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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

‘COVID new normal’ for returning Newcastle Uni students

The University of Newcastle greeted new students to its campuses today, via a series of welcome addresses, tours, demonstrations and social gatherings.

The traditional event, known as Orientation or ‘O’ Week, is aimed at helping newcomers build a sense of community in the post-COVID-19, “new normal” context.

This year sees a return to more face-to-face learning experiences for pupils, following the move to a higher proportion of online learning in 2020.

Each course will set its own blend of on-campus and online activities and new COVIDSafe protocols such as checking in to buildings will be introduced.

University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and vice-president Professor Mark Hoffman said the campus experience was important for students, adding the Uni was committed to creating the best environment for them to thrive.

“Pupils are saying they’re really excited to be able to enjoy face-to-face learning opportunities and experience everything that university life has to offer,” he explained.

Professor Hoffman said there had been a high demand for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in 2021.

“It’s exciting to see student numbers so strong this year, especially since we know how challenging 2020 was for so many of them,” he stated.

“We are noticing the highest growth in degrees that embed work integrated learning into the program and have strong graduate employment opportunities.”

The top 10 most in-demand courses in NSW for 2021, as measured by applications through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), included two from the University of Newcastle:

The Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine joint medical program at University of Newcastle and University of New England (second most popular course in the state); and 

The Bachelor of Nursing (ninth most popular in the state).

The biggest increases in enrolments at the Uni were in education, science and psychology, with the new Bachelor of Criminology also generating significant interest.

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