The University of Stirling has apologised after editing a student who showed solidarity with the University and Colleges Union out of graduation footage.

Ludovico Caminati, from the province of Genoa in Italy, is an international student who graduated with a degree in international politics.

At the ceremony he pulled a pink sash from his pocket to show his support for the UCU's industrial action, which has seen members engage in a marking and assessment boycott effective from April 20.

At Stirling University, staff engaged in three days of strikes after their salaries were cut by 50% in response to the action. The university said "staff who are not fulfilling their contractual obligations will have part of their pay withheld".

The student pulled the sash from his pocket as he walked across to collect his degree.

When the footage of the ceremony was uploaded by the university though, Mr Caminati had been cut out.

He told The Herald: "I didn’t want to graduate and, at my ceremony, pretend like nothing was happening. They announced a few days ago they were going to strike during graduation, so I thought I’d show my solidarity with them.

“I was aware that at previous graduations people had tried to wear sashes and they weren’t allowed inside the ceremony, so I took the sash out on stage – I wasn’t doing a magic trick!

“I really wanted to send a message and get people’s attention.

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“After the little symbolic protest I did, the university released a video the day after and one of my mates texted me saying, ‘they’ve released the video and you’re not part of it, they’ve cut you out’.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God this cannot be true’. I was absolutely shocked, I went on and checked the official ceremony video and indeed I was not there – it was the only little piece of the more than one hour long ceremony that was cut.

“My tweet about it got a bit of traction and the day after the university apologised, they put out a statement on Twitter which I find very hard to believe – it’s quite a coincidence that they managed to edit that specific minute where there’s a student showing solidarity with the striking lecturers.

The Herald: Ludovico Caminati wears a UCU sash as he receives his degreeLudovico Caminati wears a UCU sash as he receives his degree (Image: Screenshot)

“Needless to say I don’t believe it was an accident, I believe it was done purposely and once Twitter saw it and got angry about the censorship the university was doing to hide a very small symbolic act they realised they’d made a big mistake and came out with this apology.

“In my opinion the university is trying to put a wedge between students and staff.

"I told my family I was going to do it and they were proud, it just didn’t sit right with me studying what I study and holding the values that I hold to be sitting there while the vice-chancellor and chancellor do these opening remarks praising staff, saying they’re the pillar of the university and then behaving in the opposite way.

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"They came over, and my sister did too. They were very shocked by the uni’s attempt to cut me out, but fortunately someone had taken a video live, otherwise it would have been hard to prove I was there and I did graduate!

“If they hadn’t been able to come over it would have been even worse if I hadn’t been in the video, but fortunately they had the chance to come in person."

The University of Stirling said it had posted the footage in error.

A statement said: "Yesterday we posted edited footage of our graduation ceremony in error and we apologise.

"Footage of the full ceremony has now been restored and we would like to congratulate all students who graduated."

A spokesperson further told The Herald: "On Wednesday, footage from one of our graduation ceremonies was published in error.

"The University apologised and the full ceremony film was published on Thursday."

A spokesperson for the UCU Stirling branch said: "We are very disappointed and somewhat incredulous at how badly the university has handled graduation. The notion this was an accidental editing error beggars belief. 

"The publicity the video has generated has been interesting. The Stirling UCU branch has received numerous private donations from University staff – current and retired - to the hardship fund, demonstrating that support for MAB is wider and deeper than management like to pretend.”