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Graduation

Class of 2021

Confirmed date: Wednesday 13 July 2022

Further details about the day, including the time of the ceremony to which you are allocated and details of how to register, will follow in early 2022 via our website and to your personal email address. Please bear with us whilst we work through these details.

The SU will also be in touch in due course about how to order tickets for the evening event if you wish to attend.

While, at this stage, the UK government is not advising that they expect there to be any COVID related or similar restrictions on gatherings of large numbers by summer 2022, if this advice changes at any time, we will of course update you as soon as possible.

In the meantime, as your student IT account will be deactivated in the autumn, it is extremely important that you update both your personal email address and home postal address (via e:Vision), before you finish your studies, so that we are able to post your degree certificate to you and also send you information about your graduation.

For students who are due to complete their course of study between 16 September 2020 and 14 September 2021.

Important update about your graduation ceremony

For students who are due to successfully complete their course of study between 16 September 2020 and 14 September 2021.

We hope you are keeping well as you enter the final phase of you studies with us.

We wanted to provide an update about this year’s graduation ceremonies, which you may have noted from our website are scheduled to take place on 24th September 2021.

Throughout this year, the University has been closely monitoring the latest Covid-19 information and guidance and we have been working closely with our local authority’s Health Protection Team to ensure we keep our students, staff and local community as safe as possible. This includes discussions in relation to our plans for graduation, as we want to make sure that you have the opportunity celebrate your achievements with your family and friends, whilst maintaining the highest levels of safety.

Whilst the Government ‘Road Map’ has suggested that restrictions may be lifted from 21st June 2021, we are mindful that a review of how large-scale events might be run is ongoing, so it is not clear at this stage what limits may be imposed on gatherings, such as graduation, over the summer and early autumn of 2021. In the meantime, our contacts in the Health Protection Team have advised us that while large-scale events are likely to be able to go ahead by that time, we should plan using the ‘1-metre-plus’ approach (1-metre social distancing alongside mitigation measures such as face coverings or screens, for example). This would mean that we would have to run five ceremonies made up of smaller groups of students on five separate days to minimise infection risks. Furthermore, should infection rates change, or a third spike develop, the ceremonies may be cancelled at very short notice by the Health Protection Team acting under Covid-19 laws.

In recent weeks, a working group has considered in detail a wide range of options for how we might be able to run graduation in a different way. Alternatives considered have ranged from multiple socially distanced ceremonies in July 2021, to postponing to various dates in 2022, a virtual celebration or even a drive-through experience.

We have consulted the Students’ Union and the 2021 final year captains. All were clear that graduands would not welcome a virtual event and would prefer to delay the ceremony until a time when the Class of 2021 can genuinely come together at the University for the usual graduation experience, whilst enabling you to celebrate without social distancing, similar restrictions, risks of infection or of last minute cancellation. All representatives advised that there is a strong preference to postpone until 2022 to enable everyone to have an opportunity to attend the usual graduation event.

In light of the above, we have made the decision to postpone your graduation ceremony until July 2022, by which time we hope that we will be able to welcome the whole Class of 2021 to celebrate on campus on the same day. Each ceremony will be followed by a reception for you, your guests and University staff, and a celebratory event organised by the Students’ Union will take place during the evening. We would also provide the opportunity for a year group photograph, as requested by your representatives.

Further details about the day, including the date and time of the ceremony to which you are allocated, and details of how to register, will follow in early 2022 via our website and to your personal email address. Please bear with us whilst we work through these details. As your student IT account will be deactivated in the autumn, it is extremely important that you update both your personal email address and home postal address (via e:Vision), before you finish your studies, so that we are able to post your degree certificate to you and also send you information about your graduation. The SU will be in touch in due course about how to order tickets for the evening event if you wish to attend.

We hope that you will agree, as your representatives suggested, that next year’s celebrations will provide the best opportunity to celebrate your incredible efforts to complete your awards in what has been an extremely trying time. We really look forward to welcoming you back to campus for your graduation, and wish you all the best for the remainder of the term.

Published on 17 May 2021

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