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Val McDermid and Mark Beaumont honoured by the OU

Honorary graduates Mark Beaumont and Dame Ruth Silver

Honorary graduates author Val McDermid, endurance athlete Mark Beaumont, educationalist Dame Ruth Silver, and teacher and educational psychologist Graham Cameron today (Friday 26 October) joined almost 500 Open University graduates in Glasgow to receive their awards.

Hailing from all over Scotland and beyond, the graduates – many of whom have juggled work, family and other commitments alongside their study – crossed the stage at two ceremonies in the city’s Royal Concert Hall. 

Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, said:

“The dedication of our students is genuinely extraordinary. Year after year, they manage to fit their study in to their hugely busy lives, alongside their jobs, children and all sorts of other responsibilities. 

“As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2019, our students continue to be what makes The Open University special. It’s no surprise that we have such wonderful honorary graduates here to share the stage with them today.” 

Honorary graduates Val McDermid and Graham Cameron Val McDermid, author and Doctor of the University, said:

“Life should always be a learning curve, and the OU makes it possible for people to expand their horizons at any point in their lives. I’m very proud to be acknowledged by an institution that was launched by my fellow Fifer, the remarkable Jennie Lee.”

Mark Beaumont, endurance athlete and Doctor of the University, said:

“It’s a great honour to be recognised by The Open University and I am looking forward to celebrating alongside all those graduating. My first connection with the OU came through my sister Heather, who studied psychology and loved the fact she could gain a degree while living and working abroad. 

“The world is changing fast and the OU is leading the way when it comes to flexible higher education. As the Rector of a traditional Scottish University, I am looking forward to building a close relationship with the OU and learning how they are opening up degree learning to so many people.”

Dame Ruth Silver, educationalist and Doctor of the University, said:

“It was meeting some of the OU’s students that first drew my interest – a young person studying a subject with the OU that their school couldn’t offer, an older learner who found that traditional university didn’t work for her, and a lady with a new liver, new learning and a new outlook on life.

“The Open University’s approach to curriculum, guidance and assessment is how all universities should be. This is the honour of all honours for me and I am unashamedly proud.”

Graham Cameron, teacher, educational psychologist, previous OU graduate and Doctor of the University, said:

“The Open University gave me the chance to change career, from teaching in schools to the rapidly expanding field of child development at a time when the importance of the early years was just being recognised. In turn this led to opportunities to work in Asia and Africa, which let me experience different cultures and see the effect these had on educational systems.

“I shall always be grateful to the OU for opening those doors for me, and accept this honour in recognition of the continuing opportunities it creates for career and personal development, changing the lives of fellow graduates.”

Val McDermid was honoured for services to the arts and sciences; Mark Beaumont for public services; Dame Ruth Silver for exceptional contribution to education and culture; and Graham Cameron for services to the educationally underprivileged.

  • Pictured top left: honorary graduates Mark Beaumont and Dame Ruth Silver; pictured above right: honorary graduates Val McDermid and Graham Cameron.

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