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Graduating in a pandemic: Class of 2020

Polaroid image of a rose bush
  • Written byPost-Grad Community
  • Published date28 October 2020
Polaroid image of a rose bush

This year has been tough on us all, but we are proud of how resilient and remarkable this year’s graduating cohort has coped with the unprecedented way their course came to an end.

To celebrate them, Post-Grad Community invited recent graduates to participate in an online collective yearbook to mark this year’s notable graduation.

Check out the Class of 2020 Yearbook here!

Graduating during the pandemic came with a silver lining...the gift of time... time to think deeply about what I had done, what I was doing, why I was doing it and what for.

— Mariana Heilmann MA Art & Science, Central Saint Martins
It is still too early to have fully processed the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on my life and work, particularly as we have not yet come to the end of the saga. However, having to re-evaluate my methodologies in the light of the constraints placed on us all, has led me to develop new ways of working, which not only are initiating new trajectories but are also enriching the core of what I do.

— Alexis Rago MA Visual Arts: Fine Art Digital, Camberwell College of Arts
For me, graduating during the Covid crisis has been extraordinarily stimulating.  Our last term, conducted online via Microsoft Teams, generated more participation and insight rather than less.  Having the usual 30% of our final marks increased to 100% forced the creation of work for online exhibition.  This constraint was in fact liberating for both ambition and imagination.  Shielding at home in my studio, interference was minimal leaving me free to reflect, research, create. That this could be my last work (being a 69-year-old considered vulnerable) concentrated the mind. And could anyone have predicted that my work ‘Lockdown’, created in response to the pandemic, would be selected for the London Grads Now show at the Saatchi Gallery?  My MFA ended with a bang not a whimper.

— Hamish Pringle MFA Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Arts
Finishing my final term during the pandemic from another country was definitely one of the greatest agonising challenges for me. Being a 2020 graduate has honestly made me feel the most helpless, however I have developed a lot through this distressing circumstance.

— Sudeeksha Somani MA Graphic Communication Design, Central Saint Martins

Covid-19 Impact: Looking Ahead

Although the future is unpredictable with the pandemic still keeping us all in lockdown and socially distancing from one another, Post-Grad Community will be continuing with our Our COVID promise: Looking at new ways to digitally connect with our students, our priority remains in the health, safety and wellbeing of our community, and as part of this we encourage everyone to be thoughtful and supportive towards each other and ensure that we remain the diverse, welcoming, and affirming community that make us part of UAL.

As an industry which relies heavily on freelance professionals and small businesses things have stalled; but to what extent this will impact future recruitment is unclear. Below are a selection of useful resources to help support recent graduates, alumni and creatives alike during this challenging time.

Keep in touch!