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Graduation Day online. Easy virtual solution

by Dominic Chandler
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Universities across the country have had to cancel their physical graduation ceremonies for 2020 as a result of the social distancing measures imposed to combat COVID-19. This has left the 2020 graduating class without the ability to celebrate their graduation with their peers. 

Working in the graduation sector, we know how disappointing that must be for universities and students. 

So, we conducted a survey to try and get a clearer understanding of graduates’ views on graduations in 2020.

We wanted to know what these graduates thought about their own ceremonies and, importantly, what they felt about a digital alternative to physical graduations in the form of virtual graduation ceremonies

Student views on graduations in 2020

The goal of this research was to test student opinions of virtual graduation ceremonies as an alternative solution while it is not possible to hold physical ceremonies. 

Surveying previous graduates allowed us to get the opinion of students who had experienced a physical graduation ceremony and could compare this with their experience of the virtual graduation ceremony platform. 

91% of survey respondents attended their physical graduation ceremony in their graduating year, and 50% rated their physical ceremony as excellent. 

Infographic illustrating the findings of Evess' student survey into traditional graduation ceremonies

A virtual solution to the graduation problem

Part of our motivation for undertaking this research, beyond trying to get to know our customers better, was to test the waters for student interest in virtual graduations. 

At Evess, to try and give students the celebration they deserve this year, we have developed a simple to use, fully customisable digital platform for universities and institutions to host virtual graduation ceremonies. Allowing this year’s graduating students to still celebrate their achievements despite social distancing measures

Therefore, the survey dedicated questions to finding out more about what graduates knew about virtual ceremonies and investigating how well our platform was received as a virtual solution when compared to the graduates’ physical ceremonies. 

Infographic illustrating the findings of Evess' student survey into virtual graduation ceremonies

Student views on virtual graduation ceremonies

Our research found that 58% of graduates had heard of virtual ceremonies prior to completing the survey.  

And, when asked if they would have attended a virtual ceremony if it weren’t possible to host a physical ceremony, 88.9% of respondents said they would be likely or very likely to attend. 

When shown a preview of the Evess virtual graduation ceremony platform, 54.6% of survey respondents rated the platform as good to excellent for ease of use, design and functionality

One opportunity afforded by virtual graduation ceremonies, that’s not possible with physical ceremonies, is the ability to attend from anywhere in the world and host unlimited guests. 

When asked to rate the features of the virtual graduation platform, 85.3% of respondents said the most attractive thing about virtual ceremonies was the ability to invite unlimited friends and family. 

Overall the research we conducted revealed that, according to past graduates, the Evess virtual graduation platform is an excellent alternative to traditional ceremonies while physical gatherings are impossible. 

And, if institutions were to hold virtual ceremonies for the 2020 graduating class, there would be substantial interest from students to attend and make the most of the platform.

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