Hundreds of additional visitors are expected to descend on Armidale in mid-December for UNE’s inaugural summer graduation ceremony.
The three-day event, which runs from 13-15 December, will enable students who have completed their studies in Trimester 2, to graduate in the same year.
According to Pro Vice-Chancellor External Relations, Professor Mingan Choct, complementing the Autumn and Spring graduation with a Summer ceremony holds multiple advantages, not only for students and the university but also for the Armidale community and local businesses.
“UNE hosts between 200-400 graduates at each ceremony. Most of our students who have studied online will be travelling from outside of Armidale for the event with up to five guests each. This provides an additional economic boost for the local New England North West community to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Prof. Choct said.
“Students and their guests will be staying with local accommodation providers, eating at cafes, restaurants and hotels and attending local attractions.
“In addition to tourism revenue, graduation weekend is also a great opportunity for graduates, their families and friends to experience our hospitality, explore our beautiful region and establish lasting linkages with the University and the local community.”
The new round of graduation ceremonies also hold advantages for UNE’s International students.
“The majority of our international students have a visa requirement to return home within three months of completing their studies. In the past, they were not always able to return to UNE to attend graduation. The additional graduation ceremony means all rounds are now held within three months of results being released and there is opportunity for them to attend,” Prof. Choct said.
The December graduation ceremonies will be held on the lawns of Booloominbah at 4.30pm in the afternoon to avoid the full impact of the summer sun.
In 2019, the Autumn Graduation will take place on the 3rd and 4th of May. This decision ensures there will be no significant clashes with major town events as had happened in past years and will provide an additional boost to the region’s tourism and hospitality sectors.