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Hollywood glamour marks the official renaming of Norwich University of the Arts

While there was no red carpet on the day, a sprinkling of Hollywood stardust covered a civic ceremony held at City Hall on Thursday (31/01/2013). Honouring the progression of Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) to university status, the event also marked the official appointment of the actor John Hurt CBE as the institution’s first Chancellor.

John Hurt in academic gown with Professor John Last

John Hurt with Professor John Last, Vice-Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts.

Best known for acting roles in films which include Elephant Man, Midnight Express, 1984 and more recently Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and the Harry Potter series, John began his association with NUA last year and officially accepted his ceremonial figurehead and ambassador position amid the pomp and circumstance of Norwich City Hall’s Council Chamber, in an event that was attended by the Lord Mayor and Sherriff of Norwich.

NUA is one of ten Higher Education Institutions in the country to receive Privy Council approval to become a university, correcting the anomaly that required smaller specialist Higher Education Institutions to include ‘College’ in their name, despite awarding their own degrees and being subject to the same rigorous quality controls and financial framework as larger universities.

The name change, along with the appointment of a world-famous actor to represent and promote the University, will enable the 170 year old institution to continue to attract outstanding creative students from across the UK and internationally.

John Hurt described his aspirations and ambitions for his future role: “I hope that, together with the Vice-Chancellor Professor John Last and his brilliant team I will be able to help make NUA an arts University second to none and the envy of the most illustrious institutions not just in this country but worldwide.”

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