Thousands of students from Kingston University (KU) are celebrating their graduation in town this week.

The university's first graduates of the new decade are gathering at Kingston's Rose Theatre to cross the boards and receive their hard-earned degrees.

KU said that a total of 3,257 undergraduate and postgraduate students will graduate in this week's batch of students to have completed their degrees.

Subjects from Kingston School of Art, the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education and the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences are all represented.

Your Local Guardian: Image: KUImage: KU

Kingston School of Art launched proceedings earlier in the week with an encouraging speech from former Chairman of the Football Association, former BBC Director General and current London Film School chairman, Greg Dyke.

Dyke urged students to stay true to themselves as they moved beyond student life.

"When you go out into the world there is pressure to change – but you shouldn’t change, you should be you.

"If you’re funny, be funny, if you’re eccentric, be eccentric, because that’s what matters in life," he said.

Publishing masters graduate Ciara Starrett meanwhile spoke in front of her peers in the audience with smiles on their faces after receiving their certificates.

"I want everyone to be really proud of themselves," she said after receiving her MA degree.

"There was a recurring theme in the graduation ceremony about achieving your dreams, which I tried to make a part of my speech.

"It was my dream to get a job in publishing after completing the masters – which I did – and I want everyone else to follow their dreams,” Ciara added.

Honours were also handed to KU alumni during the week's proceedings.

International businessman Dempsey Naidoo graduated KU in 1981 with a BSc in Civil Engineering and has 40 years’ experience in his field.

"He will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his outstanding contribution to black economic empowerment and the development of the civil engineering sector in South Africa and beyond," a university spokesperson said.

Elsewhere aeronautical engineering graduate Syed Hamid is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his outstanding contribution to higher education in this country and Pakistan.

Hamid supports education through the Syed Hamid Charitable Trust and Mollie Clay Trust and previously worked for the civilian Pakistan International Airlines before settling in the UK.

During the graduation week KU Vice Chancellor Steven Spier reflected that graduation ceremonies are the highlight of the year for the University.

"As the students cross the stage you see these bright faces for whom everything is possible and that’s really uplifting," Spier said.

"Being in that environment is one of the great privileges of working in higher education,” he added.