History of Graduation


History of Graduation

The Mace and the Chair

In universities a mace is used as a symbol of institutional authority and it is carried in procession before the Chancellor, and here in Kuching, the Pro Chancellor, as a symbolic weapon of protection and power.

The Swinburne Sarawak Mace Suite is a sister suite to that used by Swinburne Melbourne. The Sarawak suite is fabricated in Belian, a beautiful and revered Sarawakian timber.

The two ceremonial chairs are for the Chancellor and the Pro Chancellor. The university motto: ‘Factum per Literas’ which refers to accomplishment through learning, is part of a ribbon carved into the back of the chairs. Small silver stars of the Southern Cross constellation, also contained in heraldic form in the University crest, are mounted into the back of the chairs.

Academic Procession

An academic procession is an old tradition in which university dignitaries march together wearing traditional regalia. The Chancellor, Pro Chancellor, members of the University Council, academic teaching staff and participants of the Official Party participate in the academic procession.


The academic dress worn at Swinburne today is a modification of everyday dress worn by scholars and teachers in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In consists of a gown and a scarf-like stole or hood, which is a remnant of the cowl that was once worn to cover the head and shoulders to keep off the rain and snow. Trencher caps or bonnets are worn with the tassel down over the left eye and in a horizontal position.


The testamur (also known as certificate) is Latin for “we testify” or ‘certify’ (testari), and so called from word with which the certificate begins. The testamur represents the conferral of the award.
The testamur includes the university’s common seal which confers the award by the University Council.


Conferral is the act of bestowing an award. The testamur includes the University’s common seal righting the conferral of the award by Council. This normally occurs when your academic achievement is recognized at a meeting of the Council. Conferral generally occurs at the graduation ceremony either in your presence or in absentia.

Why is Graduation important?

Great Way to Complete Your Time at Swinburne

Not only does a testamur look great hanging on your wall, it provides proof of your studies for employers, industry associations and for migration purposes. In order to receive your testamur you will need to apply to graduate.

In addition, the process of graduating allows you to claim your post – nominal (eg. Bob Smith, BCom (Swinburne)). If you have not graduated, you cannot claim these qualifications.

Ceremonies provide an excellent way to celebrate all the long nights, hard work and great friends from your time here at Swinburne Sarawak. It is your chance to be presented to the University community with such a significant accomplishment.

The ceremonies also provide an opportunity for you to thank your family, friends and teachers for their support during your studies. Swinburne takes a great pride in seeing their students complete their studies. The University staff, including the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Council members, administrative teams and acedemics regularly attend ceremonies to congratulate the graduates on their achievements.

If you can’t attend a ceremony, you can have your award mailed to you (in absentia) If you like to graduate with less fanfare, you can graduate in absentia. You may request your testamur to be couriered to you or opt to collect it yourself from Swinburne Sarawak. Remittance charges will apply if you choose to have your testamur couriered to you.

Graduate Entitlements

Your Postnominals

After graduation, you can officially use your qualification in your title. Refer to the guide to help you determine your postnominals (the abbreviated version of your qualification title).

How to keep in contact

Swinburne Alumni

After you graduate you can still continue your association with Swinburne by becoming an active member with the Swinburne Alumni