A NETWORK of education excellence was being forged with Hereford College of Technology at its heart, said University of Wales dean Dr Carl Peters.

Addressing graduates at a higher awards ceremony at Hereford Cathedral, he added: ''Collabora-tion among 20 further education colleges and the University of Wales in Newport is creating an impressive reputation for excellence.

"Today we celebrate the achievements of those Herefordshire students at the centre of this success story, those seeking further qualifications with the support of employers.''

HCT acting principal and chief executive Ian Peake said: ''Higher education cannot work without the partnership between employers, the local Learning and Skills Council and colleges being a strong one.''

He added: ''We can all take justifiable pride in watching our graduates reap the benefit of their studies.''

More than 200 certificates were collected, including those in education and management studies, higher national diplomas in computing, counselling and engineering, and national vocational awards at level 4.