Within the space of an hour today I’d spoken to people from Libya to Latvia, Turkey to Malaysia, India to Iraq, Dubai to Nigeria, China to Germany, Paris to Bulgaria and our very own Batley and Bradford.
The world was in the atrium at the University of Bradford to celebrate graduation and I’d been drafted in to sign up as many of them as possible to our alumni programme. Of course, being terminally nosey I had to know more.
Why, I asked many of them, did you want to come to Bradford? They had the world within their reach, so why Bradford? It’s not the biggest or even, by its own admission, the best. It all boiled down to the courses, the education and learning they expected. The bonus when they got here was the warmth of the welcome and the friendliness on the campus. This actually rang true with all the other research I’ve done.
The buzz of excitement, the chatter of many languages and the cuts and colours of the clothes was a slice of the world right before my eyes. My own graduation went in such a whirl of gown-fitting and avoidance of falling off the stage that I hardly had time to enjoy it, so being part of the graduation of others was just wonderful.
The only downside was asking the new BSc, MScs, MBAs, MAs and PhDs about their next steps. Many from abroad were staying in this country, hoping to find work. None had done so far. Good luck guys, you deserve it.