Humanities & Social Sciences: 28 June 2017, 3pm

Humanities & Social Sciences: 28 June 2017, 3pm


On behalf of
the University of Strathclyde, I’d like to extend
a very warm invitation to you to this graduation ceremony
for the conferment of degrees. It is a very special day
in the university calendar. Because it is a graduation day,
it makes it a day of celebration… for our graduates,
for the family and friends and, indeed,
for all the staff of the university. And I can’t think of a better venue
in which to start that celebration than here in the Barony. In the United States, they refer to these events
as commencement ceremonies as they use them to signify
the beginning of a new journey as opposed to an ending. And it is in this spirit
that we also celebrate graduation at the University of Strathclyde. Now, in a few moments, it’ll be my privilege to cap
each of our graduates as their name is called out and they come up on stage
to receive their award. The capping tradition has its roots
in ancient China, and it’s recognised as a rite of
passage and as a mark of achievement. And for each of our graduates
once capped, this signifies they’re now part
of a community of scholars at the University of Strathclyde that can stretch back over 200 years
to the Scottish Enlightenment, so they’ll be in very good company. At the start
of this afternoon’s ceremony, we also have the conferment
of an honorary degree. And these are the awards
that are made by the university to recognise the particular
contributions that someone has made
in their career. And we’ll find out a little bit more
of those contributions in a short while. At the close of graduation, we’ll have a reception
over in our Lord Todd Building to which everyone is invited
to come along and to celebrate. We also hope to have
an academic procession from the Barony to the Lord Todd. This will depend upon the weather, and it’s looking good just now so fingers crossed, we hope to do
that when we close the ceremony. In the meantime… I hope that you enjoy the ceremony, and when you see your loved ones come
on stage to receive her or his award, I would strongly encourage you
to celebrate. These occasions don’t come round
very often, and we have this hall
all to ourselves this afternoon. So let’s make the most of it. I now formally declare that this congregation
for the conferment of degrees is open. And I invite
Professor Jennifer Davidson to present our honorary graduate
to receive his award. Thank you. (APPLAUSE) Vice Principal Professor MacGregor… I have the greatest pleasure
and honour to present to you Mr Nigel Cantwell for the Degree of Doctor
of the University. This is such a pleasure for me because I cannot imagine anyone
more deserving of this recognition. We are honouring a truly global
and outstanding pioneer in the championing
of children’s rights. And I’m going to very much enjoy
expressing to you the immense contribution
that Nigel has made. A honour because of who he is and daunting because I know that what makes Nigel
such an extraordinary person is not just what he has achieved
but really who he is. In addition to our wonderful
graduating students, their supportive families
and our university colleagues, I would like to warmly welcome today a large number
of the most eminent global experts in child rights and child protection who have travelled
from all parts of the world in recognition both of Nigel’s tremendous
contribution to children’s rights and of his rich contribution
to those working in the field. The place of children in our lives and the recognition of them
being subject of rights and not simply objects of charity, has been very hard fought. Nigel’s work and those of his peers have resat what is perceived
to cross the entire globe as normal in relation to children. His contribution to child protection
policy and practice is of global significance and has helped established
a world that is… a world better educated,
more prosperous, fairer and securer
for millions of children for the communities and societies
in which they live. Nigel read economics
for his first degree at the University of Cambridge, and his subsequent social work
postgraduate diploma led him to his first job
as a probation officer in England and then all around the world
from there. And through these many years, he has
made a remarkable contribution to our global efforts to ensure
children’s rights are realised as a well-published author,
researcher, coveted speaker, visiting academic and expert adviser to scores of international
and national advisory bodies and task forces. I wish to focus today
on three areas. Firstly, Nigel is a pivotal figure in the development of many
of the key international instruments which have changed
our collective understanding of the place of children
in the world. While there were many people involved and, indeed, some are here
with us today, Nigel’s role in the development of the United Nation’s Convention
on the Rights of the Child, completed in 1989, was a crucial one. The convention is now seen as a critical piece
of international public law, serving as a primary tool to improve
the conditions of children through the changing of attitudes,
laws and systems. Nigel’s analysis and thinking
is widely regarded as having played
a critical and invaluable part in influencing the design and
substance of many crucial articles in the convention. Among the many other causes
that Nigel’s championed, the rights of children concerned
by inter-country adoption remains a major one. From the drafting
of the Hague Convention of May 1993 on the protection
of children and cooperation in respect of inter-country adoption, to supporting its implementation
in both receiving countries and countries of origin, Nigel was one of
the tireless pilgrims who explained again and again
and again the meaning and utility
of this fundamental text. Latterly, he was the chief actor in the global application
of children’s rights, specifically to the circumstances
of children in care. He led the international consultation and drafting of the text
of the UN guidelines for the alternative care of children, and these were unanimously welcomed
in 2009 at the UN General Assembly. And we have his colleagues who helped
him with that here today as well. My second focus today is on the extraordinary way in which
Nigel has applied his global vision and shown leadership. Two striking examples illustrate how Nigel is not merely
a key architect of some of the most critical global
statements on the rights of the child but a person who must see
those rights fulfilled in the lives of real children
and young people experiencing real adversity. Firstly, in 1979,
ten years before the completion of the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, Nigel cofounded the highly influential
Defence for Children International, an independent grassroots
human rights organisation to promote and protect
children’s rights on a global, regional, national
and local level. And from that time,
DCI has grown to be worldwide, now having 47 sections, all actively pursuing the rights of
children and all hugely influential. Secondly, let me offer you an example
of which you will already be aware, namely the immense challenge
that has been presented in some Eastern European countries
over recent years as it has become apparent that some had housed their children
for decades in the most horrendous conditions
in hundreds of shocking institutions. You will have seen
the deeply disturbing images of these children’s circumstances. At that time,
no-one knew how to respond. Neither how to manage
the immediate crisis, nor how to care for children
in adversity. And Nigel, and Defence for Children
International, however, did respond, and he played a critical role
in designing the response and shaping
the wider international response. In Romania, for example, his unwavering support, deep
commitment and convincing advocacy encouraged the government
to take first steps in developing a child protection
framework for the country, which didn’t exist at the time. Indeed, he is universally recognised
as the person who inspired the world to continue the struggle
for the rights of Romania’s disadvantaged
institutionalised children, regardless of
the many, many obstacles that arose. Moreover, global policies
on adoption and foster care emerged, based on the Romania experience, and the foundations of the whole area
of alternative care, as we now call it, were laid. Nigel turned the Convention
on the Rights of the Child from a piece of paper into the basis of some of the most
insightful policy and practice in child protection, and is indisputably the global leader
in all this work. Without him, our progress would have
been infinitely the poorer. And my third thought is this – while Nigel’s achievements
are so impressive, it is not until I can convey to you
who he is, what lies at his core,
what motivates and inspires him, that you will understand why 40 immensely eminent people
from around the world have come to sit in this hall
to witness this day. Nigel’s uniqueness lies in the way he combines resoluteness
and determination with persuasiveness and patience. He is a humble, caring
and sympathetic listener, a great pal who is always humorous, often irreverent and always calm. He lives his life and applies his work…
(AUDIENCE LAUGHS) ..with integrity, honesty
and openness, and is a role model for all of us who hold responsibility for
the protection and care of children. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He has no time for group think. He cuts through rhetoric
and sentimentality, challenges
uncritically accepted assumptions, and has absolutely no time
for anyone’s attempt to take a position that is
un-nuanced, black and white, in the face of the real complexity
of children’s rights and their application
to real lives and systems. He has a fierce intellect
and open mind, and takes positions of principle. He is what in Scotland
we call a true unfearties, someone who speaks out
without constraint and challenges any infringement
of children’s human dignity. Before I finish… I feel I also need to acknowledge
much closer to home the huge influence
that Nigel has had on the development
of our work at Strathclyde. Indeed, his inspiration, outstanding
guidance and technical expertise have contributed powerfully to our work in the field
of child rights and child protection, notably within the Centre for
Excellence for Looked After Children, or CELCIS, and especially in our development of a set of international
implementation tools for the guidelines for
the alternative care of children. I have no doubt that, as we seek
to take our work to a new level within the newly established Institute
for Inspiring Children’s Futures, just launched today, and within the global context at the sustainability…
Sustainable Development Goals with the aim
of leaving no child behind, Nigel will remain
an inspiring figure. In conclusion, I am confident
that when I stood up today, most of you had never heard of
Nigel Cantwell. But being children once yourselves, as the parents of children
you have or may have, and as friends and guardians
of children throughout your lives, Nigel has touched every single one
of your lives in a striking manner. It is no exaggeration to conclude
that, without Nigel, this world would be
a considerably poorer place. What an extraordinary thing
to say to you. We owe him an incalculable debt
of gratitude for what he has achieved and we look forward to
years of continued inspiration. Now Nigel would, of course,
be the first to remind us not to bask in any self satisfaction for the sometimes fragile progress
that has been made for children, and, of course,
he’s absolutely right. But it is also right that we
acknowledge and recognise his brilliant contribution, truly
of global and historic significance, and which I am so proud to do. And so, it is with the greatest pleasure
and the deepest honour, therefore, Vice Principal, that
with the authority of the Senate, I ask you to confer upon
Nigel Cantwell the Degree of Doctor
of the University, honoris causa. I create you Doctor of the University
and honoris causa. Many congratulations
and welcome to the university. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Vice Principal, ah, students… I should say first of all, other
authorities of the university, students, parents, friends,
colleagues of mine… ah…who effectively have,
ah, come some way for this moment. I only have a short opportunity
to speak to you at this time. Um, but I did want to say
a few words. And one of them,
or the first of them, ah, is to… assure you that after that extremely
embarrassing…ah, presentation… (LAUGHTER) ..by, ah, my dear colleague
ah, Jennifer Davidson, um, that, in fact,
it all started for me ah, because
I was deemed to be immature. And I say that, ah, in order to ensure
that students who are here and now graduating, ah, whatever characteristics
they have, there is no problem
about going forward, moving forward, ah, in this life and doing
what you, ah, feel you want to do. I was considered immature when,
as Jennifer Davidson recalled, ah, I applied
to the University of Cambridge… and during the interview,
or after the interview, the professors
who were interviewing me said, “Yes, we’ll offer you a place.” So I thought, fine! And they said, “But! You will have to
do a year getting to know the world “because you are not yet sufficiently
mature to take a place here.” And, of course, it was rather hard
to swallow at that particular point, ah, but nonetheless… And it was also a time before
the now-ubiquitous gap year. Ah, that was not a phenomenon
that was known in the ’60s. And, ah, so they suggested that
I do voluntary service overseas… which I applied to do and did. And I was sent to, ah, Algeria
for a year-long teaching assignment. Algeria had just got out of a, ah,
a long, er…war for independence… ah, which they acquired in 1962,
and we were in 1964. So it was just two years
after the end of that, ah… particularly violent conflict. And I was sent to a town called Setif
which had known a massacre, among other things, a massacre of
immense proportions during that time. And the… environment could’ve been
extremely hostile, ah, to a European
at that particular time. But I was welcomed tremendously, and I spent a fruitful year, I think,
in, ah, that town. But the experience, of course, changed my perspective on life
completely. Here I was confronted
at the age of 18 with a society that had just come out
of, ah, a long period of colonialism. I was confronted with ideas
for development assistance – development aid – ah, many of which were completely,
ah, inappropriate. And I was confronted as well, including among
the pupils I was teaching, confronted with people
who had undergone extreme human rights violations. Some of the pupils that I had lost,
obviously, family members, ah, for different reasons during the, ah,
during the recent hostilities. And that completely changed my…
the…what I wanted to do in life. I’d applied to do economics. I didn’t want to do economics
anymore. I did economics but I…gradually moved towards
the social and human rights side of, ah, of life. And I decided absolutely that this
was what was going to be my goal. So I’m not going to go over
what I’ve… what, what, ah, activities
and actions that I’ve taken part in. And I want to emphasis
very, very strongly that you take part
in these kinds of activities. You have, ah, colleagues,
ah, and, ah, who become friends. And you do, you move ahead
on the road together. You don’t do this on a white charger,
ah… sitting on a white charger,
galloping along the road all alone. But I don’t need to talk about
the activities. Ah, I think
that Jennifer has gone through them. And so I very deliberately
want to concentrate, just very shortly, on words. We always say that
actions speak louder than words. But words shape actions. Words influence what is done.
Words influence what you do. Words have an enormous impact
on the things that we decide to do, the things we carry out,
the things we implement, and the way we go about them. Let me give you
just two very quick examples. Children’s rights. Just the term “children’s rights”. In the 1970s… children’s rights were characterised
by a conflictual attitude. It was children’s rights
against adult rights. It was particularly children’s rights against
those of persons in authority – parents, teachers,
the forces of law and order, that kind of situation. And it was very much, ah… making claims
for greater independence, a term that remained very vague
at the time. But it was conflictual. And we know that human rights
are not conflictual in that sense. They don’t pit one group of persons
against another group of persons. They don’t pit children
against refugees, or children against
persons with disabilities, or children against women. They are a body of international law wherein obligations are recognised towards all human beings,
including children. And that is why I so often refer more
to the human rights of children than I do to children’s rights. Because I think that that is vital in shaping the kind of optique
that we take when we are working
on, ah, children’s issues and, in particular, on the promotion
and protection of their rights, which, of course, covers essentially
all children’s issues. So that’s why I think
words are important in that sense. And let’s just take
one other example. The word ‘orphanage’. The word orphanage obviously, ah…
recalls orphans. What we…have done in most of the
Western industrialised countries is to close orphanages because we don’t have many orphans. What we do in other countries
is to support orphanages, even though the children
in those establishments… are, for the most part, not orphans. In fact, they are of… they are a small minority
in almost all countries. Ah, they are at most 20%, even in conflict areas
such as, recently, in Liberia. And in those orphanages,
ah, in Romania, where we started working
as Jennifer remarked, in those orphanages
3% of the children were orphans. How can we talk about orphanages
in that kind of situation? We shouldn’t. But why do we talk about it? Because it is a sentimentalist view
of children. Because it is
a charity view of children… children who are deserving. And people have… have taken over that sentimentalism
in order to make a business… out of orphanages, bringing in children
who are not orphans, but whose situation might be a little
bit difficult in their families, ah, but whose families could
precisely be supported far better and far more cost effectively
through assistance than is the case
when you work through an orphanage. My message is very clear. First of all,
I never talk about orphanages. I talk about residential…
facilities… in order to avoid
this over-sentimentalist and completely wrong, ah, view of
what these establishments are doing. And secondly, because
a lot of young people are often… invited to undertake volunteer work
in these orphanages, particularly in countries
such as Cambodia, ah… Nepal, ah,
and some African countries… They are invited to give up
their time, ah, for a few weeks to work in these establishments… I would urge you very much not to do
so if you are considering doing so. And I would also ask you – and
that applies to parents as well – not to support orphanages
in these countries, ah, either by visiting them
when you’re on a tour, or by donating to them. That is not the way
we are helping children. That is not the way we are promoting
or protecting their rights. That is the way that, in fact,
we are helping others to violate their basic rights. So that’s the importance of words. That’s why words are important
for action. And certainly action
must follow words, but we have to choose
the right words. Ladies and gentlemen,
thank you for your attention. And, ah, may I just, ah…
say to the university, what a great honour it is
to have received this doctorate and particularly because of the work that I’ve been
carrying out for the past five years with colleagues at the university, which has been yet another highlight
in my professional life. Thank you. (APPLAUSE) Vice Principal,
in the name of the university, and by the authority of Senate, I present to you these students. For the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Claire Wilson. (APPLAUSE) For the degree of Bachelor of Science
in Sport and Physical Activity, Alexander Colvin. Michael Green. Ann-Marie Kennerley. Adam Maxwell Ouston. Rachel Arnold. Rose Catherine Ashmole. Gavin Patrick Bonner. Abby Brennan. Rebecca Louise Gammon. Kara Gilchrist. Mairi Graham. Anthony John Holmes. Jay Irvine. Kirsty Kerr. Cameron Kilgour. Hayley Lang. John MacBrayne. Conor McGregor. Lauren McGregor. John Mark Macpherson. Hannah Margaret McQuillian. Duncan McVitie. Fraser Richardson. Gemma Danielle Robertson. Greg James Stewart. Ryan Wesson. Emma Margaret Allan. Nicole Jane Brown. Michael Andrew Cookman. Christopher James Farquhar. Cameron Love. Catherine Helen Macfarlane. Lauren Elizabeth McGregor. Cameron Neilson. Gary Pollock. Cavan Reilly. Stuart Toole. Shanine Urquhart. Kyle Gallagher. Fiona Louise Bruce. Kirsty Shearer. In Speech and Language Pathology, Jennifer Ruth Lona Couper. Claire Anne Angus. Ross Bremner Campbell. Suzanne Currie. Hannah Frances Farquhar. Naomi Rachel Green. Emma Jean Harkness. Emma Lynn Jackson. Emily Jayne Kirk. Natalie McCarron. Ciara Ellen Mackenzie. Beth Hannah Marletta. Lindsay Emma Muir. Aoibheann O’Doherty. Emily Jane Savill. Jennifer Lyn Arnott. Pamela Bolton. Sarah Heatley. Jamie Madden. Alexandra Robertson. Linzi Weir. In Human Communication Studies, Emily Tibbo. For the degree of Bachelor of Arts
in Education and Social Services, Maria Louise McGinley. Elle Scott. Susan Brisbane. Cheryl Haig. Marion Tedford. Saima Zulfiqar. Rebecca Sajid. Victoria Catherine Smith. Michelle Anderson. Rebecca Boswell. Rachel Webster Buttar. Carly Grace Dickson. Jennifer Dougan. Samantha Haynes. Nicole Lafferty. Lorraine Lang. Lynne McColgan. Rebecca Richardson McGeary. Charlene McLean. Nicola Mallon. Rachael Mulhall. Heather Fiona Palmer. In Psychology, Kimberley Barnes. Sarah Jeanette Connor. Lisa Galbraith. Lindsay Holton. Holly Ann Margaret Hughes. Sotiria Karagianni. Anna Elizabeth McIvor. Laura Murray. Matthew Murray. Bianca Nardini. Abigail Paterson. Dena Marie Shortall. Barney Stark. Sophie Louise Wardrope. Alice Wilson-McFarlane. Sangeeta Kaur Bhopal. Zoe Alyx Black. Sarah Rebecca Booth. Claire Brown. Natasha Brown. Eleanor Rhoda Christie. Matthew James Kellock Clyne. Samantha Coghlan. Melissa Jayne Coutts. Jemma Ashley Coysh. Debbie Darby. Caitlin Divers. Diana Dobranowska-Jedrusiak. Caitlin Eynon. Mark Foley. Tegan Fraser. Evangelia Gavriil. Andrew William Glass. Bethan Elizabeth Morgan Gray. Jamie Howitt. Alexandra Robyn Imrie. Eve Hannah Johnston. Chloe Kemp. Gillian Kerr. David Brian Kirk. Emma Lois Law. Anna Grace Lynas. Rachel Claire McCartney. Amy Margaret McGregor. Amy McMurdo. Paige McNicol. Sarah Jane McQuoney. Colin Marshall. Heather Louise Martin. Caitlin Helen Meechan. Robyn Karen Miller. Caitlin Therese Morrison. Alison Murphy. Katie Nicol. Nicola Radigan. Zoe Rock. Kayleigh May Mackenzie Scott. Sehar Shabbir. Saira Siddique. Robyn Simpson. Corinne Jayne Smith. Craig William Thomson. Aisling Uniacke. Amie Walker. Beth Carol Wilson. Emma Jane Hartley. Mairead Rhiann McCall. Henrique Pereira Batista. Lauren Pike. Nicole Reilly. In Psychology and Education, Stephanie Elisabeth Craig. Leanne Copeland. In Psychology with Education, Laura Stewart. Hayley Mullen. In Psychology and History, Sally Foote. In Psychology
and Human Resource Management, Lyndsay Fairclough. Caitlin Marie Phee. In Psychology with Law, Tom Murray Hope. In Social Work, Niamh Duffy. Jillian Mary Ferguson. Nicola Hunter. Enji Ismaili. Melanie Dorothy Laing. Rachael Neill. Edith Wycherley. Alex Devine. Nicole Furay. Abigail Helen Iles. Caitlin Ruth McQuade. Claire Louise Nelson. Gemma Anne O’Brien. Iain Tastard. In Applied Social Studies, Jens Bittmann. Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, and, most of all, Strathclyde
University’s newest graduates. It is my pleasure to once again warmly welcome you to our graduation
ceremony here in the Barony. Quite rightly, our graduates
have been centre stage. And I would like to begin my address by congratulating all of you
once again on your academic achievements. Your hard work has paid off and this has now been recognised
in front of your families, friends, and the staff
who taught and supported you during your time at the university. And under the lights
of this magnificent venue, we celebrate your efforts
and your achievements. Well done indeed! (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (APPLAUSE) Now, in a short while,
at the close of graduation, you will be asked
to join the academic procession as it leaves the Barony. This invitation actually symbolises
the fact that you’re no longer students, but now full members of the academic
community of Strathclyde… a community that numbers
over 170,000 individuals. The class of 2017 is graduating
at a time of considerable change… in Scotland and the UK and globally, and challenges lie ahead for us all. But as a member
of the Strathclyde family, you belong to a large and growing
worldwide community… with the shared ethos of tolerance
and understanding, and a desire to make
a positive difference. I hope that the memory of today is something that will stay with you
wherever you go and whatever you choose to do
in life. We will keep in touch with you
through our alumni team, and I would ask
that you also keep in touch with us. Let us know what you’re up to… what you think about
what we are doing at the university, and what you would like to do to help
future generations of students. As graduates of a socially
progressive university, you have a competitive advantage, having been equipped with the skills,
knowhow and capacity to absorb knowledge, together with the ability to positively influence
and shape the world around you. Nelson Mandela once said that education was
the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Do not underestimate this power or
your responsibility to use it well. In Scotland, we are fortunate in
having a higher education system which is internationally respected and, as a society, we are quite right
to invest in education for all. This broadens the mind, and creates opportunities
for individuals and society. However, education itself
does not confer rights. The opportunities that education
gives each of us also carries with it
a responsibility… to learn…
to use what we have learnt wisely and for the good of others. A sense of duty should come ready with
the graduates of this university. As Strathclyders,
we only have to look to the achievements of those who have
gone before us for our inspiration. To John Anderson, our founder, who established this university
for the good of mankind. To the world’s first oilman,
James ‘Paraffin’ Young. To the missionary and explorer,
David Livingstone. To John Logie Baird, who did such pioneering work
on the development of television. And the present day,
we look to Dame Elish Angiolini, a pioneer in Scottish justice as the country’s first female
solicitor-general, and later,
its first female lord advocate. And to Sir Tom Hunter, one of the most successful
entrepreneurs in Scottish history, and a philanthropist who’s used his wealth to the great
benefit of others around the world. I’m sure that you’ve been given
lots of advice on how best to plan your life. Some of this advice
you will accept… some you will rightly ignore. But most you will have to learn
for yourself. Robert Louis Stevenson put it well
when he said, “Don’t judge each day
by the harvest you reap “but by the seeds that you plant.” Now, to reach this point
in your lives today, each of you will have travelled
a different journey. For some, the path will have been
relatively smooth but for others, this may have been
more challenging. However, I am certain of one thing – that none of you would be here without the active support
of your family and friends. They have picked you up
when you have been down and they have encouraged you
when you have needed it, and many will be here today, proudly
watching as you cross the stage, with broad smiles
and an odd tear in their eye. Now they are celebrating today, not just because
you’re almost off the pay roll… (SCATTERED LAUGHTER) ..but because you carry with you their hopes, their wishes and
confidence for a successful career. For the past half hour or so,
their applause has rung in your ears as you each, in turn, crossed
this stage to receive your awards. I would now like to invite all of our
graduates to show their appreciation for the support received
from their family and friends. (APPLAUSE) (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (APPLAUSE) I touched earlier
on some of the key figures who have created and shaped
the University of Strathclyde. And you can tell a lot about
the values of an organisation by looking at its roots. Strathclyde traces its lineage
back to 1796 when Anderson brought it into being. The only Scottish university founded
during the Age of Enlightenment and embodying
the Enlightenment principles of reason, tolerance and equality. Anderson’s belief in useful learning and his commitment
to taking knowledge and using this for the greater good is a motivating force which gives Strathclyde University
its momentum today. This can be seen
in our pioneering law clinic where our students provide support
and representation to people who cannot afford
legal advice. And it can be seen
in our business school, which was recently named
the UK Business School of the Year in the prestigious
Times Higher Education Awards. It can also be seen in our 89 million
pound technology innovation centre, which is transforming the way
in which academics collaborate with business, industry
and the public sector to bring globally competitive
advantage to Scotland. And this is a tangible sign of the university’s commitment
to world-class research and ensuring that outcomes
have maximum benefit to society and to the economy. Now these represent a small sample
of the many innovative projects being led by our world-class staff
and students – taking new knowledge
and using it to solve problems in industry, in the classroom
and in the boardroom. I’m especially pleased to note that we are developing our campus
to enable us to do even more. Strathclyde Business School’s
flagship ability has been transformed, following
a 23 million pounds investment. And we have a 31 million pound
sports, health and wellbeing centre, along with a 20 million pound
district energy network under construction. And we’re about to begin work on a new 60 million pound
learning and teaching facility… bringing our total investment
over the last ten years to over 600 million pounds. So too has it been a year
to celebrate in the faculty. Professor John Riley,
of Physical Sciences and Health, led a high-profile study which challenged
conventional thinking about physical activity in children, finding that this may start to tail
off as early as the age of seven, rather than during adolescence,
as widely believed. Strathclyde’s law clinic,
their executive committee, won in the Team of the Year Category
of the Herald Society Awards. Professor John Curtice,
of Government and Public Policy, once again helped a huge audience better understand
the election process. And his exit poll got it right
once again. The Faculty Centre
for Lifelong Learning is leading Strathclyde’s
age-friendly academy, which is promoting the contribution
of older people in the workplace
and the wider society. Education alumni Amy Buchan won the General Teaching Council
for Scotland’s George D Gray Award for the best assignment
by a BEd student in Scotland. And this morning, we launched the Institute
for Inspiring Children’s Futures, which is led
by our Centre for Excellence, for looked-after children
in Scotland, and the Centre
for Youth and Criminal Justice. This institute has been established to support children and young people
around the world in achieving their potential in life. These are just some
of the many contributions being made by your staff and students
in humanities and social sciences. Strathclyde is being
increasingly recognised as a place where things happen, and this is why our graduates
are so highly prized by companies and organisations looking to recruit the best talent
to drive their businesses forward. Scotland punches above its weight
across the board, and the future of Scotland
will be built upon the quality of its graduates. Regardless of their discipline,
all of our students learn how to be innovative,
enterprising and creativity, and they make a real difference
when they go out into the workplace. So wherever your career takes you, always remember that,
as a Strathclyde graduate, useful learning carries with it responsibilities that go beyond
academic scholarship. And finally – let me offer my
sincerest congratulations to you all once again on your achievements. And I hope that you enjoy the remainder
of what is a very special day. Thank you. (APPLAUSE) Well, ladies and gentlemen, that now concludes the formal part
of this afternoon’s proceedings. So I hoped you enjoy the ceremony and will take away
very many happy memories of today. I would remind you that we do have a
reception immediately following this over in the Lord Todd, which everyone is invited to come
along and to get some refreshments. I’ve been given the thumbs up
from the back of the hall, which indicates that the weather
has stayed pleasant enough that we can have an academic
procession over to the Lord Todd. And I’ll take this opportunity to invite Strathclyde University’s
newest graduates to join the academic procession. If I could ask, ladies and gentlemen, for you to remain in the hall until
the academic procession has passed and then immediately follow us over
to the Lord Todd to the reception. I now formally declare that this congregation for
the conferment of degrees is closed. (APPLAUSE) (BAGPIPES SKIRL)