In July of 2019, ANU reported a record number of mid-year graduations. This year will be decidedly different. Semester 1 ceremonies have been cancelled, with options for students to ‘choose if they attend a ceremony at the end of year or if they prefer to graduate and receive their testamur without a ceremony in mid-year.’
This decision has no effect on whether students will have technically completed their studies. Students will also receive all the necessary documentation, although at this point it remains likely that this documentation will be digital rather than physical, as there is no way to produce physical documents until campus is open again.
The ANU further emphasises that the process of identifying students who are eligible to graduate mid-year will be delayed due to the extension of the census date. Despite this lag, the ANU has approximated that 2500 students will graduate mid-year, with 1900 being affected by ceremony cancellations.
An ANU spokesperson said that while the option to participate in an end of year graduation ceremony is available, it “comes with the caveat that it is safe and appropriate to stage traditional conferral ceremonies, given existing social-distancing provisions and circumstances. At this time there is no way to know how long before these kind of public gatherings will resume.” The impact of Covid-19 on the class of 2020 is likely to be reflected on for years to come.