UoB graduation celebrations for this year’s students are planning to go ahead outside this summer

We knew the Green Heart would save us

After the year it’s been for many students, dealing with Zoom seminars and stressful dissertation deadlines, finally there is some positive news.

An email was sent to students graduating this year on Thursday outlining the university’s plans for outdoor graduations. These celebrations provide opportunities for students to get photos with friends and family on campus in their academic dress.

The on-campus events are scheduled to occur between Wednesday 14th and Friday 23rd July 2021.

Previously in an interview with The Tab, Michelle Donelan, Universities Minister said she would personally “strongly encourage” unis to hold graduation ceremonies this year, so long as it was in line with the government’s coronavirus restrictions at the time.

The Graduation Team at the University said: “The situation with the pandemic is unpredictable and as we write social distancing requirements are still in place in the UK.

“Our plans for the graduation celebrations have been designed to allow for a good level of flexibility, with the aim of insuring against any potential restrictions as much as possible.

“As such, the celebrations will differ from a standard Degree Congregation in some respects.”

The emailed published plans for outdoor celebrations rather than the normal graduations inside the Great Hall: “To give us the best possible chance of being able to go ahead with the celebrations, the on-campus events will be held at outdoor venues in the beautiful Green Heart of our Edgbaston campus.

“These short assemblies will provide an opportunity to come together as a school, with your classmates and members of staff who have supported you on your university journey.”

However, there will be noticeable changes to a normal graduation event, the celebrations will take place outside and degree certificates will be sent out after the events.

The email explained the difference from a normal graduation ceremony: “The biggest difference is that your degree will be conferred by Special Warrant after the celebrations have taken place and not at the events.

“This will ensure that everyone who meets the requirements of their degree will be able to have that degree conferred, even if something happens that means the on-campus events cannot go ahead. This means that the on-campus events will be celebrations and not formal graduation ceremonies.”

However, aspects of the normal graduation event will remain including music, academic dress, refreshments and speeches from University officials.

The university acknowledges not all students will be able to make their graduations, a virtual graduation ceremony will take place at 12:00 on Monday 26th July 2021 for those students.

Further updates on how many relatives and friends students can bring to the event are yet to be finalised based on the uncertainty over the Covid-19 restrictions.

Students can find out about when their subject-specific celebrations are going ahead by visiting the university’s website.

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