Graduation Gown Fund 2022
For the 2021 graduation SRUCSA partnered with Registry to provide graduates with support in hiring their graduation gowns for their own at home celebrations. Gowns were available from Ede and Ravenscroft at a cost of £25. SRUCSA allocated £500 for the project, and Registry very generously doubled our proposal with a contribution, meaning the money available totalled to £1500. We were able to support 40 students in hiring their gowns!
This year (2022), SRUCSA decided to approach SRUC and ask for a step further to be taken – to remove all costs associated with graduation. We had 3 main proposals:
- Do not introduce graduation fees in the future
The first surrounds Degree Awarding Powers. SRUC currently does not charge students to attend graduation or receive their certificates. We propose that SRUC guarantees to students that achieving DAP will not change this and SRUC will not introduce graduation fees in the future.
- Remove any existing costs associated with graduation
We were not able to gather full details on what SRUC currently provides graduates as part of the ceremony and what comes at an additional cost. However, associated fees may include the cost of gown hire, purchasing a branded scroll-holder and purchasing professional photographs etc.
- Introduce a Graduation Participation Fund
This would allow students who cannot afford to attend or have the full experience of graduation to have the financial support in doing so. This may also support students attending graduation – SRUC is spread across Scotland, and graduation has typically been held in a singular place. Travel and accommodation for graduates and their families can be substantial, therefore, offering a support fund would help some students in reducing financial pressures.
- “(costs for graduation) would normally seek to cover the cost of the administration of the event, hire of the venue, production of certificates, the refreshments and drinks after the ceremony, the ceremonial piper, and celebration brochure. SRUC currently covers all these costs, and we have no intention to start the practice of passing this cost back to our students, including after being awarded TDAP.”
- SRUC were not in agreement to fund all costs associated with graduation (e.g everyone’s gown hire, and photography cost). SRUC already fund more for graduates than other institutions, who, for example, charge graduates to attend graduation or graduate in absentia. This is because this significant additional spend would need to be found from the teaching budget, which is not possible.
However, “SRUC already does provide free coaches to graduation which leave from each of our campuses, and onto which our graduates and their families are able to book spaces free of charge. This is most unusual within the sector, but as you rightly point out, we have people in many areas, and it is our responsibility to try and enable that access to such an important life event. Again, we have no intention to cease offering this.”
- SRUC agreed to continue funding a small hardship fund for students who need support in hiring their gowns. This can be applied for via the graduation page on the SRUC website.
This fund is not means-tested – any graduating student can apply. SRUC have made the fund available and SRUCSA will manage the admin and distribution of the fund.
Graduating students can read more about graduation for this year here: https://www.sruc.ac.uk/news-events/more-events/graduation-2022/
Gown hire costs £28 this year. Apply by Tuesday 30th August 2022 to receive funding for your gown! Funding is first come first served.
SRUCSA feel this is a great step forward and we are delighted that SRUC are now offering a hardship fund for students to hire their gowns.