In an email sent to students this afternoon (Wednesday 29 April), Pro-Vice Chancellor Kelly Coate announced that summer graduation ceremonies will be postponed indefinitely.
Professor Coate said that the decision “has been taken with great reluctance”, but due to ongoing restrictions and concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the University felt they were left with “no other choice”.
The graduation webpage explains: “At present, it is unknown how long the UK will be facing social distancing and travel restrictions as a result of these unprecedented times. Therefore we have taken the prudent decision that we would rather act now to prevent you and your guests having to make plans that may increase risk.”
The email emphasises that the postponement applies to ceremonies due to take place from Monday 20 July to Friday 24 July 2020. Students have also been assured that they will still receive their degree this summer, and more information will be released in due course regarding how students will receive their transcripts degree certificates.
The email reads:
“It is with great sadness that the University has made the difficult decision to postpone our summer 2020 graduation ceremonies due to take place in July. I am sure that you will understand that the continuing situation around COVID-19 leaves us with no other choice and this is a decision that has been taken with great reluctance.
Graduation is always a highlight of the year and the fact we are unable to hold it this summer is a great disappointment to many.
We fully understand that our ceremonies are a special time for you to celebrate your achievements with friends and family, but our primary concern must be for the health, safety and wellbeing of all our students, their guests, our staff, and the wider community.
Given the current uncertainties, we are unable to say when the postponed ceremonies will take place. When we have further details, our graduation webpage will be updated and you will be contacted with the new arrangements. But please be assured that you, and your families and guests, will have the opportunity to celebrate with us on a future occasion.
We are conscious that some of you may have started making plans to attend in July and that is why we have taken this decision now, to allow you as much time as possible to change any plans.
This decision only relates to the actual ceremonies planned for July 2020. It does not affect your opportunity to graduate as a student and you will still receive your degree this summer. You will be contacted separately with details about how you will receive your degree certificate.”