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The University of Southampton

Following the postponement of in-person graduation celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to announce that celebrations will take place at St. Mary’s Stadium for graduates from the class of 2020, 2021 and 2022 between Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 July 2022. We will be running a number of celebrations each day. Details of which celebration you will be invited to will be shared with you via email closer to the time. 

Celebrations will take place pitch-side and will be followed by Faculty Receptions in the grounds of St. Mary's Stadium where graduates will be able to gather with fellow graduates and guests. You will also have the opportunity to return to your campus on the day of your celebration.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts on the factors that are important to you when graduating; we have and will continue to keep these at the forefront of our planning and decision-making process.

We have put together some frequently asked questions below that may help answer queries you may have. This is all the information that we are able to share at this time but please do regularly check these webpages and your email as updates will follow over the coming months.

Frequently Asked Questions: In-person Graduation Celebrations

We’re aware you may have questions regarding the in-person celebrations. Please find frequently asked questions (FAQs) below. We will continue to update our FAQs with further details over the coming months.

1. When and where will my in-person celebration take place?

2020 and 2021 graduates and students graduating in 2022, are invited to attend in-person celebrations between Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 July 2022.

Celebrations will take place in the heart of the City at St. Mary’s Stadium. Graduation celebrations will be followed by Faculty Receptions in the grounds of St. Mary’s Stadium, where you will gather with your fellow graduates and guests as well as academic staff to mark your individual achievements.

2. I completed an Undergraduate and Postgraduate taught degree in the last two years, can I attend both celebrations?

Yes, should you wish to, you can attend both celebrations that you are invited to. Please note, you will need to register separately for each event and order the appropriate gowns/hoods for each celebration, when we invite you to do so next year.

3. When will further information on my celebration be available?

We are working hard to plan the graduation that you deserve and it is important to us that you have the most up-to-date information so you can plan accordingly. We will share further information about your celebration with you via email over the coming months.

4. How do I update my contact details? / What if I no longer have access to my student email account?

If you are a 2020 graduate and no longer have access to your student email account, you can update your contact details by completing this form. 2021 and 2022 graduates can update their contact details via Student Records Self Service.

5. When will I be able to book my celebration date?

We hope to be able to open registration for all graduates to book their tickets in Spring 2022. In the meantime, please ensure that your contact details are up to date. Please see the FAQ entitled “How do I update my contact details” for further information.

6. Why has the decision been made to take celebrations off campus?

Due to on-going improvements to some of our buildings on campus over the next two years, the need to accommodate a larger number of graduates, and our commitment to providing graduates with the best possible experience, the decision has been made to move graduation celebrations to St. Mary’s Stadium.

7. I am an international student; will I be invited to a celebration?

It is our wish for all graduates to be able to join us on their celebration day. We can supply a letter to support a visa application for you and your guests. Further guidance on visa applications will be available in due course.

8. I attended an online celebration for my graduation; will I be invited to an in-person celebration?

Yes, whether you chose to attend an online celebration or not, all graduates will be invited to an in-person celebration.

You have faced a unique set of challenges, which make your achievements all the more impressive, so you deserve a unique celebration with us, your fellow classmates, and your loved ones that have supported you during these unprecedented times. 

9. What COVID-19 measures will be in place to keep me, my guests and everyone involved safe?

Your safety, and the safety of your guests and everyone else involved, is of paramount importance to us. Full health and safety risk assessments will be completed by the University and our venues to ensure that the day runs safely and in line with any government guidelines at the time. Any safety measures will be communicated nearer the time.

10. What if I cannot attend a celebration on the date I have been offered?

You may wish to attend a celebration in the future or ‘defer’, rather than attend in July 2022. If you wish to defer to a future celebration rather than the one you’ve been invited to, you will be able to select this option once registration is open.

11. I have a question about graduation that is not answered here. How do I contact someone from the graduation team?

We recommend you check this website as this is where the most up to date information will be shared. If you still have a question that isn’t answered in any of the FAQs, please contact the Student Hub on in the first instance. Your query will then be directed to the relevant team and a member of staff will be in touch as soon as possible.

12. Do I need to pay for a ticket to my in-person celebration?

Graduates do not need to pay for a ticket to attend their celebration. You will be able to choose up to two guest tickets at the point of registering. Two guest tickets are free of charge if you apply within the application deadline. We will share the application deadline with you via email in due course.

13. How many guests can I bring?

You will be able to choose up to two guest tickets at the point of registering. Two guest tickets are free of charge if you apply within the application deadline.

We may be able to release additional guest tickets if your celebration has spaces once registration has closed. Information on this will be shared nearer the time.

14. How do I hire my gown and how much will it cost?

Information on gowning will be available in due course. We encourage you to check these webpages regularly for the most up to date information.

15. Will there be an official photographer at the celebration venue?

Photography will be available on the day and you may be required to book this in advance to reduce wait times at the venue. Further information will be available in due course. We encourage you to check these webpages regularly for the most up to date information.

16.  Can I bring a young child on the day?

We regret that we are unable to admit babies and children 6 years old and under into celebration venue. Children over 6 years of age can be admitted provided they have their own ticket. Children of any age are not permitted to sit on laps of other guests and should occupy their own seat.

For those children who cannot attend a celebration, there will be a Family Zone at St. Mary’s Stadium so they can watch the celebrations live. Please note that children will need to be accompanied by a responsible parent/guardian.

17. How long will the celebration last?

Graduation celebrations and Faculty Receptions will together last between 2 to 3 hours. This will vary depending on how long you choose to attend your Faculty Reception and whether you would like any official photos taken of you on location. Please note that graduates and their guests will need to arrive in plenty of time before their celebration starts. Park and ride buses will be running regularly during the day.

18. Will there be parking at the celebration venue?

The University of Southampton and our chosen venues are committed to sustainability and are serviced by good public transport links. Therefore, graduates and their guests will be encouraged to use public transport wherever possible. Park and ride buses will run regularly during the day from a number of locations; we will be able to inform you of park and ride location closer to the time.

Limited parking will be available at St. Mary’s Stadium for graduates or guests requiring special assistance; you will be able to select this option at the point of registering.

19. Can I visit my campus on the day to show my family around?

We understand that many of you may like to show your friends and family your campus. We are therefore working on ways in which you will be able to do so before or after your celebration has taken place. If you choose to include a visit to Highfield or Winchester School of Art before your celebration, please ensure that you allow enough time to travel to your celebration venue so that you arrive ahead of your celebration.

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