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Students Banned From Throwing Graduation Caps At Birmingham University Reception Over 'Health And Safety Fears'

13/07/2015 09:38 BST | Updated 13/07/2015 11:59 BST
Ian Norman Lonely Speck/Flickr

Students at Birmingham University have been banned from throwing their caps in a graduation reception over health and safety fears, it has emerged.

Undergraduates belonging to the Classics, Ancient History and Archaelogy department were sent an email before they were due to graduate informing them: "Throwing of caps is not permitted, due to health and safety," according to student site the Tab.

A spokesperson for the university said: "The University of Birmingham does not have a policy or ban on cap throwing during degree congregations.

"We recognise that this is a time of celebration for our students and their families after years of hard work and dedication and want to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time. The email in question does not refer to our formal graduation ceremonies but concerned a specific private event where space was restricted."

Graduation attire suppliers Ede and Ravenscroft said students had previously been injured by falling mortarboards, and as a result the company had identified throwing the caps as a risk to health and safety.

In 2008, Anglia Ruskin University banned the tradition, saying a student could be seriously injured by the corner of the caps.

At the time, student union president Frankie Whiffen said: "It sounds like health and safety gone mad."

In Chicago last year, an entire class was denied diplomas after students ignored warnings not to throw their graduation caps into the air during the commencement ceremony.

Yale University, meanwhile, was sued in 1984 over a mortarboard injury.