14 January 2021

Full students ahead for UC with return to campus life

| Michael Weaver
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University of Canberra students

University of Canberra students discuss their course options ahead of classes resuming. Photo: Supplied.

The University of Canberra (UC) will have a full complement of students in all its courses for 2021 despite a large number of international students being unable to return to the campus this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

UC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of students, partnerships and international, Professor Lawrence Pratchett, said lectures for large numbers of students will still be held remotely; however, the university is opening its doors to smaller classes on campus.

Professor Pratchett also said the university is in a great position to return to learning as usual.

“We expect to get our full student load this year as there’s been a high demand for our courses which we’ve been very pleased about,” he told Region Media.

“We are looking forward to welcoming all of our new students and all of our returning students back to the campus this year.”

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International students who have returned home are still unable to return to campus until travel restrictions are eased. However, Professor Pratchett said there will still be a healthy number of international students on campus who were already in Australia.

“Our campus will continue to be a vibrant international campus this year because we have a large number of international students who are already here in Australia.

“Also, because we are a university for Canberra, we are particularly committed to taking students here from within the region, and we’re not as badly affected as universities that have a broader focus.”

While it’s been a tough year for every university, he believes the University of Canberra is in a much stronger position than most universities.

“Our goal is to have a full return to campus as much as possible. We pride ourselves on the very complex and sophisticated teaching and learning that we do, not just getting students to learn by reading and listening.

“That works most successfully when they’re on campus, so the majority of what we do will be here on campus,” he said.

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UC is also offering a range of short, Federal Government-subsidised courses in February for those looking to upskill.

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are offered across 10 graduate programs and one undergraduate course at UC.

Students can complete one of the workforce-ready qualifications in as little as four months full-time or one year part-time while offering a taste for postgraduate study or providing a path into a Master-level qualification.

In addition to the government subsidy, all students will have the ability to defer tuition payments via the Australian Government’s FEE-HELP scheme.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Geoff Crisp, said the short courses would provide an excellent life-long learning opportunity for many in the community.

“After a year of job uncertainty due to COVID-19, this is a great opportunity for those looking to upskill within their field or start paving their way towards studying a Master Level Qualification,” he said.

“What is unique about this program is that there is the opportunity for an undergraduate certificate – it isn’t just available to postgraduate students,” Professor Crisp said.

For more information about short courses, visit UC.

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