Graduation day!

It’s graduation day today, so rather than talk about our research, I’ll like to spend some time talking about our students.

The cohort traipising up to the cathedral this lunchtime have been a genuine joy to work with and I can say that without exaggeration.

Academically, they have produced the best set of results that the School has had in its existence, with a very high proportion of firsts and upper seconds. As the leader of the dissertation module this year, it was a pleasure to read so many excellent pieces of research on so many topics. Indeed, it should be no surprise that at least one of our students has already got a job with one of the organisations they interviewed for their research.

The group has also been a key contributor to the life of the School, participating in numerous events and seminars. In particular, I’d like to thank all those who took time to talk about their experiences with the cohorts below them: I know that this has been very helpful in the latter making better informed decisions about things such as professional placements and study skills.

And finally, it’s important to say that this cohort has been a pleasant group of people to be around. All my classes with them – this year and in previous years – have been good-natured and engaged and students have brought a lot to the discussions.

It’s particularly pleasing to see several students graduating today who – through no fault of their own – have had their studies disrupted in various ways. Having spent much time talking with them over the years, I recognise how much they have had to put into getting to this point and the difficulties they have endured, and I hope that today feels like a just reward for those efforts.

Today is about celebrating our students’ success and wishing them all the best for their future life paths: as I get to take the tradition group photo outside the ceremony, I’ll be happy in the knowledge that the School has done all it could to help these individuals on their way in the world and I’ll be looking forward to hearing about what they do in the years to come.