Degrees: Ceremonies

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th March 2018.

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Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to cap the amount that universities charge for students attending degree ceremonies.

Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to support students from low income families who would like family members to attend a degree awarding ceremony but cannot afford the guest charges.

Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Higher education providers are autonomous and independent organisations and as such, decisions on graduation ceremonies and whether to provide support to family members are a matter for individual providers.

The government expects higher education providers to consider access arrangements when planning graduation ceremonies, including any legal obligations they have under the Equality Act 2010. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published the attached guidance on their website for providers on avoiding discrimination at graduation and certificate ceremonies, which is available at: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/avoiding-discrimination-graduation-and-certificate-ceremonies.

This government is committed to widening participation to higher education for students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups. Our ongoing reforms are helping provide talented young people from all backgrounds with the opportunity to study at our world-class universities. The Higher Education Act (2017) has established the Office for Students (OfS) which will have a statutory duty to have regard to promote equality of opportunity in access to and participation in higher education. As a result, widening access and participation will be at the core of the OfS’s functions.

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