Study Abroad: University of Essex celebrates graduation day ceremony for Indian students in Delhi

80 University of Essex students participated in the graduation ceremony, four alumni were awarded the VC award.

Study Abroad: The first-ever graduation ceremony in India coincided with the 60th anniversary of the University of EssexStudy Abroad: The first-ever graduation ceremony in India coincided with the 60th anniversary of the University of Essex

Pritha Roy Choudhury | February 22, 2024 | 02:16 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The University of Essex celebrated its graduation day ceremony for its Indian students on February 18, 2024 in New Delhi. The first-ever graduation ceremony in India coincided with the 60th anniversary of the university. Eighty graduates or alumni, along with their family and friends, participated in the celebration.

“The ceremony is a celebration of academic success and also a testament to the diverse and inclusive community that is the heart of our university,” said Anthony Forster, vice-chancellor. The University of Essex was ranked 18th in the UK for economics by QS World University Rankings 2023.

According to David O’Mahony, dean of partnerships (research) and professor at the School of Law, the celebration is not just about students, but also about the wider family circle, “We must embrace that and make the effort to come to the home countries to make sure that everyone celebrates the magnificent achievement of that period of study.”

The graduation ceremony was held in India to give a memorable experience to the Indian students and their extended family members, said Forster, adding, “Holding the ceremony in New Delhi allows us to offer the opportunity for more friends and families to join the University of Essex graduation ceremony. It is a special way to say thank you to our growing community of graduates in India, and give them a moment to either graduate for the first time or graduate again but surrounded by their friends and families in their country.”

Also read Indian students turning away from UK universities, latest figures show

University of Essex: Students, attendees

All the 80 students who attended the graduation ceremony had a chance to shake hands with the Vice Chancellor and pose for a photo-op. Students from across streams like data science, data analytics, law, mathematics, and business were awarded degrees.

Four alumni were awarded the Vice Chancellor's award in recognition of what they have done with the Essex degree. The awardees included Manish Michael, who studied master's in theory and practice of human rights in 2005; Anushree Srivastava who studied at Essex in 2016, graduated with an MSc in biotechnology and is presently researching life on Mars; Ankit Mehrotra, a leading entrepreneur who graduated from Essex in 2005 in computer and telecommunications engineering; and Sanchita Ain who graduated from Essex in 2013 and is now a practising lawyer in India and an advocate for people with disabilities.

Five members of a graduating student or alumnus could attend the graduation ceremony free of cost. Tickets had to be bought for any extra attendee at 15 GBP per attendee. The two-hour-long event witnessed close to 500 attendees.

Indian students, scholarships

The university has about 2,000 Indian students registered.

Talking about what Indians prefer, O’Mahony said that the majority of the students enrol in postgraduate programmes, and many also enrol in undergraduate programmes. But a relatively small number form the PhD cohort.

Academic Excellence International master’s scholarships for Indian students worth up to 3,000 GBP are available for students enrolling for the January 2024 intake. The grant is a partial tuition fee waiver. Also, the university is giving a bursary to cover health costs.

Further, the Vice-Chancellor Global Talent Scholarship is available for undergraduate and postgraduate Indian students for the January 2024 intake.

“We are also giving all of our students who register with us a bursary to cover all the health costs because that's another expense and we are very aware of the cost of living. So, we are offering these to help students with the financial burden,” said O’Mahony.

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UK student visa regulation

Talking about the impact of visa regulation for international students, Forster pointed out that it was much better than the visa regulations in countries like Canada or Australia.

“Last year there was a reduction of about 4% of students, but Essex recognises that the cost of studying abroad is challenging. So we've got a very competitive scholarship for students – 4,000 GBP and 3,000 GBP for Indian students.”

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