THE UNIVERSITY of Southampton has responded to criticism over its graduation ceremony.

This week, St Mary's hosted a three-day celebration which saw 11,000 students from 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduate together.

However, the university has since been criticised by students claiming the ceremonies were not what they had imagined. 

No names were read out and there was no-one to greet them or shake their hands on stage. 

Students instead appeared on a screen and shook hands with each other in protest to the handling of the occasion. 

READ MORE: University of Southampton students hit out at graduations at St Mary's Stadium

Now the university has responded to the disappointment saying that the plan to allow three years to graduate at once was "unprecedented". 

Students also claimed they were banned from commenting on the live stream of the event on Wednesday, making them feel "shut out". 

Amy Scott-Munden, 22, who graduated in English and History, said: "People are really annoyed, they have crammed three years' worth into three days.

"It feels like we have an unfair experience. It feels really disrespectful. I've heard from the majority that everyone is just really sad."

A spokesperson from the University of Southampton said: "We have been unable to hold graduation ceremonies for the last two years due to the pandemic. So, this year, we took the unprecedented decision to enable three years of graduating students to celebrate their remarkable achievements at one event.

"This is a unique occasion that brings together 11,000 graduates and their friends and family, in the iconic Southampton venue of St Mary’s Stadium, in order to make these ceremonies as special as possible for everyone involved. 

"The atmosphere in the Stadium has been very positive and celebratory, but we are aware of a number of comments online that reflect disappointment in elements of the proceedings. 

Daily Echo: University of Southampton graduation event live streamed.University of Southampton graduation event live streamed.

"We have responded to this feedback by making some changes to the flow of events, to increase the personalisation of the experience, with direct acknowledgment of each candidate on the stage by a senior person from their own School and a senior University leader."

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