Students are unlikely to return to University of the Sunshine Coast campuses next semester due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Students are unlikely to return to University of the Sunshine Coast campuses next semester due to COVID-19 restrictions.

University reveals COVID-19 plans for semester two

THOUSANDS of University of the Sunshine Coast students and staff are unlikely to return to the classroom next semester because of the government's COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, which could remain for months.

A USC spokesman said they were still discussing how semester two would be delivered, and had considered "front- loading" theory aspects of courses, with the practical sessions to be delivered at the end if possible.

USC suspended all classes for a week last month to transition to technology-enabled learning and teaching across its six Queensland campuses, including its largest at Sippy Downs. Classes resumed on March 30 and will continue to be delivered online until the semester ends the week starting May 25.

The USC spokesman said the approach to semester two would depend on "where the country is at with the pandemic", and the related restrictions.

"The university will be prepared to stay in online mode if required, or will revert to its usual mode if restrictions are lifted," the spokesman said.

"USC is currently discussing how it might rearrange the delivery of classes in semester two for courses that include hands-on, practical coursework. If government restrictions are still in place at the start of semester two, USC is considering front-loading the theory aspects of these courses and delivering the practical sessions at the end of the semester."

The spokesman said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on student numbers was not yet known. According to latest available data, USC has about 17,800 students and about 1000 full-time equivalent staff, but enrolments have been "fluid" this semester.

"Our Census was last week (March 31), but there were still people enrolling or withdrawing from courses, or even re-enrolling after withdrawing from courses," the spokesman said.

For USC coronavirus advice, visit usc.edu.au/current-students/student-support/advice-for-students-about-coronavirus



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