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Te Rā Whakawhiwhi Tohu


Virtual Graduation 2020

In the absence of the opportunity to celebrate together, we’ve created a short video to celebrate our 2020 student achievements. We hope you have enjoyed your time at Ara and the friendships and connections you have made. Challenges can, and will be, overcome by problem solvers like you. We know you are ready – armed with the knowledge, skills and confidence from your learnings at Ara.

A warm congratulations to all our 2020 graduates! Take a moment today to rejoice in your accomplishments in what has been a challenging year for many.

Future graduation options

End of year celebrations are being planned within some departments and we will send you more communications and update the webpage as information becomes available. Depending on interest Ara is considering hosting a 2020 Ara graduate recognition ceremony in 2021. If you think you would attend, please register your interest here before 17 December 2020.    


If you’d already ordered your regalia through GWC, please contact them to organise a credit or a refund or a ‘two-for-one’. The ‘two-for-one’ allows you to collect your regalia as arranged and wear it on 18 September to have your own celebrations and photos with friends and whanau, and also to get regalia to wear at a future Ara recognition celebration.

Receiving your certificate

If you were due to graduate at the September ceremony, you’ll now graduate ‘in absentia’ (without being present) and you’ll receive your certificate in the mail. Please ensure your postal address is correct here. If you were due to graduate at our March ceremony, you should already have received your certificate.

Celebration video

The cancellation of our graduation ceremonies this year is disappointing for everyone. In the absence of the opportunity to celebrate together, we’re creating a short video to celebrate our 2020 student achievements. Senior Ara staff and student representatives will share messages of congratulations to acknowledge your accomplishments in a year that has been challenging for so many. This video will be posted on the Ara website on 18 September 2020.

Sharing your celebrations

We’d love for you to take this time to reflect on how much you and your fellow students have achieved in a few short years, especially given the adversity you’ve all faced in 2020. Please share your personal celebratory images with us on social media with hashtag #arainstitute #aragrads2020 #arastudents.


Graduation guides

There are separate Graduation guides for Christchurch and Timaru; these provide all the information you need about your ceremony, including how to apply to graduate, the cost of regalia hire, venue details, guest tickets. The graduation guides will be uploaded in 2021.

Online streaming

If your friends or family are unable to attend your graduation, our Christchurch graduation ceremonies are streamed live on the Ara website.

Ara Graduations

Ara holds four graduation ceremonies a year.

Graduation regalia

As part of the formal graduation ceremony, you’re required to wear Ara regalia. Details about regalia items, the cost of hiring them, how to order them and where and when to collect them are all outlined in the graduation guide above. Regalia needs to be ordered directly: Graduate Women Canterbury (GWC).

Graduands are responsible for obtaining their own academic regalia and we encourage you to organise yours early to ensure availability. Academic regalia must be collected from the offices of Graduate Women Canterbury (located on the Dovedale Campus, corner of Dovedale & Solway Avenues) the day before the ceremony and returned there as soon as possible after the ceremony.

The hiring of academic dress is a voluntary service provided by Graduate Women Canterbury who own and maintain the regalia for UC ceremonies. Please do not wear academic regalia in the rain.

Proceeds are used to finance GWC scholarships and awards to graduates and students and for charitable purposes. 

Future Graduation Dates

Christchurch Graduations
Date Year
March 26 2021
September 17 2021
March 25 2022
September 16 2022
March 31 2023
September 15 2023


Timaru Graduations
Date Year
February 18 2021
February 17 2022
February 16 2023
February 15 2024