Bradford

Huddersfield students angry over ceremony costs

Students at Huddersfield University have staged a protest over the cost of tickets for graduation ceremonies.

The university charges graduates' guests £15 each to attend the event hosted by its chancellor, X-Men and Star Trek actor Sir Patrick Stewart.

Student Nicola Blanchfield, who organised the protest, said: "I can't believe they are making us pay for our family and friends to see us graduate."

Vice-chancellor Tim Thornton said the charge was "very good value for money".

Professor Thornton said the university decided in 2002 to make its graduation ceremony "an impressive event". The charges were introduced that year.

The ticket price covers free parking and transport to the town centre for guests, venue hire, souvenir brochures and buffet food and wine.

"We're very proud of the graduation ceremonies. We think they are a fantastic celebration of our students' achievements," said Prof Thornton.

He said the actual cost of the event was about three times the income the university received from ticket sales.

However, about 500 students have signed a petition calling or the charge to be scrapped.

Ms Blanchfield, a third year textiles student, said: "We have worked hard over the three years and pay such a large amount in tuition fees.

"I would say to the vice chancellor we would like to see costing for the event because I'm sure we could do it cheaper ourselves.

"There are other universities that do not charge for graduation ceremonies such as Bradford, Reading, Newcastle and Liverpool.

"If these universities can afford to put it on for free I don't see why Huddersfield can't."

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