Graduation - OPBD Procedure

To be read in conjunction with
Approval Date
28 June 2023
Approved By
Te Kāhui Manukura or equivalent
Next Review
29 November 2024
Executive Director or equivalent
  • To provide operational procedures that support the graduation process at the Otago Polytechnic Business Division of Te Pūkenga (OPBD).
1.     Graduation Ceremony

1.1. Otago Polytechnic Business Division (OPBD) currently has three (3) graduation ceremonies a year – March and September in Dunedin, and one ceremony in Auckland.

These ceremonies have two important functions:

  • To provide a formal public setting to acknowledge and reflect on the achievements of learners who have attained their Formal Award (a programme of study/qualification).
  • To welcome and admit graduates into the wider assembly of faculty and alumni.

1.2 Te Pūkenga graduands can choose to graduate at any Te Pūkenga Business Division graduation ceremony.

1.3 Prior to each graduation ceremony, the OPBD Academic Registry confirms and confers the list of eligible graduands obtained from the Student Management System (SMS) with the appropriate staff from each College or that of a graduand from another Te Pūkenga Business Division. 

1.4 Any additions and alterations to the graduation list must be notified to OPBD Academic Registry no later than ten (10) working days prior to graduation. 

1.5 The official graduation order of ceremony is compiled listing all approved graduands attending. 

1.6 Where a graduand has completed most or all of their qualification requirements through another Te Pūkenga Business Division, the certificate will be issued by the graduands Business Division in accordance with that Business Division’s procedures.


2.     Eligibility to Graduate.

2.1. All graduands must have paid their fees and/or any other debt subject to OPBD debt processes to OPBD in full at least two (2) weeks prior to the graduation ceremony they are attending. (Refer to TKM Eligibility for Formal Awards, Section 7.4.5).

This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Tuition fees
  • Material fees
  • Childcare fees
  • Student Health fees
  • Robertson Library
  • Fees and fines as applied by the Otago University Proctor (if OPBD has been notified).

2.2. Responsibility for checking debt status lies with the OPBD Academic Registry.

  1. Registering for Graduation

3.1 Ākonga (learners) must register to participate in the graduation ceremony by the due date via the current graduation registration process (as outlined on the OPBD website - Graduation). 

3.2 Ākonga must indicate on the graduation registration form which graduation ceremony they wish to attend. Ākonga may only attend one (1) graduation ceremony and it would usually be within two (2) years of their award being conferred. (Refer to TKM Graduation, Section 8.1 (4)). 

3.3 Provision will be made to ensure that graduands with an impairment are able to access the graduation stage area in a dignified manner, and as independently as possible. Exceptions to crossing the graduation stage area must be notified to the graduation coordinator.

 3.4 Graduands receiving two (2) awards from the same College will cross the stage once for the higher award. The process for graduands receiving awards from different Colleges will be managed by the graduation coordinator. 

  1. Academic Regalia

4.1 Graduands are required to wear the academic regalia for the qualification they are graduating with or that of a previously awarded higher qualification.  A hire fee will be charged. (Refer to TKM Section 8.2(1)).

 4.2 Information on the pick-up and return of academic regalia is available on the OPBD website - Graduation.

 4.3 If the academic regalia is not returned by the due date and efforts to obtain the academic regalia are not successful, an invoice for the replacement cost of the academic regalia will be generated and sent to the graduate. Failure to return the academic regalia or to pay the invoice will result in the debt being forwarded to the OPBD debt collection agency. 

4.4 Academic and professional kaimahi are required to wear the academic regalia to which they are entitled when participating in graduation ceremonies.

4.5 Where the qualification(s) held by academic or professional kaimahi do not have recognised academic regalia entitlement, those kaimahi are required to wear approved equivalent academic regalia appropriate to their qualifications. The decision for which equivalent academic regalia will be the responsibility of the graduation coordinator.

4.6. Academic and professional kaimahi without academic regalia entitlement or equivalence are required to wear semi-formal business attire or appropriate cultural attire. 

  1. OPBD Approved Academic Regalia



5.1. Graduands will carry the headwear for the degree they are being awarded onto the graduation stage area, irrespective of previous degrees. Graduands can wear the headgear of their previous degrees whilst entering and sitting at the graduation ceremony but must remove it to walk across the stage if they are having a degree conferred.

  1.  OPBD Diploma/Degree/Facing Colours/Hoods

6.1 The OPBD colours of facings and hoods represent qualification areas.





Approved by:

Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive

28th November 2022

Policy Version: V10 Previously Coded: AP1003