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University spends 500,000 pounds on 2022 Summer Graduations.

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Costs include P&J Live venue, reception catering, and staff transport


By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

photo courtesy of University of Aberdeen


A Freedom of Information request submitted by The Gaudie has revealed how much money the University spent on the Summer Graduation ceremonies in 2022. The ceremonies, held at the P&J Arena in early July, were attended by thousands of graduates and their families. The ceremonies also featured a celebration event for previous graduates who were forced to graduate online due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.


For the 2022 Summer Graduations, the University spent 14,960 GBP on ‘Technical, audio & event management,’ as well as 25,190 GBP for ‘Decorations and Merchandising,’ and 10,850 GBP for ‘Entertainment.’


As The Gaudie reported in early July, in the days leading up to the graduation ceremonies, students expressed discontent with the University’s decision not to provide graduates with transportation to P&J Live, instead asking them to make their way to the events centre (5 miles from Aberdeen City Centre) via personal or public transportation.


However, the FOI request revealed that the University organised transportation for staff members travelling to the ceremonies, paying 5,350 GBP to four Aberdeen transport companies: Central Coaches, Computer Cab Ltd, Kineil Coaches Ltd, and Watermill Coaches Ltd.

The FOI request revealed that the University organised transportation for staff members travelling to the ceremonies

The venue and catering for the ceremonies and associated events cost the University 410,000 GBP. This figure includes a significant portion of the 500,000 GBP contract the University signed with P&J Live to host all Graduation events in 2022, including the Winter Graduations.


The University was unable to provide exact numbers as to the actual number of graduates and guests at the events but told The Gaudie that they had expected over 16,000 guests and graduates to attend.


The total cost of the Summer Graduations and celebration events amounted to 468,000 GBP. This figure includes venue procurement, catering, decorations, and merchandise, among other expenditures.

In contrast, the University is recorded as only spending 174,000 GBP in 2019, the last time the graduation ceremonies were held at the Old Aberdeen Campus. The University estimates that about 10,000 graduates and guests attended the 2019 ceremonies, which were primarily held in marquees due to a lack of space in indoor University facilities.

The total cost of the Summer Graduations and celebration events amounted to 468,000 GBP.

The report addressed the differences in cost, stating, ‘Records… do not include the internal cost of venue provision in 2019. There was no formal reception for graduates and guests in 2019. The introduction of this element in 2022 to the event was intended to recognise and celebrate the achievement of graduates in successfully pursuing their studies during the pandemic.’


Additionally, it should be noted that the figure for 2022 included the cost of organising celebration events at P&J Live for students who graduated in 2020 and 2021.


A complete breakdown of the University’s expenditures in regard to the 2022 Summer Graduations is available below.





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