VP Communities pushes for abolition of graduation fees

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Credit: stirlingstudentsunion.com

Jess Logan, Stirling University’s Vice President Communities, gave details of her plan to abolish graduation and award fees at last week’s Union meeting.

In her short remarks at the February 7 meeting, Logan spoke of her intent to succeed where her predecessor, Lauren Marriott, failed last year, in eliminating the compulsory costs.

At the moment, students can expect to pay a £50 fee upon their graduation, whether they are attending the ceremony or not. Logan appeared fairly confident of fee abolition for the latter category, saying: “For now it looks like graduating in absentia will be free from this June.”

However, she could only say she was “working towards” eliminating graduation fees for all students, regardless of attendance.

When asked for comment, the university would not judge the likelihood of such an arrangement coming to pass, saying only: “The university is currently reviewing the fee structure for conferral of degrees, working in close collaboration with the Students’ Union to listen to students’ views and improve the student experience for all.”

According to the university, the graduation costs go towards “the conferral of the degree award, print and production of degree certificates, the ceremony programme and reception, secure postage for those who do not attend the ceremony, and other costs associated with awarding degrees and hosting the ceremony.”

The issue of graduation fees has been a major talking point at the Union since at least last year, when then-VP Communities Lauren Marriott made the elimination of the costs one of her key targets for the end of the 2015/16 academic year.

A survey taken at the time found that 85.3% of 200 students surveyed felt that £50 was not a fair price for graduation, and 94.3% felt that it was unfair to expect students who could not attend their graduation to pay the same amount.

At the end of February last year, however, the University informed her that they would delay the revision of graduation costs until the 2016/17 academic year, and Marriott ended the year disappointed at her lack of results.

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