UTS celebrates 200,000th graduate!

UTS welcomed its 200,000th graduate to its alumni community this week as graduates, friends and family gathered on campus to celebrate the university’s spring graduations ceremonies.

UTS celebrates 200,000th graduateThe 200,000th graduate, Zyralyn Bacani, was greeted with a resounding cheer from her fellow graduates, guests and UTS staff and academics, as she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) by Professor Mary Spongberg, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

"This is a special day in the University of Technology Sydney's history as we graduate our 200,000th student," said UTS Chancellor Professor Brian Wilson, after congratulating Zyralyn during the ceremony.

"Zyralyn represents the very best of UTS – she is a global citizen who is committed to social justice and making a difference to the world through excellence, innovation, entrepreneurship and equity. She now joins a dynamic and international community of UTS alumni that stretch right back to our beginnings in a number of antecedent institutions, including The New South Wales Institute of Technology."

"We’re looking forward to welcoming the next 200,000 students!" Professor Wilson said.

Having moved to Australia from the Philippines with her family when she was five, Zyralyn said she was hugely appreciative of the opportunity to study at UTS.

"It makes me think about my parents, and how they worked really hard to bring us to Australia, and for me to study, and be able to have my education here through HECS, which isn't really available in the Philippines."

"It also makes me contemplate all the students out there who have worked really hard to achieve and get to where they are today."

“A Massive Honour!”

"I think being the 200,000th graduate is just a massive, massive honour!"

"I think being the 200,000th graduate is just a massive, massive honour!"

As a self-confessed passionate creative, Zyralyn says the most memorable moments of her degree included honing her journalism skills during late night interviews with experts from across the globe, as well as the opportunity to work on a documentary as part of her course.  The documentary, Paint, which explores the perceptions and artistic motivations of the Sydney drag queen community, also recently earned Zyralyn a high commendation in the ALLY Award category recognising achievements in celebrating and supporting sexual and gender diversity at the 2016 UTS Human Rights Awards.

Now working at Fairfax Media since finishing her studies last year, Zyralyn said she really appreciated the practical, real world opportunities gained during her degree.

"I'm inquisitive, and I think you need to be really curious in my field of study. UTS gets us to do a lot of practical work, as well encouraging us to do internships – I've done five to six internships and some of those internships have landed me part-time roles, which has well equipped me for the workforce."

"That has helped me become really adaptable in the work environment, and informed about my decision making in choosing the right places to work."

A global community

In introducing Zyralyn as the 200,000th graduate, Professor Spongberg highlighted the occasion as important moment in the university's 28-year history.

"This is a remarkable achievement for our young university, and a testament to our brilliant teaching and learning environment, and all the students who have come before and now form the UTS alumni community," Professor Spongberg said.

This year's graduates now join a diverse alumni community of passionate, dedicated and innovative professionals who can be found across the globe, including luminaries such as former Zimbabewan Senator and Sydney Peace Prize recipient Sekai Holland, Miles Franklin Award winning author Anna Funder, and Data61 CEO Adrian Turner.

Milestone Occasion

The announcement of UTS's 200,000th graduate marks another significant milestone for the university in recent months. In September, UTS was confirmed as Australia’s top young university for the third year running, and was ranked as #8 in the world in the prestigious 2016/2017 QS Top 50 Under 50 rankings.

In August, UTS announced the launch of the groundbreaking Animal Logic Academy, which will offer the first postgraduate degree of its kind, the Master of Animation and Visualisation, in 2017. And work continues on the university's $1.3 billion City Masterplan Project, with construction set to begin on the landmark UTS Central development adjacent to Alumni Green in early 2017, with work already started on the new UTS Moore Park Precinct, which will see a new world-class sporting, education and community hub launched in partnership with the Australian Rugby Union at Sydney's Moore Park.