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Queen’s University holds first pet graduation ceremony to honour support of companion animals to students

Queen’s University holds first pet graduation ceremony to honour support of companion animals to students

Queen’s University Belfast has become the first university in the UK to recognise the role of companion animals in education attainment with a special, light-hearted pet graduation.

And while it was fun and provided plenty of cuddles and laughter, the move to include animal companions in university life is based on research that shows the important degree of support they can provide as study buddies, helping to improve concentration and lower stress levels.



A Queen’s spokesperson said: “We invited graduates to bring their supportive pets to accept a Queen’s University Belfast honorary dog-to-cat degree in either Pawlitical Sciences, Barkitecture, Furensic Pawthology or Barketing.

“The University conferred 25 graduates, which included a number of dogs, cats, and even a dwarf hamster, celebrating the furry friends who have supported their human through their time at Queen’s.

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“I’m delighted to see Rico and the support he gave me throughout my studies being recognised and celebrated by the University, and it’s exciting to be a part of history at the UK’s first pet graduation ceremony of its kind.

“Despite being a mature student in dog years, Rico is still full of beans and has been a great comfort during my studies. I am delighted to see his efforts recognised and to have another Queen’s graduate in the family!”

(Image: QUB)

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Keen as mustard, Storm the Labrador Poodle mix enjoyed all the grad fuss

(Image: QUB)

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“I’m thrilled to see Raphael’s ongoing support being recognised and rewarded by the University. It’s great to be a part of this ceremony as pets are such an integral part of the family, we would all be so lost without them. Raphael has been one of my best friends throughout my studies at Queen’s; always there to give you a warm cuddle when you least expect it but just when you really need it, even if he has to walk all over my laptop! I’m grateful to have his contributions to my degree formally awarded and it would be great to see this tradition continued in years to come.”

(Image: QUB)

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Luka, a Bavarian Mountain Dog, pictured with his proud family

(Image: QUB)

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“I am so pleased that Milo got to be a part of my big day through this opportunity. He has been the best study buddy throughout my Queen’s experience. This is an excellent opportunity to show him how much his support has meant to me in such a fun way!”

(Image: QUB)

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Archie the Labrador Poodle mix with mum Danielle

(Image: QUB)

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Milo Carruthers a Cavalier Poodle mix, knocks his proud graduation pose out of the park!

(Image: QUB)

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Pocket rocket, a Border Terrier mix, pictured with mum Alanna

(Image: QUB)

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Toby, a Miniature Yorkshire Terrier Jack Russell mix, is more used to a flat cap but he donned the mortarboard with a certain aplomb

(Image: QUB)

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Greyhound Darcie Rowan at her graduation ceremony at Queen’s, taking it all in her stride

(Image: QUB)

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Graduation is a family affair for Bailey, the smart little Shih Tzu Bischon Frise mix

(Image: QUB)

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Milo .. small but mighty support

(Image: QUB)

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Jesse James O’Reilly, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel graduated after supporting mum Caoimhe with her studies

(Image: QUB)

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Sammy the Black Labrador(able) is very happy to graduate at Queen’s

(Image: QUB)

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Chihuahua Buddy with mom Lucy

(Image: QUB)