05 August 2010

World goes online to watch Essex graduation ceremonies

Students celebrate graduation at the University of Essex

From Argentina to Zambia, people have been logging in to watch the University of Essex graduation ceremonies.

This is the first time the University has ever streamed footage of the event live online and analysis by its Web and Learning Technology team shows over the three days of graduation there were more than 17,000 hits on this section of the website.

The figures also reveal people were watching online in more than 70 countries and the viewer furthest from the Colchester Campus - where the graduation ceremonies took place - was watching nearly 19,000km away in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Rachel Frost, who co-ordinates the University’s graduation ceremonies, said; “As a University we are very proud of our international reputation, with students from nearly 130 countries studying with us.

“By providing a live streaming of the graduation ceremonies online, it allowed the celebrations to be shared across the world and we are glad to see that so many people took the opportunity to watch.

“This is the first time we have provided this service and it was on a trial basis, so we are very pleased with how well it has been received.

“We will now review feedback from our students, their families and members of staff to see if there are any improvements we can make for next year.”

More than 2,000 students from across the University’s Colchester, Loughton and Southend campuses attended the graduation ceremonies with many of their friends and family able to come along to share in the celebrations.

The University decided to stream the ceremonies online so students, family members and loved ones who were unable to attend could still share in the day.

Countries where the graduation ceremonies were viewed online include: Argentina, Angola. Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Holland, Iceland, India, Iran, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

At the graduation ceremonies students were joined by highly respected guests from the worlds of politics, entertainment, business and social reform.

Those receiving Honorary Degrees included Speaker of the House of Commons Rt Hon John Bercow MP, comedian and actor Griff Rhys Jones, former Chairman of the Football Association Lord Triesman, former Chief Executive of BT Global Services Hanif Lalani OBE and Chief Executive of the Family and Parenting Institute Dr Katherine Rake OBE.

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