Leeds graduates are yet to receive certificates after Leeds Uni runs out of paper

Students feel as they have missed out on job opportunities after being left for months without official proof of their degree

Students who graduated from the University of Leeds in December have found themselves without their graduation certificates after the uni ran out of paper.

Leeds University told students an “issue with a supplier” meant it didn’t have the correct paper to print their certificates.

More than two months on from their graduation, students are still waiting for physical proof they’ve graduated from Leeds Uni and some have told The Leeds Tab, it’s stopped them applying for jobs and postgraduate courses.

The email sent to students in December

In the email above, the university anticipates the students will receive their certificates by March. The uni also states it’s unable to send students digital versions of their certificates.

“We are unable to produce digital certificates.

“The paper has all the features required to make your certificate an official document, like the crest, signatures, hologram and other security features that makes it authentic.”

Whilst the University assured students that they can apply for physical transcripts and statements as proof of graduation, many students have expressed the stress and discontent they have experienced in applying for jobs and higher education opportunities.

Politics graduate, Felicity Harrison, said she had “never felt so personally let down and disappointed with an institution”.

“I just cannot understand how a university that always pushed its students to do their best, is now consciously holding us back from our post-graduate plans,” she told The Leeds Tab.

“As though completing a degree during the pandemic and finally graduating during a cost-of-living crisis was not bad enough, it has been exacerbated by Leeds’ negligence. Before this, I had always prided the university on their student support. However, since the delay on providing my graduation certificate, I can wholeheartedly say that I have never felt so personally let down and disappointed with an institution.

“We all worked so hard in incredibly challenging circumstances, to then have our documents withheld because of a paper shortage. Because of this, I am missing out on opportunities that I had aspired for long before I was even enrolled at Leeds. The university should be ashamed of the way that they have failed to care for their graduates.”

She added: “I thought that it was just a few of us. But since communicating with the Leeds uni post-graduate community, it is clear that the university has let down a considerable amount of graduates.”

Felicity Harrison

Another student explained it had stopped them from applying to graduate jobs. The law graduate told The Leeds Tab: “A lot of employers do not allow you to upload a transcript in lieu of a degree certificate on their application websites and I feel like I’ve missed out on opportunities and jobs because of the university’s disorganisation.”

Another law graduate who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve had to delay my place at the University of Law and my place still is not confirmed because I do not have my graduation certificate, and the academic verification the uni are providing is not a sufficient substitute.

“I had to send four emails and call the university twice to obtain an official stamped transcript.”

A screenshot of the email in full

A spokesperson for the University of Leeds said: “We very much regret the delay in providing some of our graduates with their printed degree certificates. While we are able to provide all those affected with formal proof of their award, we understand the anxiety and concern felt by those patiently awaiting receipt of their physical degree certificate.

“Following action to resolve the cause, we expect that the graduation certificates will be sent before the end of February (using tracked mail for graduates overseas). In the meantime, we have been in contact with all those impacted to keep them updated on progress.

“Anyone who is waiting for their degree certificate, and who needs further information, should contact the University through the Student Information Service.”

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