Graduation ceremony

A Sense of Ceremony: China’s Most Creative Graduations

From traditional “capping ceremonies” to driving tractors across campus, here are some graduation ceremonies students are unlikely to forget

This year‘s university convocation season, which started in early June and will last until the end of the month, will be a new beginning not only for new graduates but China as a whole: According to the Ministry of Education, the graduating class of 2022 is China’s biggest ever, with nearly 10.8 million students getting their diplomas from universities and colleges across the country. It is also the first class in which students born in the new millennium, or “post-00s (零零后),” predominate.

This giant class of students will also be graduating into China’s toughest job markets in recent years, with many sectors downsizing due to Covid-19 and many Class of 2021 students still job-hunting a year after their own graduations, which adds to the competition. There are also students still unable to attend their graduations, or campuses unable to host them on a large scale, due to lingering pandemic restrictions. Nevertheless, convocation is typically time for students, teachers, and families to let loose and celebrate their achievements, and a few universities have used out-of-the-box thinking to make these ceremonies creative and truly memorable for all involved:

Traditional robes and capping

Ever since 1994, when China’s State Council issued a set of guidelines standardizing academic dress across the country, the Western-style combination of robe, sash, mortarboard cap, and tassel have been de rigeur at Chinese university and high school graduation ceremonies. In recent years, though, as consumers have started embracing homegrown cultural symbols, several universities have attempted to inject traditional culture elements into their graduation fashions.

Want to continue reading?

Log in or register now to read the full story


author Hatty Liu

Hatty Liu is the managing editor of The World of Chinese, and an award-winning communications researcher. Born in China, and raised in China, Canada, and the US, she leverages her cross-cultural identity to create more empathetic knowledge across national boundaries.

Related Articles