Our Graduation Sympathy

Your sabbatical officers give their reaction after the University announced its decision to postpone summer 2021 graduations (and all outstanding ceremonies for 2020 graduates) until 2022.

Earlier today, the University announced its decision to postpone summer 2021 graduations (and all outstanding ceremonies for 2020 graduates) until 2022. Graduation is a really important part of the university experience for many students, and we know just how upsetting this news may be for many of you.

As a Sabbatical Officer team where three out of four of us have not yet had the opportunity to attend our graduation, we understand and sympathise with all of the emotions you may be feeling about this news today. 

You can find out more information about the University’s announcement here, alongside a number of frequently asked questions to better understand the rationale behind the decision.

Despite the Government announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown and towards normality, it must be acknowledged that life will not immediately return to normal come 21 June (when legal limits on social contact are set to be lifted, assuming strict conditions are met).

We know that because graduation is such a special moment in your life, you want it to be held in a way that allows all of your University cohort, alongside your family and friends, to attend and to be completely safe. We also know that you want to be able to celebrate in the fullest way possible. This means that any ceremony that may have been planned for 2021 would still require social distancing, may prevent international students from attending due to travel restrictions, and may have ultimately been further delayed depending on how the roadmap progresses and how realistic the 21 June date ultimately is.

In order to provide the graduation ceremony you would like, in the manner of those held in previous years that occur within the Chapel inside Founder’s Building, the University has decided to postpone the ceremonies until 2022. As soon as these ceremonies are able to be planned, the University will provide an update on the dates they will be held.

We know that this is not what you wanted to hear. And we know that the hope of things returning to normal in the summer meant this may not have been what you were expecting to hear. This last year has been incredibly tough for everyone, and even more difficult for university students. You have all worked exceptionally hard and I hope we are able to celebrate your fantastic achievements, in a year of such challenges, in the grandest way possible in 2022.