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University U-turn on Cathedral graduation

Students are celebrating after university bosses reversed their decision to host a combined graduation ceremony in Maidstone.

Final year students contacted the Medway Messenger last week to complain about the decision to move the University for the Creative Arts ceremony from Rochester Cathedral.

Hundreds of students signed up to Facebook groups and an online petition to protest against the plans.

But the new decision means instead of being held at Maidstone Television Studios, the students from the three main campuses of Rochester, Maidstone and Canterbury will have local ceremonies.

All Saints Church will be used in Maidstone and Kings School will host Canterbury students.

Sophie Brewster, a 21-year-old fashion promotions student in her third year at Rochester campus, was delighted with the decision.

She said: “That is such good news, I’m really, really happy.

“I think in my heart of hearts I was not sure they would do it, I thought it had gone too far, it was too late and they could not have changed the decision.”

A university management spokesman said: “We had planned to bring students together from Canterbury, Maidstone and Rochester to graduate from a single venue as we felt that this would create a strong sense of celebration.

“However, it has since been made apparent that this decision was not welcomed by students, who indicated that they would strongly prefer to attend ceremonies in the towns and cities they studied in.

“Having listened to student views, the university has taken the decision to offer separate graduation ceremonies in Canterbury, Maidstone and Rochester, instead of a combined ceremony at The Maidstone Studios.”

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