Decision made in order to protect University community and provide students with certainty
Due to the public health restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic the University of Wollongong had made the difficult decision to move classes at all campuses online for the first four weeks of Session 2 (Spring Session), from Monday 26 July to Friday 20 August 2021.
With COVID-19 related public health restrictions and stay at home orders for Greater Sydney extended to Friday 30 July, the decision was made in order to protect the University community and to provide students with some certainty as they head into Session 2.
A decision about class delivery beyond 20 August will be communicated to students and staff in early August, ahead of the Session 2 census date.
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Theo Farrell said classes had been moved online past the extended lockdown end date as it was unclear how long restrictions would remain in place beyond 30 July or how they would change over time.
“What is clear is that the road out of lockdown from this outbreak will take some time, and UOW wants to allow sufficient time for staff and students to plan ahead,” Professor Farrell said.
“We know most of our students miss being on campus and making the most of the social aspects of uni, and so will find this news disappointing.
“We are disappointed too, as we really miss having our students on campus. We remain committed to bringing more students back on campus safely and returning to a fully vibrant campus experience as soon as soon as we can.”
Some practical and laboratory classes with strict accreditation requirements and programs requiring clinical placements and work-integrated learning as part of completing the degree may be delivered in person in Weeks 1 to 4.
Bega, Batemans Bay, Moss Vale and Shoalhaven campuses remain open and accessible for students, with COVID-Safe plans in place.
Students and staff who live in the Fairfield local government area and need to come to a UOW campus for essential work or education will require evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous three days.
For offshore students unable to travel to Australia due to international travel restrictions, online delivery will continue to be offered, where possible.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia Davidson said: “Our overall aim remains to deliver on our commitment to students to return to a fully vibrant campus experience as soon as NSW Health advice allows.
“As challenging as it is in the context of ongoing uncertainty and changing restrictions, UOW will continue pivoting to deliver to our students the campus experience they have so clearly indicated they want.”
UOW’s operations will continue to be kept under constant review as the pandemic continues, with the safety and wellbeing of staff, students and the community at the forefront of all decisions.