Winter Graduation

29th January 1999


The following stories relate to University of Lincolnshire & Humberside students

who will be eligible to receive an academic award at the graduation ceremony at

 Hull City Hall on Friday 29th January 1999



Dutch-born psychologist Petra Pollux will be receiving her doctorate at the graduation ceremony this month after three years of study into the dysfunctional effects of Parkinson’s Disease.


Petra, 32, left Holland in 1994 to study for a PhD in Psychology in Hull and has since taken up a teaching post at the University of Lincoln.


“I really didn’t like Hull initially as I found it rather dark and grey,” said Petra, who hails from Venlo in the south of the Netherlands and who first studied psychology at the University of Utrecht. “But over the years you grow to like the place - I don’t know how it happens, but it’s true!”


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An American navy commander is among the students who have earned a diploma after successfully completing an International Executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.


Commander Gare Wragg from New England has been based at RAF Digby near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, since 1996. But his studies have more to do with his future career plans than with his present military role.


“My goal is to further my military career as well as looking towards my post-military employment,” said Commander Wragg. “MBAs are pretty important in the US when it comes to finding a second career. As ULH is a new university, and since it’s close to where I live, I thought studying for a diploma would be a good idea.”


Commander Wragg’s two-year course in doing business internationally involved overseas trips to France and Greece as well as a grounding in subjects such as strategic planning and economics.


“I love England and I love Lincolnshire,” he said, “but unfortunately I have to leave in the summer to begin a posting in London.”


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Most people feel that by the time they turn 30 they’re too long in the tooth to learn anything new.


But 76-year-old Sylvia Spicer of Greenwood Avenue in Hull proved the doubters wrong by successfully completing a course at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.


Sylvia was encouraged to attend the Certificate in Tenant Participation course by staff at the North Hull Housing Action Trust - but at first she needed convincing! “I  didn’t think I could do it - not at my age!” she recalls.


“At the beginning it was daunting; it was like going back to my school days. But the tutors and the other students were so nice, and in the end I really enjoyed it.”


Sylvia also bucked the trend by using her writing skills to produce a collection of poetry at the end of the course instead of the expected essay.


The Certificate in Tenant Participation course trains people to help others in the community to get involved in local projects. And now that she’s finished the course Sylvia is keen to continue her studies. “I feel as if I want to something else now,” she said. “I’d really like to carry on doing something that helps people.”


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Environment students whose University of Lincolnshire & Humberside courses were paid for by the European Social Fund have landed plum jobs in the environmental sector.


Regional funding from the ESF paid the course fees and provided a bursary worth £70 a week to four students who took the university’s MSc in Environmental Protection and Management.


Two have already found work in the sector. Claire Scannell now works for the Environment Agency in Lincoln while Richard Rowe secured a job this month with the Leeds-based energy consultants EMTECH.


“It’s exactly the type of job that I wanted, and I only got it because of the course that I took at the university,” said Richard, who is currently managing the energy requirements of a major supermarket retailer.


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“The course has achieved its aim in the sense that these students have found work in the environmental sector,” commented course manager Alan Powell. “The university is awarded money from the European Social Fund on the basis that the course will help to put students back into the workplace.”


The University of Lincolnshire & Humberside currently has eighteen more ESF-funded students following environment-oriented courses.


Another student, Robert Craven, graduated from the university with a degree in Environmental Studies and went on to carry out a project developing generic environmental management systems with Lindum Construction in Lincoln.


He successfully studied for the MSc in Environmental protection and Management and has now landed a job as a graduate trainee environmental manager with Wakefield firm Morrison Construction.


Eleanor Rands, who will be receiving her MSc on 29th January, undertook a work placement at the waste and recycling department of North-East Lincolnshire Council, where she looked into the environmental impact of closed landfill sites.


“The council is extremely pleased with her input and she’s still working there at the moment,” commented course manager Alan Powell.


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The man who took charge of the construction of the Calcutta Metro will receive his MBA in General Management at Hull City Hall on 29th January.


Indian student Subhadip Mukherjee is now studying for a PhD at the Centre for Applied Development Studies at the Lincoln School of Management. His studies in the fields of international marketing, management and railway construction have taken him all over the world - he graduated with a business degree from St Xavier’s Collegiate School in Calcutta before studying for a postgraduate diploma at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.


“I’ll be going back to India after my PhD but I’d love to have the opportunity to work and gain some experience in the UK,” said Subhadip. “In Asian countries the UK is still considered the best - British education is rated more highly even than American education.”


After graduating Subhadip was project manager on the construction of the new Calcutta Metro, so working at the Lincoln School of Management is a big change for him. “The university hasn’t got a big reputation yet, but it’s up to us graduates to do well in our chosen career and give the place a good name,” he said.


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An award-winning engineer will be honoured by the University of Lincoln at its winter graduation ceremony.


Professor Alistair MacFarlane CBE is to be presented with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to higher education and his outstanding efforts to advance knowledge in the field of electrical science.


His extensive research has won him many prizes and awards, including the Faraday Medal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1993 for his work on feedback theory and its applications to automatic control. He was made a CBE in 1987.


Professor MacFarlane is particularly interested in the use of information technology to support learning. He chaired the working group set up by Scottish university principals which produced the report ‘Teaching and Learning in an Expanding Higher Education System’ (1993). Its main recommendations were the need to raise the status of teaching in higher education and to explore the potential of IT in the support of learning. Both points were taken on board by the recent Dearing Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education.


Before his retirement in 1996, Professor MacFarlane was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.  His academic career began at the University of London in 1959. He joined the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1966 and was promoted to Professor of Control Engineering 1969.  In 1974 he was elected Chair of Engineering in the University of  Cambridge.


Alistair MacFarlane is also a non-executive director of British Nuclear Fuels plc, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London. He lives in Edinburgh, the city where he was born in 1931.


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For more information, or to arrange photographs and/or interviews, contact:


Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042