A TOTAL of 70 Hopwood Hall College students have graduated with higher-level qualifications.
The successful scholars received their awards in front of family, friends and VIPs at a ceremony in Rochdale Town Hall.
Students from across Greater Manchester, including Oldham and Rochdale, were recognised for their achievements in a variety of subjects including: electrical engineering, leadership and management, education and training, Early Years, animal management, sports development and games development.
Among the guests were: Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton, Liz McInnes, the Mayor of Rochdale, Mohammed Zaman, Assistant Principal of Hollingworth Academy, Colin Williamson and Professor Karl Dayson, Dean of Research at the University of Salford.
There was also a first for the Middleton and Rochdale-based College, as Nazir Afzal OBE performed his first official role for the College since taking over from Robert Clegg OBE as Chair of the Corporation.
Birmingham born Mr Afzal has previously been the Chief Prosecutor for North West England from 2011 to 2015 and Chief Executive of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
In his first public speech for Hopwood Hall College he said: “It is a privilege to welcome you all as the new chair of Hopwood Hall College.
“In my time here so far I can already see that this is an institution that is very established and cares deeply about its learners.
“Seeing so many people from the local area study at this level to better themselves is inspiring and I wish you all the best with your futures.
“If I could offer one bit of advice it would be this, success is not the result of spontaneous combustion; you must set yourself on fire.
“Look for your best and realise that the only ceiling you have is the one you set in your own mind.”