Graduations are important events for our University community as they give us the opportunity to recognise the outstanding successes of our graduates. Our University has previously held graduation ceremonies in both the summer and the winter. However, since December 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to hold virtual celebrations instead.
Recognising the impact of Covid-19 vaccines, which have recently allowed reduced pandemic restrictions, we are pleased to be planning for increased opportunities for graduates to attend in-person graduation ceremonies in 2022. We will try to ensure additional flexibility for graduates in choosing which dates to attend next year. Further details will be announced in due course.
We recognise, however, that students due to complete their postgraduate Master’s or Doctoral degrees may need to, or strongly prefer to, attend a ceremony earlier. Therefore, we may be able to offer special graduation ceremonies on our Claverton Down campus in December 2021, designed to be able to align to the general criteria of the current version of the UK Government’s Plan B for autumn and winter 2021/2022.
Current arrangements for winter graduations
The potential winter graduation ceremonies would be held on our Claverton Down campus from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 December 2021. Holding ceremonies on campus would allow us to take advantage of the large spaces and equipment we have, helping to ensure the events are as safe as possible.
An email has been sent directly to eligible graduating students.
Invitations will be sent on Wednesday November 10th to those students who have responded to indicate that they wish to attend the ceremonies planned for December 2021.
Arrangements would be made to prioritise the health, safety and wellbeing of students, accompanying guests and staff. Nearer to the time, we would confirm the safety measures in place for the ceremonies, but they are likely to include the following:
- As a condition of entry to the event, all attendees will be asked to show either an NHS COVID 19 pass, proof of double vaccination or a negative result from a lateral flow test taken within the previous 24 hours.
- All attendees will be asked to comply with University guidance in relation to the event such as the wearing of face coverings.
- No attendee should attend the ceremonies if they have coronavirus symptoms, if they have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case or have been asked to self-isolate.
More information is available on our webpages.
Implications of the public health situation
It is important, given the evolving public health situation, that we are straightforward and open with you about the fact that our plans will be guided by the latest public health advice, which remains subject to change at short notice. Whilst the UK Government is not enacting its ‘Plan B’ at the time of writing, it may well implement its published contingency measures this autumn or winter. In addition, Covid cases are currently high locally, and we recognise that additional national or local restrictions may be imposed.
Therefore, it is possible that we have to implement tighter Covid measures for any ceremonies, to follow new Government restrictions affecting Higher Education providers, or indeed to postpone the winter ceremonies altogether. Such rules may also affect travel plans, particularly from countries overseas.
In light of this continuing uncertainty about the public health situation, we advise that any travel, accommodation or other arrangements which require financial outlay by you or your guests be made as late as possible or that you make bookings which are flexible or refundable. In the event that the planned ceremonies are cancelled, postponed or otherwise changed or in the event that a graduand or guest fails to comply with the conditions of entry, no liability will be accepted by the University for the costs of travel, accommodation or other arrangements entered into by graduands or guests.
We look forward to welcoming you to your degree ceremony, whether in December 2021 or later in 2022, and to celebrating your successes with you.