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WATCH: Students of NUI Galway graduate virtually for the first time in 175 years

NUI Galway held two virtual conferring ceremonies that were broadcasted live to 310 graduates across Ireland and abroad and their families on Facebook.

Around 190 of them were future doctors with an Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO). The University took the decision to bring the final year medical examinations and graduation forward to ensure that the Medical graduates would be available to enter the healthcare workforce.

Due to restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the University was unable, for the first time in its 175 year history, to hold physical conferring ceremonies. The wonderful occasion was marked online with graduates tuning in from every corner of the country.

Video courtesy of Dr. Henry Cooke on the day of his virtual graduation from Medicine at NUI Galway. Twitter: @henryc130

‘These are extraordinary times and our graduates are extraordinary people. While we are deeply disappointed that we cannot share this special day with our graduates in person, we are looking forward to marking the occasion and sharing good wishes online. We imagine together this day and, we hope, better days to come,’ Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh of NUI Galway said.

On Monday, 6 April, the University conferred 190 future doctors with an Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree.

On Wednesday, 8 April, the University held the Research Conferring ceremony with over 110 students graduating. Nearly 90 students were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with a number of students conferred with Masters and Doctor of Medicine degrees.

The online ceremony marked the achievements of students from across Ireland and Europe as well as Malaysia, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Brunei, Singapore, USA, China, South Korea, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Brazil, Ecuador and Vietnam.

‘During the 175-year history of NUI Galway, our staff and students have shaped many world events and we are filled with pride by those who are bravely battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland and internationally,’ the Professor added.

‘This community joins those who were involved in previous challenging times, by committing to the public good and the values we hold dear. Our students and staff are on the front lines, testing and treating victims of this devastating illness, and their selflessness and commitment is an inspiration to us all.’

‘We look forward to celebrating the achievements of our students with them and their families in a virtual, but no less special way. We also plan to hold a more informal but nonetheless meaningful events in the autumn, circumstances permitting, to mark the success of these graduates who will be graduating remotely this week. These are important days in the life of our university and our students and we look forward to marking them together in better times.’

It is hoped this global community can come together in shared pride at the achievements of NUI Galway’s Class of 2020.

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I'm a freelance content creator and a journalist who has a strong desire to do as much as possible in the time I've got left on this planet. I got a taste for storytelling when I interned in Storyful many moons ago and since then have worked for places like WorldIrish (now Irish Central), Her.ie and Lonely Planet. I am constantly curious.

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