I am happy to confirm that we are planning to hold in-person graduation ceremonies, in line with current Scottish Government guidance. It is intended that our graduation ceremonies will take place in the week commencing 22 November 2021.
The absence of ceremonies since the pandemic started has reinforced how important our traditional graduation celebrations are to our student community, their families and also to staff. Now that we are beyond level 0, holding physical ceremonies in November pays appropriate tribute to our successful graduands and is also a fantastic opportunity for our community to unite – while taking all necessary precautions – and to celebrate the fact that we can enjoy such an occasion in this manner again.
The health and wellbeing of our staff and students remain our priority and as much as we would love to hold these ceremonies on campus as usual, the historic nature of our buildings means they would not be of an appropriate size or meet the ventilation requirements for such an event.
To enable us to hold physical ceremonies, we have secured space at The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) which provides more than adequate space and ventilation to ensure the highest possible safety standards can be followed. Whilst the venue has moved, the ceremonies will remain largely unchanged, creating an opportunity for staff, graduates and their families to celebrate their success together.
Although the graduation ceremonies will strictly follow the latest guidelines for such events, we recognise that not all members of staff will feel comfortable attending them at this time, and we respect that choice. Furthermore, we appreciate that while the ceremonies are permitted under the latest government guidance, should that guidance change, we will of course action any changes as required ahead of the events.
We know many students will have formed a strong connection with the University campus during their studies, so we are putting in place provision to allow students to revisit campus with friends and family before or after the ceremony.
Planning for graduations and the supporting activity is ongoing but we expect to be able to provide a real sense of occasion to enjoy pre and post-ceremony celebratory hospitality safely.
Only those students who have completed their studies and are due to graduate in November 2021 are eligible to apply. Students who graduated prior to this will have an opportunity to attend a celebration event in 2022. More details about this will be made available nearer the time.
For those unable to attend due to travel restrictions, personal circumstance or for any other reason, the ceremonies will be broadcast live online and will be available for viewing at a later date as well.
Ceremony details will be published shortly on our graduation website.
Students will be informed of this news in this message that will be sent today.
While I appreciate off-site graduations will be different from those we hold on campus, our teams will work tirelessly to ensure they are fitting of the achievements of our students. I hope you will join me in celebrating this announcement and what it represents.
With best wishes
Director of People