In ceremonies running from July 17 to 19, over 2,600 students will graduate from the ANU – the highest number of graduates to leave in a mid-year conferral session to date. 

Of the 2,600 graduates, almost 2,000 will attend in person, and 650 will graduate in absentia.

An ANU spokesperson outlined that “overall student numbers have increased over the past few years”, and that the increase in graduates “reflects general admission trends.” The total student population of the ANU increased by nearly 4,000 between 2014 and 2018 –  and may continue to rise alongside the admissions rate. 

However, growing graduate numbers have had little negative impact on the joyous nature of the occasion. Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt highlighted that “graduation is one of the most exciting times of a student’s academic life.” 

Armed with these words of encouragement, thousands of graduates now prepare for life beyond their studies. While this may be a period of celebration for students, it moreover symbolises an end to the comfort of a structured university career and undeniable uncertainty. Vice-Chancellor Schmidt had some words of support, affirming that “each one of them has the capacity to change the world for the better. Whatever they chose to do next, I hope their learning experience at ANU will be part of all of their lives.” 

Notably, six honorary degrees are also being recognised by the ANU. Honorary degrees highlight contributions made in a variety of fields. This year’s recipients include Professor Philip Alston, Ms Jane Connors, Ms Geraldine Doogue AO, Ms Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis, Mr Michael Thawlwy AO, and Mr Arun Abey.