Mar 18 – For the first time this year, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is hosting a virtual graduation ceremony for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wine 2019/20.

The virtual graduation ceremony, which takes place today, is chaired by Ian Harris, CEO of WSET, and includes speeches from Ferran Centelles, winner of last year’s Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Paul Symington, incoming president emeritus, and congratulations from WSET diplomatic centres around the world. A total of 252 new WSET graduates from 26 diploma centres in 30 countries graduated this year. The 2019/2020 graduation team is significantly smaller than previous years, as many states were unable to hold the exams due to COWID restrictions. Despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, this year’s graduates did their best to graduate. On the day of today’s graduation ceremony, WSET has more than 11,000 graduates worldwide.

Ian Harris, CEO of WSET, said: Our annual graduation ceremony is a key event in the WSET calendar.  While it’s disappointing that we can’t attend in person at the Guildhall in London this year, we’re delighted to be able to celebrate the success of our young graduates virtually as we integrate digital platforms into all areas of our business.  We strive to make our organization more inclusive in every way. Therefore, we decided to have a virtual ceremony every year in the future, in addition to an in-person event.  This will make it accessible to as many graduates as possible.

Following the speeches at graduation, a virtual roll call will be held to recognize the accomplishments of each student. Due to COVID restrictions, only one award was presented this year, the Wintner Trophy. This award is sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Vintners and is presented to the student who achieves the highest overall grade in all areas of the degree in each academic year. This year’s winner is Mary Wright. A graduate of WSET School in London, Mary works for Liberty Wines as an ambassador for Sogrape Iberia Estates. Maria comments: I am very pleased to have received the winners’ cup and the scholarship, and I am very grateful to the winners for their very generous scholarship. I’m looking forward to a trip to the vineyards of South America, hopefully in the not too distant future.

You can watch the graduation ceremony live at the following regional times by clicking on the following link:

Region Local time GMT
United Kingdom (WSET London School) 18 hours GMT. 18:00
American continent 18H00 CST 12:00 pm (February 19)

About the Wine and Spirit Education Trust

  • WSET is the world’s largest provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications.
  • WSET offers qualifications at four levels, from a one-day introductory course to an expert diploma. Courses are offered in more than 15 languages and in over 70 countries.
  • The courses are open to professionals and consumers.
  • WSET is recognised as an awarding body by Ofqual, the UK regulator of qualifications and examinations. All WSET qualifications are recognised worldwide as the industry standard for knowledge.
  • In the last academic year (2019/20), around 100,000 candidates applied for the WSET qualification, and have done so since its inception in 1969. The WSET has awarded WSET qualifications to nearly one million people.
  • For more information on the WSET, see
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