistently risen in line with provision, which has seen the number of full-time three-year evening degrees at the college expand from 21 in 2012-13 to 69 programmes in 2015-16.

Acceptances for courses taught using this three-year intensive evening model at the college surged by 308% between 2011-2012 and 2013-4; the highest percentage increase for undergraduate students on three-year courses at any university in the UK, which at the time the Master of the college, Professor David Latchman, praised as “a type of intensive, flexible evening degree provision that suits the spirit of the times.”

This November’s ceremonies will be attended by three of the college’s new Fellows:

    • Sir Eric Thomas ­– who chaired the Universities UK review on the importance of part-time study­ – the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol and co-chair of the International Education Council with universities minister Jo Johnson
    • Joy Manners, former Governor of Birkbeck, and public affairs executive with a 30-year career at Shell
    • Sir Alan Langlands, current Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds.

    The College Orator, Professor Joanna Bourke, will deliver orations at three of the graduation ceremonies welcoming the new Fellows to Birkbeck and thanking them for their support for the life of the college, its mission and its students.

    Commenting on the largest graduating cohort in Birkbeck’s history, Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck, said:

    “Every student graduating today deserves the warmest of congratulations for their achievement.

    “It’s particularly pleasing we are seeing a record number of students graduating this year, which is testament to the constant innovation in the breadth and intensity of our courses we have undertaken to meet the lives and demands of working Londoners.”

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