Heriot-Watt scraps graduation ceremony fees



Students at Heriot-Watt University will no longer be required to pay a fee for their graduation ceremonies.

The University and its Students’ Union announced today (Monday 10 February) they are to scrap the charge across all five of their global campuses as of June 2020. They also agreed to reduce the ceremony portion of the guest ticket* to £10 per head and have abolished the ‘absentia’ fee for students unable to attend. There will still be a charge for guests* and students to attend the receptions that follow the graduation ceremony, which will vary depending on the country where they are being held.

Paul Travill, Global Academic Registrar, said: “I’m delighted to confirm that following constructive discussions with students and staff, we have decided there will no longer be a fee for students attending their graduation ceremony, further underlining our commitment to enhancing the student experience.

“We will, however, continue to charge guests a fee, albeit reduced, due to a limited number of spaces and to encourage maximum numbers attend each ceremony. We have also removed the absentia fee, which will make a significant difference for students unable to attend.

“Graduations are the pinnacle of our academic calendar and we want to make sure this celebratory occasion is accessible to all.”

The announcement follows successful talks between the University and the Union.

Welcoming the news is Kieran Robson Renner, Student Union President, who said: “We’ve worked in partnership with the University to ensure that Graduation day is more affordable for students. After years of hard work, Graduation should be a day of celebration surrounded by friends and family. We are one of the first UK institutions to offer free graduations, even in absentia, to students at all of our global campuses. We’d like to thank the University for making this happen, and the support offered to us by NUS Scotland’s Free to Graduate campaign.”

Each year, the University hosts more than 30 graduation ceremonies across its global campuses in Scotland, Dubai and Malaysia.

*Please note there is a single guest ticket option, which includes the £10 to attend the ceremony and the cost to attend the reception, which will vary depending on the country.

Craig McManamon
Communications Officer
T: 0131 451 8099
E: c.mcmanamon@hw.ac.uk