Celebrating the contributions that GSM London students play in shaping and developing the institution was a key theme at this month’s graduating ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London.
Professor Simon Payne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth, opened the ceremony with a focus on the importance of widening participation and how “anyone who has the ability and aspiration to study in higher education should have the ability to do so regardless of race or colour”.
Graduation was split into two sessions - morning and afternoon - with students receiving certificates for their various academic efforts, including some of GSM London’s body of lecturers.
Success and reputation
Students were urged to be proud of their achievements as these were reflected in the reputation of GSM London. “For us to be seen as a success, it depends on the impact we have on our future,” said Debi Hayes, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at GSM London. She also pointed to the strides being made at the institution, from the increased focus on careers and employability to applauding students for being a driving force in delivering learning change through their experiences inside and outside of the institution.
These positive gains are reflected in the successful revalidation of programme courses. Also a positive was that Greenwich campus is at full capacity, while the Greenford campus is establishing itself within the local community, Debi said.
Elliott Cox's election as the new Student Union President was warmly welcomed, particularly in his work to shape the constitution, and forge better networks between students and staff. Elliott was among the graduates to pick up his certificate during the ceremony.
Cultivating transferable skills was reinforced by Professor Payne who urged students to be the spark of positive change in areas they choose to work.
“You are developing skills that will position you to success in this increasingly global society,” he said. Meanwhile, GSM London Chair Sir Bob Burgess encouraged students to use their talents, skills and ideas to make a difference.
Student Representative Shermine Etandiap Miguel Grigorius was the voice of the graduating cohort and used her platform to thank GSM London staff, particularly Christy Traore - Executive Dean / Pro Provost for academic delivery - for supporting her during her studies and encouraging open dialogue. She rounded off her speech by reminding graduates that: “It’s not about how far we go but how far we have come”.