Summer graduations 2023: University’s first paramedic and policing apprentices to join celebrations

With a week to go, the University of Cumbria is making final preparations for its summer 2023 graduation ceremonies.

The spectacular surroundings of the historic Carlisle Cathedral will once again welcome more than 1,000 graduands for a series of graduation ceremonies.

Thousands of guests are expected to attend across eight ceremonies that are scheduled to take place over three days, namely:

  • Tuesday 18 July – ceremonies start at 10am, 12noon, and 3pm
  • Wednesday 19 July – ceremonies start at 10am, 12noon, and 3pm
  • Thursday 20 July – ceremonies start at 10am and 12noon.

The university will welcome four notable recipients of honorary awards over the course of the celebrations. They are:

Tuesday 18 July 2023 | 12noon ceremony

Mrs Claire Hensman CVO – being awarded an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her lifelong and outstanding contribution to charity, community and service to the Monarchy in Cumbria.

Wednesday 19 July 2023 | 10am ceremony

Professor Graham Wren OBE FREng FRSE – west Cumbria born leader in science, technology and innovation – being awarded an Honorary Doctorate

Wednesday 19 July 2023 | 3pm ceremony

Professor Patricia Anne Harriss RN SCPHN FRCN FFOM (Hon) FRSA NTF Queen’s Nurse – being awarded an Honorary Doctorate

Thursday 20 July 2023 | 12noon ceremony

Professor Helen James OBE EurIng CEng FIMechE FHEA BSc (Hons) MA DBA – south Cumbria-born national leader in engineering and education, being awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cumbria.

As part of its Towards 2030 vision to build workforce skills, and in a University of Cumbria first, inaugural cohorts of students who have completed degree apprenticeships whilst working on as frontline student paramedics and police officers across England are graduating.

Highlights include:

Wednesday 19 July

  • 200 paramedic degree apprentices from across the country, including London, are graduating. They are from seven of the 11 ambulance trusts in England that the university is working with to upskill the workforce and provide more frontline paramedics – a key aim of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan
    Helen Michael - Alumnus of the Year July 2023
  • Alumnus of the Year – nurse Helen Michael, of Manchester and originally from rural north Cumbria, (pictured, right) whose impressive healthcare career has included roles delivering specialist health and sexual advice to young people in disadvantaged communities, delivering health care in prisons, as a research nurse for the innovative Salford Lung Study, serving as a Care Quality Commission inspector, and most recently working within NHS Professionals (an organisation owned by the Department for Health and Social Care, which provides flexible staffing to NHS trusts with the aim of reducing agency spend).

Thursday 20 July

  • The university’s first Police Constable Degree Apprentices and Degree Holder Entry Programme graduates who are frontline police officers from Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire Constabularies educated by the Universities of Cumbria, Canterbury Christ Church, Portsmouth, and Middlesex under the umbrella of the Police Education Consortium to help meet a national need for more police officers.
  • Spirit of Cumbria award winner Elizabeth (Lizzie) Molloy. This special award celebrates current graduands who exemplify the university’s values in being progressive, personal, and engaged, and who are exceptional role models in and outside of the university. Law graduand Lizzie is being recognised for her tenacity and dedication to her education and studies, including her service as a student representative, Law Society President, her fundraising and organisational activities, and how she has contributed to the life, vibrancy and growth of the university’s Law School throughout her studies.
  • International students from around the world who have completed programmes with the university’s Zurich-based partner Robert Kennedy College, as well as others who have completed specialist project management and STEM programmes with partner colleges and training providers including Lakes College West Cumbria, Gen2, Southport College, Nelson and Colne College, and Furness College.

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