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Mean on Sunday: business has a duty to support our educational system

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By Ian Mean

Business West Gloucestershire director

Business has a duty to support our universities and colleges as a pipeline for future recruitment.

Indeed, Business must do their bit to give our young people the encouragement to develop themselves.

It was in this spirit that I was honoured to recently accept an invitation to attend one of the University of Gloucestershire’s graduation ceremonies.

I chose to go to one awarding  Business degrees to students, and I found it quite inspirational.

I was struck by the number of Business students graduating who had their roots in the global community.

They will be able to make a very worthwhile contribution to our economy in their future jobs.

So, I find it difficult to square the government’s thinking that foreign students may be barred from the UK unless they win a place at a top university under plans to curb record immigration.

Foreign students could also have new restrictions on bringing family members with them.

I think it’s impressive that the University of Gloucestershire has developed a special academic partnership with Malaysia, and when I visited some of the students had flown over specially to accept their degrees.

As I said, this was an inspiring ceremony with family and friends of the new graduates so happy with their success.

And many of these Business graduates were the first students from their family to go to university.

To see the graduates on their way, there was sage advice from Vice Chancellor Stephen Marston who got it from his own university tutor.

“You must do what you believe you can do best. There is only one test. Are you travelling flat out? Are you trying to get there first? Don’t let yourself down. That is all that matters.”

And the Vice Chancellor also quoted the words of the late Professor Stephen Hawking: ”Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet”.

Wise words that will stand them in good stead as they start their business lives.

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