One Step towards Freedom
Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra
The British Council and University of London in partnership organised convocation for students who have graduated in their Diploma and LLB (Hons.), International Programmes on April 2, 2011 at the British Council Auditorium. The University of London and Bangladesh has been affiliated for a very long time and today Bangladesh is one of its largest markets for students who complete their qualifications through distant and flexible learning. The programme is designed in a way that facilitates the students to stay in their home country and pursue their degrees in the desired programme with the support from institutions in Bangladesh, gaining a qualification which is internationally recognised and aspired.
Graduates celebrating after the Ceremony. Photo: Tanvir Murad
This is the second year in the history of University of London that an event like this has taken place in Bangladesh. Additionally, this year over 100 students graduated from the University of London, International programmes. A number of foreign academicians and officials from the University of London were present at the convocation. The welcome speech was given by Simon Askey, Deputy Director, Undergraduate Law Programme. Simon Askey also presented the graduates the certificates for their degree. In addition, the closing address was made by Professor Wayne Morrison, Queen Mary College, University of London. Among others, Murray Keeler, Country Examinations Manager, British Council, Bangladesh, Dr. Steven Warburton, Undergraduate Law Programme, University of London and Lisa Pierre, Alumni Relations Manager, University of London were present.
Simon Askey, in his opening speech, said, “There are many diploma students graduating today, so many of you must be loaded with examinations and you still have time to panic but those of you who are graduating today, the feeling must be great.” He ended his speech by saying, “I wish you all well and hope that you open that door to the bar of law.”
Professor Wayne Morrison began his speech in a humorous manner. He shared some personal anecdotes and rounded it up with some stories of famous politicians and activists who were external students of the University of London. He said, “Nelson Mandela and Gandhi were external law students and even though they didn't finish their degrees, they have enriched the alumni.” He added, “Being an external student and achieving a degree is difficult because the learning environment is different and not particularly easy. He further elaborated that in the future he would like to see these students entering the various fields of Law, International Relations and Business.
Murray Keeler, Country Examinations Manager, British Council, added that the Council is proud of these students. The British Council accommodates all examinations of UK qualifications in Bangladesh including that of University of London and facilitates students and parents with information, counselling and carries out development on examinations processes to ensure that candidates go through an international standard of examination conditions in Bangladesh.
Other than the guest speakers, students also expressed their views. K.H Aminul Islam expressed, “The feeling is great and this is something my parents wanted me to become. The programme itself is good; however, at times we did face problems with the tuition providers and the different local law schools.” Nusrat Tarannum Hassan, a LLB graduate shared some tips for the students wanting to pursue the UK qualifications, “There are certain strategies that need to be followed, the syllabus should be reviewed vigorously and there are certain answer guidelines that should be concentrated on.”
In conclusion, the programme ended with the hope that the graduates would utilise their degrees to the fullest and take Bangladesh to the top level. The convocation ended with a reception programme where all the graduates gathered together to take pictures and celebrated the glorious moment of their lives.