Past event
18 July 2016

ULIP celebrates student success at summer graduation

On 15 July, the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) held its annual graduation ceremony in celebration of the notable achievements of its graduates. The intimate event, which was held in the historic British ambassador’s residence in France, welcomed  40 graduands along with their guests, ULIP staff, alumni and VIP guests including Sir Peter Ricketts, former British Ambassador to France.

After an unusually rainy and cold spring, the sunshine returned in time to celebrate ULIP’s graduating class of 2016 and once again, the British Ambassador’s Residence, with its lush gardens and resident dog, Cadbury, graciously hosted our group of 160 students, staff and guests.

ULIP Graduation at the British Ambassador's residence in France

After taking their seats in the spectacular ballroom of the eighteenth century Residence, graduates of the BA in French Studies, BA in French Studies with History, the MA in Paris Studies, History and Culture and Doctor of Philosophy, were cheered on by friends and family as they received congratulations from Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London and Tim Gore, CEO of ULIP.

This year’s graduation ceremony was also a landmark for ULIP, as the Institute conferred its first honorary degree since its partnership with the University of London began. Its first recipient, Sir Peter Ricketts GCMG GCVO, former British Ambassador to France, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature.

University of London Institute in Paris graduation ceremonyUniversity of London Institute in Paris graduation ceremony

In his presentation of Sir Peter, Professor Andrew Hussey from the School of Advanced Study, University of London, described Sir Peter’s illustrious career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where he successfully combined diplomacy and security intelligence. Sir Peter’s work in the Diplomatic Service has taken him all over the world, with postings to Singapore, Brussels, Washington DC and Hong Kong, and he has served as a representative to NATO and as the UK’s first National Security Adviser.

After serving for four years as the British Ambassador to France, Sir Peter retired from the diplomatic service in January 2016. As a great friend to ULIP, it was an honour to welcome Sir Peter into the University of London family, and Professor Hussey, as former Dean of ULIP, spoke fondly of his relationship with Sir Peter and his gratitude for the support both Sir Peter and Lady Ricketts had shown to the Institute during his time in Paris.

Professor Andrew Hussey at the University of London Institute in Paris graduation ceremonySir Peter Ricketts at the University of London Institute in Paris graduation ceremony

Responding to his award, Sir Peter spoke about his great esteem for ULIP and his feeling that, especially in these uncertain political times, the links which ULIP has forged between the UK and the rest of Europe are more important than ever. He noted that although the UK may be leaving the EU, it is certainly not leaving Europe.

One of the most joyful moments of the day came during the group photos on the grand staircase of the Residence. Tossing their mortarboards in the air, the new graduates celebrated their hard work and perseverance, before heading to the garden to toast their success with classmates and families.

Graduates and parents at the University of London Institute in Paris graduation ceremonyGraduates of the University of London Institute in Paris

As the sun shone late into the early evening of a magical day, graduates discussed their plans for the future. Whether they decide to go back to the UK to continue their studies or start their careers, find new adventures around the globe, or remain in Paris and deepen their relationship with France, we wish them the very best!

View some photographs from the event on our Facebook Albumas well as our Storify page.


The University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) – founded in 1894 and incorporated into the University of London in 1969 – is an integral part of the University and is itself a unique institution. Situated in the political heart of one of the great world cities, it offers a gateway into the Francophone world, engaging the University of London in a rich series of academic relationships with its French counterparts. ULIP has an academic mission that connects the UK with the Francophone world and its spheres of influence through the study of the civil society, language and literature of Paris, France and the Francophone world. It offers BAs in French Studiesand in French Studies with History, an MA in Paris Studies, PhD programmes and - in partnership with Queen Mary University of London - an MA in International Relations and an LLM

The University of London was founded by Royal Charter in 1836 and is the third oldest university in England. The University today consists of 17 prestigious Colleges and 10 Institutes, serving over 120,000 students. Additionally there are 55,000 students in more than 180 countries enrolled on University of London International Programmes.