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Hundreds of Former Students Return to Collect their Degrees, 60 Years after Leaving for Some

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Hundreds of former students will don caps and gowns, more than 60 years after finishing their course for some, to receive an honorary degree from the University of Worcester.

The University is inviting those who earned an award leading to Qualified Teacher Status between 1946 and 1977 back to Worcester to receive an Honorary University of Worcester Bachelor Degree during a special ceremony on Saturday, September 1st.

Those who studied at Worcester up until 1977 gained a Certificate in Education, which qualified them as a teacher, but it wasn’t until after that time that the qualification became a full degree.

More than 1,200 former students of the University, including many members of the same families and couples who met while studying at Worcester, will receive the honorary award, in recognition of their contribution to education. Almost 800 are attending the ceremony, at Worcester Cathedral, and those unable to attend will have their awards posted to them.

David Morphy, President of the University of Worcester Alumni Association, said: “The Alumni Honorary Awards Degree Ceremony will be an historic occasion when university staff, former students, friends and families join together to celebrate the achievement of our alumni.”

Past lecturers and staff from the 1946 to 1977 era have also been invited to attend the ceremony, which also includes a special reception back at the University.

Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor, said: “The University of Worcester was founded as an Emergency Teacher Training College in 1946. Many of the first students were ex-service men and women. In a victorious nation, exhausted by six long years of all-out war, there was a steely determination to win the peace through education.

“City of Worcester Training College sprang to life and quickly became one of the country’s leading teacher training colleges. Over the years the College grew considerably. In recent years we have earned full University status and the power to award our own taught and research degrees – all conferred by the Privy Council after thorough and detailed inspections. We now have more than 10,000 students and 1,000 staff. Our teacher training is still rated outstanding by Ofsted, but our excellence in teacher education has been joined by excellence in many other fields from nursing and midwifery through sports science to research in pollen and the field of aerobiology.

“None of this would have been possible without the strong foundations developed by the staff and students of the former teacher training College who gave birth to today’s University. We feel strongly that the very positive contribution to society as a whole of the graduates of the former College should be recognised.”