Edinburgh University Blames 'System Error' For Graduation Axe Email

1 June 2017, 12:03 | Updated: 1 June 2017, 12:32

Edinburgh University

Final year students were sent an email telling them they would not graduate this summer in what a university has blamed on a "system error''.

Edinburgh University has told students to ignore the email, which told students they would not graduate because they were not expected to complete their studies until later in the year.

The message appeared in their inboxes with the subject title: "Graduation Ceremony Cancelled - No Award.''

It read: "You recently registered to attend a graduation ceremony this summer. However, we are now advised that you are not expected to complete your studies until later in the year, and therefore we presume that you may be eligible to attend the next available graduation ceremony.''

A similar message also appeared when students logged into the university portal.

Student Calum Mackie, 24, discovered the message in his inbox just after midnight on Thursday and spent a stressful night worrying he may have failed his degree.

He said: "I panicked because we just finished exams a couple of weeks ago and it would be around now that results would start to be known to the university, and if there would be any resits, so I immediately thought I had failed something and would not be able to graduate, and I could not even get in touch with the university to check because it was the middle of the night.

"I checked on the portal in case it had been some kind of hoax and the university portal had the same message so I thought it was legit.

"I'm down to be doing teacher training this year so if I weren't to graduate this summer I thought it was going to mess up my plans for summer and this year. It was really worrying.''

The English literature and history student said many of his friends studying different subjects also received the email.

He said: "Those that were up last night and found the email were really worried and anxious and others woke up this morning to find it.

"Everyone seems to have been very panicked and worried and now we have found out from the university that it was sent in error, everyone seems frustrated that it was sent to so many students.''

Students were sent an email from the university at around 9.30am on Thursday telling them to ignore the earlier message.

It said: "We are aware that a number of final year students have received an email, apparently from the university, informing them that their graduation has been cancelled.

"Please ignore this message. No graduations have been cancelled. Your final degree results will be released in line with the published schedule.

"We are looking urgently into this situation.''

Graduation ceremonies take place in late June and early July.

An Edinburgh University spokeswoman said: "Our preliminary investigation suggests that these emails were regrettably issued as a result of a system error. There was no breach of our systems and no student data was compromised.

"The university has written to all students affected to reassure them that their graduations have not been cancelled and asking them to ignore the emails.''