University news

Postponement of winter graduation ceremonies to March/April 2022

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We very much regret to tell you that we have made the extremely difficult decision to postpone next week’s Winter Graduation until March/April because of the increased risk of COVID. We know that this will be a major disappointment to you, your family and supporters, as it is to us.

In the short space of time since this week’s UK Government announcement we have taken extensive advice and have certainly not taken the decision lightly, particularly given the very close proximity to the event itself. We do understand this is not news you want to hear.

On behalf of the entire faculty and staff, we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this will cause.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell explains our decision to postpone Winter Graduation ceremonies

Why postpone now?

Quite rightly you will ask – why have we made this decision now?

We have considered this week’s introduction of the government’s Plan B guidance for COVID-19 and the growing concerns about the COVID-19 variant, Omicron. Throughout the pandemic, we have adhered to the precautionary principles on safety as our first concern to keep you, your families and our staff safe and well.

We are confident that in-person teaching of students on campus remains  as safe as possible in controlled environments, but we believe that the risks associated with holding large scale events with mixed age groups is now too great, given the rapid transmission of the Omicron variant over recent days.

It is such a shame that we must postpone this occasion that represents an important milestone for you due to the situation with which we are now faced. However, the safety of you, your guests, and our staff must always come first.

So, what can we do to help?

Though graduation ceremonies are unable to go ahead this week, all successful candidates will graduate without being present in person and you will receive your degree certificates by post to your home address. Please ensure your name and home address are up to date in My Manchester to avoid any delay in receiving your certificate. 

We understand that due to the short notice of the postponement of these events that some costs and inconvenience will have been incurred. Whilst we hope you appreciate why we have taken this really difficult decision, by way of recognising the inconvenience and disappointment caused, for all graduands who had registered to attend a ceremony as of 10 December 2021, we will cover the cost of your gown hire with Ede and Ravenscroft and arrange to give a £50 payment to you to thank you for your forbearance and understanding.

Of course, we want to mark your graduation in person in the appropriate way and we are planning to offer dates in March and April 2022. As soon as we are able we will be in touch with further information about these rescheduled ceremonies.  We will keep the Graduation website up to date with any new announcements.

If you have any immediate questions please visit Graduation FAQs. If you have a query which isn’t covered please email, or from 11 December call 0161 549 1255 between 10am-4pm.

We understand this is a very difficult time for you, your friends and family – but I hope that you will understand that our only motivation is safety and wellbeing in rapidly changing circumstances.

Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor
Nalin Thakkar, Vice President for Social Responsibility and Chair of the Campus Management Group

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