The decision made by the University to postpone graduations until next year was not a decision made easily but it is the safest thing to do at present due to current government guidance and the likelihood of the restrictions being lifted to occur in time for summer ceremonies is very low. Further to this, it is unlikely travel abroad will not be disrupted globally and it would be extremely upsetting for those whose families are abroad to not be able to travel to the UK in order to attend the ceremony. Therefore, it was felt it was in the best interest of the students to postpone the graduations.
The ceremony is most likely to be held in July 2021, however this is not a confirmed date, this has been decided due to several factors:
- Due to the scale of the event it would be impractical, if not impossible, to host the ceremony during semester time.
- Moving the ceremony to September is too risky, as it is not yet clear if the restrictions as outlined above will still be in place at that point
- Hosting during Christmas is not viable due to closure days
- Hosting during Easter is not viable due to Postgraduate ceremonies being hosted at this time. These too have been doubled up and the PG Class of 2020 will be the week before PG Class of 2021
- The hope of hosting during July 2021 will also allow for those students who have retake to be able to graduate with their own cohort and friends.
- The weather did also play a factor into this as the winter months are often very wet and cold, which might ruin the experience of the day for everyone if they cannot do things like take pictures in front of the cathedral due to the awful weather. This is less likely in the summer