University honours internationally-known leaders at 2021 Graduation

Two distinguished leaders in theology and psychology will join the University to accept an honorary doctorate in their fields.

The dignitaries have been chosen as their pioneering work reflects the values and heritage of aspiring students. They will join the 2020 and 2021 cohort of over 700 Postgraduates graduating at the Chichester Cathedral across four days.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane Longmore said: “Graduation is a rite of passage and the transition should be celebrated as the students set off into the wider campus of life. The past year has provided many unprecedented challenges for students, making this achievement even more admirable. I congratulate them all on behalf of the university and wish them a bright and happy future.”

Dr Bryan Roche

Dr Bryan Roche: Honorary Doctor of Psychology

Dr Bryan Roche is a distinguished behaviour-analytic psychologist. In 2000, he helped establish a brand-new psychology programme which has developed as one of the most respected programmes in the Country. As co-founder of a major theory of language and cognition known as Relational Frame Theory (RFT), he has two major books published along with many published articles.

He and co-authors argued that the basic processes by how children learn to talk and read are the same processes that can lead to the development of psychological distress and suffering in adults.

He is co-founder and Director of the online Maynooth University campus company, This company provides online training in the basic language and thinking relations that allow for enhanced performance on school tests and traditional standardised tests of cognitive ability or intelligence, not just in children but across the human lifespan.

Dr Roche is a keen and generous supporter of research at the University of Chichester. He is very student focussed and goes out of his way to mentor, guide and support without asking anything in return. The overriding implication from Bryan’s work is that where you are born or your background need not be a barrier or a hindrance to what you may become in life or what your prospects could potentially be.

PV close up with blossom behind

Dr Peter Vary: Honorary Doctor of Theology

Dr Peter Vardy is internationally well-known as a leader in the fields of Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics and Values Education.

He is best known for the work of Candle Conferences which he founded with his wife Charlotte in 2010, providing quality events, training and resources for students and teachers of Religious Studies and Philosophy. It is quite possible that in the last thirty years Dr Vardy has done more to promote the study of these disciplines than anyone else in the UK. Since 2010 he has been campaigning against curriculum changes in England which have recently led to a decline in numbers studying Religion, especially after the age of 14.

Druing a distinguished academic career, Dr Vardy has served as an editorial adviser for BBC and Channel 4 documentaries. His passionate commitment to religious education is emblematic of the ideals of  the University of Chichester, his contribution to education and his advocacy of theology, philosophy and religious studies in the press reflects our commitment to teacher education and the inclusive religious foundation of the University. He is an Alumnus of the University having completed his PGCE here 1980.

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