Norwich historian has designs on Malta’s academic history

A Norwich historian and academic has made his mark on the university experience of one nation's students.

For PhD and Masters degree students at The University of Malta will, from now on, be graduating in ceremonial robes and hoods designed by Nick Groves, 55, from Rouen Road, Norwich.

The university held a competition for robe designers and former UEA post graduate Dr Groves – a founding fellow of The Burgon Society, which celebrates the history of university ceremonial dress – won with his designs inspired by traditional continental gowns.

Dr Groves received �4,000 for his efforts but the money was not what has delighted him most about the achievement because the lover of history has now made history himself.

'It's quite awe inspiring really. Graduates will be wearing them for a long time, maybe hundreds of years.

'They are the Maltese robes.

'PhDs haven't been around for long in Malta – only since the 70s.

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'Now the thousands of students who graduate will all have worn my designs.'

Dr Groves is going to the country for the university's graduation ceremony on November 18 when the PhD gowns will be worn for the first time.

In September he was honoured with the prize and a certificate from registrar of the university, Veronica Grech.