Cardiff University student 'in tears' after missing graduation due to long queue

Olivia Bird said she was "devastated" after missing her graduation ceremony. Credit: Olivia Bird

A student due to graduate from Cardiff University says she left the city in tears after missing her ceremony due to long queues.

Olivia Bird and her husband John arrived at City Hall at 9.30am on Thursday morning ahead of the ceremony at 11am.

But the couple were met with a queue to collect graduation gowns and robes that "wrapped around the whole building."

Olivia's husband John said the pair quickly realised they were not going to make the ceremony on time.

Olivia and her husband said they quickly realised they would not make the ceremony on time. Credit: John Bird

Olivia, a 30-year-old Pharmacology PhD student, said she left the capital "devastated" and now John is demanding answers from the university.

John said: "There was no Cardiff University representative to be seen. At the front entrance there was a second queue forming of people with early ceremonies who were trying to push in through desperation.

"We walked to the School of Pharmacy to see if they could help and they said my wife's ceremony was pushed back by 30 mins.

Cardiff University has shared an apology to affected students on its social media pages. Credit: John Bird

"My wife who has studied three years gave up as she was too upset and in tears. She missed her ceremony and never got her photos in her gown.

"The lack of organisation from Cardiff University was awful and there has still been no formal communication via email from the university.

"We then tried to go to the Graduation Gardens, also organised by the University, but couldn't get in as they were experiencing 'IT issues' at the entry point."

'A shambolic event'

ITV Wales News has approached Cardiff University for comment.

In a statement released on social media, a spokesperson for the university said: "We apologise that some of our students are experiencing delays in collecting their gowns today. We are working hard with our supplier to solve the issue as a matter of urgency.

"Some school recognition events have been postponed for 30 minutes to accommodate the delay. We are also adding extra school recognition events throughout the day to ensure no student misses out - in these cases students will be notified directly."

Olivia said: "I studied for three and a half years to achieve a PhD. I was gutted when graduations were first postponed (due to Covid-19) but completely understood the situation.

"Having waited so long to finally close that chapter in my life I feel pretty devastated to have been met with such a shambolic event."