Shah Rukh Khan receives honorary degree
One of the world’s most popular actors – Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, has received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh as he swapped his acting gear for a robe and graduation cap.
The 49-year-old world-renowned personality received his Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal in Edinburgh last week.
Khan, who has appeared in more than 80 films, was presented with the degree in recognition of his outstanding record of philanthropy, altruism and humanitarianism and his global reach as an actor.
His charitable work has included bringing solar power to rural villages in India, creating a children’s ward at a Mumbai hospital and supporting relief funds to assist areas devastated by tsunamis.
After receiving his honorary degree, the film-star gave a public lecture, which was attended by many of the University’s 400 South Asian students, along with South Asian community groups.
The University has been linked with India for nearly 250 years wih Professor William Robertson, Edinburgh’s Principal from 1762 to 1793 and a noted Enlightenment thinker, writing one of the earliest European texts to focus on India.
The university’s first Indian student graduated in 1876 and by the 1920s its Indian student population was greater than that of any other UK University.
Receiving his honorary degree, Khan, said: “It is a pleasure to be honoured by the University of Edinburgh and tread in the footsteps of so many of the world’s illustrious thinkers, leaders and personalities.
“To have the opportunity to address one of the most esteemed educational institutions in the world is a special moment.
“I look forward to the University continuing on its path as a great civic university, demonstrated by its partnership with India, addressing health, academic and research excellence and social justice.
“I hope that many more of India and South Asia’s brightest minds get a chance to learn, think and grow at Edinburgh.”
Professor Charlie Jeffery, University of Edinburgh Senior Vice-Principal, said it was a ‘privilege’ to present the award on behalf of the university.
“The University of Edinburgh has very strong ties with India and I am delighted that we are able to recognise the philanthropic work and career of one of the most outstanding stars of world cinema.
“It is a great privilege to present Shah Rukh Khan with one of our highest honours, a doctorate of the University.
“As India’s population and economy grow, so too does the demand for world-class education. Our aim at Edinburgh is to build partnerships and strengthen awareness that will reinforce our position as the partner of choice for the Indian knowledge economy.”