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Message for students who graduated in 2020

Thank you to all of you who took part in our recent survey about the possibility of holding graduation ceremonies in 2021, or postponing once more until 2022. We know how much graduation means to you and your loved ones. It is an important milestone, recognising your considerable achievements and we know you were very disappointed that we were not able to hold physical ceremonies last year. 

However, the survey did not show a clear preference for either option across the 2020/21 cohorts. We have considered that while the COVID-19 situation in the UK has improved, the global situation has not, with major new outbreaks across Europe, India and in South America, and it is likely that quarantine arrangements for those arriving into the UK will still remain in place this summer. This will make it very difficult for any graduate living overseas, and their loved ones, to attend an in-person graduation. It is not possible to plan any large-scale in-person events with any certainty because while COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to lift in the UK, the Government’s roadmap is cautious and there can be no guarantees that further restrictions will have been lifted by the summer.

Our priority at all times must be the health and safety of our staff, students and their loved ones and therefore regrettably, this means we cannot deliver in-person graduation ceremonies as we would have wished this summer. 

Consequently, we are rescheduling the in-person ceremonies to the summer of 2022. We can then all come together next year for what will be a high quality, full Graduation experience to celebrate your success, should the pandemic permit. We hope this arrangement recognises the wishes of our 2020 graduates, while still committing to a full graduation ceremony with friends and family at a later date. This also ensures that the University is aligned with the safety and travel advice of local and national health bodies in the current circumstances.

Thank you for you continued patience, we know this will be disappointing news but our priority is to give you the safe and celebratory ceremony you deserve.