On Thursday, 21 September 2017 we celebrated the International Commencement Ceremony to welcome our new international students to Bournemouth University, the region and the UK. Over 620 students, staff and key dignitaries from the region attended and made the night a huge success. Now in its third year, BU’s unique International Commencement Ceremony has established itself as an innovative, sector-leading celebration of international students in the UK.
The local MP for Bournemouth West, Conor Burns, emphasised how welcome BU’s international students are in Bournemouth and how proud he is of their contribution to society and culture, regionally and nationally.
This year we were delighted to be joined by two incredibly inspiring keynote speakers, Lord Karan Bilimoria, a strong advocate for international students, and Sophie Kinsella, a best-selling author with a strong connection to Dorset. Lord Karan Bilimoria, a passionate advocate of international students and a former international student himself, delivered a thought provoking and inspiring speech about his own personal story of success, encouraging students to be brave and creative during their time in the UK and in their future careers.
The second guest speaker of the evening was bestselling author, Sophie Kinsella, who has strong links to the region having grown-up and gone to school in Dorset. As well as providing some great insights into the best places to visit and food to try in Dorset, Sophie inspired the audience with some reflections from her own personal success, and one table was lucky to win some hand-signed books of hers.
The evening’s celebrations concluded in fitting style with a dance performance from local students who impressed the audience with their interpretation of different dance-styles and cultures from around the world.