Postponement of Winter Graduation Ceremonies to March/April 2022
10 Dec 2021
Message from Nancy Rothwell and Nalin Thakkar
We very much regret to tell you that we have made the extremely difficult decision to postpone next week’s Winter Graduation until March/April because of the increased risk of COVID. We know this will be a major disappointment to our students, their families and supporters and our staff.
In the short space of time since this week’s UK Government announcement we have taken extensive advice and have not taken the decision lightly, particularly given the very close proximity to the event itself. We do understand this is not news our students and staff will want to hear.
On behalf of the entire faculty and staff, we have sincerely apologised to our graduating students for the inconvenience that this will cause.
Why postpone now?
Quite rightly you will ask, why have we made that decision now?
We have considered this week’s introduction of the government’s Plan B guidance for COVID-19 and the growing concerns about the COVID-19 variant, Omicron. Throughout the pandemic, we have adhered to the precautionary principles on safety as our first concern to keep you, your families and our staff safe and well.
While we are confident that in-person, teaching of students on campus remains as safe as possible in controlled environments, we believe that the risks associated with holding large scale events with mixed age groups is now too great, given the rapid transmission of the Omicron variant over recent days.
It is such a shame that we must postpone this occasion that represents an important milestone for students due to the situation with which we are now faced. However, the safety of students, their guests, and our staff must always come first.
So, what can we do to help?
Though graduation ceremonies are unable to go ahead next week, all successful candidates will graduate without being present in person and will receive their degree certificates by post to their home address. We will also be covering the cost of gown hire and arranging a £50 payment to all graduands who had registered to attend a ceremony as of 10 December 2021.
Of course, we want to mark graduation in person in the appropriate way and we are planning to offer dates in March and April 2022.
I hope that you will understand that our only motivation is safety and wellbeing in a rapidly changing circumstance.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Vice President for Social Responsibility and Chair of the Campus Management Group