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Hope Celebrates First Ever 'Virtual' Graduation

Liverpool Hope University has held its first ever ‘virtual graduation’ - with the event taking place online for successful education students. 

Like every other university in the UK, Hope has had to adapt due to social distancing restrictions brought about by the global pandemic.

And for the first time in the University’s long history, this week’s graduation ceremony for newly-qualified teachers moved online to be hosted live on YouTube. 

Friday saw three live sessions take place for Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Education (PGCE and PGDE) graduates, live from the Hope Chapel. 

In a heartfelt address to those watching, Reverend Canon and Professor Kenneth Newport, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “It’s a great pleasure to be able to spend the next few minutes with you. Unfortunately, for reasons that we all know, we cannot be here together in this chapel. 

“But though dispersed, we can at least share the time together if we can’t share the physical space together. 

“Liverpool Hope University was established to do precisely what we are celebrating right now. That is to be a place where teachers of the highest quality are formed. 

“The University has been engaged in this important work for over 175 years. And now, as our latest graduates, you join this long and proud tradition. 

“You go out as Hope teachers - joining the many thousands who have gone out from here before - to do good in the world. To support and encourage. To educate. To nurture. To care for and inform those who are placed in your care. 

“As newly qualified teachers you carry a huge responsibility on your shoulders. For in the hands of the profession, to which you now belong, lies the education of the nation’s children and young people.”

kenneth newport ceremony

Addressing individual teachers themselves, Professor Newport added: “Listen up, because I’ve got something to say to you individually. 

"As a teacher you will influence thousands. As a teacher you will help form hundreds. As a teacher you can raise the ambition and achievement of the individual. 

“I cannot think of more important work, I really can’t. Children yet unborn are depending on you. Parents wanting the best for their sons and daughters need your help. 

“Society is looking to you to help shape a better world.”

Posing the question, ‘Why are you a teacher?’, a question to be asked particularly during the hard times, Professor Newport told viewers: “If you have an answer to that question, if it’s a deep, personal and existential answer, if it’s about your life’s meaning and purpose and your sense of vocation and self worth, your desire to do good, to improve the life chances of others, then I am going to be so bold as to make a prediction - that answer will sustain you. 

“Don’t lose sight of the ‘why’. Enjoy today and celebrate your success in whatever way Covid restrictions allow.”

In the programme notes accompanying the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerald Pillay welcomed graduates into the wider Hope family. 

He commented: “Of course, today is not the end of your relationship with the University. You are now ambassadors of Liverpool Hope University and, as a member of the Hope Alumni Association, your link with the University continues.

“Please stay in touch with us and let me know where you are and what you go on to do.”

The online event, like any other graduation ceremony, culminated in the names of individual graduates read aloud as a form of ‘presentation’ of their award. 

You’ll be able re-watch the graduation ceremony for yourself via Hope’s official YouTube channel. 


Published on 30/10/2020