Status: Complete

Influence the university to subsidise or pay for graduation robes

These robes cost far too much at a time when many students may be in a very financially difficult position, with many of us needing to move house soon and support ourselves whilst getting into work, as well as having no further student finance payments. Since we have thus-far paid £27,000 in tuition fees, it must surely be possible to find £100 (or less to even just reduce the cost of robes) so that we're able to attend the ceremony celebrating the achievement we've been dedicating 3+ years of our lives towards.

Submitted on Monday 30th April 2018



A couple of weeks have passed, and as such I'm going to close this You Make Change submission. However I'll continue conversations with the Graduation Team at the University, and will re-open this You Make Change should there be any further updates. 

All the best, and thank you for using You Make Change! 

Samuel Dedman (VP Education 2017/18 -

Monday 4th Jun 2018 10:06am

Hello again!

A nice and quick update from me - Jackie (Exams, Awards and Graduation Manager at the University) has just replied to me with an update from their perspective: 


Sam is quite right in saying that robes are supplied by the University robe maker, Wippells, and as hire prices are not within the University’s control. Nevertheless, we’re very aware of financial costs at this time of year, so we do monitor prices before we start planning each set of ceremonies. The UK’s main alternative supplier is considerably more expensive than Wippells, and furthermore they (Wippells) provide an excellent service on the day.

The standard undergraduate robe, hood and hat hire is £44 – it is a little higher for doctorates as they wear bonnets rather than mortar boards.  This price hasn’t increased for some years so I hope you can understand that we are trying to keep costs under control.

Financial support may be available from the Student Support Fund and, although you would normally need to register for the whole year, they are running drop in sessions for the next few months – more information can be found by searching for ‘money matters’ from the main Southampton website or looking on line  at  They may be able to offer some advice on a case by case basis.


Hopefully that helps contextualise things a little bit. I'll also leave the You Make Change open for a bit longer to let upvoting/downvoting take place, especially if there ends up being significant student demand for us to look into this more thoroughly. 

All the best,

Samuel Dedman (VP Education 2017/18 -

Wednesday 16th May 2018 2:45pm


Thanks for getting in touch. The cost of graduation as a whole is something which comes up at a lot of other Students' Unions, and while we are considered to be pretty good as an institution I appreciate the financial pressures that it can place on many students. I'll have a chat with the Graduation Team and see what their thoughts are. 

One thing to note - my current understanding is that the cost of graduation robe rental is set by Wippels (the robemarkers for the University) and not by the institution itself. I may well be wrong, however, so will let you know once I'm back from my factfinding mission!

In the meantime don't forget that this You Make Change is now listed on the website and can be upvoted/downvoted, so share it with your friends and get their input! 

All the best,

Samuel Dedman (VP Education 2017/18 -

Wednesday 16th May 2018 11:03am


  • Forwarded to Education
    Wednesday 16th May 2018 10:50am


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