Hundreds of University of Edinburgh students were last night sent a mass email telling them their graduation was cancelled and they had insufficient credits for a degree.
The 12.30am message was sent to students at the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science students as well as those studying geography, informatics and the law.
One student was initially told the email was fake, only for the university to later blame a “system error”.
Fourth year Philosophy and English Language student Rosemary Bentley, from Prestonfield, was back home in Leek, Staffordshire, when she got the alert.
“I was sat up in bed at the time,” said the 23-year-old. “I was in complete and utter panic and ran through to my gran.
“I felt physically sick. The idea of four years of work completely disappeared.”
Rosemary said the email looked genuine. She phoned her school this morning to be told they knew nothing about it.
She eventually got a reply advising the email “did not come from us” and should be ignored.
“It’s just disgraceful administration. They’re not even taking responsibility for something that obviously happened in error.”
A Fourth year Politics and Sociology student, from Newington, due to graduate with an MA (Hons). said: “It has been such a stressful night.
“We got an email saying we could not attend our graduation ceremony - because we would not be graduating.
“I spent an hour this morning trying to get through to someone . When I finally did, I was told it was an email sent in error.
“The woman I spoke with was very apologetic, But I feel irritated that there was not an apology email sent out.
“People will be waking up to this. The only reason I found out it was an error was because I called this morning. It’s not good enough”
A clarification email from the Director of Student Systems and Administration and Service Excellence Programme Lead at the university was sent this morning telling students to ignore the email.
It read: “We are aware that a number of final year students have received an email, apparently from the University, informing them that their graduation has been cancelled.
“Please ignore this message. No graduations have been cancelled.
“Your final degree results will be released in line with the published schedule - no later than 16th June for the great majority of students and no later than the 23rd of June for Medics and Vets.
“We are looking urgently into this situation.
“We will be back in contact with you as soon as we can and will also ensure your MyEd/EUCLID screens are refreshed with accurate information.”
A University of Edinburgh spokeswoman 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.”