The University of Lincoln has u-turned on its decision to delay in-person graduation ceremonies in September 2021.
The university said it had “listened carefully to feedback from students” after more than 9,700 signed a petition asking it to reconsider plans to postpone or go virtual.
The university previously said that it would not be possible to deliver in-person physical graduation in 2021 and ceremonies would be held virtually this year.
The University of Lincoln has since worked with Lincoln Cathedral to set aside a four-day period between September 6-9 for a series of graduation ceremonies to some graduands.
This period cannot be extended due to other cathedral events, so it will not be possible for all eligible graduands from the classes of 2020 and 2021 to graduate this September – see the full university statement here.
The university said: “The working group agreed that it would be the fairest for those whose graduation was postponed from 2020 to be offered the first opportunities to graduate.
“Therefore, our renewed aim is that the class of September 2020 will graduate at Lincoln Cathedral over the period September 6-9, 2021 (government restrictions permitting).”
The University of Lincoln is already considering what measures can and should be put in place to ensure that graduation is as safe as possible for all those involved.
Details are yet to be finalised in relation to the delivery of ceremonies in Lincoln Cathedral for the January 2021 and September 2021 graduating cohorts.
It is currently anticipated that the January 2021 cohort will graduate in January 2022 and the September 2021 cohort in April 2022.
The university also said “we regret any upset caused, in partially by the reference to ‘first-come first served’ ticketing, in relation to the proposed April 2022 graduation ceremonies.
The aim is to deliver graduation ceremonies as follows:
University of Lincoln Students’ Union said: “Over the last few weeks, the Student Leaders have been in meetings with members of the University’s Senior Leadership team and are pleased to have represented and lobbied for past and current students in the loudest possible terms.
“Our Student Leaders have clearly fed back the strength of feeling from students on this issue.
It added: “The Students’ Union have also been reassured by the University that we will be involved with any future discussion and decision making on this and similar matters.
“We are also now members of the Graduation Working Group established by the University, where we will continue to raise the views of students.”