‘It’s a joke’: Final year students on the postponement of 2021 graduation

‘I basically feel like I can forget about experiencing a graduation’

After it was announced this morning that the graduation ceremony for the 2021 cohort would be cancelled, a lot of final years would have received the news they have been expecting for the entire academic year.

Despite the government’s roadmap out of lockdown announced, and many Lancaster students mentally preparing for June 21st – graduation has been cancelled for final years, and it will be postponed until 2022.

The Tab Lancaster spoke to several Lancaster final year students about the cancellation and how they feel about yet another graduation being postponed.

‘The end of my university career will feel so anti-climatic’

Charlie is a final year English lit and creative writing student. She explained that whilst she understood the uni’s decision to postpone “because the future is uncertain” she continues to feel “really upset and disappointed.”

Charlie explains: “The end of my university career will just feel so anti-climatic, I’ve been really looking forward to graduation.”

‘I’m extremely disappointed’

Elliott, a final year Politics and International Relations student said he felt “extremely disappointed”. He continued: “Given the likelihood that all restrictions are going to be lifted to some degree by June and not even July, I think the university is being over cautious to the severe detriment of the students who’ve soldiered on this year. 9K for a massively reduced course without a graduation at the end.”

‘The wait was unnecessary’

Harry, from Pendle college, said that whilst he understands people may disagree with him “the wait was unnecessary.” Harry said that he would rather have no graduation than one “a year late.” Harry feels that there is “no need for the length of postponement.”

He continues: “They could have scheduled it for this year, perhaps in the winter even, and had graduations this year. [They could have] postponed further if necessary.”

‘It’s a joke’

Final year English lit and creative writing student, Liv said she felt “fuming” but argued that her anger was “more at Boris and I’m displacing it on to uni.”

She said: “I’m not very happy, I understand all the influences but at the same time, it’s a joke. After all this time, all the work, we can’t celebrate and when we can, it might not even be with those that helped us through it. I feel awful for last years graduates too, but I suppose I’ll see them next year at my own.”

‘It takes away the uniqueness of our own graduation ceremony’

Frances, a final year from Bowland college, said that whilst she is aware that “reorganising graduation is difficult” she feels that “throwing three year groups together in a relatively short space of time takes away the uniqueness of our own graduation ceremony.

“I’m aware it’s not the biggest problem in the world,” she continues: “but by throwing us all together it kind of ruins the experience we should all be having as individual year groups.”

‘It’s ridiculous for the university to assume that international students will be able to come back’

Carrie-Anne, a final year from Pendle college, pointed out that it seems “ridiculous” that the university would “assume that international students will all be in a position where they’re able to come back sometime next year.

“I have so many anxieties about the future, not knowing where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing – so this whole thing honestly just stresses me out because I can’t plan that far ahead. I basically feel like I can forget about experiencing a graduation.”

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