To provide a policy on the eligibility of learners to receive their qualification at a graduation ceremony.
Otago Polytechnic Business Division currently has three (3) graduation ceremonies a year – March and September in Dunedin, and one in Auckland.
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 graduates 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 of study leading to a qualification are eligible to graduate from that programme of study. Qualifications are conferred upon confirmation of successful completion of the programme requirements (per the relevant programme document)
1.1 All graduating learners must have paid their fees and/or any other debt (subject to Otago Polytechnic Business Division debt processes) to Otago Polytechnic Business Division in full at least two (2) weeks prior to the ceremony they are attending.
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 with on that day.
2.2. Where a double qualification of equal value is being awarded, the graduand may wear either of the approved regalia.
3. Learners can choose to graduate at any one of Otago Polytechnic Business Division’s ceremonies in Dunedin or Auckland.
4. For processes and procedures please refer to the standard operating procedure (SOP) document Graduation Standard Operating Procedure (Appendix 1).
Graduation at other institutions
5. Where programmes of study have delivery options for learners studying an Otago Polytechnic Business Division accredited and approved programme of study at another host institution, Otago Polytechnic Business Division graduands can graduate at the host partner graduation ceremony when:
5.1. They have met all the programme of study requirements to be eligible to graduate.
5.2. 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.
5.3. The graduands have completed their programme of study predominantly at the host institution.
6. The graduate award document, transcript, and academic record will be that of Otago Polytechnic Business Division and will follow all academic quality processes of Otago Polytechnic Business Division.
7. Any use of the partner logo or any accompanying wording on the award document will be determined by Otago Polytechnic Business Division Learner Results, Transcripts and Award Certificates for Qualifications policy.
8. The graduates will be listed in any relevant Otago Polytechnic Business Division list of graduates.
9. Any senior academic staff member representing the responsible 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.
1. Prior to each graduation ceremony, the Academic Registry Team confirm the list of eligible graduands obtained from the Student Management System (SMS) with the appropriate staff from each College.
1.1 Any additions and alterations to the graduation list must be notified to Academic Registry no later than ten (10) working days prior to graduation.
2. The official graduation ceremony order of ceremony is compiled listing all approved graduating learners attending
3. All graduating learners must have paid their fees and/or any other debt (subject to Otago Polytechnic Business Division debt processes) to Otago Polytechnic Business Division in full at least two (2) weeks prior to the ceremony they are attending.
3.1. Learners will be prevented from graduating or receiving their award until the debt has been cleared. The term 'fees' relates to any money owed to the Otago Polytechnic Business Division or any agency of Otago Polytechnic Business Division and includes, but is not limited to:
- Tuition fees
- Material fees
- Childcare fees
- Learner Health fees
- Fees and fines related to study (e.g., Library, University Proctor).
3.2. Responsibility for checking debt status lies with the Academic Registry.
4. Learners must register to participate in the graduation ceremony by the due date via the current registration process (as outlined on the Otago Polytechnic Business Division website - Graduation).
5. Learners must indicate on the graduation invitation form which ceremony they wish to attend. Learners may only attend one (1) graduation ceremony and it would usually be within eighteen (18) months of completing the requirements of their award.
6. Provision will be made to ensure that any learners and staff with an impairment are able to access the graduation stage area in a dignified manner, and as independently as possible. Exceptions to crossing the stage must be notified to the Corporate Events Specialist by the Head of College.
7. Learners receiving two (2) awards from the same College will cross the stage once for the higher award. The process for learners receiving awards from different Colleges will be managed by the Corporate Events Specialist in consultation with the Director: Academic Excellence.
8. Academic Dress at Graduation Ceremonies
8.1. All graduands are required to wear the academic regalia required for the qualification they are graduating with. A hire fee will be charged.
8.2. Information on the pick-up and return of graduands gowns is available on the Otago Polytechnic Business Division website which is updated prior to each ceremony by the Corporate Events Specialist.
8.3. If the regalia is not returned by the due date and ensuing efforts to obtain the regalia is not successful, an invoice for the replacement cost of the regalia will be generated and sent to the learner. Failure to return the regalia or to pay the invoice will result in the debt being forwarded to the Otago Polytechnic Business Division debt collection agency.
8.4. Academic and professional staff of Otago Polytechnic Business Division are required to wear the academic regalia to which they are entitled when participating in graduation ceremonies.
8.5. Where the qualification(s) held by the academic or professional staff of Otago Polytechnic Business Division do not have recognised regalia entitlement, those staff are required to wear approved equivalent academic regalia appropriate to their qualifications. The decision for which equivalent regalia will be the responsibility of the Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Journey.
8.6. Academic and professional staff of Otago Polytechnic Business Division without academic regalia entitlement or equivalence are required to wear semi-formal business attire or appropriate cultural attire.
8.7. Approved Regalia
*FOOTNOTE: Doctorate in Professional Practice: specific mid-blue gown, hood, sash with gold embroidered Kotahitaka motif and velvet Scottish bonnet.
8.8. Graduands will carry the headwear for the degree they are being awarded onto the stage, irrespective of previous degrees. Staff and learners 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.
8.9. Multiple qualifications
8.9.1. Graduands will wear the approved regalia for the highest qualification they are graduating for on that day.
8.9.2. Where a double qualification of equal value is being awarded, the graduand may wear either of the approved regalia.
8.9.3. The colours of facings and hoods represent qualification areas. New qualifications areas will be allocated colours from the existing range and there will be consultation on the suitability of colours.
8.10. Diploma/Degree/Facing Colours/Hoods
* FOOTNOTE: Doctorate in Professional Practice: specific mid-blue gown, hood, sash with gold embroidered Kotahitaka motif and velvet Scottish bonnet.
Schedule of timelines for Graduation
Learner Results, Transcripts and Award Certificates for Qualifications Policy.
Graduation Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) (below)
Dr. Megan Gibbons
28th November 2022
Policy Version: V10 Previously Coded: AP1003