We spoke to Cardiff students about how they feel about the upcoming graduation

Some students are not pleased


Cardiff University has revealed their plans for 2022 graduation, taking place at the Principality Stadium, which will controversially see students not allowed to cross the stage to receive their degree. Instead, a statement made by the Uni has instructed that students will: “stand and celebrate as a School from [their] place on the pitch.”

This year’s graduation will include three years’ worth of graduates finally getting their grad ceremonies, with former students from the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 also graduating alongside Class of 2022, between July 20th and July 22nd.

We asked Cardiff students due to graduate this year what they thought about the changes to graduation, and a vast majority are not pleased.

‘Such a kick in the teeth after the hard three years we’ve had with Covid’

Many students expressed their disappointment at the changes, calling them “tragic” and “an absolute joke”. Several students focused on the format of the ceremony itself and were upset about not being allowed to walk across the stage. One student commented: “Thought I’d get to live out my Elle Woods dream but now I just get to stand up and clap”, others encapsulated a feeling held by many by saying graduation seemed “pretty pointless.”

‘Honestly? I’m disappointed but not surprised’

Others took issue with the timing of the ceremony, with proceedings commencing at 18:00 and leaving some finding it hard to organise celebrations on the day with friends or family. One student commented that the main ceremony was “way too late. Going to be too drunk by then to even listen”. While the main ceremony begins at 18:00, the uni has requested students arrive from 15:30, leaving students asking: “But then what time do you book dinner?”

‘So tragic. Walking across the stage is a highlight’

One student has even set up a change.org petition entitled Give Cardiff Graduates The Graduation They Deserve, suggesting that although graduation plans have already been made, students can at least make clear their disappointment. The petition has already received over 1000 signatures at the time of writing.

‘Feels like a lazy cop-out’

With the news that many other universities would be dedicating weeks to do their graduation ceremonies justice, such as Manchester Uni who’s formerly postponed graduation ceremonies are happening over the course of two and a half weeks. Many Cardiff graduates, both those who are due to graduate this year, and those who’s ceremonies were postponed, are struggling with the idea that their ceremonies will be cramped into a three-day period. One student commented: “Feels like that’s not even a graduation ceremony? More like a lecture.”

‘Is the SU open after?’

Other students kept their priorities straight, and honestly, we’re wondering the same?

The responses we received from many Cardiff students show that a lot of people feel let down by the universities decision to host a large-scale event, rather than have a ceremony that celebrates the individual’s hard work over the course of their degrees. Of course, many are quick to remind us we are lucky to be having a ceremony at all after the past two years graduates have had to wait until now to have theirs.

When asked about the backlash faced, Cardiff University directed us to a statement previously issued: “We recognise that the last two years have been incredibly difficult and challenging for all our students. We appreciate the disruption that Covid-19 has had on their student experience and everyday life.” They added, ‘That notwithstanding, it is important to stress that we are still finalising the format of the event. Your feedback will help inform this… I am keen to ensure that all our students’ hard work and efforts are recognised.”

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