Edinburgh students hit with fake email telling them they will not graduate

Written by Tom Freeman on 1 June 2017 in News

University of Edinburgh denies data breach after students falsely told graduation is cancelled

Final year students at Edinburgh University woke up this morning to a message from the institution warning they did not have enough credits to finish their degree.

The message, which also appeared on the student portal, was entitled “Graduation Ceremony Cancelled – No Award”

A later message claimed it had been a “hoax”, but the university has since told Holyrood it was a “system error”.


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The email, allegedly from student services manager Fiona Potts, said: “We are now advised you are not expected to complete your studies until later in the year and therefore we presume that you may be able to attend the next available graduation ceremony.”

However a later email sent at 8.58 am said “we would ask you to ignore this hoax message”.

But the university have since said it was due to internal issues rather than a compromise of their IT systems.

A university spokesperson said: "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. 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."

Students have reacted angrily to the handling of the issue.

One told Holyrood it was “bad patter”.

“Luckily I got my grade back on Tuesday, but some wouldn’t have and assumed they’d failed,” she said.

Another tweeted: “Edinburgh university are seriously about to cause me a heart attack. Heart palps here, there and everywhere.”

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