#Students' Rights
UCA Management
United Kingdom


On the 19th March, our story was published in the Medway Messenger and Kent News.



According to Kent News, a UCA spokesman defended the decision, saying: “To mark our first graduation ceremonies with full university title, we will be bringing students from Canterbury, Maidstone and Rochester together for a collective celebration at the Maidstone Studios. This venue is a contemporary space which will allow us to create the environment and ambience befitting a creative arts university, for instance by showcasing the work of graduating students through large screen displays."

The question is, why are they telling the media this and not us? They should have consulted us, the students in the first place and given us official reasons at least.

On the 20th of March, UCA finally released a brief statement to the students on the website.


It says, "In response to student feedback, the University is now reviewing the venue options for the graduation ceremonies in Kent. We hope to be able to confirm the arrangements next week."

The petition will be updated once we have been informed of their decision.



We are due to graduate on the 25th June 2009. However, Instead of graduating the towns in which we studied, (i.e. Rochester students have their ceremony in the Rochester Cathedral, Canterbury in Canterbury, Maidstone in a nice historical part of Maidstone).

The university management has decided to move the graduation of all 3 campuses in Kent to the Maidstone studios (where they film the Trisha Goddard show). So that's 3 campuses, 59 courses in total (including post-grad) graduating in one day, under one roof, in 2 ceremonies.

Frankly, this isn't on. So far, students have received 2 explanations as to why this is happening, (both VERBAL explanations, although students are still yet to receive an official explaination). The 1st one is simply political correctness, the university wanted a setting that supposedly represented it's multicultural image.

The 2nd explanation is that UCA cannot afford 3 separate graduations. Considering that they have been blowing the budget on plasma screen TVs for the reception area, canteen and conference room (all rarely used), as well as daily fresh flowers for the reception desk, AND a private party for the uni staff and faculty at non other than the Saatchi Gallery. The fact that the uni has the audacity to say that they cannot afford separate ceremonies at the traditional venues is, frankly, disgusting. Especially considering that we the students are paying, out of our own pockets for our graduation.

To quote someone who has already signed the petition:

"Graduating is an award after spending three years at Uni, it requires a sense of uniqueness to it. Students should not be bundled together with campuses they have never visited on the most important day of their academic lives, especially not since their families have travelled far to witness the event."

Surely, we have the right to choose where we graduate. We want to graduate where students from our campuses have always traditionally graduated, ever since these 3 UCA Kent campuses were called KIAD!

We the undersigned would like to graduate in the towns in which we studied, and call on the UCA Management to relocate the UCA Kent campuses' graduation ceremonies back to their original locations, Rochester in Rochester, Canterbury in Canterbury, and Maidstone in Maidstone. Also, please keep it that way. If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

The Petition for the Kent campuses of UCA to have their graduations in the towns that they studied in petition to UCA Management was written by Anonymous and is in the category Students' Rights at GoPetition.