Glasgow Uni are considering scrapping the £50 graduation fee for this year’s ceremony
Aamer Anwar is supporting our cause
Outraged students have recently made calls for the University of Glasgow to scrap the excessive costs of graduating. Students have taken to Twitter and other social media outlets to protest against the £50 fee to attend their own graduation ceremony, on top of the £42 fee for gown hire. Comparisons have been drawn to universities in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Cardiff where no such fee is required and students only pay for robe hire or extra guest tickets.
32 year old anatomy student Fiona Ballantyne has even claimed the excessive fees may stop her from attending the ceremony – a real shame for students, families and faculty.
As many students are already paying up to £9000 a year in addition to taking out a maintenance loan, these unfair graduation fees are completely unacceptable. As a result of these calls from students, the rector and the media, the university has issued a statement on Twitter agreeing to scrap the £50 fee beginning next year.
"Hello, just wanted to update on this. UofG has already taken the decision to abolish the £50 graduation fee from 2019/20 & the student experience committee is currently looking at bringing this forward to this year.We shall be in a position to make an announcement soon. Gown hire is provided by an external company and it is up to individual students whether they choose to pay for this cost. Thank you for raising this and we hope this helps address it."
This row at Glasgow Uni has sparked wider controversy, with the student body NUS Scotland issuing calls for all Scottish unis to scrap this unnecessary charge. Many news outlets such as the Herald have also gotten onboard to report the story and add further pressure to universities.
Aamer Anwar has communicated his support for struggling students, saying “Most students dream of the day they will graduate, despite all the struggles they have faced along the way. To then find out that you can’t graduate because of the cost really is a kick in the teeth. Graduation day is supposed to be about celebration and not treating students as a cash cow. As for the gown company, who are a private firm, we need to have a look at why they need to charge so much for only a few hours hire.”
In light of these promising changes to protocol at the University of Glasgow, it is hoped that future graduates will have a cheaper and fairer graduation experience. However, questions have been raised over whether the action currently being taken is enough, and what's to stop the university from scrapping the £50 fee for this year's graduates.