Colm Tóibín honoured by The Open University
AWARD-winning author and academic Colm Tóibín is to be recognised by the Open University (OU) for services to the arts and sciences.
A novelist, short story writer and playwright, will join more than 250 OU students for a degree ceremony in Belfast today.
He will be honoured with the award of Doctor of the University at a ceremony in the Waterfront Hall alongside graduates of all ages and backgrounds and from a spectrum of careers.
The OU makes honorary awards in line with its mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and the promotion of social justice through the development of knowledge and skills.
Professor Tóibín is being recognised for services to the arts and sciences while Professor Martin Bradley, formerly Chief Nursing Office for Northern Ireland, will receive a Master of the University for his contribution to public services.
Many of the 258 graduates have fitted their studies around work or family commitments; some have a disability or live in a remote or rural community, while others did not have traditional university entry qualifications, or came from low-income households.
For all of them, the ceremony marks the culmination of years of hard work and commitment to learning.
Prof Tóibín said the OU had been "an inspiration to the world".
"It has been one of the greatest innovations of the past half century. In a time when access to higher education seems more and more important, I am proud to receive this honour from The Open University," he said.