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Update on Graduation ceremonies

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Graduation ceremonies for July 2020 and July 2021 will now take place in July 2022, with the December 2020 ceremony scheduled for the end of this year – subject to government guidance.

We understand that the news of the postponement will be disappointing for our students and colleagues – especially those in the Events and Graduation Teams who have been working closely with RUSU on different options for the graduation ceremonies.

The decision by the University Executive Board (UEB) was informed by a Graduation Sentiments Survey, which was sent to all 2020 graduates and 2021 finalists. The survey was aimed at better understanding which elements of Graduation are most valued by our community. More than 4,500 people completed the survey, which reflects the importance of this event.

The survey responses showed general agreement about which elements of a graduation celebration are most important. The two things that stood out were:

  • that most respondents wanted their graduation celebration to be ‘as close to normal’ as possible – without social distancing restrictions;
  • and, they were willing to wait up to a year longer to increase the likelihood that no social distancing restrictions would be in place for their ceremony.

 

The University Executive Board (UEB) has therefore taken the very difficult decision to postpone our ceremonies as follows:

  • July 2020 and July 2021 ceremonies will take place in July 2022
  • December 2020 ceremonies will take place in December 2021, along with the cohort due to graduate at that time 

 

These plans are, of course, subject to any relevant legal restrictions, government guidance or public health advice which may be in place at the time.

The UEB also carefully considered the initial information from the government as part of their review of large-scale events. At this stage, unfortunately there is no certainty that these types of events will be able to go ahead this summer without social distancing or other restrictions. International travel restrictions remain in place currently, which means many of our recent graduates and current finalists based overseas may be unable to travel to the UK in July.

We have written to all 2020 graduates and 2021 finalists to share this news. Colleagues in the Events and Graduation Teams are working hard to put plans in place now to provide our 2020 and 2021 cohorts with the best possible graduation experience and we will keep you updated.

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