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How does graduation work in England?

Study Abroad
It seemed interesting to dispel all doubts and unravel the mysteries of English graduation. Let's start from the most fascinating question...

How does the graduation ceremony work?

The ceremony has remained the same since the beginning of time. Usually, the oldest and most majestic hall of each university is reserved for the graduation ceremony. Whether it's a "great hall", an amfitheater or even a monastery, the atmosphere is very Hogwartzian and reminiscent of the ceremonies of a few centuries ago. After the race for first place by the proud parents, the graduating students line up in rows of two. Everyone lines up, the show begins and angelic choirs accompany the parade of professors led by the chancellor or vice chancellor of the institute. To declare themselves graduates, each student must shake the chancellor's hand over the university's ceremonial baton, an ornate metal rod also used in parliament and at court. After the handshake comes the part most dreaded by all students, the descent down the three steps necessary to receive the diploma and return to one's seat. Every student, without exception, will have thought or think that he or she's the one who falls. Emotional speeches about the bright future of the newly graduated follow, and finally the parade of professors departs, followed by the students and moved parents. All in all, the ceremony lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

Is the gown the same for all English universities?

Almost. Regardless of university, all graduates must wear the "cap and gown" or black toga, accompanied by the signature black hat seen in all American films. Small note about throwing the hats: if it happens to you, try to be sure to see it once on the ground. If you take hundreds of photos for the rest of the ceremony and wear a hat three sizes bigger than your head, it's not much. What distinguishes the different universities are the colours of the cap, which reflect the typical colours of each institution. Incidentally, you'll also see very different garments within each ceremony. Everyone who has a PHD, dressed in red with a beautiful mediaeval minstrel hat. Even the students doing the Master's dress differently to distinguish them from the mass of Bachelor's students!

If you have any other curiosities, we're here! In the meantime, we'd love to hear from graduates in other countries about how their ceremony went, whether they too had to wear complicated clothes and so on.


Image by Freepik

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