A 60-year-old Kenyan immigrant has fulfilled a “lifelong dream” of graduating from university 22 years after she finished.

Krishna James from Harrow was unable to attend her graduation from the University of East London in 1996 because she had no one to look after her new baby boy, Sathya.

Last month, the university invited Krishna back to attend this year’s graduation ceremony where she was at long last awarded her Art History degree.

The opportunity only came about because her now grown up son, Sathya contacted the university after hearing the story from his mother two decades later.

He said: “I had just graduated myself and we were looking at photos from my ceremony and my mum started talking about what had happened to her.

“I had no idea. I’d always presumed that she had graduated but just not taken any photos.”

Krishna added: “Sathya was only three weeks old and born six weeks premature. He was so precious, I couldn’t risk it, but I was very disappointed I couldn’t go.

“It was something I had been striving for all my life.”

Getting a university education had been a long-held dream for Krishna from when she arrived in the UK from Kenya in 1968.

She said: “I had to leave school in Kenya at the age of 12 and I gave up all hope of education.

“It only started again at 14 when coming to this country. But still I had no hope of going to university.

“Nobody in my family before me had gone, and in my generation, girls didn’t go to university. My mum never even went to school – she can’t read and write.”

Krishna was 38 and a qualified nurse by the time she got to the University of East London to study Art History.

She has been sharing her passion with the community ever since, putting on photography exhibitions, working with mental health charities and running a group called the Asian Women’s Forum.

Speaking about her degree she said: “I’m over the moon that I managed to do this against the odds.”