Concrete asked UEA’s 2018 graduates what they thought of Carrow Road vs Congregation Hall. We wanted to know: how it went, would they do it again and any ideas for an alternative. Based on their answers, let’s hope next year find a better venue… Here’s what they thought.

A sentiment expressed by many a UEA 2018 grad, Beth Papworth said, she missed the campus which “had more of a homely feel and meant more to me than a football pitch.”

The separation from campus was a key concern for many grads. Alex Smith remarked that the: “worst thing about it was how much of a faff it was to get to UEA to show parents etc the campus – the bus the SU put on ran so infrequently it was pointless and based on how the driver couldn’t even get it in gear half the time I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d borrowed it from the transport museum…”

Yet, despite all odds, in the summer heatwave Alex Dalton was understanding calling the day: “Very enjoyable, quite well organised” even if “being stuck in the walkways where people would be on match day with all the concrete and stuff was a bit weird and hot.”

Jessica Chloe had a costly day: “I had 7 people I paid to upgrade their tickets so we could enjoy the celebrations afterwards. Over £100 and by the time we got to the celebratory reception (about 7.15pm) we were told we had to be quick as they would be closing soon. The school photos were taken in the stadium seats and look horrible with the bright yellow chairs. We had disability parking only to be made to walk around the stadium to find where we needed to be, then when we were in there was no seating for myself or my other disabled guests. A horrible experience overall.”

Considering other venue options, Izzy Voice said she: “was sceptical at first but understood that it was probably the best place to graduate in Norwich.” She would have preferred the Cathedral but remarked that going to the stadium was a good experience as she would “likely have never gone into the stadium if it were not for the graduation.

Of those Concrete spoke to 58% said they would not want to graduate there next year. Perhaps “near the lake or Earlham Park” as Dan Struthers suggested, could be an option for 2019. Until then, sorry Carrow Road, it seems the UEA 2018 grads were unimpressed.


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