Information for guests attending graduation
Preparation - in advance of attending a ceremony
Students should have booked to attend and had confirmation back from the graduation team prior to being awarded.
In order to be able to attend a graduation ceremony you students must have had their award confirmed at the University's Exams (Scheme) Board and have no outstanding debts.
An email will be sent a week before the ceremonies to all students who have been awarded with information about their graduation ceremony advising times to arrive and confirming number of guest tickets booked. All guests require a ticket.
The graduating student needs a form of ID, preferably student ID card to collect their coloured seat card and guest ticket/s. Students should retain the coloured card.
Students attending graduation are expected to have pre-booked gowns and, if they choose to do so official photography, with our Supplier Ede & Ravenscroft. Their website is: www.gownhire.co.uk
Gowns can be hired on the day but may cost more. Waiting to book photography on the day could mean waiting longer in a queue.
Information about venues
- For ceremonies held at Putteridge Bury, Luton
- For ceremonies held in Bedford
- For ceremonies held on campus and at St Mary's Church, Luton
Please note! Due to restricted availability, parking at Putteridge Bury is limited to blue badge holders who have pre-booked.
Students and guests are invited to make use of the FREE shuttle bus service running from Vicarage Street outside the student accommodation Fitzroy Court.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope the information in the FAQs below is helpful.
Q1. What are the date, time and location arrangements for the Graduation Ceremony I am going to attend?
You should obtain details from the student who is graduating, to whom all details will be provided. The date of the ceremony will already have been advised. The time of the ceremony on that day will have been advised four or five weeks in advance.
Q2. When should I arrive at the Ceremony venue?
We ask that all guests should take their seats in the venue no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. Please allow for travelling time, e.g. when using the transport to the venue provided by the University. Guest seats in the ceremony are not individually reserved and so those arriving earlier will have a greater choice available.
Q3. If we have an extra person wanting to attend the ceremony, can we buy another ticket on the day?
Regrettably, no. We are required to manage the numbers in our venues according to the availability of seats and in compliance with fire and other health and safety regulations. We can only be sure of achieving this by operating strict pre-purchasing rules which are explained in the instructions to the graduating students.
Q4. I have a baby or toddler under 2 years accompanying me who will not need a separate seat. Will we be allowed into the ceremony?
Whilst it is permitted, we strongly discourage guests from bringing very young children into the graduation venue as experience shows they can become bored and restless.
Q5. Does my child need a guest ticket to attend?
All persons needing a seat (including children 3 years and older) must have a pre-purchased ticket, otherwise they cannot be allowed entry. A responsible adult must accompany any child under 16 years at all times. University staff are not permitted to take this responsibility.
Q6. Where can I park?
We regrettably cannot offer parking for guests at any of our venues and we respectfully ask that no one should arrive by car and expect to be accommodated. Our suggestions about parking will depend on the venue and will be provided to the student who is graduating. We provide a frequent shuttle bus service for our Putteridge Bury venue free of charge from the main campus in Luton, which is near town centre car parks. Travelling time, usually about 20 minutes on the shuttle bus, needs to be taken into account so as to arrive at the venue in good time for the event.
Q7. I am a Blue Badge holder with mobility issues; where can I park?
Please ask the graduating student to contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible before the graduation date so we can make suitable arrangements and advise you where and when to park.
Q8. What is the dress code for a graduation ceremony?
Graduating students must all be attired in the academic dress appropriate to their award. Guests are asked to note this is a formal event celebrating the significant academic achievements of the graduating students and are invited to dress appropriately.
Q9. Is smoking permitted?
Smoking is not permitted in any interior part of any venue or the University’s premises.
Q10. If I have a problem with some aspect of the event what should I do?
These are celebrations of academic success and the University is keen that graduating students and their guests should thoroughly enjoy the occasion. If a guest has an issue they think the University might help to resolve they should ask a staff member on duty. They may not be able to deal with it themselves but should be able to pass it on to someone appropriate who will take responsibility. If for some reason it is not possible to resolve the issue there and then, we will endeavour to do so later. Guests are asked to note that abusive or threatening behaviour towards staff or other guests is not permitted. Our graduation venues are private premises and in extreme circumstances management reserve the right to ask any individual to leave if they are abusive or threatening.
During office hours
+44 (0)1234 400 400
Outside office hours
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89
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