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Essex’s first new doctors lead graduation ceremonies

Published: 7 July 2023 at 15:00

School of Medicine exterior

More than 2,600 students will graduate from ARU at Chelmsford Cathedral this month

Students from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) will cross the stage to receive their degrees at summer graduation ceremonies in Chelmsford, beginning with the first ever undergraduate Medicine students to qualify in Essex.

Approximately 2,600 students will graduate across 20 ceremonies at Chelmsford Cathedral between Monday, 17 July and Tuesday, 25 July.

The first ceremony, at 11am on Monday, 17 July, will be for the first cohort of ARU Medicine students to receive their degrees after five years of study. The ARU students will also be the first in the country to graduate from one of the new medical schools constructed in response to the expansion of medical school places from 2018.

They will be followed in subsequent ceremonies by students from other ARU faculties, covering areas such as health, business, education and science and engineering, and students from ARU London.

ARU will also bestow honorary degrees on four distinguished guests, who will address students during ceremonies.

Marie Gabriel will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences at a ceremony on Monday, 17 July. Marie is Chair of NHS North East London, the second largest Integrated Health and Care System in England, Co-Chair of the London People Board, a member of the Greater London Authority’s London Health Board, and a member of national advisory groups on leadership development and the NHS’s 75th Birthday. In 2010, Marie was awarded Honorary Freedom of the London Borough of Newham. In the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, she was awarded a CBE for her outstanding contribution to the National Health Service. She has consistently featured in the Health Service Journal’s list of the most influential people in the NHS.

The award of Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences will be bestowed on surgeon, educator, researcher and philanthropist Professor Kevin Cheah on Monday, 17 July. Born in Penang, Malaysia, Professor Cheah came to the UK in 1976 and graduated from Sheffield University Medical School in 1984. In 1996 Professor Cheah was appointed Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Mid-Essex Hospital Trust, Broomfield Hospital. Together with Professor Paul Ingle, Kevin helped set up the Medical Engineering Research Group at ARU, acquiring funding for PhD students, postdoctoral research fellows, and for the design and build of the Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory. With a major clinical interest in the stem cell treatment of articular cartilage defects, Kevin was a co-founder of the UK Biological Knee Society. In collaboration with former ARU Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne, Kevin was instrumental in establishing the Postgraduate Medical Institute, and subsequently the ARU School of Medicine.

Ravi Gill, Chairman of ARU London, will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Education during a ceremony on Friday, 21 July. Ravi is an educator, entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of the London College of Accountancy, and Chairman of ARU London. Born and raised in modest surroundings in India, Ravi came to the UK at the age of 14 and he went on to study accountancy. In 2000, Ravi founded the London College of Accountancy, or LCA. Within 18 months, the college had gained Platinum Status, the highest teaching accolade awarded by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. In January this year, Ravi was bestowed the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2023 New Year Honours List in recognition of his services to higher education in the UK.

Felicia Odamtten, founder of The Black Economists Network (TBEN), will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Business Administration during a ceremony on Tuesday, 25 July. Felicia’s professional career began in 2018 when she joined the Government Economic Service as a Faststream Economist, during which time she founded TBEN, which provides a platform through which professionals and students of African and Caribbean descent can connect, collaborate and support each other. Almost four years after its inception, TBEN is promoting discussion of diversity at the UK’s largest employers of economists, including the Bank of England, the Government Economic Service, and The Office for Budget Responsibility.

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