Many fourth year University of Edinburgh students who expected to graduate in July have been wrongly sent an email stating that they are ineligible to graduate. The email, entitled ‘Graduation Ceremony Cancelled- No Award’, was sent in the early hours of the morning to personal email addresses. A similar message, shown below, was displayed to students on EUCLID.
Students in the schools of Language, Literature and Culture, Social and Political Science, Law and History, Classics and Archaeology have confirmed they received the communications. However, reports suggest that the communication was sent to thousands of students across many more schools.
The email states it was sent on behalf of Fiona Potts, Manager of the Student Services Team in the Department of Student Administration. Student Administration described the email, which was sent in error, as part of a ‘system failure’.
Phone lines to contact Student Administration are busy. One fourth year student studying in the School of Social and Political Science told The Student “Because of the time of night, I thought perhaps someone was staying in the office late to notify all the students who’d failed.”
“I think the scariest thing was that it had greyed out my course on EUCLID. That made it seem really real. I thought it meant I’d failed the dissertation”
Information Services are currently investigating how the communications, which were delivered through official channels, were sent. The Information Services issued this statement: “We wanted to reassure students that the graduation ceremonies are going ahead and IS are investigation (sic) this.”
Vice President for Academic Affairs Patrick Garratt reassured students by stating on Facebook that “The University’s IT system seems to have been hacked and temporarily changed students’ EUCLID statuses. The University are now looking into the cause.You’re all gonna graduate and your EUCLID status will not be changed”
However, Corin Campbell, PR and Media Manager for the University of Edinburgh, told The Student: “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.” He continued “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. 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.”
This is a developing news story.