Canberra universities plan staged return to in-person classes | The Canberra Times

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Canberra’s university students are hoping for a less “disrupted” 2022 after two years of education dominated by remote learning. The University of Canberra and Australian National University have announced plans for a gradual return to in-person classes. ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt said classroom teaching would start as scheduled on February 21, saying: “We need every student and staff member who can be here to be here.” The university’s orientation week will begin on February 14, with ANU implementing COVID safety measures such as aiming to provide a small supply of rapid antigen tests and P2 / N95 masks. Staff and students would also be surveyed on their thoughts on the implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy. Young students such as Charlie Durkin are extremely eager for the year to come, with hope things are on their way to being more normal. “I feel like it should be good to get back and sort of have a full crack at the year rather than it being disrupted,” Mr Durkin said. “Hopefully all things go well and we’re back in the classrooms for lectures and tutorials.” Online learning was a bit tedious at times and tricky. Obviously you try to see the good side of things but I’m glad to hopefully be done with the virtual side of things. “Studying a bachelor of politics, philosophy and economics and a bachelor of science psychology, Mr Durkin also lives on campus and said he was looking forward to doing more socializing in his second year of university. READ MORE: “It will be great to go back to college with limited restrictions, hopefully more events so I can have a bit more fun this year compared to last year , “he added. Another student eager to return is Katrina Ha, who came to ANU from South Korea in 2020 to study a bachelor of politics, philosophy and economics and a bachelor of actuarial studies.” It’s really, really exciting for me to study again because I experienced only one month of in-person study and have had to do the rest online, “Ms Ha said.” I was really excited to get back to Australia and I have prepared many activities I can do this year so I can participate in lots of events in person, that will be really good for me. “The University of Canberra will also be making a gradual return to campus under stringent COVID safety guidelines, which acting vice-chancellor Geoff Crisp said would be great for students. “I think it’s been really tough on our students, so full credit to them for persevering because whether they were here in Australia or overseas, the vast majority have persevered with their studies,” Professor Crisp said. “While it’s not quite open, we’re still going to have some things online and some things on campus, so this is a staged process and we’re obviously going to still mandate things like masks and social distancing where possible.” Overall, though, we’re very excited to have our students back on campus, we’re also very excited about having our international students coming back. “Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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