First semester USQ graduations postponed due to COVID-19

The University of Southern Queensland has regretfully postponed its first semester graduation ceremonies scheduled for April and May, in light of the Federal Government directions on large gatherings and public safety concerns.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the University's decision was not taken lightly.

"We understand how disappointing this decision will be, but we must put the health and wellbeing of our students, our staff, and our community first.

"Our graduation ceremonies are some of the most important days on our academic calendar and a source of great pride to us all.”

While the April and May graduations won’t go ahead, graduands will still graduate in absentia, meaning that degrees will be conferred and testamurs sent out.

The University has also cancelled its Harmony Day events scheduled across the three campuses on March 16-18, and all other university events are under review.

Professor Mackenzie stressed that the University is still open for business at this time, and is closely monitoring the situation.

The University is working to ensure students will be able to continue and complete their courses this semester, including those students who may need to self-isolate.

"USQ has a very strong tradition of online and flexible learning options and we are well placed to support students to continue with their studies," Professor Mackenzie said.

"We know that in a time of global uncertainty, education is one of the most valuable assets a person can have. It provides a path to your future, beyond the current disruption of COVID-19.

"I would urge students to keep their goals in sight, knowing that we are willing and able to support them."

Management teams across the University are continuing to monitor, review and enact regular advice from health authorities in relation to COVID-19, and plan for any potential changes to the current situation.

The University encourages all members of the USQ community to practice good hygiene and avoid campuses if they are feeling unwell.

For more information:

• National Coronavirus Health Information Line - 1800 020 080

• If you have any health concerns, please contact your local GP or USQ Health Service (+61 7 4631 2372). Make sure you call in advance to explain your symptoms and travel history.

• Visit the Australian Government's Department of Health website for more information on the novel coronavirus.

graduates sit in ceremony