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Chancellor James Nesbitt Salutes Nursing Graduates

The University of Ulster's Chancellor Dr James Nesbitt today brought his tour of the University's four campuses to a close by attending an awards ceremony celebrating nursing graduates.

Dr Nesbitt paid tribute to 150 full and part-time graduates who received nursing badges at a lunchtime event on the Coleraine campus.

The Chancellor noted: “The University of Ulster has a strong tradition of producing top quality nursing graduates and it is great to join them and staff on this special day.

“The high quality of the education they receive was recognised recently by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, whose 2011-12 monitoring results showed Ulster was one of two approved education institutions to get an 'outstanding' grading for practice learning and one of five institutions to get 'outstanding' in any of the five areas monitored.

“The Institute of Nursing and Health Research also has a high reputation in the fields of nursing, midwifery and public health as was seen in the last Research Assessment Exercise, where Ulster was among the Premier League of UK Universities, finishing within the top three for 4* research.”

Earlier, the Chancellor paid a visit to the Centre for Molecular Biosciences on the Coleraine campus where he was briefed on research being conducted by Ulster's acclaimed biomedical scientists.

Dr Nesbitt said: "In the last Research Assessment Exercise, the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute finished top of the UK for research power. Ulster's biomedical scientists are doing groundbreaking, internationally recognised research into nutrition, diabetes, Alzheimers and other degenerative diseases.

“The pioneering research taking place across a range of disciplines on this campus and theimpressive work I witnessed yesterday in Jordanstown, Belfast and Magee demonstrate the importance of investment in research and innovation if Northern Ireland is to make its presence felt internationally across a range of disciplines.

“I've really enjoyed having the opportunity over the past two days to talk to staff and students and witness at first hand the incredible teaching and learning opportunities Ulster is offering and the remarkable research and innovation taking place across all our campuses.

“With its professionally accredited courses and work placements, the University is making a significant contribution towards ensuring Northern Ireland produces graduates who are equipped with the skills needed to ride out these tough economic times and eventually prosper.

“I also believe, with the University's ambitious plans for its Belfast, Magee, Coleraine and Jordanstown campuses, Ulster will enhance its immense contribution to education, the economy, health and science, sport and culture in the years to come.”

Photographs from the University Chancellor’s visit can be accessed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/universityofulster/

Rolling coverage of the University Chancellor’s tour of the four campuses will be on Twitter at #nesbitt.

Notes to Editors

1. Dr James Nesbitt was installed as the Chancellor of the University of Ulster at a ceremony in June 2010.

2. In July 2003, he was awarded a DLitt Honorary Doctorate for services to drama by the University.

3.The Chancellor has an important role within the University, acting as a figurehead and a role model for the various constituencies the University serves.

4. The Chancellor presides over meetings of the University Court and can preside over meetings of Council.

5.Under the University’s Charter, the Chancellor has the power to confer Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other academic distinctions at graduation ceremonies.

6.Dr Nesbitt has followed in the footsteps of four Chancellors of the University – the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Grey of Naunton, the Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger and former City of London Lord Mayor, Sir Richard Nichols.

7.He is the first Chancellor of the University to have been born in Northern Ireland and to have studied at Ulster.

8.Dr James Nesbitt has carved out a successful movie and television career, appearing in the hit TV shows ‘Monroe’ and ‘Cold Feet’ for ITV, ‘Murphy’s Law’, ‘Occupation’ and ‘Jekyll’ for the BBC. He has also appeared on the big screen in Paul Greengrass’s ‘Bloody Sunday’, Ralph Fiennes’ ‘Coriolanus’ Peter Chelsom’s ‘Hear My Song’, Woody Allen’s ‘Match Point’, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s ‘Five Minutes of Heaven’, Emilio Estevez’s ‘The Way’ and Peter Jackson’s upcoming movie adapation of ‘The Hobbit’.