Leading surgeon and inspiring students honoured at Loughborough University London graduation ceremony

Loughborough University London celebrated its third graduation ceremony yesterday (Wednesday 12 December), honouring the achievements of the class of 2018 and one of the country’s top surgeons.

The graduation ceremonies at the postgraduate campus were presided over by Lord Sebastian Coe, Chancellor of Loughborough University, and saw Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham receive an honorary Doctor of Science.

Lord Darzi is an academic surgeon and medical expert, who holds an array of impressive titles at renowned institutions – including the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research.

He has established himself as a leading figure in global health policy and innovation and is considered a pioneer of robot-assisted procedures.

Lord Darzi was knighted for his services in medicine and surgery in 2002, made a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council in June 2009, and in January 2016 he was awarded the Order of Merit by Her Majesty the Queen for exceptionally meritorious service towards the advancement of medicine.

Image of Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough Univerity Professor Robert Allison, Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham and Lord Sebastian Coe, Chancellor of Loughborough University.‌Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough Univerity Professor Robert Allison, Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham and Lord Sebastian Coe, Chancellor of Loughborough University.

The outstanding surgeon has also previously shown his support for the research and enterprise activities of the Loughborough Design School.

Professor David Deacon, Acting Dean for Loughborough University London, said at the graduation ceremony: “Professor Darzi is whole-heartedly dedicated to his profession; he is an innovator that pushes for change; he is a problem solver – constantly looking for solutions that are of great benefit to society.

“Professor Darzi embodies all aspects of our ethos here at Loughborough University London and is an inspiring example to all our graduates here today.”

The graduation ceremonies were an opportunity to celebrate and honour Loughborough University London’s third cohort of students, many of whom have shown tremendous commitment to their studies.

One such student is Paul Ntulila, Loughborough University London's first deaf student who graduated with a Distinction in MSc in Diplomacy, Statecraft and Foreign Policy.

Paul, who became profoundly deaf at eight-months-old, has worked with numerous organisations, such as the NSPCC, to help them understand more about deaf needs.

Image of student Paul Ntulila.Paul Ntulila.

He has led deaf awareness training events, delivered motivational sessions to business professionals and he also appeared on BBC’s See Hear documentary as part of Black History Month where he shared his experience of being in both the deaf and black community.

The inspiring student, who chooses not to wear hearing aids, served as Chair of Newham Deaf Forum for five years and was appointed an ambassador of the Snowdon Trust earlier this year – a role that sees him support disabled students in higher education.  

Commenting on his time at Loughborough University London, Paul said: “It has been a wonderful experience. I found both the environment inspiring and the support from everyone to be of very high standard.

“I was impressed by the degree of deaf and disabled awareness demonstrated by University staff and students, which I truly appreciated in my studies.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my course and I plan to use what I learned to succeed in my goal in entering the field of Diplomacy in the future.

“I could see myself becoming involved in diplomatic endeavours, lecturing, government work, and maybe even becoming the first deaf Prime Minister of the UK.”

Chevening Scholar student Júlia Pimenta Salazar, from Brazil, was also among those celebrating at the ceremony, having graduated with an MSc in Sport Business and Innovation.  

Her Loughborough University London highlights include becoming a Student Ambassador and pursuing an interesting project-based dissertation with West Ham United Foundation that looked at sport, social value and community.

In August 2018, Júlia became a Team Coordinator at Street Child United, which sees her organise sporting events for street-connected children in the run-up to big sporting competitions like the FIFA World Cup, Olympics and Cricket World Cup.

She brings international teams to the host country to compete, makes their voices heard and changes the way the world sees and treats street children.

Image of student Julia Salazar.‌Júlia Pimenta Salazar.

Of graduating, Júlia said: “I am very proud to be part of the Loughborough Family. Since the beginning, I was very welcomed by all staff, professors and students, expanding my network contacts, but also making friends.

“I can affirm that the time spent at the campus and all that was offered to me has a fundamental role in the professional I am today.

“The Collaborative Project, workshops, site visits, network sessions, and student ambassador scheme have all made me a well-prepared and confident professional.

“Currently, I am exactly where I would like to be: working in an organisation which uses the power of sport to empower people all around the world, creating a huge social impact.

“I will always be grateful to Loughborough and willing to contribute to the university in every way I can.”

Professor Deacon commented: “I am honoured to read out the names of each student at the Graduation ceremonies. 

“They are the life-blood of our School and University and I welcome the opportunity to celebrate publicly what they have achieved through their ability and endeavour. My colleagues and I wish them every success for the future.”

If you missed either ceremony, you can watch them online.

View the press release on the Loughborough University website for further information and resources.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018. 

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. 

The University has been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, which recognises institutions that deliver consistently outstanding teaching that is of the highest quality found in the UK. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking. 

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.