Graduation celebration at Lancaster University Ghana

21 September 2018 14:00
The Lancaster University Ghana graduating class of 2018
The Lancaster University Ghana graduating class of 2018

MORE than 100 students from Lancaster University Ghana have graduated in a historic degree ceremony.

The ceremony was held at the Kempinski Hotel in the Ghanaian capital Accra – where Lancaster is the first UK university to have established its own campus in sub-Saharan Africa, in a partnership with Transnational Education.

Among a number of firsts for LU Ghana, four students – including a pair of twins – received the Lancaster Award, recognising their extra-curricular accomplishments, and the Chancellor’s Medal was awarded.

The graduation of 105 students was presided over by Lancaster University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith.

He said: “Our graduands here today are only the second cohort to graduate and many hundreds more will follow them in the years to come.

“Today Lancaster is a truly global university. At a time when there is such profound uncertainty, even volatility, in so many parts of the world, when social, economic and political change has become the new normal and when some societies and their political leaders have been tempted to turn inwards, Lancaster remains resolute in our determination to be a university that is open to the world. We believe in building bridges, not walls.

“There can be no better expression of our belief than the bridge we have built between Lancaster and Ghana. This is not a short term relationship. It is a long term one. We are committed to producing the graduates Ghana needs to fulfil its ambition to grow economically, to be inclusive socially and to bring lasting prosperity to all of its people in the years to come.

“It may be thousands of miles from Lancaster to Accra, but the bridge we are building is strong and it will grow stronger.”

Also in attendance were Professor Sharon Huttly, Pro-Vice Chancellor Education; Nicola Owen, Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary; Professor Anthony Jarvis, Lancaster University Ghana Provost; and Mr Rakesh Wahi, Co-Founder of Transnational Academic Group.

During his address, Mr Wahi told the graduates: “Be brave and have the courage to persevere, even when you fail.

"You must remember that failure is a path to success. Lift yourself when you fall, and come back stronger. Conquer the world, serve your communities with honour and dignity, make each day count, and achieve perfection in all that you do. When you achieve success, do not fail to look behind you and give back to those that are less fortunate.”

Among the firsts, four graduates received the Lancaster Award – recognising their contribution to extra-curricular activities. Nigerian twins Amanda and Andrea Vince-Agu, Ubaashana Ramesh and Diane Kaye were all honoured with the gold award.

The Zafar Siddiqi Founders’ Award winners

Diane Kaye and the Vince-Agu twins also received the Rakesh Wahi and Zafar Siddiqi Founders’ Award, as students who embody the values of the Transnational Academic Group.

Princewill Chisom Azike was recognised with the Chancellor’s Medal as the graduate with the highest Grade Point Average, achieved while completing a degree in Computer Science.

Chancellor's Medal winner Princewill Chisom Azike receives his award from Lancaster University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E Smith

Additionally, Nigerian hotelier Valentine Ozigbo received the Alumni Award. Mr Ozigbo has spent more than 22 years as a leader in banking and hospitality organisations – and for the past seven years has transformed Transcorp Hotels Plc’s hotels in Abuja and Calabar in his roles as managing director and chief executive officer. He graduated with an MSc Finance in 2004, having won various university best student awards.

The 2018 graduates gained degrees in Economics and International Relations, Politics and International Relations, Law, Psychology, Accounting and Finance, Business Studies, Computer Science, and Marketing. Students came from countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Italy, Gabon, Japan and India.

Established in 2013, the LU Ghana campus has grown from 67 students, to more than 500 students, with now more than 240 alumni. It allows students from across Africa access to Lancaster’s academic excellence in teaching and research. More than 400 students study there in foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate – for the Global MBA – levels.

Plans are already under way to build a new campus to accommodate a predicted growth in student numbers, plus new degrees in Environmental Science, Agriculture, Biological Sciences and Engineering.

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