Queen’s vicar congratulates Newham’s parent graduates

Graduates celebrated during the ceremony Picture: Michael Cockerham Photography

Graduates celebrated during the ceremony Picture: Michael Cockerham Photography - Credit: Archant

More than 200 guests saw parents as first-time graduates at a special ceremony held recently in Canary Wharf.

Seventy students were officially awarded degrees from Newham College University Centre which is Newham College’s higher education faculty. It attracts mature people from low-income backgrounds whose ambitions at school did not include degree-level qualifications.

The keynote speaker at the event was the Jamaican-born chaplain to the Queen and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

She said that after dealing with jobs, families and studying through sleepless nights, the new graduates should celebrate their achievement.

One new graduate, Radha Kaur, 32, from Plaistow, was thrilled to be at the ceremony and brought her three children and sister with her.

She plans to pursue a Masters degree or PhD and qualify as a teacher or lecturer.

Radha said: “Three years is a long time to study when you have children but I gained the confidence and motivation. Slowly my mind changed about my career and I began to think I could pursue a profession.

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“The knowledge I’ve gained from my course has made me very open minded, independent and strong about future aspirations and life in general.”

Rev Rose grew up in modest circumstances in a tenement yard in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She told the new graduates: “When you speak to your children and grandchildren, you will tell them your story with pride.”