Press Office


Medical leader inspires young students


Former college student, Professor Day has been awarded an Association of Colleges Gold Award to celebrate his successful career and to recognise the vital role college played in that.

Tyne Metropolitan College was celebrating today as Professor Chris Day, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor of Liver Medicine at Newcastle University and one of its former students, was awarded a prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Gold Award by Lord Willis of Knaresborough at the House of Commons.

Staff and students from Tyne Metropolitan College were present at the awards ceremony which is held each year to celebrate the success of further education alumni as well as acknowledge the vital role that colleges play in the careers of the winners and of their continuing achievements.

Professor Day was nominated by the College where he studied A-levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry and Scholarship levels in Maths and Chemistry between 1976 and 1978.  Professor Day’s potential was spotted by his Maths teacher at the college who encouraged him to apply to study medicine at Churchill College, Cambridge University.  Professor Day’s application was successful and this launched him into a career in medicine with a gastroenterology specialism.

A world renowned authority on Hepatology, Professor Day is currently Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Science and Professor of Liver Medicine at Newcastle University.  In addition he is Honorary Consultant Hepatologist for the Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Day has recently re-established contact with Tyne Metropolitan College and has been keen to support the aspirations of its current A-level students who hope to progress to medicine.

On winning his award Professor Day said: “I am absolutely delighted to win this award.  I hope my achievements in academic medicine inspire current students in FE colleges around the country to set their sights as high as possible in the knowledge that anything is possible with a bit of talent and lots of effort and dedication.”

Professor Chris Day was among eight former students whose careers have been positively influenced by their former Colleges.  The other winners are Russell Howard – Comedian, Hannah Cockcroft MBE – Double Gold medallist for wheelchair sprinting in the London 2012 Paraympics, Maggie Alphonsi MBE – England Rugby player, Sarah Longthorn – founder and designer of WedgeWelly, Paul Barron CBE – business consultant, Adam Gray – executive chef of the Skylon Restaurant at the Southbank Centre and Greg Fitzgerald – Chief Executive of Galliford Try plc.

To highlight the important role further education continues to play for today’s students, a ‘mini me’ campaign is run alongside the Gold Awards. The nominating colleges each select a current student who shows promise in a similar field to their Gold Award winner.

Jade Marie Stephenson, from North Tyneside, is currently studying A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.  She ultimately hopes to become a doctor.

Jade, 18, had the opportunity to meet her muse at the award ceremony at the House of Commons on 5 June and find out what it takes to carve out a successful career and about the role that their college played in their success.

Jade said, “I am interested in becoming a doctor because it offers constant learning and development and the opportunity to make a positive contribution to society.  Professor Day was a student like me from the North East of England. He visited the sixth form and when we met, he told me it was an experience of a lifetime to study at Cambridge and this convinced me to go ahead with the application.

“Professor Day took the time out of his busy schedule to offer help with career advice and guidance and supported me in furthering my application to university to study medicine.  I really appreciated the support and confidence he gave me and I am excited about the prospect of going to university.”


published on: 5 June 2013