From education to employment

Honorary Degrees for almost 700 graduates of former teacher training colleges

Almost 700 former teachers – 90 per cent of them women – received Honorary Bachelor of Education Degrees in a special graduation ceremony at the University of London yesterday (27 June 2023). 

The new graduates were awarded Certificates of Education from teacher training colleges before the mid-1980s since which time teachers have been required to complete a graduate or postgraduate course.

Recipients of teaching certificates have gone on to teach generations of young people across the world. To celebrate their dedication, and in recognition of the value of teaching certificates, the University of London presented the teachers with Honorary Bachelor of Education degrees.

The Honorary Graduates had attended seven teaching colleges based in the London region that have since closed but for whom the University of London was the awarding body. These were Coloma College of Education, Maria Assumpta Teacher Training College, Sittingbourne College of Education, Nonington College of Physical Education, Stockwell College of Education, Thomas Huxley College, Philippa Fawcett and Furzedown College of Education, which includes Philippa Fawcett Teacher Training College and Furzedown Teacher Training College.

Two very special Honorary Graduates received their awards in February. Madge Brown, 101, and Sheila Gordon, 94 were presented with Honorary Degrees in Education from Professor Mary Stiasny, Pro-Vice Chancellor, at Madge’s residence on the Isle of Wight.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wendy Thomson CBE, said:

“Today’s honorary graduates join a global network of more than half a million University of London alumni around the world.  I thank each honorary graduate for choosing to be teacher, for their dedication and for their patience in waiting to receive this degree.” 

Pro Vice-Chancellor, International, Learning and Teaching, Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, said: 

“It’s an inspiring thought that between them, today’s Honorary Graduates have so many years of teaching experience. Just think how many children’s lives have been enriched because of the education they received from these amazing teachers, each of whom has made a positive contribution to society, and all of whom are deeply deserving of their Honorary Degrees.”

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