O-Week at University of Canberra brings students together | The Canberra Times


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University of Canberra has been brought back to life with traditional orientation week activities reimagined for the COVID-19 era. On Wednesday, about 100 students took part in speed friending to get to know their peers while discussing hot topics like “what do you think of pineapple on pizza?” Ashleigh Butler, who is studying a double degree in secondary education and arts, said it was a fun meet more people in her course. “It’s really good that they could do an online and in person O-week because I think it’s such and important thing for people,” she said. Deputy vice chancellor academic Geoff Crisp said he was pleased look out to the campus concourse and see students enjoying O-week activities. “It adds obviously life, vibrancy and certainly makes the place look much more alive having our students back.” Last year campus was mostly quiet as students took classes remotely or just came in for certain hands-on activities. This year large lectures with hundreds of students will continue to be held remotely. In some laboratories and workshops where physical distancing can’t be maintained, participants will need to wear a mask supplied by the University. Staff and students will be required to check in using the Check in CBR app with different codes for each large teaching space, laboratory and floor of each building. If there was a case of COVID-19 on campus, the idea is only certain parts of the university would need to shut down and self-isolate. Professor Crisp said domestic applications and enrolments were up between 10 and 20 per cent this year as the pandemic forces more people into education rather than gap years or the workplace. READ MORE: The university will have some new onshore international students starting from the cohort of school leavers and others who have decided to stay in Australia. Those already enrolled and stuck overseas are being supported to finish their degree remotely, while some courses will be redesigned if there is sufficient demand for people to study online. But Professor Crisp said the University of Canberra was primarily a campus-based experience. “This should be an exciting and an interesting time in your life so come enjoy it.”

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