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Undergraduate students graduate in style in Birkbeck's 200th year

Birkbeck’s Autumn Graduations saw seven ceremonies occur across three days in early December.

Graduates throwing their Graduation caps in the air at the 2023 Autumn Graduation
Graduates celebrate at Birkbeck's 2023 Autumn Graduation

Nearly 1,000 undergraduate students graduated from their studies over three days earlier this month. From Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 December, seven ceremonies were held with undergraduate students, their families and friends and Birkbeck staff in Senate House, the iconic headquarters of the University of London. 

Among the graduates were Kishan Sheth, who studied the Graduate Diploma in Law in order to facilitate a career pivot from dentistry into medical indemnity; Pierre Orsini, who has transitioned from working in retail and hospitality to now working for a Member of Parliament having studied BA Politics; and Elma Daku, who has changed careers after studying BSc Biomedicine.  

Elma Daku commented: “I came to the UK when I was 19 and didn’t speak any English. I worked in various hospitality jobs, learning English as I worked with the hope of going to university one day. It took a long time to get my English up to the level I needed it to be for academic study, but I did it. I kept working as I studied, which was the perfect way to cover the cost of living in London. Studying has changed me in a hugely positive way. It was a motivating force for me, and it helped me grow and become more mature. Now I work as a studio manager in a dental practice, and am studying MSc Entrepreneurship at Birkbeck. 

Over the course of the three days the graduands received congratulations from the Vice-Chancellor of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman, and President of the College, Baroness Joan Bakewell. They were also addressed by Professor Joanna Bourke, College Orator; and new Fellows of the College: Claire Callender, Lynda Nead, Ron Smith, Sarah Hart, Trevor Fenner, Mike Oaksford and David Latchman. Each Fellow, recognized through the annual election by the College Governors, has demonstrated exceptional service or achieved distinction in their respective fields or in connection with Birkbeck. 

Professor David Latchman, who will retire as Birkbeck's Vice-Chancellor at the end of the year remarked, “It’s with enormous pride that I offer my congratulations to all graduates who have exhibited unwavering dedication to study and personal growth. This cohort of graduating students is testament to Birkbeck’s transformative impact over its 200-year commitment to changing lives since its establishment in 1823. It has been an honour to be part of that history.” 

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