Two Government ministers have been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Kingston University and St George’s, University of London. In different ceremonies, the Hon John Cortes and the Hon Gilbert Licudi were awarded Hon DUniv (Honorary Doctor of the University) degrees.
Dr Cortes said, "It is a real honour for me to have been awarded this honorary doctorate for my work in healthcare and healthcare training, all the more as it came as a complete surprise. I owe it to all those many people in the GHA, its School of Health Studies, Elderly Residential Services and the Ministry for Health who have worked hard over the past four and a half years to start fulfilling our ongoing vision for improvement. The changes we have made in promoting joined-up thinking in health and social care and in opening up the possibility for junior nurses to qualify as enrolled nurses and later registered nurses are two achievements of which we should be particularly proud I dedicate this honour to them.”
Minister Licudi commented “I consider this award to be a recognition of the excellent work done over the years by the professionals at the Department of Education rather than a personal award.
Gibraltar has always had close ties with Kingston University. Hundreds of our students have studied there including many who have obtained their teaching qualification at Kingston. We currently have 38 students at Kingston.
The Department of Education is in discussions with Kingston University and the University of Gibraltar with a view to introducing a new and bespoke teacher-training course at the University of Gibraltar.
The University of Gibraltar is, of course, the most significant development and achievement in Higher Education which we have seen in Gibraltar for many years. This award must also be seen as a recognition of the important contribution to Higher Education made by all of those involved in delivering the University of Gibraltar.”
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: "This highly prestigious recognition of the excellent work done by both John Cortes and Gilbert Licudi is a magnificent reflection of the improvements they have delivered as part of the GSLP-LIBERAL Government. In less than five years the contribution by John and Gilbert has revolutionised their particular areas of responsibility with the support of their respective departments and staff in a way that has improved the lives of people who rely on their departments. Health and Education are areas of Ministerial responsibility that affect people directly and I am immensely proud of the recognition afforded to them and on behalf of all their colleagues in Cabinet and on behalf of the whole of Gibraltar I extend our warmest congratulations to them, their families and their respective teams on the award of these important distinctions. Well deserved and well done guys!"