Institute of Education
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IOE awards Honorary Degree to British barrister and television broadcaster

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society has named Robert Rinder MBE an Honorary Doctor of Literature (DLit) for his contributions to Holocaust education through his collaboration with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education.

Rob Rinder shaking Professor Rees' hand at the graduation ceremony. Credit: James Tye for UCL.

Robert's citation was read by Professor Stuart Foster, Executive Director of the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, who paid tribute to Robert’s engagement with the work of the Centre and its Beacon Schools programme, which enables schools to become dynamic hubs in teaching and learning about the Holocaust.

Rob Rinder in his graduation gown. Credit: Nic Wetherall.

Rob in his cap and gown. Nic Wetherall.

Robert also collaborated with the Centre on ‘The Holocaust, Their Family, Me and Us’ educational project, where he helped his mother, Angela Cohen MBE, and fellow British Jewish families trace the stories of their families to understand their experiences in the Holocaust.

The project was developed by UCL’s Dr Nicola Wetherall MBE and the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, also a Beacon School. 

More than 200 secondary schools have participated in the project, which uses personal stories to humanise history and deepen students’ knowledge of the Holocaust – enabling them to develop critical thinking skills and challenge the troubling misconceptions that many people still hold about this history.

Rob Rinder speaking at graduations. James Tye for UCL.

Rob Rinder MBE at Royal Festival Hall. James Tye for UCL.

Robert talks about the importance of using stories of ordinary lives to engage students and deepen their understanding of the Holocaust, which he writes about in an article in Schools Week.

He says:

“The Centre understands as I now do that human stories are essential if an understanding of the context of Holocaust as a historical event is to be taught and understood. That is how people connect with it.”

The award was conferred at a graduation ceremony for IOE graduands on 20 May 2024.

At a speech during the ceremony, Professor Foster recently said

“Through this work, Rob has emphasised the enduring importance of Holocaust education, and within that, the power of first-person testimonies and real-world accounts of victims and survivors, but also of perpetrators, rescuers and bystanders. 

“This is to demonstrate a central message in Holocaust education, of how everyone is susceptible to indoctrination, and the importance of standing up to injustices.”



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