Graduating Class of 2015 at the August 2015 graduation ceremony outside the Sydney Opera House


Graduation at UBSS is a special event that recognises your hard work and significant achievement in successfully completing higher education study.

Our iconic Sydney Opera House graduation ceremonies are filmed, and are available on YouTube to watch:

Some FAQs are answered below regarding graduation:

How do I know I am eligible to graduate?

At the conclusion of each semester the Executive Dean will receive a report of students who have successfully completed 24/24 subjects that form their degree program. Students who then meet all academic requirements to the Academic Board's satisfaction will receive e-correspondence from the Executive Dean advising that they have met course completion requirements, and are eligible to graduate. Only students who receive formal notification from the Executive Dean are eligible to graduate. You must also pay any outstanding fees and charges to GCA before you can graduate.

How and when am I advised of graduation? 

You will receive written e-correspondence from the Executive Dean that endorses your eligibility to graduate, the date, time and location of graduation. This usually occurs at least one month before the published date of the graduation ceremony (early March for the April ceremony, and early June for the August ceremony).

Where, when and how long is graduation? 

Graduation is currently held at the iconic Sydney Opera House at Circular Quay.  In 2016, two graduation ceremonies will be held in April and August as listed above. Depending on the number of graduating students, a ceremony usually lasts for about 2.5 hours that includes arrival, robing in academic dress, the formal ceremony and post-ceremony photographs and food. Ceremonies with large numbers of graduates will be longer.

What do I receive at graduation?:

All graduands receive two important  items:

  • Their testamur, which is the official certificate with your name and the qualification you have been awarded that includes the UBSS logo. The testamur is issued by the authority of the UBSS Council, is embedded with the UBSS seal, and is the document you can hang on your wall at home or at your workplace to prove your qualification;
  • The AHEGS - The Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement. The AHEGS is issued by participating Australian Higher Education institutions and is designed to assist with both national and international recognition of Australian qualifications, and promote international mobility and professional recognition of graduates. The AHEGS will contain: a) your name and student number; b) the award (degree title) you are graduating from; c) details of the awarding institution (UBSS); d) details of your academic achievements (your transcript of results) and a key to UBSS grades; and e) a description about the Australian Higher Education system. More information about the AHEGS is available from the Department of Education and Training. 

If you do not attend graduation, these items can be mailed to you after the graduation.

What happens if I cannot attend? 

You must notify the Executive Dean’s office by the date listed in the letter you receive, advising of your eligibility. If you advise us you cannot attend, you can graduate in absentia and physically attend the next graduation ceremony. Or we can just post you your documentation if you do not wish to attend.

What do I wear on the day ?

Wear business attire/smart clothing. This is your special day, so you want to look your best. The ceremony requires you to wear an academic robe which is worn over your clothes, a bonnet (for your head) and a sash which is worn over your shoulders and down your back. Your guests should also wear business/smart attire as well. The academic dress is returned to UBSS after the ceremony finishes.

What happens on the day ?

At a typical graduation you 1) register on arrival; 2) robe in your academic dress; 3) you and your guests take your allocated seats; 4) the Chairman of Council opens and welcomes you and your guests to the ceremony; 5) you proceed to the stage and you are presented by the Chairman with your testamur (certificate) and Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS); 6) the Prof Gus Guthrie Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement is presented to any eligible graduating student; 7) the key note speaker (usually a member of industry or academia) delivers a speech to the graduating class: 8) a UBSS graduating student makes a vote of thanks. 9) the formal ceremony is closed; 10) Photographs, food, drink and socialising occurs after the ceremony.

Can I bring guests? 

Of course! We permit students to bring up to three guests of their choice. You must nominate on the letter we send to you the number and names of your guests and return to the Executive Dean’s office by the due date. UBSS can issue letters for immigration purposes if you wish to bring relatives from your home country – but you must tell us promptly, as these will be issued by request only.

What is the cost?

Graduands will need to pay a fee to hire the academic dress to participate in the graduation ceremony, which is $100 in 2016, as published in our fees and charges document (p.2). All other aspects of graduation are free for graduands and their guests.

What happens if I lose my documentation (testamur or AHEGS)?

Each graduate is issued one (1) copy of their testamur and one (1) copy of their AHEGS free of charge. If you lose these documents, UBSS can reissue them to you for a fee that is published under the ancillary fees section of our fees and charges document (p.2). You will need to contact Student Services to arrange this.