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PM surprised by Catholic university's honorary degree

Prime Minister John Howard says he is pleasantly surprised to be awarded an honourary degree by Western Australia's Catholic Notre Dame University.

Mr Howard says he looks forward to receiving the award and addressing what he describes as one of Australia's great private universities.

"It will be an event that I will derive a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure from," he said. "It's an opportunity for me to say something about the contribution of Catholic education to the building of Australia."