Student Services at the University of Nottingham have announced that they will be running a free live stream of all graduation ceremonies.

Beth Massey, the SU Education Officer, has been one of the strongest advocates for lowering graduation costs. Along with the graduation team, they have been able to secure the option for a free live stream hosted in the Sir Clive Granger Building.

The free live streams hosted at the university will be open 15 minutes before each ceremony. It does not include refreshments and brochures, which the £12 broadcast ticket offers. In addition, the ceremonies will also be streamed for free online.

Nishtha Jaisingh, a third-year law student who will be graduating in July, told Impact: “The online live stream being free is beneficial for both relatives of home as well as international students who either don’t have the time or because of any set of circumstances, find themselves unable to make a trip to Nottingham to watch the ceremony.”

“All costs that students face are the direct result of costs to the university”

This news comes after students have made many complaints about ticket prices and ticket limitations. Impact, who has been in contact with an individual with close ties to the organising of graduation, has confirmed that over the past few months there have been many calls and messages of frustration.

At the UoN, student graduation costs come from gowns, photographs and tickets. Tickets are £20 per person, and each student is allocated 2 initially. Gowns are hired and prices start at £50. On top of that, if one decides to purchase official graduation photographs, packages start from £27. In total, the average graduation price starts at £97.

Impact has been told that the UoN makes no profit from graduation. The individual who works with the graduation team told Impact: “Currently graduation’s cost is based almost entirely on the existence of third party organisations.” The individual goes on to add, “All costs that students face are the direct result of costs to the university.”

“The university only has control over the guest tickets as far as prices are concerned”

These third party organisations include catering, staff gowns, venues and even the gowns and photography, which all require a large amount of money to be paid. Thus, making the ceremonies costly to host.

Speaking to Impact, Beth Massey said: “The university only has control over the guest tickets as far as prices are concerned.” These tickets are used to cover the cost of the complimentary buffet and drinks, commemorative brochures and the staging costs.

However, changes have been made to reduce graduation costs. This year, the graduation ceremonies have been moved from the East Midlands Conference Centre, a third party venue, to the David Ross Sports Village. This will be one of the most effective ways for the costs to be lowered.

“What students can expect is that prices will inevitably drop”

In addition, the limitation of guest tickets is another reason for student frustration. The main reasoning for the limitation is due to capacity restrictions. Furthermore, when there are cases where students forget to register on time or are added last minute, it becomes difficult to provide them with their preferred tickets whilst keeping to the capacity limit.

Beth Massey’s work in providing a free live stream is a significant step forward in making graduation less costly. Beth, who will be leaving her post this month, wrote in a Facebook post, “I will be handing this project fully over to my successor to ensure continuity and actual success for winter graduation.”

Speaking to Impact, the individual who works for graduation said: “What students can expect is that prices will inevitably drop as the university breaks away from third-party organisations and towards being self-sufficient at hosting the ceremonies.”

The free live stream will be available in the following locations:

Wednesday 12 July – Friday 14 July – A48, Sir Clive Granger, University Park
Monday 17 July – Friday 21 July – A41, Sir Clive Granger, University Park

Free online streaming for all ceremonies here.

Felicity Goldsack and Sarah Lindgärde

Featured image courtesy of ‘Md saad andalib’ via Flickr. License here.

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