Graduation postponed for second year in a row due to Covid-19

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Durham University has halted its graduation ceremonies for the summer of 2021, making this year’s finalists the second in a row to have their graduation rescheduled by the Covid-19 outbreak.

In an email to this year’s finalists and last year’s graduates, the university declared that they “had taken the decision to postpone Summer 2021 congregation ceremonies” after advice from Public Health England (PHE) indicated it was not yet safe for the plans to go ahead. The university has not yet provided a date for when the events will be rescheduled to.

Graduates will still legally receive their awards and degree documents, and will have an opportunity to register interest for the rescheduled ceremonies, which were originally intended to happen on April 12th 2021, having been replaced with an online graduation ceremony last year.

We acknowledge this is very disappointing news for you, as it is for us. However, with the uncertain national situation the health and safety of granduands and guests should take priority.

The email went on to say: “Your award will still be legally conferred in June ‘in absentia’ and degree documents will be dispatched within 8 weeks of this. We will be in touch in early April with details for you to register for your degree documents and confirm your interest in the rescheduled ceremonies.”

Declan Merrington, whose graduation was already postponed last year, said: “Obviously, I am really disappointed. We were given a date in April which at the time must have seemed realistic but we now know to have been too optimistic.

“That being said, the fact that there was confusion last year over whether graduation was going to be postponed or cancelled, just makes me thankful they are still going ahead with it. It’s disappointing, but waiting for things to be safe definitely beats having a Zoom graduation.”

Both last year’s graduation celebration and this year’s matriculation were held online, with Covid-19 regulations preventing large gatherings. The decision to reschedule to April this year was made in the hope that restrictions would be lifted by then, but the announcement of a third national lockdown and recent advice from Public Health England led to the decision to postpone once again.

Image: Durham University

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