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Cardiff Met celebrates return of graduation ceremonies after two-year absence

​Having made the difficult decision to postpone graduation ceremonies during the coronavirus pandemic, Cardiff Metropolitan University will this month celebrate the successes of the classes of 2020 and 2021 in person at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

While some universities opted for virtual graduation ceremonies during the pandemic, Cardiff Met committed to a return to in-person ceremonies at the earliest, and safest, opportunity.

That opportunity has now arrived and, over the course of 11-13 April, five ceremonies will take place for the class of 2020, with six ceremonies for the class of 2021 following on 25-29 April.

Traditional summer graduation ceremonies will return with eight ceremonies for the class of 2022 from 18-22 July and a further ceremony on 18 November for those awarded degrees between June 2022 and October 2022.

“We made a commitment at the height of the pandemic that all students completing in 2020 and 2021 would be invited to a full graduation ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre attended by their family, friends and cohort as soon as it was safe to do so,” said Professor Cara Aitchison, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Met University.

“Now that commitment is about to become reality. Cardiff Met students have been crossing the graduation stage for over 150 years and we were determined to ensure that, for the classes of 2020 and 2021, it would be no different. They and their families deserve this chance to celebrate the culmination of their academic endeavours, especially having missed out on so many events over the past two years. It is, after all, a hugely significant day in their lives.

The ceremonies taking place this year will also include the conferring of Honorary Fellowships and Doctorates to people who have made outstanding contributions within their chosen field of work and expertise.

The class of 2020 will be joined by Ken Cowen, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate, and Kathryn Roberts will receive an Honorary Fellowship.

Ken Cowen is renowned for his pioneering work in the creation and development of training solutions across a wide range of settings. In 2007, while working for a training provider in Liverpool, he set up the School of Hard Knocks in response to an appeal by Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council for innovative ideas to help young, unemployed men sustained by the proceeds of petty crime contribute positively to society. In 2012, the School of Hard Knocks became a registered charity which now employs a core team of 18 people helping over 750 adults and children at risk of exclusion from mainstream education each year, including many living in and around Cardiff.

Kathryn Roberts is senior partner at the Cardiff office of the respected law firm Eversheds Sutherland and Chair of the CBI Wales Council. She is one of the founding members of the Monumental Welsh Women group (which is spearheading a campaign to deliver more public art representing women in Wales), a Cardiff board member of the Maggie’s cancer support and information charity, and a member of the Thriving At Work Leadership Council, dedicated to improving mental health and wellness in the workplace through positive employer action.

Further Honorary Fellowships and Doctorates relating to the 2021 and 2022 ceremonies will be announced at a later date.

“While these ceremonies mark the culmination of years of hard work for our students, they also give us the opportunity to recognise individuals who have made an outstanding impact within their fields, and whose commitment resonates closely with Cardiff Met’s own values and behaviours,” added Professor Aitchison.

“I look forward to sharing these special days with our graduates, Fellows and Honorary Doctors and also our staff who deserve recognition for their efforts over the past two years. It has been a difficult time for everyone and it’s important that we mark the many achievements of students and staff at these ceremonies.”