Ulster University has decided to postpone summer graduations because of coronavirus with a view to rescheduling ceremonies for later this year.
In a letter to students and staff Professor Paul Bartholomew Interim Vice-Chancellor said: "Today, I would like to acknowledge those members of our estates operations and maintenance team who continue to undertake vital work on campus. On a rota basis they are carrying out essential statutory compliance works during this period of campus closures.
"These ongoing works will enable the campuses to be re-opened promptly once the current restrictions are eased and will ensure the continued safety and wellbeing of our entire University community once we return to campus life. We are now beginning our second full week of online teaching and learning, and I appreciate that this has been a challenging time for our staff and student community.
"Each one of us has had to find our way to a new normal, not only the pivot towards a new working paradigm, but also often balancing that with parental or other caring responsibilities. The health and wellbeing of our Ulster University team has been paramount in every decision we have made over recent weeks. It is clear that this commitment to you has been equally met with heroic and sustained effort to ensure the University continues to function.
"Now, as the Easter break approaches it is important that we all take some much-needed rest and allow ourselves to recharge and recuperate after such an intense period. To support that, I am announcing 2 extraordinary days of University closure on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th April. I will not be sending emails or working on those days and I ask you all to lead your teams by example, to rest, to take this time to be entirely with your families and enable others to do the same.
"I contacted you last week to advise that the University was reviewing summer 2020 graduations, I am now in a position to confirm that due to the extensive COVID-19 restrictions now in place, the University has decided that it will not run graduation ceremonies in June. We appreciate that this is an important and treasured moment for graduates and their families and we are actively reviewing the options to run ceremonies later in the year once restrictions have been lifted."
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