Graduations are family affair | University of Bedfordshire

The recent catch-up graduation ceremonies at the University of Bedfordshire proved to be a generational event, as some graduates celebrated with both close and extended family members.

Over two weeks last month, the University held a series of in-person ceremonies at the Luton campus, for 2020 and 2021 graduates who had their ceremonies disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taiybah Hussain, an Accounting and Finance graduate, follows in the footsteps of six siblings who have all graduated from the University of Bedfordshire. The siblings, alongside their parents, all came along to celebrate Taiybah on graduation day.

She said: “The success of each family member started at this university. After hearing the experiences my siblings had, emphasising the professional teaching and exceptional support provided by Beds, which left them with lifelong memories to share with their children – this is why Bedfordshire will continue to be our top choice from all universities.

“The in-person ceremony was an unbelievable opportunity and was lovely seeing old friends and meeting new people. I’d like to appreciate my university lecturers who provided me with endless support, especially since the circumstances in my final year were so different due to Covid.”

A set of twins also took part in these special ceremonies, as Faheem and Fayiz Mannisseri – who have studied alongside each other from pre-school to now completing their Masters in Business Administration – shared the experience together.

The brothers said: “During the MBA, we gained knowledge in real life experience of how to professionally perform. On the top of that, the university management strategy to support students was fantastic.

“Study with the University of Bedfordshire is a turning point in our lives and a big step towards our career goal. Thank you to the University of Bedfordshire staff members – we’re pleased to be part of the University and proud to share our experience to the coming generation.”

The family connections didn’t stop there as Aslam Khan, a member of the University’s Board of Governors, presided over his daughter Iram’s graduation ceremony as she gained her Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology.

Aslam is also a member of the University Court and spoke about his pride at witnessing his daughter’s graduation, commenting: “I studied at the University of Bedfordshire when it was a polytechnic. I have grown within the education system and worked for three of the top ten Pharmaceutical companies in the world and now being the Deputy Leader of the Council and Governor of the University.

“It was a proud moment to see my daughter graduate, and also very emotional. Being able to award her with her Bachelors of Sciences in Psychology was an incredible experience for us both. This is a wonderful University, enabling our young people to have the skills to flourish and become successful within their future prospects.”

Iram added: “My graduation was an honourable moment for me. The whole university experience has been one that I shall always cherish as I created beautiful memories. As a result, it has made me who I am today and enabled me to reach my purpose and potential in helping others. I am forever grateful for the opportunities and skills the University has given me.

“Equally, it was an incredible yet emotional experience as my Father was able to present me with my award, being a Governor of the University and receiving this award from him made it a very special and unique moment for me.”

Chris Marshall is the Executive Dean of the Business School, which is home to Taiybah and the twins’ courses.

He said: “The June graduation ceremonies really brought home to me and the staff of the Business School the importance of our commitment to people and the work we do with our local Luton and Bedford communities. As an anchor educational institution, we are very proud to celebrate family success.

“For Faheem and Fayiz, it was a dual family graduation and our best wishes go to both and we wish them every success. Quite remarkably, Taiybah was the latest member of the Hussain family to have been awarded their degrees from the University of Bedfordshire. How proud their mother and father were, and it was just great to be able to share the family moment. The family makes a huge contribution to Luton and the surrounding economy – we wish them every success.”

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