Royal Holloway delays 2021 summer graduation ceremonies

The University says it is committed to hosting ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 graduates in 2022


Royal Holloway will not be hosting graduation ceremonies this summer.

Planning for graduation events will not begin until the government has “officially removed” social distancing restrictions, Principal Paul Layzell said today in an email sent to students in the Class of 2021.

The University will produce a video to mark July 2021 graduations, but Layzell stresses that this will not replace “in-person, on-campus” ceremonies.

“We are committing instead to providing graduation ceremonies in 2022 for every student eligible to graduate in summer 2021, and every student who graduated in 2020, assuming conditions allow,” added Layzell.

The UK Government aims to lift all COVID-19 restrictions by 21 June, but Layzell is worried that the date isn’t fixed and doesn’t provide Royal Holloway with the necessary certainty to plan graduation ceremonies.

“An expectation has been created around the lifting of restrictions on 21 June however, this date might change; it may come forward, but it might also move to later in the year.

“[It] does not give us the guarantees and certainty we need to be able to plan and safely deliver the graduation ceremony you have told us you want, nor does it give students and alumni living overseas the assurances necessary to confidently organise international travel,” said Layzell.

Royal Holloway also rejected the possibility of holding graduation ceremonies later in the summer.

Summer 2021 undergraduates will receive their degree certificates via post by 1 August, within three months of being awarded their degree. The University will provide transcripts to students within a month of receiving their award.

Royal Holloway hopes to host graduation ceremonies for students graduating in the winter when the University expects to have returned to a “new normal”, but the College doesn’t promise anything at this time.

“There remains too much uncertainty for us to confidently plan and confirm what the position will be in relation to Winter Graduations,” the University said.

“We will keep you updated as more clarity is provided by the UK Government.”