“Debate Ignites Over Rising Costs and Management Issues at UAE Graduation Ceremonies”

“Debate Ignites Over Rising Costs and Management Issues at UAE Graduation Ceremonies”

Debate Sparks Over Graduation Ceremony Costs in the UAE

The pomp and circumstance of graduation ceremonies are being overshadowed by a debate over costs, following recent management mishaps at Canadian University Dubai that left some students and their families disappointed.

For Layla (name changed), the momentous occasion turned sour when her parents, despite purchasing tickets worth Dh630, missed her graduation due to venue overcrowding issues. “My parents couldn’t witness my triumph,” she lamented to Khaleej Times. Similar frustrations were echoed by other students like Ademi Maukeyava, whose family from Kazakhstan also missed her pivotal moment.

In response, Canadian University Dubai explained that a lapse in ticket checks by security allowed un-ticketed guests to enter, necessitating strict capacity limits for safety. The university subsequently reimbursed affected students and organized alternative ceremonies.

The controversy highlights a broader issue: the escalating costs associated with graduation ceremonies across UAE universities. Packages can range up to Dh3,000 per student, covering entry, guest tickets, photographs, and celebratory meals. Titas Basu, a Middlesex University student, expressed surprise at the Dh1,000 price tag for her ceremony, which included fees for guests on top of her own expenses.

Some students, like Hannah (name changed), opted out of ceremonies altogether, deeming them too costly and rushed. “Not worth it,” she concluded about the Dh750 expense.

Parents such as Murad Sharif, despite enjoying the ceremonies, noted concerns over additional costs like attire and photography, suggesting room for improvement.

While some families accept the expenses as part of celebrating academic achievements, others find the costs prohibitive. Sreena Manoharan, a parent, acknowledged the steep pricing but deemed it worthwhile for her son’s milestone.

Dhirendra Kampani, another parent, raised issues of inclusivity, noting that ceremonies conducted primarily in Arabic can alienate non-Arabic speakers.

Despite the criticisms, many students and families still value graduation ceremonies as a tradition and a rite of passage, underscoring their cultural and familial significance.

As the debate continues, universities face scrutiny over balancing the ceremonial grandeur with accessibility for all families, ensuring that the joy of graduation day is not overshadowed by logistical and financial concerns.

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