Class of 2023 Graduation

Published: 4 October 2023

In-person graduations returned to Chengdu this June at a jointly-hosted ceremony for Glasgow College graduands and their families, in appropriately grand surroundings.

On June 28th in Chengdu, the University of Glasgow and University of Electronic Science and Technology of China celebrated a double first: our first ever joint graduation ceremony for Glasgow College, UESTC, and our first in-person graduation ceremony since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine hundred guests and 60 staff filled the grand ballroom of the Tivoli Hotel to celebrate the achievements of almost 500 students. The day started with graduands and their proud families arriving for registration. Greeting them at the top of the stairs in a foyer filled with excitement was an illuminated mural illustrating the partnership between Glasgow and Chengdu; the first of many perfect photo opportunities. Students talked animatedly with each other, with their families, and with staff from both universities who mingled with the crowds.

Bagpiper with student at Chengdu graduation

The ceremony began in traditional style with the University of Glasgow’s anthem Gaudeamus Igitur and the procession of Glasgow and UESTC academics, led by the new ceremonial mace specially commissioned for the 10th anniversary of the partnership between the two universities. This was followed by speeches from UESTC's Vice-President of the International Office, Professor Guangchun Luo, and Vice-Chancellor and Principal of University of Glasgow, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli. Also present to mark the moment were: Rachel Sandison, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice Principal of the University of Glasgow; Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez, Head of James Watt School of Engineering; Professor Aiying Di, Head of Administration at UESTC; Professor Ce Zhu, Dean of Glasgow College, UESTC - and Professor Muhammad Imran, Dean of Transnational Engineering Education at UoG.

On stage, Glasgow-based teaching staff sat shoulder to shoulder with their Chengdu counterparts as the graduands of Glasgow College, dressed to impress in robes and gowns, were presented with degree certificates. Many chose to display touches of a distinctive, personal flair to cross the stage, beaming as metaphorical flashbulbs popped on a multitude of digital cameras. After the last now-former student was conferred their degree, the ceremony ended; with a bagpiper - resplendent in full Highland dress - who played the procession out to traditional Scottish tunes, much to the delight of the crowd.

Glasgow College UESTC Senior Management, HoS and Teaching Staff on stage in Chengdu for Graduations 2023

The joy of students to meet - and in many cases, be reunited with - the visiting UoG Professors, lecturers and members of the leadership team who had helped them excel, even through the difficulties of the preceding years, was clear for all to see. One proud parent of a graduating student told members of the visiting Glasgow team how pleased they were with the ceremony and how thankful they were to all who had organised this special event.

Our newest graduates are going on to a wide range of destinations, with 89.5% of them continuing their studies, and 69% heading overseas to destinations including QS World University Ranking Top 20 institutions such as Stanford University, Imperial College London, University College London, National University of Singapore, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, Peking University and Tsinghua University.

UoG and UESTC decorations in Tivoli hotel ballroom lobby

Wherever their destinations, this year’s graduates take memories of a very special day with them. We wish them all the best as they embark on their futures and look forward to welcoming them back to visit!

First published: 4 October 2023