National Anthem scrapped from university's graduation ceremonies as students brand it 'offensive'

University of Bristol tower

The University of Bristol

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 08/12/2023

- 09:49

Updated: 08/12/2023

- 10:26

One student said: 'It wouldn’t be missed'

A university has announced it would no longer play the National Anthem during its graduation ceremonies.

The University of Bristol has quietly axed the playing of the anthem during the ceremonies.

The university previously concluded the ceremonies with a student leading a rendition after certificates had been handed out.

However, since last year graduates at the institution have not sung it.

King Charles

God Save The King will now only be played when a member of the Royal Family is present


God Save the King will now be played only when a representative of the Royal Family is present.

Current students told The Sun that the National Anthem provoked mixed reactions.

Computer science student Suki Yuan, 22, said: "Students come here from all sections of society and the university probably thinks that the National Anthem may be offensive to some of them."

Layla Daynes, 21, added: "The monarchy isn’t really relevant to my generation, so it wouldn’t be missed."


The Queen

Her Late Majesty The Queen at the university in 2005


Annie Lawlor, 23, studying law, said: "It’s a bit old-fashioned to have it played at a ceremony supposed to be celebrating the achievements of the individual student."

The move has been criticised by some, branding it "contemptuous".

Free Speech Union director Toby Young said: "Why are Britain's most prestigious universities openly contemptuous of the country's history and heritage?".

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “The University routinely updates aspects of its Graduation ceremonies, which included the 2020 decision that the National Anthem would be played when representatives of the Royal Family, such as the Lord-Lieutenant, are in attendance."

In November, the university announced it would distance itself further from slave trader Edward Colston following a public consultation.

Seven buildings at the university named after families, including Wills and Frys, with links to slavery should be renamed according to protesters.

Vice-chancellor and president of the university, Professor Evelyn Welch announced the decision to strip Colston's emblem from the University's logo.

In an open letter, she also apologised to those who had experienced racism at the institution.

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