The University of Glasgow has hosted its first-ever virtual graduation. Three online distance-learning students on MVLS MSc courses graduated via live video links from Jamaica, Saudi Arabia and Scotland.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli performed the “capping” ceremony on a robot - a customised remote-control car with an iPad attached - as the students logged into the ceremony at the University’s Bute Hall via video conferencing technology.
The three students had been unable to graduate in person because they could not leave their home country or could not be released from work commitments.
Sir Anton said: “I am delighted that technology has enabled our online distance learning graduands from different parts of the world who are unable to travel to Glasgow to take part in this live virtual graduation ceremony.
“Ensuring that our online distance learners are connected to the university in the same way as our on-campus learners is extremely important to us. These online students have had to balance work and family commitments whilst studying for their masters degrees part-time, and whilst graduating is a huge achievement for any student, it takes hard work, focus and commitment to successfully complete your studies whilst juggling work, family and life. Therefore, I am very pleased that we have been able to include our online distance learners in this graduation and we are proud to have them as alumni of the University.”
The virtual graduation was the brainchild of the Digital Education Team at the University, led by Assistant Vice-Principal Professor Jo-Anne Murray who said: “This virtual graduation is the first of its kind in higher education and signifies the University’s commitment to ensuring that our online distance learners are included in all aspects of the University of Glasgow experience.”
Earlier in the week, 11 other students on MVLS MSc online distance degrees graduated in person at the University. They were the first online distance learning MVLS cohort to do so.