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Reunion of first ever BA (Hons) Geography graduates from the class of 1980!

A reunion of the first ever cohort of BA (Hons) Geography graduates took place over the weekend of the 7th - 9th February 2020. Over a dozen graduates from forty years ago met to socialise, reminisce and re-visit their old University haunts.

The Geography degree was first launched in September 1977 with an intake of just under thirty students. Dr Michael Barke, who played a significant role in designing this completely new degree course ‘from scratch’, and taught on it from the outset until his semi-retirement in 2016, was invited by the visiting graduates to take part in the activities. Over its successful 40 year history the BA Geography course has gone from strength to strength, not only producing several thousand successful graduates, but also important research and publications on topics covering a wide range of geographical themes, ranging from the local to the global in scale.

The reunion was self-organised by the former students themselves and has been largely organised by Jon Stoddart, former Chief Constable of County Durham. For around one-third of a cohort that graduated 40 years ago to be willing to engage in this event is truly remarkable and possibly unique and, in an era of ‘metrics’, sends an important message about the all too easily overlooked sustainable and deeper values associated with higher education.


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