Celebrating the first graduation at Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing

11 March 2013

Chancellor Muhammad Yunus presents an award

Chancellor Muhammad Yunus presents an award

Chancellor Muhammad Yunus and Principal Pamela Gillies celebrated with students at Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing’s first graduation ceremony.

Thirty-eight students graduated with a Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery from GCCN at a ceremony in Dhaka.

Also joining the students were GCU’s Professor Nicky James, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the School of Health and Life Sciences, Professor Barbara Parfitt, Principal of the College, British High Commissioner Robert Winnington Gibson, Dr M R Khan, National Professor of Bangladesh, Soraya Begum, Registrar of the Bangladesh Nursing Council, Sarah Cooke of the Department for International Development, Robin Davies of the British Council, Mr Assaduzzaman of Grameen Health Care Services, Mr Md Imamus Sultan, Managing Director of Grameen Kalyan, Mohammad Shahjahan, Acting Managing Director of Grameen Bank, and representatives of the Bangladesh Nursing Council and the country’s Ministry of Health.

It is the first graduation ceremony at the College, which was established in 2010, and the top three students in the graduating class were awarded Principal’s Scholarships, which offer full financial support, including accommodation fees and a financial stipend, to allow them to continue their studies at GCU.

Said Professor Gillies: “It was an enormous privilege and pleasure to attend the graduation ceremony at the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing, and recognise the success of the students. All of these brave young women are from the families of Grameen borrowers from some of the most disadvantaged and far-flung villages in Bangladesh. It was truly humbling to be with them and their families as they celebrated. The graduation also gave me the opportunity to applaud the exceptional efforts of the founding college Principal, Professor Barbara Parfitt, and her team, who have managed to offer high-quality nursing training in Dhaka in just three years. In doing so, they have managed to deliver on the vision of our Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Yunus, to improve the educational opportunities in the field of nursing in his native Bangladesh.

“I look forward to welcoming the three top students who received full GCU scholarships, to complete their BSc Nursing degrees at our Glasgow campus, and to further strengthening the ongoing partnership and friendship between the University and the Grameen Healthcare Trust.”

The Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery is approved by the Bangladesh Nursing Council and the graduates can now sit licensing examinations in June.

Established in partnership between GCU and the Grameen Trust, the college is addressing the health needs of Bangladesh’s most disadvantaged communities, drawing on the University’s high-quality nursing and midwifery education in emerging nations.

Scholarships will change lives and communities

The Principal’s Scholarships will offer life-transforming opportunities to the winners.

The scholarships, offered for the first time at this year’s ceremony, provide full financial support, including accommodation fees and a financial stipend, to the top three students graduating from GCCN - allowing them to continue their studies at GCU.

  • Rokeya Akter Bristy was awarded first prize. Described by GCCN as a “brilliant” student, she has dreamed since childhood of working in the medical field. Without the financial backing of Grameen and the opportunity to study at GCCN, however, she believes she would never have been able to continue her education. She said: “Winning the Principal’s Scholarship has dramatically changed my life. I want to use this great opportunity to gain the knowledge and develop the skills to benefit the people of Bangladesh and to improve nursing standards across Bangladesh.”
  • Popi Rani Bhowmik was awarded second prize. Her early academic promise was supported by a number of s