Guests of students attending graduation ceremonies at Imperial College London may have to sit apart, under a new ticketing system put in place.

This year the responsibility of the ticketing and seating allocation will be taken over from College by the Royal Albert Hall. The College told Felix: “their professional systems are better equipped to manage an event of this scale, which will lead to an easier ticketing process and a better overall experience on the day.”

However, the change means students attendingwith more than two guests will have no guarantee the guests will be sitting together. Graduands are guaranteed two guest tickets, with the option to purchase more on a first come first served basis at a later date. While in previous years the College’s manual system would seat these guests together, under the new system this is not guaranteed.

One student Felix spoke to, who is due to graduate from the Royal Albert Hall later this year, said they were “saddened to find out my parents and my partner will not be sitting next to each other at my graduation.”

“I understand that with the increasing number of graduands some changes need to be made for the ceremonies to be sustainable. However, I still do not fully understand why seating places are not allocated after sales. If doing it manually is not efficient, why not make it an Imperial project to fix it? It would be a good UROP project, for example”

“I would love to have my parents and my partner sit together, considering they were both instrumental to my success during my degree. I think a better solution exists, and this new system is not it.”

A spokesperson for the College told Felix: “While we cannot guarantee that additional ticket-holders will be seated with the original party, students should contact the Royal Albert Hall Box Office to discuss options should their additional ticket(s) request be successful. Where possible the Royal Albert Hall will do their best to accommodate these requests.”

This year’s postgraduate graduation ceremony will be held on the 2nd May, 2018.