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The Markfield Institute’s Graduation Ceremony for the academic year 2020/21 was held on 27th October 2021 at the Markfield Conference Centre. The ceremony was opened with a recitation from the Glorious Quran by Zakaria Zaini, a graduate from the MA Islamic Studies Programme, followed by the translation which was read by our undergraduate student, Fariha Jannat. Benjamin Abu Ismail, MIHE’ registrar conducted the graduation proceedings.

Speeches were delivered by Dr Manazir Ahsan (Chair of the Board of Directors, MIHE), Professor Peter Childs (the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Newman University) both shared important life experiences connecting the graduands and guests with a wealth of knowledge, duty and a sense that all those in attendance should be proud of their achievements; students for their hard work and parents, family members and friends for their support and guidance.

Professor Peter Childs addressed the audience reinforcing the importance of ethics and the shared heritage of Newman University and Markfield Institute. He delivered anecdotes of humour and contemplation, quoting the American Poet Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” a poignant reminder to the graduands about carrying forward the concept of service and being in service to others. Prof. Childs conferred the Bachelors and Masters degree Awards from Newman University. This year the following awards were conferred: – 30 Bachelors with Honours and 18 Masters degrees with four Post Graduate Certificates. The students were presented by the respective course leaders and came to collect their awards.

Farhana Afzal Patel, BA graduate of Islamic Studies with Arabic addressed the graduates and guests. Farhana achieved a 1st class degree in her course overcoming many challenges to realise her dream. She emphasised the importance of recognition for the six years studying at Islamic Seminary schools at Markfield as well as the transition into higher education. She quipped “I learnt how to think critically at Markfield, I didn’t know that critical thinking existed before becoming a student at MIHE.  The guest speaker, Prof Muhammad Farmer, Chief Executive Officer of the British Institute of Technology congratulated the graduates and gave a speech again drawing attention on the importance for graduates to act on values and to make positive contributions in society. 

After the speeches Dr Manazir Ahsan was called to present the Special Awards for The Begum Husneara Memorial Trust which is for the highest achieving female students. In this category, three awards were given to Farhana Afzal Patel, BA Islamic Studies with Arabic, Aneesa Liaqat, BA Islamic Studies with Arabic and Maria Adrees, MA Islamic Studies.

The Syed Faiyazuddin Ahmad Memorial Trust was presented for The Most Outstanding Student Award to Attlas Jabeen, MA Islamic Education.

In memory of Prof Ataullah Siddiqui, a new Trust Memorial Award for the Highest Achieving Student in Pastoral Care adjoined the other awards. Syed Asad Ali was awarded in absentia for his distinction. Sarah Siddiqui presented the award on behalf of her late father.

Dr Zahid Parvez, Rector of the Institute, presented the final special award for the Rahmat Ali Memorial Trust in recognition of Excellence Through Adversity. Two students, both with similar names and proportionate challenges were awarded for their determination. One, a Cancer survivor and the other recovering from a serious head injury went on to finish their degrees. Mohammed Zubair, MEd Islamic Education: New Perspectives received his award and Mohamed Zubair Vania, BA Islamic Studies with Arabic also received his award. 

Dr Zahid Parvez gave the concluding talk by emphasising the need for our graduates to make a positive difference and provide leadership to the organisations, communities and societies they live and work in. Dr Parvez congratulated all the graduates and asked them to remember their time with the Institute with pride and affection. He wished the graduates all the best for their future. Finally, Dr Zahid thanked Prof Peter Childs, Prof Muhammad Farmer, trustees and staff for their contributions toward the ceremony.