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Glasgow University cancels 2021 summer graduations

By Lucy Dunn

Online events will take place instead as Bute Hall cannot host socially distant  ceremonies.

After months of uncertainty, it has been confirmed today that the University of Glasgow is to cancel all 2021 summer graduation ceremonies. 

The announcement came this morning: “Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we are unable to hold our summer graduation ceremonies in their usual form on campus this year”. The decision is being made at this point as there have been a number of enquiries about travel and accommodation arrangements for the families and friends of those who are due to graduate this summer. 

The University had previously held off from clarifying whether 2021 graduations would take place, stating on their website that everything was dependent upon Scottish government guidelines: “We hope that our summer 2021 graduations will be able to take place and further information will be published here as soon as it is available.” 

Writing that “the layout of Bute Hall” would preclude “socially distanced ceremonies” ceremonies from taking place, the University previously hinted at the fact that graduation ceremonies would only take place if all Scottish government restrictions were lifted. This morning’s message from Professor Jill Morrison, Clerk of Senate and Vice Principal confirmed this, writing:  “Unfortunately, there is still no certainty that we will be able to hold large gatherings from the 23 June when our first ceremony is scheduled. There are normally around 1,200 people in the Bute Hall for each graduation ceremony and physical distancing is not possible.

“While you may not be surprised by this news, I know that it will come as a huge disappointment and I am so sorry to have to convey this difficult decision during what is already a challenging time.”

Alternatives have not been discussed in detail, however, the University are “planning a host of online celebratory events”. Professor Morrison added: “should Scottish Government guidance at that time allow, we may be able to have an on-campus element to these celebrations. We will also offer you the opportunity to return to campus for a ceremony at a later date”. The University encourages everyone eligible to enrol for graduation to ensure that students will receive their degrees on time, via post. 

The University of Edinburgh communicated at the start of February that their 2021 graduations, both summer and winter ceremonies, would not be taking place. The University of St Andrews has already postponed their summer graduations, as of announcements made on Friday 26 February. 


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As a parent,

Can I ask if there will be an opportunity to have photographs taken in Graduation gowns for the students?