The last in-person ceremony was held in February 2020, with many of last year’s graduands instead graduating ‘in absentia’Louis Ashworth

Some postgraduate students may be able to attend in-person, socially-distanced, graduation ceremonies this summer.

An email sent to postgraduate finalists at Wolfson College offered three options: to attend a socially-distanced ceremony, to graduate in absentia, or to defer their graduation ceremony until it can take place as in pre-pandemic years.

The email emphasises that “we are still unable to say precisely when we will be able to offer our usual ceremonies in the Senate-House, adding that “in hope that the situation continues to improve, we expect to offer you an in-person option this year.”

Meanwhile, both undergraduate and postgraduate students at Selwyn College were told in an email earlier today that they will be informed about “how we hope to have a graduation ceremony in early July, though with some inevitable uncertainties at this stage.”

In an email sent to students last month addressing arrangements for Easter Term, Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope stated that the University was undertaking preparations for this year’s graduation ceremony, stating that they could take the form of a modified in-person event this summer if government restrictions permit.


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Meanwhile, the University Reporter stated earlier this month that this year’s Honorary Degree Congregation, originally planned for Wednesday, 23 June 2021, would be cancelled.

A socially distanced event would be “without contact and socially distanced,” andthe University would be unable to welcome guests to the ceremony in these circumstances. The event, the email continues, would be professionally recorded, and would “aim to provide a memorable opportunity for students to mark their achievements together.”

Mirroring last year’s arrangements, postgraduate finalists are also being given the option to graduate in absence or to wait until a “normal in-person graduation with guests” is permitted.

Recipients of the email are “encourage[d] to graduate in person in July or October, so that you can celebrate with your cohort.”

The last in-person Cambridge graduation ceremony was held on 22nd February 2020, in the unusual location of King’s College Hall, as concern about Extinction Rebellion protests led to caution about using the usual venue of Senate House.

This article was updated at 2:50pm on the day of publication (26/03) following details of an email to Selwyn students being obtained by Varsity