From education to employment

College graduates in Higher Education celebrate at Brunel University London

Graduates, friends, family and staff got together in person for the first formal Higher Education (HE) graduation for Uxbridge College and Harrow College since pre-pandemic.

The graduates on the HNC, HNDs and Professional Diploma programmes were presented with their awards at Brunel University London, and celebrated with drinks and a buffet – and the traditional custom of throwing their ‘mortar boards’ (caps) up in the air.

The event marked the achievements of Higher Education (HE) and equivalent graduates from HCUC, the merged college group for Uxbridge College and Harrow College.  A number of these students each year go straight into ‘top-up’ degrees – university programmes that HND students can join in the final undergraduate year.

One of the graduates now completing a top-up degree was Darragh Doyle – having completed his BTEC HND Level 5 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at Uxbridge College last year, he progressed to the BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and Design at LSBU (London South Bank University). Darragh had also previously studied at Uxbridge College, completing Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications – equivalent to GCSE and A Level – in engineering.

Speaking after the ceremony, Darragh said: “Engineering is my passion and it’s a great career choice too – it’s also a real advantage to be able to go straight from college into the final year at university. I’m now considering a Master’s qualification – this has been my first graduation, but perhaps it won’t be my last!”

Dr Darrell DeSouza, CEO and Principal of HCUC, who presented the students with their awards, said: “It was really lovely to see so many of our graduates and their guests in person for our Higher Education ceremony, when this has not been possible over the last couple of years due to the pandemic.

“We all feel extremely proud of all our graduates and it is wonderful to see so many either going on to university study, or directly into the careers of their choice, thanks to gaining the skills so highly in demand by industry.

“A significant proportion of our graduates now join their programmes intending to progress to university, through this increasingly popular route to gaining a degree at a manageable cost.

“Many of our graduates studied STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – through HCUC’s West London Institute of Technology, which we launched in 2019 and which has its flagship centre on the Uxbridge campus. We are continuing to develop and equip the IoT to its highest standard and look forward to our new higher-level students joining us in September.”

Working in partnership, HCUC, Brunel University London and Pearson are now also developing a new Higher National qualification, leading to an HND in Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering or Computer Systems Engineering.  

Graduates this year completed HE awards, accredited by Pearson, in the following subject areas: Business; Computing; Computing Plus; Creative Media Production – Games Development; Electronic Engineering; Engineering – General; Mechanical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Construction & The Built Environment; International Travel & Tourism Management. The cohort also included HCUC’s first set of graduates from the Level 4 UAL Professional Diploma in Performing Arts.

For more information about HE qualifications for Uxbridge College and Harrow College go to:

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