Uni students forced to study online in semester 2
The University of Queensland has told students they will have to study online in semester 2 in case coronavirus restrictions are ramped up again later in the year.
The start of the semester has also been delayed by a week, until August 3, and the semester will now finish on October 30.
Campuses will remain open for students to access study spaces, subject to current Government restrictions, with a phased return to campus activities.
"As the timeline to lift (coronavirus) restrictions is unclear, UQ has made a number of decisions in relation to Semester 2 to enable you to plan for your academic studies for the remainder of this year,'' Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright said in an email to students late last week.
"Teaching will be delivered online for Semester 2, regardless of your location, to mitigate against restrictions being relaxed and then tightened again as we have seen in other countries. "We are working on reintroducing on-campus and extra-curricular activities to enhance your learning experience, in the anticipation that society will return to a degree of normality in the not too distant future.''
But federal LNP MP for Ryan, Julian Simmonds, said the decision would come as a disappointment to students who were paying large sums for an on-campus experience.
"UQ announcing that next semester from August to October will be online only is disappointing and dismissive of the thousands of students who were rightly expecting and paying for more,'' Mr Simmonds said.
"I call on the Vice-Chancellor (Peter Hoj) to reinstate learning on campus.
"While schools gear up to recommence classes, UQ's administration have simply dismissed it as too hard to implement; despite their large campus and a student cohort mature enough to follow social distancing directions."
"UQ is known world wide for excellence and the challenge of providing classes as COVID restrictions ease cannot be beyond it.
"Community groups, businesses and individuals are all being called on to rise to the challenge and adapt to get our economy firing again and UQ must play their part.
"Students should be given the choice to attend classes again."
Orientation for students will be online as well, from July 29 to August 1, with some activities on campuses subject to Government restrictions.
Withdrawal without financial penalty will before August 31.
Withdrawal without academic penalty will be before October 30.
But graduation awards are expected to go ahead on time this year and graduation ceremonies early in 2021.
Originally published as Uni students forced to study online in semester 2