2020 applicants
News

A second chance to graduate after 26 years

  • Date

    Thu 27 Jul 17

An Essex graduate has finally picked up his degree – 26 years after successfully completing his studies.

Every year, there are students who complete their degrees but are unable to attend graduation ceremonies because of unexpected circumstances or personal commitments. We now offer alumni who missed out a second chance to apply for a place at a ceremony.

Yuh Choo missed his original graduation ceremony as he had to return to Singapore to complete the final six months of his two and a half years of National Service. Ironically, had he been graduating this year, he wouldn’t have missed out, as the National Service period has now been reduced to two years.

Professor Tsang and Yuh Choo)
Professor Tsang and Yuh Choo

Mr Choo, who now runs his own optical networks business, completed his MSc in Computer Studies in 1991 and hasn’t been back to England since. As he explained: "Once I had completed my National Service, I didn’t have the money to come back to England.

"It is a privilege to be here now – to see how things have changed and to meet up with Professor Tsang, who taught me. He is the only member of teaching staff, who taught me, who is still around.

"I have very fond memories of being here and I am very grateful to the University for giving me the opportunity to come back. I wouldn’t have made the trip, if it wasn’t for today’s ceremony."

Keymir Orazov also graduated this year. He missed his original graduation as he was in Central Asia advising the United Nations Human Rights Council on ways of improving the plight of those classed as ‘stateless’ – where no country recognises them as citizens.

He graduated in International Human Rights Law in 2009 and continues to use his Essex training - he now runs his own business, based in Turkmenistan. He flew in especially for the graduation ceremony.

“It’s very strange to be here after all this time, but I am very happy,” he said.

Keymir Orazov)
Keymir Orazov

Seven alumni including Yuh and Keymir returned to graduate this year, travelling from as far afield as Thailand and New Zealand.

If you're an Essex alumni who was unable to attend Graduation for personal reasons, contact alumni@essex.ac.uk to find out more.