Graduation Policy

To be read in conjunction with

Graduation SOP

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Experience
Baldrige Criteria

To provide a policy on the eligibility of learners to receive their qualification at a graduation ceremony.

Otago Polytechnic Limited currently has four graduation ceremonies a year – March and December for our Dunedin, Central Otago,  and distance learners, and April and November for Auckland International Campus, and distance learners.

These ceremonies have two important functions:

·  To provide a formal public setting to acknowledge and reflect on the achievements of a wide cross-section of learners who have attained their study goals.

·  To welcome and admit graduands on whom an award is to be conferred into the wider assembly of faculty and alumni from this and other institutions.


1.         All learners who successfully complete the academic requirements of a programme leading to a qualification are eligible to graduate from that programme.

2.         All graduands are required to wear academic regalia for the qualification they are graduating with. A hire fee will be charged.

2.1.        Graduands will wear the approved regalia for the highest qualification they are graduating for on that day.

2.2.        Where a double qualification of equal value is being awarded, the graduate may wear either approved regalia.

3.         Learners can choose to graduate at any one of Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s ceremonies in Dunedin or Auckland.

4.         Learners wishing to graduate in absentia shall indicate this when responding to the registration for graduation invitation. Learners who have not registered to participate in the graduation ceremony, by registering online by the due date, will be graduated in absentia at the nearest graduation ceremony following completion of their qualification.

5.         For process and procedures please refer to standard operating procedure document SOP Graduation

6.         In special circumstances a learner may apply to be awarded their qualification early. Application for early release requires completion of form SOP – Graduation - Form - Approval for Early Release of Qualification Award (also available from the School/College Administrator) and should be submitted to the Deputy Chief Executive: Academic Delivery for approval prior to the next graduation. Graduating learners whose qualification was released early will be listed in the official graduation book.

7.         Qualifications requested in absentia and qualifications for learners who do not register online at all will be couriered (tracked service) to the graduating learner by Registry unless the learner has asked to defer their graduation until the next ceremony.


Graduation at other institutions
8.         Where programmes have delivery options for learners studying an Otago Polytechnic Ltd accredited and approved programme at another host institution, Otago Polytechnic Ltd graduands can graduate at the host partner graduation ceremony when:

8.1.        They have met all the requirements to be eligible to graduate.

8.2.        There is an agreement in place with the host institution that indicates that the learners will graduate at a ceremony held at the host institution.

8.3.        The graduands have completed their study predominantly at the host institution.

8.4.        The graduate award document, transcript, and academic record will be that of Otago Polytechnic Ltd and will follow all academic quality processes of Otago Polytechnic Ltd.

8.5.        Any use of the partner logo or any accompanying wording on the award document will be determined by Otago Polytechnic Ltd policy Award Certificates for Qualifications.

8.6.        The graduands will be listed in the Otago Polytechnic Ltd Graduation Ceremony booklet and will be listed as graduating at the ‘host’ Institution.

8.7.        Any senior academic staff member representing the responsible School/College should attend the host graduation ceremony. There should also be provision for the Chief Executive, or nominated delegate, to attend the host institution graduation ceremony.

  • SOP: Graduation
  • Schedule of timelines for Graduation – online when available
  • Policy: Learner Fees