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04 September 2015 Written by 

Graduation mania hits St Albans

Around 15,000 people will visit St Albans this month during graduation ceremonies for the University of Hertfordshire.

In recognition of the economic boost graduation week brings, St Albans City and District Council is giving the occasion extra support this year.

The Council has given permission for a marquee to be put up along the side of St Albans Arena, in the space between the building and the Civic Centre.

This tent will act as the reception area where graduates and their guests will head to when they first arrive.

They will collect their tickets at the marquee before being guided into the Arena where they will pick up their robes and be professionally photographed.

The ceremonies, held over seven days, will be staged as usual at St Albans Cathedral with up to 5,000 students collecting their degrees, watched by 10,000 family members and friends.

Afterwards, many of the students and guests will head to the restaurants, cafes and bars in the City centre to celebrate.

The graduation ceremonies start on Monday 7 September and continue until Friday 11 September before returning on Monday and Tuesday of the following week, September 14 and 15.

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.

Graduates from all of the University's disciplines will be involved including accounting, business and finance, nursing, computer science, the creative arts, engineering and technology, law, marketing, physics and psychology.

Anne Austin, the University's Assistant Registrar (Exams and Awards), is overseeing the organisation of the ceremonies.

She said: "We have a strong partnership with St Albans City and District Council. That has allowed us to put up a marquee this year that should improve the whole experience for the graduates and their guests.

"This is an important and memorable occasion for our students who have worked very hard for their degrees. We are all very proud that we are holding these ceremonies in St Albans which is a great historic setting."

Councillor Julian Daly, Executive Leader of St Albans City and District Council, said: "The Council is delighted to help this event.

"We are pleased to support one of our largest local employers and their students and aim to give them a memorable experience. I am sure everyone in St Albans will give the graduates and their guests a terrific welcome.

"The graduation ceremonies are a big occasion for the City with many of our local business benefiting from the influx of students and guests.

"I am sure many of the young people being awarded degrees will go on to make a significant contribution to the District. Hopefully, they will be contributing to the community, running companies, setting up businesses and doing other great things in the years to come."

Work on the marquee began on Thursday (3 September) and the service road to the rear of the Arena will be out of action until it is taken down on Wednesday 16 September. The area is being fenced off and protected by 24-hour security.

The University of Hertfordshire is based largely in Hatfield and has more than 25,000 students.

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