‘Give me my grades not f**king Indiana Jones music’: Inside Glasgow Uni’s first graduations

‘Not knowing my degree classification slightly taints my experience as I am still anxiously awaiting results’

The University of Glasgow summer graduation ceremonies began today, with the university refusing to mention the ongoing industrial action or the lack of degree classifications received by students. Neither guest speaker, David Lammy nor Katherine Grainger, made reference to the ongoing strikes also.

Students today were the first to receive a degree parchment that did not display a degree classification. There are fears this certificate will not be accepted by many postgraduate courses and graduate jobs due to this lack of classification, with the university telling graduating students that a parchment with their classification will be sent out at a later date when marking is completed.

Jess, who graduated in sociology today, had previously told The Tab Glasgow how “heartbreaking” it was to receive an unclassified degree today, calling the situation a “kick to the teeth”.

The university chose to play Indiana Jones theme music to lift the mood as students walked out holding the piece of paper, many unsure if it will be enough to help them land a job or get onto a master’s.

Jess said to The Tab Glasgow: “Just give me my bloody grades, not f**kin Indiana Jones music”.

Today’s ceremonies marked the beginning of the university’s summer graduations, the first to happen since the UCU announced the Marking and Assessment Boycott in March. Graduation ceremonies took place at 11am and 4pm for law, accountancy, and social and political science students.

Whilst graduation days are usually filled with relief, joy, and excitement, today saw students in a variety of spirits due to the lack of solid communication from the university.

Katie, a student graduating with her bachelor’s in law, said how this graduation has been filled with “mixed emotions”. She said: “Not knowing my degree classification slightly taints my experience as I am still anxiously awaiting results”. Katie is one of the countless students who have urged the university to reenter negotiations with the UCU “for the good of the staff and the students still awaiting results”.

Students in both the morning and the afternoon ceremonies protested the university’s handling of the industrial action and the return of assessments.

In the morning ceremony, a student refused to acknowledge Glasgow University’s vice chancellor as they crossed the stage.

Throughout the afternoon, students were present wearing pink sashes over their gowns in solidarity with the ongoing UCU strikes. A student was seen with a placard around their neck reading “renegotiate now” as the university attempted to put a brave face on proceedings, acting as if nothing was untoward.

Both guest speakers, Lammy and Grainger, discussed the hardships that this cohort of students has faced without making direct reference to the ongoing lack of assessment return that students are dealing with.

Katherine Grainger’s speech commended students’ “strength and character” that has been “demonstrated in the most difficult of circumstances”.

She said: “None of [the previous cohorts] have achieved what they did while meeting the unprecedented challenges faced by your generation of students. One of the new words added to the dictionary across the world last year was “permacrisis”. The Collins dictionary describes permacrisis as “an extended period of instability and insecurity, lurching from one unprecedented event to another”.

“I am genuinely in awe of the determination, the resolve, and the strength and character that each and every one of you here has demonstrated in the most difficult of circumstances”.

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