Our Graduation ceremonies are the highlight of the University’s academic year. They are rightly the culmination of our staff and students’ hard work and an important opportunity for us to celebrate their achievements with our graduates’ friends and family.

We are proud of all our graduates and want to offer the amazing Graduation event they deserve. We have said from the outset that we are committed to inviting everyone whose ceremonies have been postponed due to COVID-19 to celebrate at an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so and when we are confident we can deliver the best possible event.

Following my update in March this year, we sought the views of our 2020 graduates and those of our students who are expected to graduate in 2021. I want to thank everyone who responded to our Graduation survey. The feedback we received has really helped us to shape our thinking and to develop our plans

We are very pleased to confirm that we have agreed dates for our Graduation ceremonies for our 2020 graduates and those students who expect to graduate in summer 2021. If restrictions are lifted as expected, we plan to run ceremonies between 28 March to 1 April 2022.

We expect to run our Summer 2022 ceremonies between 18 and 22 July 2022. We will also run additional ceremonies between 25 and 29 July 2022 if needed to ensure all our graduates have the opportunity to attend Graduation.

For our students who will have their awards conferred in Autumn 2021, we plan to run a Winter Graduation event on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 January 2022. We had always planned to introduce Winter Graduation, even before the pandemic started, and had hoped to run our first Winter ceremonies in 2020-21. Eligibility for the Winter Graduation in 2021-22 will be for those 2021 graduates who would have been eligible to attend had the pandemic not occurred.

We have considered all possible options for COVID-safe precautions to be able to run ceremonies in 2021. Our highest priority is to keep our community safe during the difficult circumstances of the pandemic. We have concluded that, at this stage, we cannot proceed with confidence to offer ceremonies in September 2021 or later in the Autumn. We are very disappointed not to be able to run ceremonies earlier but are really looking forward to welcoming our graduates and their friends, families and supporters in 2022.

Although ceremonies will not take place in 2021, all our students eligible this year will have their awards conferred as expected and they will have access to their certificates and transcripts. Any queries relating to award documents can be directed to our dedicated address: award-docs@essex.ac.uk.

We will be in touch with an update when we have more news. We expect the ceremony schedules for the Winter and Spring 2022 Graduation events to be published in early October 2021. In the meantime, please keep an eye on our Graduation webpages and contact the Graduation team if you have any questions at graduation@essex.ac.uk.

I wish all our graduates and our students who are eligible to graduate in 2021 the very best. We look forward to our community coming together when we can to celebrate their achievements.