Sisters’ success a cause for double graduation celebration

Two sisters will make the University of Dundee’s Graduation celebrations a family affair this week.

Jireh and Jasleen de Guzman will cross the Caird Hall stage to collect their qualifications at the same ceremony on Friday, watched on by their nearest and dearest.

The pair, from Brechin, have gained qualifications in the Life Sciences sector with Jireh set to collect a BSc (Honours) in Pharmacology with a Year in Industry, and Jasleen an Integrated Masters in Biochemistry.

“My internship year was an exciting one,” said Jireh.

“On top of gaining incredible experience from the industrial placement, I was able to accomplish many things with my extra-curricular activities, including being the President of the Lacrosse Club.  

“Because I did the extra year and with my sister getting into the Masters programme, we are finishing university at the same time, which is amazing. We are a really close family so graduating this way means that we can all attend the ceremony and celebrate together, which will be a memorable experience for us all.” 

Jireh began her studies at Dundee in 2016 with her sister starting the following year. Jasleen’s entry was facilitated by the University’s ACCESS Summer School, which provides intensive preparation and alternative routes into degree courses for students whose true academic potential is often masked by circumstance.

Since launching in 1993, the ACCESS Summer Schools have helped around 3,000 students into higher education. The programmes have been cited nationally as an example of best practice, with the vast majority of students from this summer’s courses expected to return to the University as undergraduates in September.

“After school I really didn’t know what I wanted to do,” said Jasleen.

“The ACCESS Summer School really helped me to build some momentum and Dundee was such a great fit for me in the end. 
“Since the pandemic I have taken advantage of everything on offer here, even though it was my Masters year. I got heavily involved with the Sports Union as Vice President for Events, which made a busy year even busier. But even though it was the last year of my education, it has been the best year of my life so far."

The University’s Graduation ceremonies take place at Caird Hall from 22-24 June. Thousands of 2020 and 2021 graduates will also return to Dundee from 28 June-1 July for special ceremonies in lieu of their original graduations, which were unable to be held in person due to Covid-19 restrictions.