74-year-old makes history as oldest graduate from Oxford Business College

Francisca Judite, who lives in Headington, completed her BA (Hons) degree in business management in June and was presented with her certificate at her graduation in October.

Originally a Portuguese teacher, Ms Judite lived in Mozambique before relocating to Portugal in 1999.

She eventually moved to the UK and began her degree program in 2019, setting her on a path to become the first university graduate in her family.

Oxford Mail: Francisca JuditeFrancisca Judite (Image: David Hartley for Oxford Business College)


Ms Judite said: “I’m so proud to have completed my first degree – and it’s been a long time coming.

“I hope it will inspire other members of my family to go to university.

“I love studying, and my course developed my English and taught me everything I’ll need when I start my business.

“I want to start a business selling products online.

“I left Mozambique because the money I was earning as a teacher wasn’t sufficient to manage my life.

“I like the UK – it is a country with a lot of opportunity.

“I’m currently looking into doing a master’s degree, but first I need to complete a postgraduate diploma, so I’m saving up my money.”

She has aims of pursuing her master’s degree and she hopes her academic pursuits have inspired her son to consider further education as well.

Oxford Business College has grown in the past few years from a student population of 3,111 in 2021 to more than 7,500 students currently.

The college recently conducted a study that revealed an increase in the average age of first-year UK undergraduates each year since 2014.

This is a trend largely attributed to the cost-of-living crisis forcing many students to delay entering higher education.

A typical first-year UK student is now aged 22 years and two months – a year and two months more than in 2014.

More than a third of the college’s students are aged over 40, a fact it attributes to its flexible study options.

Professor Fawad Inam, executive principal of Oxford Business College, said: “Francisca is an inspiration to everyone who has always wanted to get a degree but thought they had missed their chance.

“It’s never too late to achieve your dreams, and our flexible approach to studying at Oxford Business College means that you can learn alongside any work or other commitments.

“We look forward to Francisca joining us for the next stage of her education, and we will be ready to support her in whatever business ventures she has planned.”

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