Bollywood star to receive honorary doctorate at Diwali weekend celebrations in Birmingham


Bollywood star to receive honorary doctorate at Diwali weekend celebrations in Birmingham

Preity G Zinta – one of the most popular and recognisable stars of Indian cinema – has learned she is set to receive an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University (BCU) ahead of her visit to the West Midlands next weekend to help with the region’s Diwali celebrations.

The 48-year-old will accept the honour in recognition of her contribution to Bollywood and the business world. It is understood the honorary degree will be formally presented to her by BCU in India next year.

Ms Zinta will join Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), for a weekend of exciting events in conjunction with the Consulate General of India on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November.

The events include a star-studded gala dinner at Millennium Point and a cultural programme at Birmingham Town Hall.

The Mayor said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Preity G Zinta to Birmingham and our vibrant region. Her forthcoming honorary doctorate from BCU is a testament to her remarkable contributions to both Bollywood and her philanthropic endeavours.  

“We are excited to have her lead our Diwali celebrations. Birmingham is proud to be home to a thriving Indian diaspora, and Preity’s visit will undoubtedly resonate with our students and the wider community. We look forward to an unforgettable weekend of cultural celebrations.”

Ms Zinta is expected to get a rapturous reception from the hundreds of Indian students enrolled at Birmingham’s colleges and universities as well as the city and wider region’s substantial south Asian community. Her last appearance in the UK was over a decade ago when she spoke to Oxford University students at the Oxford Union Society.

Speaking about her forthcoming visit, Ms Zinta said: “It’s a tremendous privilege to be receiving this honorary doctorate from BCU – especially given its strengths in business and media that chime so well with my own career.

“I’m very excited to be part of the Diwali celebrations in Birmingham and look forward to meeting all the wonderful people there – marking the Festival of Lights together. I cannot wait to see you all in Birmingham.