St Albans Cathedral hosts University of Hertfordshire graduation ceremonies
- Credit: TERRY RICHARDS PHOTOGRAPHY
St Albans’ population has been temporarily swollen by 15,000 this month, bringing a welcome boost to local shops.
Thousands of students, along with their proud parents and friends, have been flocking to the city as the University of Hertfordshire holds its annual awards ceremonies at the Cathedral.
It is one of the biggest visitor events of the year to hit St Albans, and has been brought forward from November for the first time.
Anne Austin, assistant registrar, said that the university’s ceremonies would now take place at St Albans Cathedral in September and the institution’s Hatfield-based campus in December, instead of November and March respectively.
She explained: “Apart from the obvious factor of a warmer month of September, it was also recognised that holding the ceremonies shortly after the majority of students’ examination boards may improve the employability prospects of graduates.
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“This view was endorsed by the student union which canvassed student opinion. The move to September also secured a longer hire period at the Abbey, to accommodate our growing graduate numbers, which was not possible in the month of November.
“We are all very proud that we are holding these ceremonies in St Albans, which is a great historic setting.”
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St Albans district council’s executive leader, Cllr Julian Daly, said: “The graduation ceremonies are a big occasion for the city, with many of our local businesses benefiting from the influx of students and guests.
“We are pleased to support one of our largest local employers and their students, and aim to give them a memorable experience.”
The council has given permission for a marquee to be put up alongside Alban Arena as a reception area for graduates and their guests upon their arrival to the city.
Graduation ceremonies began on Monday (7) and end next Tuesday (15).