A HIGH court judge, a senior NATO communications director and the former chairman for the Royal National Institute for the Blind are set to join hundreds of students graduating at a York university next week.

Three days of ceremonies will be held in Central Hall at the University of York on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (January 23, 24 and 25) when family and friends will join graduands collecting their degrees.

This year the university will be presenting seven honorary degrees, selected as always from nominations by members of the university and they are very often have links with departments or alumni.

On Thursday, Sir Ciarán Devane chief executive of the British Council – the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, will be getting an honorary degree along with Professor Dame Frances Clare Kirwan, who is a British mathematician, specialising in algebraic and symplectic geometry. She is currently Savilian Professor of Geometry at the University of Oxford.

On Friday it will be the turn of the Right Hon Lady Black of Derwent, who became only the second woman to be appointed as a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2017 and Prof Dame Lesley Regan, who is head of obstetrics at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College London.

Also on Friday Kevin Carey, a former chairman of the RNIB, founder of the Transforming Braille Group and a leading thinker on accessible technologies for the blind, as will Mark Laity who is a senior NATO Communications Director and former BBC journalist.

Mark graduated from the University of York and embarked on a journalism career, joining the BBC as Defence Correspondent in 1989. He became well-known for his reporting on the end of the Cold War and from conflict zones, including the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo.