THERE were joint celebrations for a father and son who graduated from Dudley College together.

Paul Owen, aged 49 and his 26 year-old son, Christian, jointly collected their certificates on stage, following three years of AAT accounting studies.

The pair, from Stourbridge, joined more than 90 fellow graduates at the Higher Awards ceremony held by the college to honour the students for their hard work in a range of courses including business, engineering, construction, fashion and public services.

For the first time the graduates also paraded in their caps and gowns from Dudley Evolve on Tower Street across Coronation Gardens to the college’s Broadway campus, where the official university-style graduation ceremony took place.

College Principal, Lowell Williams, said: “We introduced the procession across Coronation Gardens so local people could enjoy this colourful and customary event, as it is quite a spectacle to see. Many people don’t realise that the level of the qualifications we offer are equivalent to university courses, and as such, warrant a full graduation ceremony to celebrate and recognise our student’s achievements.

“Our higher level courses are often undertaken by people in full-time jobs, and are essential to their career progression. The accomplishment of their course regularly has the added pressure of working and juggling a home life whilst completing their studies, which is not an easy thing to manage. I really admire our graduates for their commitment and wish them all the very best for the future and in their chosen careers.”

Christian, who works for his family- owned accountancy business is set to continue with his studies, while computer-programmer Paul, is planning to use his newly acquired qualification to support the Merry Hill-based business.