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Final year students given choice over graduation ceremony

Exeter University graduates will choose whether they celebrate graduation in Easter or Summer 2021.

As our final year students will know all too well, the summer graduation ceremonies for the grads of 2020 were postponed to an unknown date, not long after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The registrar has confirmed in his latest update email that they are trying to come up with the best way in which we can ‘recognise and celebrate the achievements of students whose graduation ceremonies this summer have been postponed’, by working closely with the Students’ Guild in Exeter and the Students’ Union in Cornwall.

He went on to state that due to their ‘strong sense’ that students would like a traditional ceremony, the intention is still to hold a ceremony ‘on campus in person, with [family and friends]’. They aim to hold it in 2021, however it’s now just a question of when exactly. To decide, all students who were meant to graduate this summer have been emailed a link to a poll, enabling them to choose their preference between an Easter graduation or a summer graduation.

In his email he states: “In collaboration with the Students’ Guild in Exeter and Students’ Union in Cornwall, we are working to agree the best way in which to recognise and celebrate the achievements of students whose graduation ceremonies this summer have been postponed.

“It has been our strong sense so far that students would wish to celebrate on campus in person, with their families and friends, when it is safe to do so. We therefore intend to host Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020, in 2021 as both a celebration of your achievements and as a reunion.

“Students who would have expected to graduate this summer will receive an email including a link to a short poll, through which we invite you to indicate your preference for an event in Easter 2021, or Summer 2021.”

Moreover, the email confirms that all 2020 graduates will receive their degree certificates, as they understand they may be needed for applying for grad jobs or further study. At the end of this academic year there will be an virtual event, to which all final year students will be invited. The email states that this online ceremony will take place in July, once exam results have been released.

“We are keen to recognise the achievements of graduating students this year and to officially confer degree certificates which we know are important for students taking up graduate jobs or progressing to further study.

“We will therefore be inviting finalists to an online celebration to mark the end of this academic year, which will complement Graduation ceremonies held in 2021. This will take place in July following the release of examination results and we will contact finalists with further information in due course.”