Universities aiming for small, in-person graduation ceremonies this summer

Sussex uni’s vice-chancellor Adam Tickell is keen to see students return to teaching on campus

Universities in England are hoping for all students to return post-Easter, and be able to hold small graduation ceremonies this summer. 

The government announced on Monday that students taking practical courses would be able to return on the 8th March for face-to-face study. However, all remaining courses would have to continue remote online learning, until the government reviews the situation after the Easter Holidays. 

Some universities have said they will deliver online teaching for the rest of the academic year whilst Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Adam Tickell, said he wanted to get all students back for in-person teaching.

Tickell said the university wants to restart teaching on campus because many students had already returned to their term-time accommodation. He wants students to be able to participate in learning and other activities on campus but stressed the university would have to work on this as we go along. 

He also communicated the University was also looking into holding “small” in-person graduation ceremonies in the summer. 

A spokesperson from the University of Sussex said “It is too early to tell, but we are keen to explore ways to celebrate students achievements as guidelines develop.” 

The Vice-Chancellor suggested that small school-based or subject-based graduations will be considered, as it will not be safe enough to hold large graduation ceremonies at this time. 

Universities UK stated that decisions about students returning would be based on the latest public health circumstances.