University of Leicester’s first ever graduation ceremony selfie

Posted by er134 at Jul 22, 2014 03:55 PM |
Engineering graduate makes history by taking a photograph of himself on stage when awarded degree

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 22 July 2014

Video footage of the University of Leicester’s first degree ceremony selfie on stage is available to view and embed at:

Contact to request images

The ‘selfie’ is the self-portrait of the digital age, endorsed by celebrities and politicians alike. The rise of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook has seen the selfie become a global phenomenon and was even named ‘word of the year’ by Oxford English Dictionary in November 2013.

Now an Engineering graduate has taken the trend one step further by becoming the first person to take a selfie on stage at a degree ceremony at the University of Leicester.

Asad Qureshi, 21, took the opportunity to snap a photograph on stage with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Robert Burgess, at his degree congregation on Wednesday 16 July 2014.

Asad, who graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, used his mobile phone to take the selfie and was met with applause and cheering from the audience of hundreds of people from around the world.

Rt Hon the Lord Grocott, Chancellor of the University, in his closing speech moments afterwards described the act as the “first-ever” at Leicester.

Asad, from Pakistan said: “I was sitting with my friend taking selfies, when she suggested that I should take one with the Vice-Chancellor. I accepted the challenge, but she didn't believe me so dared me to do it. Once I am dared to do something, I never chicken out, so I did it!

“Afterwards, all my friends were calling me a legend and my family couldn’t stop laughing. It happened near the end of the ceremony and really livened up the room.”

Asad now plans to work in the UK and study for a Master’s after a few years in employment.

This year’s degree congregations were the final set Professor Sir Robert Burgess will participate in as Vice-Chancellor as he retires from the role at the end of September.

Sir Robert said: “Taking selfies is now part of everyday life and I was not surprised that it has now appeared in a Leicester degree ceremony.”

When asked how it felt to be the first person in Leicester’s history to take a selfie on stage with the Vice-Chancellor, Asad said: “It’s just awesome, I can’t believe no one has done it before at Leicester and if people follow, I will have started a new trend.”

The University’s 2014 degree ceremonies were held from 15 – 18 July at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. Other novel ways graduates celebrated their academic successes included dancing and kissing the stage.


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Asad Qureshi via email:

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