Skip to main content
Media centre

Remain positive – says Vice-Chancellor

17 November 2010 @TeessideUni


Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Henderson is urging this year’s graduates to remain positive despite the current economic climate.

The Vice-Chancellor is speaking to over 3,000 graduates and 12,000 guests this week, when 12 graduation ceremonies take place at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

His speech also celebrates the University’s 80th anniversary. Professor Henderson said: 'It’s our 80th birthday this year – a year when it is appropriate to pay tribute to the vision and generosity of our founder Mr Joseph Constantine. I hope he too would have been proud of what’s happened to the college he founded all those years ago.

'Constantine College was opened in 1930 by the Prince of Wales and so it’s perhaps fitting in our 80th birthday year that we recently welcomed Her Royal Highness, Princess Royal, to the University to open our most recent new building, Centuria South, which provides dental training and sports therapy provision. And I’m confident that in 20 years from now a bunch of people – perhaps some of you - will be celebrating the 100th birthday of an even more successful university.'

Professor Henderson also refers to the current economic situation, saying: 'The landscape of higher education is going to be very different in the future, but despite everything you might have heard or read can I stress that we are working hard to ensure that the opportunity to attend University and will still be available to everyone with the ability to take advantage of it.

'The success of Teesside University and its future progress must all be set in the context of the exceptional changes taking place in our society and economy. These include the UK’s recovery from a global recession, the new coalition government, 25% cuts in public expenditure and new proposals about student fees and student financial support arrangements.'

Professor Henderson however urges the graduates and their guests not to be despondent and also highlights the great potential of the Tees Valley. He says: 'The UK needs more highly skilled, high achieving people and we at Teesside, like many others, will be continuing to make Higher Education is as accessible, affordable and of as much value as possible. The future of regions like the Tees Valley lies with renewable energy, advanced engineering, digital technology, health and well being, logistics and leisure and tourism.

'All of these areas require highly skilled, professionally qualified staff – people with the kind of background and education acquired here at the University. So if any of our graduates here today have yet to find graduate level employment don’t give up, the economy will pick up and you are the very kind of people we need to make the economy succeed.'