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Celebrations for 1,000th graduate in industrial relations.

Warwick Business School is celebrating the graduation of its 1,000th Master of Arts in industrial relations.

The MA in the speciality was Clare Mullis who received her certificate from Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield.

Mr Burden is an MA in industrial relations from Warwick as is Jeff Rooker, MP for Perry Barr and a Minister at the Department of Employment.

The degree started in 1968, when the business school began, and its continued success both reflects and contributes to Warwick's reputation as a leading European centre for the study of the subject.

Mr Burden said: 'It is great pleasure for me to be able to welcome Clare Mullis as Warwick's 1,000th MA graduate in industrial relations.

'It is also difficult for me to believe it is now over 20 years since my time at Warwick.

'But what I learned during that year has stayed with me and has been immensely valuable to me both when I worked in the trade union movement until 1992 and subsequently as an MP.

'No doubt she will discover, as I have, that you never entirely leave Warwick. I keep coming across other Warwick graduates in all kinds of fields over the past 20 years, and I've no reason to believe that will change in the next 20.'

Graduating with distinction, Ms Mullis embodies the changing nature of industrial relations, going on to work in human resources at the London office of Citigroup, an international banking organisation operating in over 100 countries.

She said: 'The MA proved to be a challenging and stimulating course. I particularly relished studying alongside students from diverse backgrounds and being taught by leading academics in this subject.

'I was introduced to new theoretical concepts which encouraged and enabled me to think about employment in a broader manner.'

Ms Mullis is just one of an annual intake of between 30 and 50 students who each year have gone on to careers around the world not only in management, but also in trade unions, local and national government, policy-making bodies and research institutions.

They include Ali Buyukuslu, secretary general of the Chemical, Petroleum, Rubber and Plastic Industries Employers' Association of Turkey; William Ankrah, deputy general secretary of Ghana Mineworkers Union; Lesley James, former human resource director at Tesco's and a vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; Eddie Scouller, head of the equal pay team at the Equal Opportunities Commission and John Knell, deputy director of futures and head of research at the Industrial Society.

Prof Linda Dickens, academic director of the programme, herself graduated from the course in 1971.

She said: 'Reaching 1,000 graduates shows the continuing relevance of the study of industrial relations.

'Over the past 32 years the programme of courses has changed in line with developments in employment practices and their context, and in the concepts of industrial relations.

'The close links between the MA degree and the Business School's Industrial Relations Research Unit ensures that teaching benefits from the most recent research and is always of contemporary relevance.

'I am glad that our 1000th graduate is a woman. In the early days women were vastly outnumbered by men.

'But some things do not change and many of the themes and issues taught today would be recognisable to those who studied here in earlier decades.'

Jeff Rooker
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 18, 2001
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