Welcome to a new kind of conferment ceremony

30 April 2021

Conferment ceremony online

This spring’s conferment ceremony will be a bit different: those receiving doctorates will participate online.

It will soon be time at last for a doctoral degree conferment ceremony at Uppsala University again, after a break due to the pandemic. Though it may not be in the usual form, hopefully it will still be a grand ceremony. On 28 May, 119 jubilee doctors and 43 new doctoral graduates will have their degrees conferred in an online ceremony from the Grand Auditorium. Everyone is welcome to follow the conferment ceremony online.

Following a break in doctoral degree conferment ceremonies, Uppsala University is now organising a different kind of ceremony online. This spring’s conferment ceremony will be conducted in the form that is possible given the rules and restrictions in effect during the pandemic that is still in progress. The conferment ceremony on 28 May will therefore be streamed live online to enable participation at a distance. It will be divided up between the faculties into three ceremonies on the same day, one for each disciplinary domain. A direct link to the streamed event will be posted on the University’s website, www.uu.se

Limited number present

Only essential participants, such as the degree conferrer, officials and a reduced number of musicians from the Royal Academic Orchestra will be present in the Grand Auditorium. A total of 162 jubilee doctors and new doctoral graduates from all nine faculties at Uppsala University will instead have their doctor’s degrees conferred in absentia.

“Many of those receiving doctorates have expressed their desire to have their degrees conferred and have emphasised how important they feel this is,” says Academy Steward Per Ström, who is responsible for grand ceremonies at Uppsala University. “I have been in touch with some jubilee doctors who I know will be sitting glued to their computers, wearing dress suits and in the company of their closest family. Understandably, some of the young doctoral graduates prefer to wait until next year when they hope to be able to celebrate in the more usual style, but the majority appear to be positive to being celebrated in the form that is now possible.”

The conferment ceremony webcast will be a combination of pre-recorded material and real time. For example, the music and the jubilee doctors’ speeches will be recorded in advance, while the actual degree conferment and cannon salutes will be streamed in real time.

An experience to remember

Ulf Pettersson, Professor of Medical Genetics and former vice-rector of the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, is one of the jubilee doctors who will be celebrated online on 28 May.

“I feel enormous gratitude to Uppsala University and have really been looking forward to this day,” Pettersson says. “Of course it won’t be the same as if we had been able to be there in person. However, in the circumstances, I think the University is staying true to its traditions by still organising a dignified ceremony. It will be an experience to remember!”

Cannon salute
The cannon salute outside the University Main Building will be almost the same as ever. As usual, the salute will be part of each conferment during the conferment ceremonies in the Grand Auditorium, but the faculties will come in a slightly modified order this time.

Programme for Friday 28 May 2021

  • 07:00  Cannon salute from Castle Hill 
  • 08:00  Ringing of the Great Bell of Uppsala Cathedral
  • 09:00  Conferment Ceremony for the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • 12:00  Conferment Ceremony for the Faculties of Theology, Law, Philosophy, Languages, Social Sciences and Educational Sciences
  • 15:00  Conferment Ceremony for the Faculty of Science and Technology

At each of the conferment ceremonies, the degree conferrer will confer doctor’s degrees on the jubilee doctors for 2020 and 2021 and new doctoral graduates.