Grandmother celebrates degree with Barnet and Southgate College

Barnet and Southgate College's higher education (HE) graduation ceremony took place on Tuesday 25 September at St. John the Baptist Church in Barnet

Graduating HE students were presented with their certificates by Dr Kondal Reddy-Kandadi, Pro Vice Chancellor from the University of Bolton. The ceremony was attended by students, staff and their families. Over 140 students graduated in a total of eight academic areas including: a range of Access to Higher Education courses, Hair and Beauty Management, Computing and Business Management degree courses.

Celebrating graduates included 56-year-old grandmother, Ramatu Fofanah (pictured above), originally from Sierra Leone but now living in East London. Ramatu graduated with a foundation degree in IT, in association with Bolton University.

She said: “My foundation degree took two years to complete and I’m hoping to continue to top up to a BSc degree. Although I live in East London, I chose the College for the course and I found it easy to travel by tube to the Southgate Campus twice a week, I even came in on my days off to study and meet with fellow HE students. I have four grown up daughters and six grandchildren, so starting the course was challenging at first but I soon got to grips with it and I liked the environment on campus and the lecturers. At first I was a bit down as I had to adjust to the mixture of ages, but my young granddaughters encouraged me to persevere. 

HE graduates from Barnet and Southgate College at their graduation ceremony in St Johns Church, High Barnet on 25 September 2018

Previously I’ve worked as a nursing assistant, but this was a whole new chapter for me and my fellow students and tutors all supported me and made me carry on when I felt like giving up. I chose IT as that’s what the world revolves around, it’s everywhere. I believe I now have the life experience and education to find a new job, my dream would be to teach, maybe even at the College. At the end of the day, age is just a number - your brain never stops working if you’re living then you should keep trying and carry on.”

David Byrne, Principal of Barnet and Southgate College said: “We’re very proud of all our new graduates. Their diversity of excellence reflects not just the diversity of our courses, but most importantly, the diversity of our students. From all walks and stages of life, across London and beyond and we wish each one of them every success in their future careers.”  

To see the full set of photos from this event, please take a look at our Flickr album

Students who graduated can download the photos directly from Flickr, or message us on Twitter or Facebook with their email address and the serial numbers of the photos they require and we shall send electronic copies.