20/06/2012 12:16 BST | Updated 20/06/2012 12:22 BST

Aung San Suu Kyi Receives Honorary Doctorate From Oxford University

Aung San Suu Kyi was "hailed with joy" by her former university on Wednesday, as she returned to Oxford to receive an honorary doctorate.

The Burmese opposition leader was praised for her "patience and endurance" during her 24 years under house arrest in her homeland, in a ceremony at the prestigious institution.

Suu Kyi was awarded an advanced degree in civil law during Oxford's annual Encaenia ceremony.

It is the first time the pro-democracy leader has visited Oxford for decades.

aung san suu kyi

Suu Kyi was honoured by her former university

Presenting the award, Oxford's Public Orator, Professor Richard Jenkyns of Lady Margaret Hall, said that while her return to Oxford is a public event, it is not forgotten that Ms Suu Kyi is also returning to her old home and "a city full of memories".

She lived in Oxford during the 1980s with her late husband, Tibetan scholar Michael Aris, and their sons Alexander and Kim.

Speaking in Latin, Prof Jenkyns paid tribute to Suu Kyi, saying that her presence at the university "speaks more eloquently than any language."

"This we say to her: 'Of necessity, your return here is a public event, observed by many eyes, but we do not forget that you are also coming back to your old home and to a city full of memories", Prof Jenkyns said in his oration.

"Here you studied and formed friendships, here you knew the delights of youth, here as a wife and mother you lived a quiet domestic life, until your love of country and passion for the cause of freedom summoned you back; but you were forced to leave behind a beloved husband and children, so that your return to your native land was made into a kind of exile.

"For many years you bore the burden of isolation, displaying patience and endurance to a degree not easily imagined.

"We hail you with joy as you appear in Oxford once more: as for yourself, we do not know what mixture of emotions you feel, and it would be impertinent to intrude on them.

"But this we declare: your silence has sounded louder than the jabber of politics and the clang of military power; out of deep darkness your little lamp has shone across the planet; your stillness has moved the world'."


Sir Alex Ferguson Receives Honorary Degree From Manchester

Mel Brooks To Get Honorary Degree