Thanks to continued excellent progress in restricting the spread of COVID-19 across Australia, life on campus is coming back to life – in line with the Federal Government’s 3 Step Framework for a COVIDSAFE Australia, and the South Australian and Northern Territory Governments plans for easing restrictions in line with the National Plan.
While the University campuses have remained open and operational throughout, the vast majority of staff and students have been working and studying from home. Now, campus will to return to greater normality, as outlined in emails sent to all staff and students on Friday from Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling, and Professor Clare Pollock, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students).
The University is planning a phased return to campus from today, with all staff returning by 18 May, unless advised otherwise by their manager. This will allow student-facing services and facilities to re-open by 25 May, including the library.
Teaching, learning and assessment activities that moved online in March will stay online for the remainder of Semester 1. This will ensure students who cannot currently return to campus can continue to study without disadvantage.
Practical class activities, which stopped because they could not be done online, can now recommence. College and teaching staff will advise arrangements specific to each topic and course – and these will be scheduled so no students are disadvantaged if they are unable to return to campus.
Opening campus facilities and recommencing activities will be done in line with the physical distancing and hygiene guidelines from the Health Department, to ensure we all stay safe over the coming months.
Flinders University is extremely well positioned to respond to these guidelines and we have learned a lot over the past three months, although the ‘New Normal’ will require everyone to re-think how we do the things we do. Staff and students are encouraged to provide feedback on their experiences, identifying what worked well and what didn’t, what we should continue and what new opportunities are now available.