University of Gibraltar Celebrates Its Fourth Graduation

The University of Gibraltar celebrated its fourth graduation ceremony on Saturday 2nd December 2023.
12th December 2023

The event celebrated the academic achievement of 100 graduates from the University’s BBA, MBA, MA Leadership and Management, PGCE, Master’s in Marine Science and Climate Change, Applied Clinical Psychology programmes, and notably, the first cohort of students from the BSc Adult Nursing programme.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Catherine Bachleda opened the ceremony by congratulating all those graduating and stating how proud all the Unigib team were of their achievements. She then outlined how the University ensured all its programmes were industry relevant and of the highest quality, and how, for every graduating cohort to date, this had supported an employment rate of between 92 to 97% within 6 months of graduating. She also noted that in a recent survey, 96% of University of Gibraltar students felt satisfied that the knowledge and skills they took away from their programmes would support their career aspirations.

For his part, the University’s Chancellor, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, spoke to the graduating students, about the hard work and resilience needed to complete their studies saying “You are a credit to the university, to Gibraltar and to yourselves, and I would like to wish you all the very best of luck. Take the experiences that you have gained and use them to inform new ones. Take the knowledge that you have attained – and use it to transform your life and the lives of those around you. Today is your day – but it is also your tomorrow”. He also expressed his pleasure at seeing so many students graduating, including the number of international students discovering the many wonders the Rock has to offer.

Addressing graduates via a video message, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo congratulated them and said, “I want to express to you, the pride of all the people of Gibraltar in how the University is developing and how our graduates now show that this is a University that we can all be proud of”.

Minister for the University of Gibraltar, the Hon Pat Orfila, reflected on the historical development of the current system for supporting tertiary studies in Gibraltar and hoped that those graduating had been inspired through their studies to move through life with enthusiasm. She commented, “Life will be tough at times but don’t let this get you down. Follow your dreams, look at yourselves today and look at what you have achieved. You believed in yourselves and put your minds to it and by God you did it. Class of 23, you made it!”

The University also recognised Dr Kenneth Ruiz, bestowing him with the Special Recognition Award for his support of the MSc Marine Science and Climate Change programme ever since providing logistical support in terms of facilitating research on-board his vessel. He commented “Every year I get to meet a new 20 or so individuals who have come to Gib from around the world to take this course in Marine Sciences and Climate Change. They each have disparate and unique experiences, which informs their perspectives and views on all matters, not just marine. So, on the back of my boat, under the guise of photographing the sea bed or collecting plankton or whatever the research project involves, we get to discuss a whole range of issues well beyond the marine theme, which serves to keep my mind active and broadens my horizons, and for this I am truly grateful both to the students themselves, and to the University which permits me to continue to do so.”

Each programme saw Valedictorians sharing words with their fellow graduates. Adult Nursing Valedictorian, David King, wrote a speech which was read out by Head of School James Vinales, whilst Marine Science Valedictorian Jule Buschmann, who is currently working in the Maldives, sent a video recording of her speech. Valedictorians from the remaining programmes, including Emily Pile (PGCE), Romina Moreno (MALM), Liam Crisp (MBA) and Gabriella Requena (BBA), all gave heart-warming speeches in person.

Graduating students each received their certificates as well as a goody bag that included a lapel pin in the shape of the Gibraltar key. The locally produced pin references the University’s motto, ‘knowledge is the key to success’, and also echoes the key on Gibraltar’s own flag. It also acts as a symbol of their membership of the University’s Alumni Network.