MORE than half of the 1,500 students celebrating their success this week were the first in their families to graduate from university.
The vice-chancellor, Professor Clive Behagg, spoke of his delight after the two-day ceremony and praised the University of Chichester for giving people from all backgrounds the chance of a higher education.
Professor Behagg said: “We’ve just graduated our largest-ever cohort, 1,570 students and it’s been a wonderful day for the students, a wonderful day for their parents and their families and we’ve had some truly amazing honorary awards.
“It’s just been a great two days, I’m completely exhausted, but everybody’s had such a wonderful time.
“If anybody doubts that there is an appetite for university education in this country today, they should come to these graduation ceremonies.
“Fifty-three per cent of students are the first generation in their families to go to university. This is an amazing thing, a real social revolution that we’re leading, it’s such an important day.”
Professor Behagg said more than 30 per cent of those who were graduating came from the lowest income group, adding: “We support students with the most generous bursary scheme in the country and we’ve been rewarded by the growth of the university over the past five years which has been amazing.”