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Summer graduation celebrations for University of Reading students – University of Reading

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Summer graduation celebrations for University of Reading students

Release Date 02 July 2012


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This week, nearly 3,500 students will graduate from the University of Reading. 18 ceremonies will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the University's magnificent Great Hall on the historic London Road campus.

Graduates can enjoy the celebrations even more in the knowledge that studying at Reading has provided them with a great start to the next stage of their lives. This year, the University of Reading matched its 2010 employability figures which were the highest for a decade.  So, 92% of University of Reading graduates who were available or looking for work/study are either in employment, in further study or taking up voluntary or unpaid work opportunities. These statistics put Reading's performance above the national average.

A fifth of the students graduating are likely to stay on in the area, bringing new skills to the region's economy. Already, 19,000 Reading graduates live in RG postcodes, many of whom play leading roles in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, Sir David Bell said, "The University is extremely proud of all its graduates across disciplines as diverse as classics, construction management, English literature, law, biological sciences, food and nutritional sciences, agriculture, and archaeology, to name but a few. I am delighted that so many of our alumni choose to remain in the area as their contribution to the region's continuing economic growth and cultural diversity is hugely significant.

"We live in tough and uncertain times. However, the knowledge, skills and values which our graduates have developed during their time with us will prepare them well for whatever lies ahead. The University's strong international reputation owes much to the achievements of our alumni who, for more than 100 years, have been shaping and enriching the world in which we live. I wish all those who are graduating this week a happy and fulfilling future."

Honorary degrees

This year's graduation ceremonies will also see two leading figures from the world of children's television and the Civil Service awarded honorary degrees.

Justin Fletcher will be presented by Dr Andy Kempe for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the 12 noon ceremony on Wednesday 4 July 2012.

Born in Reading and a graduate of the Guildford School of Acting, Justin Fletcher has been an actor, children's television presenter and voice-over artist for fifteen years. He is the voice of Shaun in Shaun the Sheep which won the Grand Prix best animated production award last year. Justin Fletcher's theatre credits include What a performance with David Suchet, Class Act with Joanna Lumley and Calamity Jane.

Ten years ago Justin started the company Scrumptious House with the aim of creating high quality children's television, video and theatre productions. Justin has won two BAFTAs for best Children's Television Presenter, and was awarded an MBE for his services to children's television and the charity sector.

Sir Nicholas Montagu will be presented by Christopher Fisher, President of the Council of the University of Reading, for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the 12 noon ceremony on Friday 6 July 2012.

Sir Nicholas was at the heart of Government for over twenty years and worked on pensions, rail privatisation and public service reform, playing a leading role in all three. After lecturing in Philosophy at the University of Reading, Sir Nicholas entered the Civil Service and led the secretariat for the Pensions Inquiry. From 1992 to 1997,  he was at the Department of Transport, overseeing the privatisation of the railways and the competition to build the fast rail link to the Channel Tunnel.

As its Chairman, Sir Nicholas led the Inland Revenue through its greatest changes in its 200-year history. He is currently Chairman of the Council at Queen Mary, University of London, Chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, and Chair of the Committee of University Chairs. Sir Nicholas was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 2001, having previously been a Companion of the Order (CB).

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