With physical graduation ceremonies being cancelled for the second year in a row, Edinburgh Napier University is launching a ‘city takeover’ to celebrate the success of hundreds of students who missed out on their traditional graduation ceremonies. 

The names of the University’s recent graduates will cover billboards and bus shelters in tribute to those who were unable to receive their degree in person because of the pandemic.

This summer’s graduation ceremonies and last year’s summer and autumn ceremonies were all cancelled due to Covid-19 related restrictions, disappointing students who had put in years of hard work only to be denied their traditional day of celebration. However, the University was determined to find alternative ways to salute the achievements of the graduates of 2020 and 2021, who had overcome the most challenging study conditions in living memory to reach their goals.

The city takeover, from July to late August, will see the names of graduates from all six academic Schools displayed across 18 billboards and 100 bus shelters, accompanied by messages underlining the University’s pride in them and offering congratulations on their success. 

Locations are linked to academic disciplines: School of Health & Social Care names will be near hospitals, School of Arts & Creative Industries names near arts venues and School of Computing names near tech industry sites. The takeover campaign will be captured on film and complemented by social media coverage with dedicated #NapierNames. 

"The last 16 months have presented students with formidable challenges as they have had to adjust to different ways of learning while coping with all of the disruption the pandemic has caused to our normal way of life. Our graduates have shown enormous resilience and strength of character in completing their studies during this period of upheaval and we wanted to show them just how proud we are of what they have achieved. It’s a huge achievement to graduate and we wanted to give students the same euphoria you get when your names called out on stage," said Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal & Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University.

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