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Graduation ceremonies continue on the Ipswich Waterfront

15 Oct 2019 5:30PM

The Deputy Chief Executive of a charity organised to make the internet a safer place has received an honorary doctorate today from the University of Suffolk.

Fred Langford has been recognised for his work at the Internet Watch Foundation. The international charity combats child sexual abuse images on the internet and Fred has worked there for the last 15 years. He is regarded a respected authority on cybersecurity, internet policy, child protection, online crime prevention and effective regulation.

Fred was born and raised in Suffolk and said, “I feel very honoured, over the moon. To be born and raised in Suffolk and then to have the University of Suffolk recognise me for my work is an absolute privilege. I live in Cambridgeshire now so when I come back to Suffolk it feels like I’m coming home.”

To the graduating students Fred said, “Today is not the end of your studying life. Always look for ways to learn, those opportunities. You will find your way, your vocation regardless of what you studied. You will make the world a better place. Always ask questions, always be inquisitive and always question why things are done the way they are.”

Hundreds of students from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities graduated this afternoon with degrees in courses such as English, History and Early Childhood Studies.

Terrie Cornwell-Dunnett from Shottisham graduated with a BA (Hons) in Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies after studying part time alongside working at the University.

In 2018 Terrie was named Inspirational Learner of the Year and Outstanding Learning of the Year at the Suffolk Adult Learners’ Awards and the Patron’s Award at the national Festival of Learning.

Terrie said, “For me, school wasn’t particularly successful. I was pushed to go to college but told I wouldn’t amount to much. It was my foster Dad who said ‘you can’t listen to one side of the story’, and he pushed me to continue with my sign language and with college. He said ‘one way or another you will get to your target and your dream just not necessarily through the conventional route’. And that is what has happened.”

Since completing her degree, Terrie has been challenged by the House of Commons to write a GCSE in Signing with a proposal to embed in the National Curriculum in the future.

Terrie has campaigned tirelessly for British Sign Language to be a recognised language GCSE option, lobbying MP’s at every opportunity. To start with, Terrie will be piloting signing workshops with undergraduates at the University, gaining valuable feedback to support her campaign. She has also joined forces with the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Terrie said, “It’s been five years of hard slog and study but I can say it is been well worth it. I’ve got my family here today and feel it’s very important to share it with them especially for my daughter because she’s at secondary school. It’s important for her to understand that you don’t just stop learning after you’ve finished school; it’s something for her to aspire to in the future.”

“A lot of mature students have got a huge amount to give especially to younger students, like life skills they can pass on. Together you can work in partnership and it actually helps when studying to have a whole age range.”

“Without the valuable support and guidance of the Course Leader, Dr Allison Boggis, and my dissertation supervisor, Dr Wendy Lecluyse, I would never have dreamed this was possible.” 

1,517 students will be conferred at ceremonies in Ipswich this week.

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