Prestigious Graduation Ceremonies from Metropolitan College in Athens and Thessaloniki
In a highly festive and emotional atmosphere, graduates of Metropolitan College in Athens and Thessaloniki celebrated the successful completion of their studies at the brilliant Graduation Ceremonies that took place at the Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls respectively.
During the ceremonies attended more than 3,500 distinguished guests and graduates’ family members, graduates were applauded as they received their degrees from three reputable British Universities, Solent University in Southampton, Queen Margaret University and the University of East London. This year's ceremony in Athens was marked by the presentation of degrees to the first graduates of the School of Maritime Studies, the first graduates of Occupational Therapy, Biomedical Science and Culinary Arts, the sole university programme addressed to Chefs in Greece.
The President of Metropolitan College, Mr Konstantinos Rodopoulos, opened the brilliant ceremony in the packed hall "Christos Lambrakis' and, in a state of great emotion, congratulated the graduates on their success and thanked their families for the confidence they have shown in Metropolitan College. He said: "This is the first step you take to enter the professional arena, where essential knowledge and hard work are rewarded. We have provided you with the resources and the way of thinking. So you have the scientific ability to withstand competition. But it takes a lot of work and continuous retraining. For us, life is what we do, it is a vision that we have embraced for years. And our work is rewarded when every year we see more and more graduates at ceremonies like tonight." Special mention was made to the former Minister of Education, Mr Aris Spiliotopoulos, who chose Metropolitan College to pursue his studies in the Postgraduate Programme of Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching.
The guest speaker in the Athens ceremony was Ms Anastasia Andritsou, Director of the British Council in Greece, who said "Tonight is a day celebrating the high level of academic education. The British Council and Metropolitan College are associated through a long and very constructive cooperation. The College from which you graduate today is one of the most important, the most reliable, the largest providers of British education in Greece. The degree you will hold in your hands will give you a very strong foundation to build on. Always seek quality - as in the choice of studies you have done - and be open to learning. Tough work, dedication, perseverance and patience must accompany you throughout your life. "
In Thessaloniki, the guest speaker was Mr Konstantinos Michalos, President of the Central Union of Greek Chambers, who said: "As a Chamber Community we believe in public education, at the same time, however, we strongly advocate that higher education should cease to be in a state of monopoly. We have repeatedly supported the request for a revision of Article 16 of the Constitution, because we believe that – in compliance with the appropriate standards - the operation of non-state universities can become an essential lever of economic and social development in Greece. The example of prestigious and outward-looking private educational institutions like Metropolitan College provides us with a strong argument to continue to support this position."
James Bryce, Deputy Head of the British Embassy in Greece, also attended the ceremony, who said: "Your success today is a success for both Greece and the UK! The qualifications you acquired during your studies at Metropolitan College will make a positive contribution to your professional development. Greece has become an international training centre. Metropolitan College is a great educational success and it is also one of the most successful models of transnational education. That's why it is a great honour for me to be here with you at this special moment ... The road you have chosen is an indication of the strong Greek-British relationship and it outlines the best for the future of Greece. I wish you and Greece the best! "
The Graduation Ceremonies both in Athens and in Thessaloniki were also attended by senior academic staff from the partner British Universities. The University of East London was represented in the Athens ceremony by Prof. Hassan Abdalla, Deputy Vice Chancellor, and Dean Curtis, Acting Vice Chancellor in the ceremony in Thessaloniki. Similarly, Queen Margaret University was represented in the Athens ceremony by Prof. Brigid Daniel, Dean of the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management and Prof. Fiona Coutts, Dean of School of Health Sciences in the ceremony in Thessaloniki. Solent University - with which Metropolitan College has entered into collaboration for the provision of its Maritime Academy due to operate from the next academic year in the heart of Piraeus - was represented by Tere Daly, Pro Vice-Chancellor of External Relations of the University.
The highlight of the Athens ceremony was when all attendees warmly welcomed award-winning Metropolitan College students, who distinguished themselves this year with their social and humanitarian work in action programmes for children in refugee camps, but also in actions aimed at educating people with disabilities on issues of autonomous living. In addition - as every year - the graduates with the highest degree classification were also awarded a prize. Both graduation ceremonies in Athens and Thessaloniki closed with the presentation of the award for "ACADEMIC ETHOS & INTEGRITY", which a faculty member of Metropolitan College receives every year for their ethos and consistency demonstrated during their teaching career as well as the award for "ACADEMIC CONTRIBUTION" to academics who stand out for their longrunning and substantial academic work.