IT was a moment to relish for the 16 graduates of the Oxford Brookes University who received their degrees at the university's first graduation ceremony in Hong Kong recently. The occasion proved to be a reunion for the students who had graduated between 1982 and 1993 but had failed to attend the ceremony at Oxford. Formerly called the Oxford Polytechnic, the institution became a university in 1992 and now has about 100 students. The graduates were congratulated by the new Chancellor Helena Kennedy. ''Education changes lives, it certainly changed mine. Investment in the education of people today is investment in the future,'' she said. However, some graduates already felt the impact of the education they received at Oxford on their life in Hong Kong. Georgia Wong Wing-gee, a hotel and catering management graduate, said: ''I was not only able to experience the culture of people at Oxford, but also learnt to be independent. ''As the only child in my family, I had to live away from my parents and pay the bills, do the house chores, organise my life and handle all the problems by myself. ''The experience has enabled me to become a more mature person.'' Now a front desk officer at a hotel in Hong Kong, Georgia said her training allowed her to organise her work in a more sensible way. ''Apart from gaining knowledge in my field of study, I learnt to express my own point of view and ideas on various matters during my school years,'' she added. ''The analytical approach was encouraged at school. This broadened my way of thinking and has been quite beneficial to me in my job,'' said another graduate, Paul Wan Hoi-ming, 25. The ceremony was also attended by parents who were delighted to see their children receiving their degrees in Hong Kong.