Graduation 2017 - Information for Students

A special date for your diary...

Graduation 2017

RSVP-button.jpgCongratulations if you are graduating with West Highland College UHI on Friday 6th October 2017… Well done!

Higher Education awards are made under the auspices of the University of the Highlands and Islands, of which West Highland College UHI is an academic partner.

Please find below some Frequently Asked Questions about our graduation ceremony

Where and when does this year’s graduation take place?

Friday 6th October 2017
The Nevis Centre, An Aird Fort William PH33 6AN

What is the schedule for the day?

12.00-1.15 pm  Gowning will take place for those receiving a Degree with Honours, an ordinary Degree, a Diploma in Higher Education, a Certificate in Higher Education, a Higher National Diploma, a Higher National Certificate or higher award – our staff will assist you.

12.00-1.15 pm Registration for all students

(Professional Photography available before and after the ceremony
Tea Coffee & Cake will be served)

1.25pm  Guests to have taken their seats

1.35pm  Students to be formally seated

1.50pm  Academic Procession

2.00pm  Ceremony begins

4.00pm (approx.). Ceremony ends

Followed by: Drinks reception & professional photography

Who is the guest speaker for the event?

Kate Philp is our guest speaker for 2017.  She was a serving officer on the front line in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  After suffering life changing injuries whilst on active duty she was determined to overcome them and trekked to the South Pole as part of a “Help for Heroes” expedition and is now a leadership consultant and regular public speaker.
You can find out more about Kate here.

How do I confirm my attendance at graduation?

You must accept your invitation to attend in this year’s ceremony no later than Friday September 22, 2017.  You can do this online here or you can call us on 01397 874000.

What happens if I forget to confirm my attendance?

The College aims to accommodate all students who wish to graduate, but only in exceptional circumstances will applications be considered after the deadline of Friday September 22,  If you are late in responding, but still wish to graduate, contact the Cheryl MacRae urgently on 01397 874000.

How many guests can I bring to graduation?

You are able to invite 2 guests to your graduation.  Our numbers are limited, however, we may have space to accommodate additional guests so please confirm whether you would like your allocated guest places and whether you would like us to notify you of any additional seats that may become available.  We hope to confirm these additional seats by September 25.

I have additional support needs – how do I advise the College of this?

We are happy to make appropriate arrangements for any graduand with additional support needs.  If you have mobility challenges, or any other disability or condition that may affect your enjoyment of the ceremony, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate all needs.

What do I need to wear?

The graduation ceremony is a very special and formal occasion and therefore, all students presenting themselves to receive their award should dress appropriately. Dresses, black trousers or skirt, with white shirt, blouse or other top are preferred (no jeans or trainers should be worn). Alternatively, national dress may be worn.
Please note that academic hoods are designed to hook onto the top button of a shirt or blouse so please bear this in mind when choosing your outfit for the day.

Do I need a Gown/Hood?

You are required to wear a gown/hood if you have been awarded with a Degree with Honours, an ordinary Degree, a Diploma in Higher Education, a Certificate in Higher Education, a Higher National Diploma, a Higher National Certificate or higher award.
The hire charge for gowns for the day will be £32.00. To hire your gown, you need to contact Ede Ravenscroft direct.

The deadline for hiring gowns is September 22 2017.  These are delivered to West Highland College UHI for the day of the graduation (see below).
If you have any problems completing the online form – call Louise Penny or her team on 01397 874277.

Where do I go to be gowned?

If you have hired a gown, it will be delivered to us and will be available in the Nevis Centre, between 12 noon and 1.00 pm.  Our staff will help gown you.  After that, you may like to have lunch or a snack with your family and friends before returning to the Nevis Centre for the official registration no later than 1.15pm.  You should return your gown by 5pm at the latest after the ceremony and photographs.

What time do I have to arrive for registration & the ceremony?

You should arrive at the Nevis Centre between 12.00 noon and 1.15pm.  After registering your attendance you will be free to meet up with fellow graduands and staff. Tea, coffee and cake will be served from 12 noon.  You will be called to be seated at 1.30pm, your family and friends will be seated just prior to that.

I don’t live in Fort William – can I get some help organising my travel?

If you are a West Highland College UHI student and travelling to graduation from outside the immediate Fort William area we are happy to arrange FREE transport for you.  Please contact either your local centre manager or Susan MacLean, Centre Manager in Gairloch, who is co-ordinating our students’ (and their guests’) transport needs.  You can contact Susan directly at

Will I receive an official certificate?

Your certificate will be have been posted to your registered address (normally your home address) by your awarding body. You will, however, receive a commemorative letter scroll in a graduation tube on the day as a memento of the occasion.

Will there be formal photography on the day?  Any other publicity?

Your official portrait photographs to commemorate your day will be available both before and after the ceremony at a special studio set up in the Nevis Centre.   
During the day, West Highland College UHI staff and our photographer will be taking photographs and possibly video footage which may include graduates and guests. These marketing shots may be used in West Highland College UHI promotional material and on our website. If you do not wish your photograph to be used, please let us know in writing or by email to before October 6.
Names and awards of graduands (including those graduating in absentia) will be published in our Order of Service and may also appear in the press. Again, please let us know in writing or by email to before October 6 should you have any issues with this.

I have outstanding fees to the college/university – will I be able to attend graduation?

No.  If you have outstanding debts to the University or one of its Academic Partners, i.e. West Highland College UHI, you will not be able to attend the Graduation Ceremony. If you have an outstanding debt, please contact Isla Mann by calling 01397 874000 or by emailing as soon as possible in order for us to help you clear this debt and confirm your place on graduation day.

Is the ceremony suitable for young children to attend?

Unfortunately, there is no childcare available at the Nevis Centre.  Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and can last for around 2 hours, so you might want to think carefully about bringing young children or babies.  However, if you do wish to bring a younger guest with you, they will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.  Please let us know by emailing and we will do all we can to ensure that your guests are seated appropriately in case you or they need to leave the ceremony early for any reason.

I have a question – who can I speak to?

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please email with your contact details and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.