Catch up ceremonies for pandemic graduates

Wed 08 June, 2022
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Graduates from the University of Bedfordshire’s Class of 2020 and 2021 have been finally able to celebrate their achievements on campus after the disruption of Covid-19 prevented them from attending in-person ceremonies.

Between the 7th and 15th June, graduates who previously took part in virtual ceremonies during the pandemic have been invited back to the University’s Luton campus to take part in ceremonies at St Mary’s Church.

Dr Julie Brunton, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education & Student Experience, commented: “Despite officially graduating online, we’re so pleased we were able to make our in-person catch-up graduation ceremonies happen for those students who missed out during the pandemic. Donning a cap and gown and graduating at a face-to-face ceremony in front of family, friends, peers and tutors is such an important aspect of completing a hard-earned degree and certifying your achievements, so we were determined to make this happen for our Class of 2020 and 2021.”

More than 1,800 graduates from across each of the University’s four faculties will be celebrating on campus over the next fortnight. Although they will have received their degree certificates by post or collection following their virtual ceremonies, they will have the chance to cross the graduation stage to live applause and be congratulated by the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group and faculty staff, before taking official photos with their friends and family and tucking into some well-deserved cake and celebratory drinks.

Addressing graduates at the first of the Covid catch-up ceremonies, Quadri Yusuf – Class of 2020 graduate and Beds SU Co-President – said: “I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this special day with you all. Especially now we can do it in person! I remember graduating virtually myself in my shorts and shirt and I am sure that some – if not most of us – did that while our parents were glued to the TV watching us graduate on screen!”

The first ceremonies to take place have been for the University’s Business School and the Faculty of Education, English & Sport.

A 2020 Law LLB (Hons) graduate, Kanwal Hussain, commented: “I would like to say a big thank you to the University of Bedfordshire for going above and beyond to ensure those affected by coronavirus weren’t to be left out when it came to graduating. It feels very surreal to finally be able to experience my graduation and I am very thankful and appreciative to all those who made it finally happen – better late than never!”

The second week of Covid catch-up ceremonies will be for the Faculties of Health & Social Sciences and Creative Arts, Technologies & Science. Graduates that week will also be treated to an appearance by BBC Radio 1’s Rickie, Melvin and Charlie who will be broadcasting their show live from the Luton campus in a pop-up studio from the 13th June.

A 2021 Radio & Audio BA (Hons)  graduate, Megan Murphy – who recently secured a full time position at ITV News Channel TV (Jersey) following a graduate training placement – will be a guest on the Radio 1 show ahead of her in-person graduation ceremony.

Discussing how it feels to finally be able to graduate together with her friends, Megan said: “I’m so excited to finally be able to graduate in person alongside the rest of the Class of 2021. After an unexpected end to my university studies thanks to the pandemic, it’s going to be great to finally celebrate with my cohort – I’m really looking forward to catching up with my lecturers, teaching staff and fellow students, and celebrate all we were able to achieve during these difficult times.”

She added: “In the past twelve months since my studies ended, I had great experiences freelancing in the media industry and was lucky enough to get a full-time job as a journalist with ITV News. The University of Bedfordshire prepared me for the working world and I don’t think I’d be where I am today without all the support teaching staff offered me.”

Follow the University of Bedfordshire on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for photos from the five days of catch-up ceremonies.

Students from the Class of 2022 will be graduating later this summer in July. For more information about the University of Bedfordshire’s upcoming ceremonies and locations, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/graduation

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