10/07/2021

University students celebrate as week of in-person graduation ceremonies gets underway

Students from the University of Bolton have celebrated their innovative ‘Alternative Graduation’ by collecting their degrees in person on the Covid-secure campus.

Graduands arrived on campus on Friday (July 9) after a negative Covid test was registered, dressed in their robes and then processed to the main lecture theatre where they were presented with their degree in front of a small, socially distanced audience.

A documentary film crew shot their every move, for a special ‘Alternative Graduation’ film which is being directed by BAFTA nominee and former artistic director of the Octagon Theatre, Professor of Theatre at the University, David Thacker.

The final movie will receive a world premiere and be a permanent memento for students and their families later in the summer.

Because of strict Covid-security, friends and family were not allowed into the building.

However, many proud parents attended to take the opportunity to have photos taken with their children in the open air, dressed in their graduation gowns.

Caitlin Russell, who was graduating in Sport Rehabilitation, said: “I think it has been really well handled really well, I have enjoyed the day.”

Khaleel Ullah, aged 21, who was graduating in Sport and Exercise Science, said it was a proud day.

And Laura Alberdi, aged 25, who comes from Madrid, said she had had a “lovely day” and “really enjoyed myself.”

The special ceremonies will run until Friday, July 16. Students are invited to individually attend the Covid-secure campus at a specific, allotted, time slot.

Students and staff are required to show on arrival proof of a negative lateral flow test, no more than 48 hours old.

Other measures, including airport-style temperature scanners at entrances, wearing face coverings and practising social distancing are also in place to keep students safe.

The process has been organised to operate in a similar way to a Covid-19 vaccination appointment. Students are encouraged not to be on campus for any longer than necessary.

The University is one of the only ones in the UK to have invited graduands from this year and last to be presented with their degrees in person and their gowns, giving them the chance to have official photographs of their special day.

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