We spoke to UOL students about graduation being cancelled, and this is what they said

A petition for a July graduation has almost 5,000 signatures

After UoL announced last week that graduation would be online for another year running, students have been voicing their opinions about having a ceremony via Zoom.

After three years spent at uni with one of the most stressful years for students trying to navigate finishing their final years during a global pandemic, people are feeling rightfully disappointed that they won’t get the celebration that they were expecting.

Students have took action from their disappointment by creating a petition in order to make the July graduation happen, that now has almost 5,000 signatures.

The Liverpool Tab spoke to students about graduation being cancelled, and here is what they had to say:

Billy a third year studying marine biology said “it’s annoying that they’ve had over a year to plan and put in place contingencies for a more restricted style graduation, which would allow grads to have a day to celebrate our achievements”.

Despite some people’s disappointment, Zeenia a third year English student said that postponing graduation would actually benefit students in her position who have resits due to health conditions, and that by having the ceremony later they’ll be able to graduate with their friends. With regards to safety, she said that for international students, having a later date would hopefully enable these students to bring their parents along.

Sophie, another third year doing biomedicine describes how this later graduation date would actually affect some international students who finished their studies last year, as their visas may not be able to cover them for an autumn ceremony this year. She also described how gutted she felt that LJMU and Edge Hill are still having their graduation ceremonies in person.

Freddie who’s in second year studying philosophy said they think a socially distanced event would be a more feasible approach to take, especially since if the roadmap out of lockdown goes to plan, after June 21st nightclubs would be open with people mixing in close-proximity. They also said that graduation is “such a big part of the university experience, so during a year where the experience has been lessened, an in person ceremony would have been a nice ending note for all students”.

Holly, who will be graduating in psychology said that even if restrictions weren’t completely lifted in time, there could be ways to still have the ceremony in person, like outdoor or smaller sized gatherings. She described that especially since Liverpool has been a pioneer for pilot events in recent weeks, not being able to have an in-person ceremony is especially disappointing.

Another final year student, Jacob, doing communication and media, said that if all the other Liverpool based universities are having proper in-person ceremonies, it doesn’t seem to make sense that UoL aren’t doing the same.

When asked for a comment about people’s dissatisfaction with the cancelling of an in-person ceremony, a UoL spokesperson said:

‘We fully understand that the decision to postpone this summer’s ceremonies until a later date is disappointing news for our final year students, who are working so hard to achieve their degrees in the very difficult circumstances created by the pandemic’

‘Like many universities across the country, we have taken the difficult decision to delay these events for a short period so that we can provide the best experience possible based on any guidance for larger indoor events issued in the next phase of the Governments COVID-19 roadmap. Equally, we hope the staging of these events at a later date will make it easier for thousands of students and their families who may be affected by current travel restrictions.

We will be inviting all our 2020 and summer 2021 graduates back to Liverpool to attend an event in-person and aim for the first of these to take place this autumn’.

In the meantime, the petition to help provide students with a summer graduation is still running here.


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