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Abertay celebrates student success at Winter Graduation Ceremony

28 November 2014

The achievements of around 350 students were celebrated in the Caird Hall today (Friday 28 November), at Abertay University’s Winter Graduation Ceremony.

As well as the students, more than 1,000 members of their families and friends gathered from around the world for the celebrations.

Degrees were conferred by Abertay's Chancellor, Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, in subjects as diverse as Biomedical Sciences, Computer Games Development, Ethical Hacking and Sport & Exercise Science.

The Ceremony included the award of an Honorary Doctorate in Liberal Arts to Stephen Wordsworth, a former senior diplomat who is now Executive Director of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA).

Congratulating the new graduates on their success, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Seaton said at the ceremony: “You have all mastered a subject and – equally importantly – you have also learnt how to learn. You know how to approach complex situations, to collect and analyse information, and to solve problems.

“This, by the way, is why we emphasise workplace simulations in our teaching at Abertay. It is a good way to learn, and a great way to learn how to learn, throughout your working lives.

“Of course, an Abertay education is not just a preparation for the world of work. It is a preparation for life, and I know that your experience at Abertay will equip you for voluntary work, public service and a whole range of contributions to the wider community.

“Indeed, I know that many of you have already made such contributions while at the University.

“As you go out into the world, as part of the Abertay Class of 2014, you are lifelong members of the Abertay Alumni Network – part of a diverse community of over 25,000 alumni who live and work throughout the world and are proud to say they studied at Abertay.”


For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Manager) – T: 01382 308522 M: 07837 250284 E:


Stephen Wordsworth

After graduating from Cambridge in 1977 with a degree in German and Russian he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), working on Britain’s relations with the Soviet Union. His first overseas posting was in Moscow, from 1979-1981, during the Cold War.

His subsequent overseas postings, interspersed with tours of duty in the UK, were Lagos, Bonn, NATO, Moscow again, as Deputy Head of Mission from 2003-2005, and finally Belgrade, where he served as Ambassador from 2006-2010.

Highlights along the way included two years (1988-1990) as FCO Head of Section responsible for Berlin under its old ‘Four-Power’ status and for relations with the German Democratic Republic, through the period when the Berlin Wall came down and Germany was peacefully reunified; and his NATO tour (1994-1998), when he served at the military headquarters in Mons as a Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and the military staff through the first years of the NATO-led Peace Implementation Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After leaving the FCO in 2010, he joined the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) as Executive Director. CARA was founded in 1933 by William Beveridge and other leading UK academics, to rescue their colleagues who were being expelled from Nazi Germany and to help them to make a new start.

Over 80 years later, CARA is still supporting university-level teachers and researchers from all around the world who have been forced to flee to the UK or to other countries, whether permanently or for temporary sanctuary.

CARA has also recently developed programmes to support academics in the Middle East and Zimbabwe seeking to continue their work there, despite the risks. CARA is supported by a growing ‘network’ of universities across the UK – currently 104, including Abertay University – who work with CARA in various ways to support academic freedom.

He has been honoured by the Queen with the awards of Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO, 1992) and Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG, 2011), and also holds the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is married (Nichole, also a former diplomat), with one son.

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