Forty STEP students from Canada, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the USA graduated at that ceremony. The students embarked on their collaborative studies at IoE and the IIS in September 2007. Each student graduated with a double award: MA in Education (Muslim Societies and Civilisations) and MTeach (Masters of Teaching). Commendation is due to the following students who received a distinction in their Masters’ degrees: Fayyaz Ali, Noorin Fazal, Shaira Kachra, Rizwan Lalani, Zohirbek Piltaboev and Sheila Virani; Farah Virani is also to be specially commended on being awarded a double distinction.

Several Honorary Doctorates were awarded at the ceremony as well. The Honorary Graduands included Malorie Blackman, the award-winning and prolific author of books for children and young adults; Lady Elizabeth Vallance, for her path-breaking contributions in shaping British public sector policies in education, health and ‘Standards in Public Life’; and Richard Martineau for exemplary public service and designing innovative partnerships between businesses and public education. In his speech, Richard Martineau commented that graduation ceremonies marked the passing of the torch of learning and responsibility from one generation to the next.

Since completing the Secondary Teacher Education Programme, the graduates have all successfully taken up full-time employment positions as Secondary Education teachers in the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Boards (ITREBs) in their home countries. The teachers will be responsible for the delivery of IIS’ Secondary Curriculum at Ismaili religious education centres.