NUS, NTU decide not to hold in-person graduation ceremonies
Amid a spike in Covid-19 infections, NUS moves ceremonies online while NTU postpones events
Two of Singapore's largest universities have decided not to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for now amid a recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) will shift ceremonies online, and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has opted to postpone all in-person graduation events.
Both tertiary institutions said their decisions were based on uncertainty surrounding an ever-evolving Covid-19 situation in Singapore - even though the events were scheduled to take place after June 13, when heightened restrictions are expected to end.
For NUS, in-person graduation ceremonies were slated to take place from June 17 to the end of July. NTU planned to hold its ceremonies in July.
NUS students who graduated last year and had their graduation ceremonies postponed to this year will also have to make do with a virtual ceremony.
Producer and videographer Hoo Yi, 27, who graduated from NUS last year, was disappointed as he had been looking forward to seeing all his friends in one place at the graduation ceremony this year.
"I feel like there is not much point... without a physical event, and most of my batch has already moved on," he said.
NUS president Tan Eng Chye, in a note to staff and students yesterday, said: "The decision to move to online ceremonies was not made lightly...
"However, health and safety are critical when planning an event of this scale, and given the prevailing challenging circumstances, we do not wish to place all those in attendance at risk."
NTU president Subra Suresh and deputy president and provost Ling San, in a similar note to NTU's graduating batch on Tuesday, said: "NTU takes great pride in our convocation tradition, and we strive to provide you every opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments in person with your family, friends, fellow students, faculty and staff of the university.
"We look forward to gathering on campus to celebrate your graduation when it is safe to do so."
NTU mathematical sciences graduate Wong Yong Fang, 23, said the move is for the best.
"Fewer people coming together in an enclosed space will reduce (Covid-19) transmission since we are facing such a huge number of unlinked cases at the moment," she said.
"It is sad we won't be able to have a normal convocation, but I still think it is for the best."
The NTU note said new dates for the ceremonies would be released later this year, and that students who have completed their studies will receive transcripts to help them find jobs.
The Singapore Management University has not yet made a decision on its graduation ceremonies.