Given the very difficult year students across the country have had, Dunboyne College of Further Education were determined to mark the hard work of this year’s students with a graduation event.

We were hopeful that small groups of students would be able to visit the college campus and don their caps and gowns to receive a well-deserved certificate of completion.

However, given current Covid restrictions, this idea could not be seen through and instead we had to go the virtual route. We knew that this event was going to be important for our students, but we had little idea of just how much students needed this closure to what was possibly one of the most difficult academic years of their lives.

Students arrived to college at specified times to collect a cap and gown which they would wear on the day of their graduation and take photos at home. As they arrived to collection points, there was talk of how proud parents would be to see them wearing their cap and gown. For some, this would be the only opportunity they would ever have to wear a cap and gown and celebrate their achievements.

Others were delighted to be given the opportunity to have a photo taken with grandparents while wearing their cap and gown, which would now take pride of place on their sitting room wall.

Following the event, emails and messages were received from students and their parents detailing the great day they had enjoyed with close friends and family, celebrating this special occasion. The sense of pride from everyone was palpable.

Over 1,300 people viewed the virtual graduation ceremony which took place over three days; 04th, 05th and 06th of June 2021. 80% of these views were from Ireland, while 20% of views were from locations worldwide.

Each graduation ceremony is still available to view on our YouTube channel. We at Dunboyne College of Further Education were delighted to be able to provide our students with the opportunity to celebrate their achievements, despite current restrictions, and are now looking forward to our next intake of students