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UK cybersecurity resilience leader and former Principal to receive honorary degrees from Abertay University

Abertay University will host its Winter Graduation ceremony on Friday 25 November with graduates from across all three academic schools to cross the stage at Dundee’s Caird Hall. 

Around 220 students will be graduating from programmes ranging from computer games design, ethical hacking and sociology, through to civil and environmental engineering, mental health nursing and law. 

During the ceremony, the University will be conferring honorary degrees on Mandy Haeburn-Little, CEO of Business Resilience International Management, and former Principal, Professor Nigel Seaton.

Former University Secretary, Sheena Stewart will be made an Honorary Fellow of the University. 

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Liz Bacon said: “Winter Graduation is always a highlight of the academic year and the Abertay community is very much looking forward to celebrating the hard work, talent and achievements of those who will be graduating this year. It will be a real pleasure to welcome Mandy, Nigel and Sheena to the ceremony and I know that their words, as people who’ve each played an important role in shaping Abertay’s future, will be a source of inspiration to all those attending the event at the Caird Hall.” 

Mandy Haeburn-Little has been a long-standing supporter of the University’s School of Design and Informatics and is a key figure in the development on the Scottish cybersecurity industry. For a decade she has been an advocate for Abertay’s cybersecurity degrees and was also involved in work to create Abertay cyberQuarter, the University’s centre for research, development and innovation in cyber security. 

She said: “I am extremely humbled to be receiving this recognition. It is my view that Abertay University raised the bar early on, recognising the potential around developing ethical hacking skills and much wider software skills, as well as gaming. It is precisely because of that foresight, that dynamic innovative thinking and that commitment to student future skills that the Abertay cyberQuarter has become a reality and the reputation of Dundee as a global tech leader is cemented across the UK and internationally.” 

Professor Nigel Seaton stood down as Principal earlier this year after almost a decade at the helm of the University. During his tenure, Abertay was named The Times/Sunday Times UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality, ranked in the UK top ten universities for student satisfaction, became the first Scottish institution to receive the Race Equality Charter Mark and was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education University of the Year Award – just a few of the many accolades achieved in recent years. 

He said: ‘‘I am delighted to be receiving an honorary degree from Abertay University, and I am very much looking forward to sharing in the happy occasion that is the Abertay Graduation Ceremony.” 

Sheena Stewart joined Abertay in 1991 and gave three decades of service to the institution. A series of promotions saw her go from Assistant Registrar to the role of University Secretary, where she led in a range of important areas including equality, diversity and inclusion, secretariat to University Court, and leading the response to Covid-19. 

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be invited to become an Honorary Fellow of the University and to continue to be part of the wider Abertay community.” 

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