Sat 4 Mar 23
Delighted graduates, their friends and families came together for the University of Essex’s first graduation ceremony in Pakistan.
More than 50 University of Essex graduates joined the celebrations at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad with hundreds of supporters watching and applauding their achievements at what is believed to be the first Graduation ceremony organised by a leading UK university in Pakistan and attended by its Vice-Chancellor.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: "We have received such a warm welcome from everyone in Pakistan and this was a fitting climax to an inspirational week.
"Our alumni community is incredibly important to us and I felt absolutely privileged to meet so many of our amazing Pakistani graduates."
Vice-Chancellor Awards were presented to two outstanding graduates.
Education and environment campaigner Nasira Habib and heritage and human rights champion Nasiruddin Mirza will both receive awards during the historic event.
In her acceptance speech Nasira said: "I feel honoured, humbled and excited at the same time. No award is more prestigious than getting recognized by your alma mater.
"The University set high standards of learning, which encouraged analysis and independence of thinking. Thank you, Essex, for helping me become an independent thinker."
In his acceptance speech Nasiruddin paid tribute to the support of his family and friends and added: "This recognition means a great deal to me. I would like to express my gratitude to the University of Essex for providing me with the opportunity to pursue my academic and personal goals.
"The University of Essex has been a supportive and inclusive community that has allowed me to grow and develop as an individual."
The University of Essex is one of the most international universities in the world and now has more than 700 students from Pakistan studying in the UK at its campuses in Colchester, Southend and Loughton.
During his visit Professor Forster also visited the National University of Science & Technology and Bahria University to build new partnerships.