Image: Warwick Media Library

Hats off to that: Warwick to continue mortar board tradition

Warwick University has confirmed that students graduating this summer will be allowed to throw their caps into the air to celebrate the end of their studies.

While graduates from Warwick can rest easy that they’ll be allowed to throw their caps into the air for graduation photos, not all British university students are able to do so.

The caps, formally known as mortar boards, have caused controversy in recent weeks as some British universities have made the decision to ban students from throwing them into the air.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) sparked the controversy by banning their graduates from throwing their mortarboards into the air due to health and safety concerns.

The university was particularly concerned that students posing for group photos could end up with severe injuries from the falling hats. Their concerns mounted after several students had been injured in recent years by falling mortarboards.

However, Warwick has not shared these concerns. A spokesman for the university has confirmed: “The University of Warwick does not have a rule banning students from throwing their mortarboards in the air at graduation.”

It would have been health and safety gone mad if we were not allowed.

Danie Sharp, English Theatre Finalist

Students at Warwick seemed supportive of the university’s choice to continue allowing students to throw their mortarboards.

Danie Sharp, an English and Theatre finalist, commented: “I think it’s great… it would have been health and safety gone mad if we were not allowed.”

Meanwhile, Joe Lester, a second-year Philosophy student, was pleased commenting: “hats off to Warwick uni, it’s not just my degree that is going up in the air.”

Even the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a statement promoting graduation day fun over health and safety.

Geoff Cox, head of the public sector team for the HSE, said: “As far back as 2008, HSE made clear the law does not stop graduates having fun and celebrating their success in the time-honoured fashion.” Cox added that it was over the top to ban the tradition.


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