UOW to hold virtual graduation ceremony
Decision gives students certainty, protects health and safety of students and community
Due to the ongoing lockdown and the continued prevalence of the Delta strain of COVID-19 in New South Wales, the University of Wollongong (UOW) will conduct a virtual graduation ceremony in 2021, instead of the planned in-person event.
The graduation ceremony was originally scheduled for 21 to 23 July but was put on hold at the start of the lockdown. Further details, including dates and times, will be advised once confirmed.
The decision to conduct a virtual ceremony has been made in the interests of protecting the safety of students, staff and the community while still providing an opportunity to publicly acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of graduating students.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson said the University had listened to feedback from graduates who took part in the 2020 virtual ceremony and the new and improved 2021 online graduation ceremony would incorporate many of those suggestions.
“Graduation ceremonies are a milestone event in many people’s lives, and we know our students and their families and loved ones look forward to and treasure those occasions,” Professor Davidson said.
“Unfortunately, graduations across the world have not been immune to the effects of COVID-19, as evidenced when we were required to host our 2020 graduation virtually, for the first time in our history.
“With the current Delta strain of COVID-19 still prevalent and to keep our students, staff and community safe, we are making the necessary arrangements to once again present graduation safely online in 2021.
“We have taken on feedback from last year’s online graduation ceremony and now have a better understanding of what elements our students value most from an online graduation.
“We are working around the clock to present students with a new and improved online Graduation ceremony that provides the optimal online experience. While we can’t give students an in-person celebration, we do intend to make their virtual graduation a memorable event.”
The 2021 graduation ceremony will include more live elements than the 2020 ceremony, providing the chance for student engagement and photo opportunities, and students’ names will be read out, rather than displayed on screen.
All students eligible to graduate in 2021 will be sent additional info in the coming weeks, including dates, timings and order of proceedings.