2 UOW marketing students in academic gowns and holding mortarboards

July graduation ceremonies rescheduled to September

July graduation ceremonies rescheduled to September

Decision made in the interests of the health and safety of the community

With the extension of the lockdown in Greater Sydney until 11.59 pm on Friday 16 July, and public health orders beyond this date undetermined, the University of Wollongong (UOW) has taken the difficult decision to reschedule the in-person graduation ceremonies that were due to take place from 21 to 23 July 2021.

Ceremonies are now planned for the mid-session break in late September, with details to be confirmed as soon as possible.

The University is working on plans to hold the rescheduled ceremonies off campus at the WIN Entertainment Centre (WEC) or WIN Stadium. These venues provides UOW with the ability to welcome more graduates and their guests safely, accommodating COVID restrictions, and a unique opportunity to celebrate in the heart of the Wollongong community.

UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson said the decision to postpone had come after UOW had been working hard to deliver in-person graduation for students who have faced an incredibly challenging completion of their university studies.

“The current health pandemic continues to hit us all very hard, impacting all aspects of our lives,” Professor Davidson said.

“With the Delta strain of COVID-19 circulating in the community, a more vigilant response is required until most of our population is vaccinated.

“As difficult as it is not to live our lives as freely as we would like, our priority must be to continue to protect the health and safety of the community.

“After many weeks of discussion and consultation, we think this is in our community's best interests.”

The rescheduled ceremonies will be open to all students eligible to graduate and to UOW’s 2020 graduates who missed an in-person graduation experience last year. The University intends to deliver the ceremonies in the traditional format with COVID-safe practices.

The rescheduled ceremony dates will be contingent on whatever health orders or lockdowns are in place at that time.

“I want to assure students, staff and the community that the restrictions created by the health pandemic and their impact on UOW's operations continue to be kept under constant review and safety and wellbeing is my highest priority,” Professor Davidson said.

“In any decision made by the University, due consideration will continue to be given to the needs of our students, graduates, and their families, who often have to make complex travel arrangements to attend these special events.

“I understand the postponement of these events will be a great disappointment for many people, particularly for students who also had ceremonies postponed in 2020; however, this is necessary to protect our students, loved ones, and colleagues from the spread of COVID-19.

“The University is committed to offering our graduates and their loved ones a unique and memorable UOW graduation experience at the rescheduled ceremonies, in a new setting”

For graduates who do not wish to attend an in-person graduation ceremony, UOW intends to offer the opportunity to take part in a live, virtual ceremony later in the year.

The postponement of the graduation ceremonies does not mean a delay in students receiving their qualification as UOW has a long-standing practice of issuing testamurs as close as possible to a students’ completion.