Following the fortunes of our talented former students

Solihull College & University Centre Alumni

Are you a former student of the College? We’d love to hear about your career! Please get in touch with Marketing:

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Anton Inwood

After studying Media at the College, Anton Inwood has gone on to work for Channel 4, MTV, ITV, and now works as a producer at BBC Three.

Carol McNicoll

Carol McNicoll studied a foundation art course at the College from 1966 – 1967. She went on to further study Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic and then Ceramics at the Royal College of Art after being awarded a Princess of Wales Scholarship.

In the 1970s, she transformed the British ceramics scene and has since gone on to achieve immense success with her work being exhibited throughout Europe and displayed at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Charlie Fogarty MBE

Charlie Fogarty graduated the College in 2018 with a degree in Applied Sports Science.

In March 2012, Charlie defied all odds to survive after a devastating accident left him with a diffuse axonal injury and doctors weren’t sure if he would survive. In a coma for four months before waking, Fogarty had to relearn even the most basic of tasks. ‘Usually you only get one chance at life, but I got two’ he states. He taught himself to speak, walk, dress and eat again and through it all his sense of determination never faltered.

He went on to set up the Solihull Moors Open Age Disability team and has since visited over 50 football clubs to deliver motivational speeches to young footballers. He also began playing for Northern Ireland’s Cerebral Palsy international team.

In 2017, he was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to young people in Solihull. Read the story:

Inspirational Student Honoured With MBE

David Colcombe

David Colcombe studied Hotel Management at the College, then known as Solihull College of Technology. He went on to study under Anton Mosimann at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

David is currently a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, the British Culinary Federation, and visiting professor at University College Birmingham. In addition to this, he is Chef Director at Liquid PR and Tonic Talent in Hospitality.

He was the recipient of the prestigious Louis Copolla Award in May 2015 for “the greatest contribution to the profession”.

Gary Cahill

Gary Cahill studied a sports and fitness therapy course at the College whilst playing for Aston Villa early in his career.

Gary went on to become a Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League winner with Chelsea.

He made his England debut in 2010 and has since been capped 61 times. He has represented his country in 4 major tournaments.

He continues to achieve success in his football career as club captain at Chelsea.

Glynn Purnell

Michelin Star restaurant owner and TV personality, Glynn Purnell, studied on an apprenticeship at the College.

Glynn grew up in Chelmsley Wood, and from a very young age knew he wanted a career as a chef. He trained with top chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Claude Bosi. In 2003, he helped launch Jessica’s which became Birmingham’s first Michelin star.

Now a household name, Purnell is a Saturday Kitchen regular and owner of two restaurants.

Malcolm Venville

Malcolm Venville studied Media at the College for two years, after which he studied for his BA honours in Film, Video, and Photographic Arts from Polytechnic of Central London.

This led him onto a successful career as a photographer and film director. He has directed films featuring Keanu Reeves, James Caan, Vera Farmiga, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone and more.

In addition to this, he has directed numerous commercials for various companies such as XBOX, Apple, Audi, Nike, Nissan, Samsung, Jack Daniels, and many more.

Matthew J Saunders

Matthew J Saunders studied Art at the College where he met future bandmate John Hanson and struck up a unique bond that then led to the formation of Magnétophone – an electronic/art rock band.

Matthew, a mastering engineer, media composer, and visual designer has an exhaustive discography.

Magnétophone contributed a unique track for Visionaire along with artists such as U2, Liza Minnelli, and Yoko Ono.

Sohail Ilfraz

Solihull College & University Centre College Alumni Sohail Ilfraz

Army Corporal, Sohail Ilfraz studied Public Services at the College.

His experience prepared the way for his armed forces career. ‘It was the best 2 years ever, adventure training and PT’ he says of his course, ‘Requirements such as uniform checks and time management have resulted in a great career built on structure’.

Sohail is currently based in Aldershot in Hampshire. He hopes to be an instructor at Phase 1 training or work for an embassy overseas, potentially Washington DC.

Sohail recently returned to talk about his experiences with current Public Services students:

Corporal returns to inspire next generation

Talia White

Talia White studied Level 3 Photography at the College, deciding to stay on to study a HND in Photography and Digital Imaging at university level.

Talia’s photography has since been featured in a range of publications including Vogue.

She has since gone on to set up her own studio in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Will Grigg

Will Grigg studied a Level 3 Sport course as a member of the College’s Football Academy linked to Solihull Moors.

He began his professional career with Walsall Football Club and now plays as a striker for Sunderland. He made his full International debut for Northern Ireland against the Netherlands in June 2012.

Will filmed a video for the College promoting the football academy in 2013.