Mortar board ban 'a myth' in academic safety jobs


There is no ban on throwing mortar boards in the air from people working in academic safety jobs - despite recent news reports to the contrary.
In recent weeks, newspapers claimed the University of East Anglia had forbidden students from throwing their mortar boards in the air during photographs.
The tradition is a common sight on university campuses following graduation ceremonies - during which the tassel on the distinctive square-shaped hat is symbolically moved from one side to the other as the individual graduates.
But UEA stressed that it is still permitted - just not in very large groups of students, and the university's recent experiences make salient reading for anyone working in academic safety jobs.
"We have simply asked our photography supplier not to encourage it during large group sessions," the university said in a statement.
"We have taken this step because in each of the last two years students have suffered facial injuries. Last year a student needed treatment in A&E."

Meanwhile, a statement from the HSE confirmed that there is no specific health and safety reason to outright ban the tradition - and that in past cases, it has found the motivation to be a desire to get the mortar boards back in good condition.