In-person Graduation Ceremonies for the Class of 2020 took place from Tuesday 22 to Friday 25 June 2021.
The University of Worcester was the first in the Country to host in-person Graduation Ceremonies for the Class of 2020. The ceremonies, took place at Worcester Cathedral, which is one of the UK’s most historic and most beautiful.
Students across the UK who completed their studies last year, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, had their graduation ceremonies put on hold due to Government restrictions.
Now, those students at Worcester finally got the chance to celebrate as the University hosts a week of special ceremonies.
All of the ceremonies were held in line with current Government restrictions and were strictly ticketed.
There were 16 ceremonies instead of the usual 10, to ensure that the number of people in the Cathedral at any one time was well below the official Covid-19 regulations capacity.
The University Arena hosted graduates’ guests, who watched the ceremonies live streamed in socially-distanced groups. Again, numbers were well below current capacity and the Arena benefits from particularly excellent ventilation.
The University’s City Campus was used for post ceremony receptions, and the grounds of the historic former Worcester Royal Infirmary, where the British Medical Association was founded in 1832, were transformed with the addition of large, airy marquees and socially-distanced deckchairs.
Very unusually amongst universities, Worcester has not had a single known instance of on-campus transmission of Covid-19 during the entire pandemic – despite so many students working on the NHS front line during the first and second waves and also during their regular placements.
University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE DL, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome back our graduates of 2020 to celebrate their many achievements. Each and every member of the graduating class of 2020 faced the challenge of exceptional circumstances and succeeded in the face of adversity.
“These ceremonies will be a powerful springboard for the renewal of our society. Among our graduating class of 2020 are our health graduates, who not yet fully qualified, volunteered to go into the front line at the time of greatest need, to work with the sick, to face the dangers of infection. These ceremonies will be a chance for us to celebrate the courage and dedication of these remarkable young people.”
The University waited for the Prime Minister’s statement and latest Government guidance, before confirming the final arrangements which are fully risk assessed and designed to be Covid-secure under the current Government guidance and rules.
“We have carefully risk-assessed the entire event, in line with the Government guidance, and as such, will be operating at a much lower capacity than our usual Graduation Ceremonies,” added Professor Green. “These ceremonies will have their own special magic and will be truly memorable occasions for our graduates, their families, friends and supporters.”
Throughout the entire pandemic, the University has taken a highly responsible, whole university approach, and as a result, Covid-19 rates at the University have consistently been below the national average with not one case of on-campus transmission or outbreak. While the University has been a Covid-19 coldspot, it has also remained an educational hotspot ensuring its students have received the best quality education both online and in-person, with students rating academic experience at Worcester a massive 20% higher than the national average.