University of Birmingham in 6th year of streaming grad ceremonies

 In Content Syndication, Live & Multiscreen Transcoding

The latest technology that allows graduates’ family and friends from over 90 countries to be part of their important day also brings some added benefits to the university.

In 2011, Garland began working with the University of Birmingham to ensure friends and family don’t miss out on an important event — the day a student graduates. Not only is seating limited at the venues for graduation ceremonies, but for many of the thousands of international students attending the university each year, travel to the event by their relatives is not possible.

Garland works with the university to give people the opportunity to watch the summer and winter graduation ceremonies from wherever they are in the world, as the graduation is streamed live on the university’s website.

“You can watch from your own computer or mobile device at home and not miss a minute of the celebrations,” says Dave Fowler, Garland’s Technical Manager. “It’s a fantastic use of live streaming technology that puts people into the moment.”

For those unable to get tickets for the graduation venue, the University of Birmingham provides television screening rooms for overflow audiences. Garland-supplied set top boxes are used to broadcast the ceremonies onto large screens. The screens allow the event to be shown clearly and instantly. People can then still be on campus for the rest of the picture-taking and festivities.

The benefits extend back to the university itself. “It’s building a global reputation through its growing international student base,” says Malcolm Harland, Director of Garland. “Globalising its coverage of these events strengthens the university’s standing, which in turn brings research investment and industry sponsorship, attracts a new cohort of students who want to be part of an internationally respected and broad-reaching university.”

The live web feeds continue to be a hit with all involved. “Over the many individual graduation ceremonies we held at our most recent event, more than 10,000 people from over 90 countries watched via the live stream,” says Mark Ray, Media Centre Studio and Production Manager at the University of Birmingham. “Our students, graduates and their families are important to us, and we’re pleased to be able to provide them with this way to take part in the celebration.”

“Today’s live streaming technology is an easy-to-use and a cost-effective way to bring people together from all over the world,” says Malcolm of Garland Partners. “We put it to use at many similar events for those who need to transcend borders as well as time zones.

“We’re glad to be part of the University of Birmingham’s use of this technology solution, and look forward to many more years of collaboration.”

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