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Bollywood royalty Shah Rukh Khan honoured by university

Published 15/10/2015

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan receives an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan receives an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh

A Bollywood superstar has received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.

Shah Rukh Khan, who has appeared in more than 80 films, was presented with the doctorate in recognition of his philanthropic work and his global reach as an actor.

Khan, who has 15.7 million followers on Twitter, received the award from the university's chancellor the Princess Royal.

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 the degree, Khan gave a public lecture attended by many of the institution's 400 South Asian students, along with community groups.

He 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."

Edinburgh's first Indian student graduated in 1876 and by the 1920s its Indian student population was greater than that of any other UK university.

Its India Institute and India Liaison Office in Mumbai seek to extend the university's relationship there by encouraging research collaborations and academic exchanges.

Professor Charlie Jeffery, the university's vice-principal, said: "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."

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