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Ellie Goulding receives honorary degree from University of Kent at Canterbury Cathedral

By Marijke Hall

Brit-award winning artist Ellie Goulding has reflected on her time in her "cold little garage room" in Canterbury before she quit university to follow a career in music.

The Love Me Like You Do hit-maker, who studied at the University of Kent for two years, made the comments during a speech at Canterbury Cathedral after receiving an honorary Doctor of Arts degree in recognition of her contribution to music.

Goulding left Canterbury in 2008 and was signed to Polydor Records the following year. Her debut studio album Lights went to number one of the UK albums chart in 2010.

Speaking at the ceremony, she admitted she was "not the most linear of students" while at university.

"I never got to experience this sheer joy of graduating...so I'm going to be making the most of it while I'm here - I'll see you at Wetherspoons later, guys," she joked.

The 32-year-old added that coming back to Canterbury had completed the circle for her.

"I decided to follow my instinct and pursue my musical ambitions which sadly meant cutting short my time here," she said.

Ellie Goulding recieves her honorary degree at Canterbury Cathedral. Credit: University of Kent (13990138)
Ellie Goulding recieves her honorary degree at Canterbury Cathedral. Credit: University of Kent (13990138)

"Coming back today does complete that circle for me 11 years later, after I packed up my cold little garage room on Kemsing Gardens and it feels really good."

The singer-songwriter studied drama and theatre studies at the university’s Canterbury campus.

She is among 13 people to receive honorary degrees in ceremonies at Canterbury Cathedrals today, including poet and performer Patience Agbabi, conservation biologist Professor Carl Jones, UK space expert Libby Jackson and former BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders.

The BRIT Awards 2014.Wednesday, February 19, 2014 (Photo/John Marshall JM Enternational). (9149866)
The BRIT Awards 2014.Wednesday, February 19, 2014 (Photo/John Marshall JM Enternational). (9149866)

Mr Jones will be the 500th recipient of an honorary degree from the university.

The university is also honouring Mavis and Ray Nye, campaigners who use social media and advocacy to promote awareness of asbestos-related cancer Mesothelioma.

Joanna Roper CMG, who studied social anthropology and linguistics at Kent, and is now the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s special envoy for gender equality, will also receive an honorary degree.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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