Board member news

Postponement of in-person Graduation ceremonies 2021

Claire Morgan

Read a message from Claire Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students sent to final year students on 24 March.

Dear student

It is with huge disappointment and sadness that I write to inform you that we have taken the difficult decision to postpone our 2021 in-person Graduation ceremonies again this summer. I know you will find this news disappointing; however, I can assure you this is not a decision that we have taken lightly.

Please be assured that our decisions reflect current public health and government advice, and are based on your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those closest to you, which remain our priority.

You will be aware that since the pandemic began, we have monitored and managed its impact on student life very closely. The same applies to Graduation where we have explored all viable options to provide you with an in-person opportunity to celebrate your achievements.

As a university in Wales, we adhere to guidance from the Welsh Government which can differ from other parts of the UK. At the time of writing, Wales remains at alert level 4 and given the uncertainty and continued restrictions on large-scale events, we believe it is the right decision to postpone this year’s ceremonies and to provide you and your families with absolute clarity.

We appreciate there is very hopeful and positive news about the roll-out of the vaccination programme, with the hope that the situation will improve by the summer. However, without absolute certainty we cannot safely deliver an inclusive event of the size and scale of our previous in-person Graduation ceremonies.

We have consulted with other UK universities and whilst some continue to explore the possibility, we believe we will be in line with most other UK and Welsh universities in taking this difficult decision.

I want to be clear to both the classes of 2020 and 2021 – assuming restrictions are lifted, we are absolutely determined to deliver in-person Graduation for you all in the Summer of 2022, if it is safe to do so.

I also want to take this opportunity to reassure you that, subject to meeting your learning requirements, this decision to postpone our in-person graduation has no impact on your ability to graduate from Cardiff University this year.

Whilst our graduation ceremonies are a key part of the University calendar and your student experience, they are a ceremonial event. Our degrees are not conferred formally at these ceremonies so there is no impact for your progression to post-university life.

We will not let your passage from student to graduate go unmarked and we will be hosting a series of Virtual Celebration events for you to mark your achievements with students, staff and those closest to you.

We are currently exploring some opportunities for these Virtual Celebrations, building on feedback from last year’s graduates, and will outline our plans as soon as we are able to do so. I very much look forward to celebrating with you and watching you as you mark the occasion with your friends and families.

Finally, whilst this is not the email I wanted to write, I want to thank you for your continued patience and resilience through what has been a challenging year. As I mention regularly in my emails, if you are struggling, we are here to support you and Student Connect remains your first point of contact if you need any support.

If you have any questions regarding Graduation, please check our Graduation webpages and do not hesitate to contact: registrysupport@cardiff.ac.uk.

Best wishes,

Claire Morgan
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students