Hundreds of students from the University of Bedfordshire’s Business School gathered to celebrate their graduation.
In front of proud families and friends, the students took to the stage at the University’s Putteridge Bury campus to collect their awards.
They were joined by Jane Ashton, the Director for Sustainability at Luton-based travel company TUI. She was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science in recognition of her outstanding services to tourism.
Jane was one of the first ambassadors for sustainable tourism in the private sector and recognised, before many, that if the industry did not play its part in driving sustainability, destinations, people and cultures would suffer.
Under Jane’s leadership, sustainable tourism has become integral to TUI Group’s daily operations, strategy, product characteristics and risk management.
On receiving her award, Jane said: “I am very honoured to receive this award, and more than that, I’m really gratified that this award gives recognition and a platform to the issue of tourism and sustainable development.”
Jane was joined by James ‘Jim’ Thakoordin, who was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Political Science in recognition of his services to community cohesion and public life.
Jim has been involved in local, regional and national politics, trade unions and community organisations since the 1960s, having come to the UK from Guyana at the age of 17 with no qualifications.
He was also a Governor of the former Luton College of Higher Education and played a crucial role in the campaign to transform the college into a university, which became the University of Luton and in 2006 the University of Bedfordshire.
Jim addressed the new graduates, saying: “I congratulate you all, and to see so much diversity amongst you is an honour. It is up to you to change the world, you are the future, the movers and shakers of the future.”
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