Almost 4,000 students are due to receive their degrees in Sussex University’s biggest ever graduation ceremony.
They are being handed out by the comedian, author and broadcaster Sanjeev Bhaskar who has been the university’s chancellor for the past eight years.
The summer graduations are taking place all week at the Brighton Centre, starting today (Monday 17 July).
The 3,862 finalists from 106 countries are due to watched by 10,300 guests at 12 ceremonies.
They will be streamed on the university website for family, friends and students across the world who are unable to attend.
Honorary degrees will be awarded to public figures including the former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
Mr Varoufakis led Greece’s ultimately failed attempt to leave the European Union when the Greek people voted against EU austerity measures in 2015.
Other recipients of honorary degrees this week include the fashion designer John Rocha, investigative journalist Duncan Campbell, the director of the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) Becky Parker, pioneering motor neurone disease researcher Dame Pamela Shaw and Ernest Aryeetey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana and secretary-general of the African Research Universities Alliance.
Honorary degrees are also due to be awarded to the film, theatre and television director Topher Cambell, historian and Sussex alumnus Paul Gilroy, writer and journalist Yvonne Roberts and Patrick Spottiswoode from Shakespeare’s Globe.
Among those graduating after studying at Sussex University’s Falmer campus is John Wilkie, 31, who is leaving with a 92 per cent average in computer science to study for a master’s degree at University College London.
Mr Wilkie left school at 16 without any A levels but today graduates as the winner of the MacQuitty Prize, awarded annually to the highest-performing science undergraduate at Sussex.
He said: “It’s the first thing I’ve ever stuck at. Normally I just do things for six months and then get distracted by something else.”
Mr Wilkie said that he was “blown away” by the £10,000 prize, funded by Jonathan MacQuitty who earned a doctorate at Sussex in the 1970s.
Other students due to graduate this week include Solomon Curtis, who stood for Labour against Green MP Caroline Lucas in the Brighton Pavilion constituency during the general election.
Although she held the seat, Mr Curtis lifted the Labour vote and completed his final exams just one week before polling day.
The university said: “He graduates with a bright political future and a determination to effect change.”
Another student graduating after making an outstanding contribution to the university is Brighton-born Aisling Lyle.
She is a first generation student awarded the history department’s prize for her work with the student union, her dissertation on Ireland and memory – and her commitment to traditional Irish music.
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