University honour for broadcaster - Winter Degree and Award Congregations 2015

SWANSEA University has bestowed an Honorary Degree on one of Wales’s best-known broadcasters

Iolo Williams Honorary Degree 2015Wildlife expert Iolo Williams, presenter of the BBC’s Springwatch, received the award this afternoon (Tuesday, January 27) during the ceremony for the College of Human and Health Sciences and the College of Science held at the Brangwyn Hall.

Presenting the award, Professor Steve Wilks, Pro-VC Designate and, until earlier this month, Head of the College of Science, said:

“Iolo demonstrates qualities that we seek to develop and encourage at all levels at Swansea University to add value to the student experience.

He is community-centred, dedicated to communication and actively engaged in addressing real world problems – many of the attributes we value so highly at Swansea University.”

During his 15-year connection with Swansea University, Iolo has used his public profile to highlight environmental issues and helped the College of Science reach into the wider community.

Iolo Williams said of the honour:

“I am deeply moved to be presented with this honorary award by Swansea University.  I have worked closely with the university on several occasions in the past and am in awe of the academic talent they have on campus.  For someone like me, who was never an academic genius, to be given this award is a great honour.”

Iolo Williams Honorary Degree 2015 2The broadcaster has presented more than 25 TV series in English and Welsh including Tir Cymru, a landmark S4C series on the landscape of Wales.  Among his published works, Iolo co-authored Birds in Wales, the first book to collate all records of birds across the nation. 

He also worked on the first Welsh language pocket guide to European birds, a Welsh pictorial guide to British wildlife and a series of habitat guides for children. 

In 2013, Iolo launched the Swansea University Biodiversity Trail, created in partnership by the Department of Biosciences’ Swansea Ecology Research Team (SERT). Earlier this month his BBC series Iolo’s Great Welsh Parks highlighted the Singleton Campus Biodiversity Action Plan. 

Ceremonies were being held yesterday and today to celebrate the achievements of students who have successfully completed their studies since July 2014. They were joined by family and friends, University officials, academic staff, representatives of the Students’ Union, civic officers and local dignitaries.

Degrees and awards were yesterday received by students from the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Engineering, the Academic and Professional Enhancement Centre, Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE), College of Law and School of Management.

Today is the turn of students from the College of Human and Health Sciences, Department of Interprofessional Health Studies, Department of Nursing, Centre for Innovative Ageing Studies, Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, College of Medicine and College of Science.

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to students graduating this week. I hope this year’s graduates will look back with great affection on Swansea, particularly as it was during their time we soared up the UK league table to become a top 30 research university.”

  • For more on Swansea University’s Winter Degree and Award Congregations 2015, including student success stories from the different academic colleges and details of other Honorary Awards, visit

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