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The University of West London honours high-profile figures at 2012 Graduation Ceremony

The University of West London recognised a wide range of industry leaders with honorary degrees at its annual graduation ceremony, which was held at London's iconic Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th November 2012.

The honoraries were joined by more than 2,500 graduates celebrating a key milestone in their educational careers, as they were recognised for their respective achievements in fields such as film, TV, music, hospitality, law and healthcare. The graduation ceremony marks the end of another strong year for the University, which reported 91% of its students gaining full-time employment within six months of graduating.

Each of the University of West London's eight schools bestowed honorary degrees to recognise business success, contributions to business and cultural life and long-term support for the University's work.

The University of West London's 2012 honoraries are

  • Filmmaker Tony Palmer, FRGS
  • Multi award-winning British film and television composer, David Arnold
  • Founder of Film Design International (FDI), Terry Ackland-Snow
  • Chief Executive of the Institute of Hospitality, Philippe Rossiter, FIH
  • Founder of Harrison Catering Services Ltd, Geoffrey Harrison
  • Chairman of Hospitality Action and Scannappeal, William Baxter, CBE
  • Founder of Cobra Beer Ltd, Lord Bilimoria, CBE DL
  • Founder of G.L.A Hotels Grace Leo
  • Founder, Chairman and CEO of WSH Ltd and Owner of Baxter Storey Benugo, Portico, Holroyd, Howe Independent and Caterlink, Alastair Storey
  • Clinical Lead for NHS Ealing and Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Paul Thomas
  • National Assessor for the Department of Health for Clinical Psychologists, Dr Zenobia Nadirshaw
  • Barrister, Josephine de Souza
  • Barrister, Professor Paul Dobson

University honorary Alastair Storey commented, 'The University has developed an excellent reputation in the hospitality industry over the years and it has a great vision for future. The hospitality industry makes a 7.5 per cent contribution to the UK economy- we hear an awful lot about financial services but our industry also has a lot to shout about. The University's hospitality school has so much to be proud of; it has a key role in this successful industry and the way it brings talented people through and developing them.'

Honorary William Baxter CBE commented, 'I'm delighted to be able to put something back into the hospitality industry; I've had a great career and it's a pleasure to be able to try to inspire these students and offer to share my experience with the young talent here today that are the future.'

University of West London graduate reactions

Diana Jimenez-Quintana, who earned a BA in Photography and won Photographer of the Year at Guardian Student Media Awards 2012, commented, 'I most enjoyed the freedom to choose my own topics. I studied full-time so the facilities available at the university were very important to me. The labs were great, excellent lighting equipment and dark room.'

Aaron Musili, who studied International Culinary Arts part-time over 2 years, commented, 'Before I started my course, I did not fully appreciate the other side of the catering industry- the management of time, finances and staff. I now realise there was so much more to the industry, and my course has helped me tremendously in my job, developing the menu and commercial potential at the Black Horse gastropub in Northallarton.'

Preeti Bassi, who studied a Masters in Human Resource Management, commented, 'I found the course gave me interesting tutorials, good lecturers, and there was always relevant information that I could to take to my work the following day. I learned a lot, and it is of course great to have a certificate at the end of the two years. I am currently working at Diageo, who funded my study; I have recommended this course to my managers, and Diageo will be sending some of my colleagues to study next year.'