Shruti29 June 2016 10:13
What was that about winter graduation?
In the past month I’ve been working on ensuring that all students can graduate at a time that suits them and I’m pleased to say that I’ve had some success!
Earlier this year I released a survey to find out if you want to graduate in December. Some students are allowed to graduate in December, whereas others only get the option of graduating in July. You can read one of my previous blogs here.
At the Union’s AGM on Wednesday 11th June a policy was passed to mandate the Union to lobby the University to allow December graduations for all. The policy can be found here and was passed with 188 votes for and 17 against.
At a meeting with the University we looked at the logistics of being able to offer everyone a graduation ceremony in December, rather than just a few faculties. The issue comes with large cohorts of Masters students as the departments can not read, mark and moderate all of the dissertations in time for November (which is the deadline to prepare everything for graduation ceremonies). So, without enforcing earlier submission for dissertations, there is no ‘quick fix’. This isn’t really an issue for PGR students so much as they can have their hand-ins at any time of the year, so some can wait over a year to graduate if they submit at the end of May/beginning of June so are too late for the July graduation and don’t have the opportunity to graduate in December.
There are also issues surrounding ensuring that we have enough venues on campus to be able to hold the ceremonies, having enough academics to form a platform party and the organisation of the receptions.
What have I managed to do?
Based on the results of the Graduation Survey, I have negotiated with the University to ensure that the University puts on a ‘mop up’ graduation ceremony in December to allow any PGT students who have their confirmed results by November to attend a graduation ceremony, though not with their cohort, the photos and ceremony etc. will be available. Also, this means that any PGR students, no matter what faculty, will be able to graduate in December if they have their confirmed results by November.
We’re hoping that this can be achieved for December 2016, but more realistically it will be done for December 2017.