BBC journalist Reeta Chakrabarti was on hand to award degrees to hundreds of York students who completed their studies during the pandemic.

Reeta, who has been York St John University’s Chancellor since March last year, welcomed the first former students to ceremonies in York Minster on Tuesday - with more than 1,600 graduates graduating across five days of ceremonies, concluding on Monday (November 22).

The ceremonies will be presided over by chancellor, Reeta and pro chancellor Dame Julia Unwin.

The Minster ceremonies are a highlight of the student experience at York St John University and the class of 2020 have waited more than a year since finishing their degrees for them to take place.

Vice chancellor, Prof Karen Bryan said: “I am full of admiration for the way these graduates completed their studies with us, and the resilience they have demonstrated. Throughout the uncertainty of the past year, we remained committed to ensuring this cohort of students could graduate in person and are looking forward to marking the occasion in the splendour of York Minster.”

Alongside the hundreds of students receiving their degrees, the university will be awarding an honorary degree on Friday, November 19 to Ann Green CBE, the former chairman of the governing body at York St John in recognition of her achievements in leadership and her contribution to the success of the university.

As chairman of the board of governors for three successive terms from 2011 to 2020, Ann led York St John during a tumultuous period of change for the higher education sector.

Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 will take place in York Minster in February 2022.