Conferment festivities

The three-day conferment festivities are the most dignified celebration in academia, providing doctoral graduates with the opportunity to celebrate their degrees. Only by attending the conferment ceremony will they also receive the right from the Faculty to use the insignia associated with their academic degrees – the doctoral hat and sword.
Long conferment traditions

The conferment ceremony to be held in 2023 is the fifth such ceremony in the field of veterinary medicine in Finland. The first conferral of doctoral degrees was held at the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1965. The second ceremony was held in 1995, the same year the institution was incorporated into the University of Helsinki and became the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The third conferment ceremony for Doctors of Veterinary Medicine was held in 2008 and the fourth in 2015.

The conferment ceremony tradition at the University of Helsinki goes far back in history, with the first ceremony taking place as early as 1643. Besides celebrating scholarly achievement, the conferment ceremony is also a national celebration. In contrast to many other faculties, no master’s degrees are conferred at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine conferment ceremony, since those graduating with a first-cycle degree are licentiates, on whom degrees are not conferred.

The conferment ceremony is a solemn conclusion to university studies. The conferment ceremony in spring 2023 is open to all doctoral graduates of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine whose degree has been approved by the Faculty Council at the latest in its meeting on 25 April 2023.

As a rule, graduands attend the ceremony together with their spouse or another companion. In the conferment vocabulary, companions are referred to as sword-whetters. They accompany the graduands at the dinner and also attend the other festivities. You can also take part in the conferment festivities without a companion. There are two options for attending the conferment festivities: you can either take part in all of the events or only the conferral of degrees and its rehearsal.

It is also possible to participate in absentia. Such participants will have their details included in the conferment ceremony booklet and receive the right to bear the insignia of their doctoral degree – the doctoral hat and sword – without attending the conferment ceremony in person. 

The conferment committee will publish a conferment matricula, a booklet on the doctoral graduands, both attending and in absentia, for which a personal details will be given at the time of registration.