Graduations postponed up until August

Image Description: A picture of the front of the Bodleian library.  

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education announced today in an email to undergraduate and postgraduate finalists that all graduation ceremonies until the end of August 2021 have been postponed. Graduates from last year also received an email informing them that ceremonies that had been planned for May have once again been delayed.

In an email to current students, Martin Williams, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, sympathized with the frustration of students, but highlighted that the decision had been made due to the

“I am writing to provide you with an update about degree ceremonies.”

“As you will know, the UK Government’s COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be eased over the coming months. However, there is ongoing uncertainty about when large scale gatherings will be allowed to resume.”

“In light of this uncertainty, we have now taken the very difficult decision to postpone all degree ceremonies up to the end of August 2021.”

“I realise this will be disappointing to those of you who were hoping to attend a graduation ceremony this summer.”

Williams also emailed students who graduated last summer, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am writing to you in relation to your degree ceremony, which was scheduled to take place in May 2021. In light of the ongoing pandemic, we have had to take the difficult decision to postpone these ceremonies. While the Government’s COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be eased over the coming months, uncertainty over when large scale gatherings will be permitted to resume remains. This means that it is not feasible for the ceremonies to go ahead.”

“We realise that this is very disappointing news and we will be inviting you to a future ceremony to celebrate your achievements. Alternatively, if you wish to have your degree conferred before ceremonies can recommence you may opt to have it conferred in absentia.  Please read on for further details.”

He highlighted that students who wished to participate in later degree ceremonies would not have to take any further action at present. However, the timeline of these events is not yet confirmed. Those who wish to have their degrees conferred in absentia, should contact their colleges to make the necessary arrangements. If a student has already registered to have their degree conferred in absentia, then this process will continue without further action required.

Williams went on to emphasise that all possible efforts were being made to allow students to celebrate their achievements, as soon as it is safe to do so.

“However, I would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure you get an opportunity to mark the occasion of your graduation, in spite of the pandemic.”

Image Credit: Iona Shen