20/03/2020 - 11:55

Universities prepare students for online move

20/03/2020 - 11:55

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Curtin and Murdoch universities have introduced early semester breaks to prepare students and staff for a transition to online learning, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Deborah Terry says students should continue to study independently. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Curtin and Murdoch universities have introduced early semester breaks to prepare students and staff for a transition to online learning, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study breaks will begin on Monday, with Curtin University students receiving one tuition-free week and Murdoch University students two weeks.

Both universities will remain open for students who require on-campus access, with social distancing and hygeine measures in place.

Curtin today said while all formal lectures had shifted online, the university was currently developing options to deliver other course components remotely.

Vice-chancellor Deborah Terry said there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases on the campus.

However, she urged students to continue to study independently.

“While the university remains open for business, it is following all government advice and doing what is best in the long-term health and safety interests of our Curtin community,” Professor Terry said.

Students experiencing hardship as a result of the move will be supported, Curtin said.

The university will provide laptop loans, digitised textbooks and financial bursaries to assist with internet access.

On Wednesday, Murdoch University announced it had extended its planned study break to two weeks, from March 23 to April 3.

Murdoch said this was a precautionary measure and that there had been no confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus.

Students will be able to access lectures and tutorial activities online after the break. The break planned for June 15 will instead become a normal teaching week.

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