We have made an important decision to now deliver all teaching online and through remote means effective Monday March 23 as a result of increasing concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19).
We have been working hard to ensure that our teaching and learning would not be impacted this trimester. Our first priority has been to ensure our students are safe, and our second priority has been to ensure we deliver the highest quality education. I am writing to share with you an important decision.
This decision to close our campuses is across all programs and is effective for the rest of the trimester. This means that campuses will be closed and there will no face-to-face classes. This decision also means students will be studying and submitting assessments online – with the support of lecturers and our staff. Importantly, we will ensure an equivalent experience for students and our aim is for minimal disruption to the learning experience.
This arrangement of studying online will not affect the study visa of international students, if students continue to remain in Australia.
We share the increasing concerns about the rapidly evolving coronavirus COVID-19 situation, particularly as it evolves globally and poses for all of us unprecedented challenges. We are joining community efforts in Australia and NZ to contain the further transmission of COVID-19. We believe it is essential that we move sooner rather than later.
While there have been no confirmed cases to date of COVID-19 on our campuses, it is critical that members of our community remain as safe as possible, while ensuring minimal disruption to teaching and research activities.
Supporting students in ensuring a smooth transition to online and remote education
Our focus right now is now on helping our students prepare for a full transition into remote delivery. To ensure this, and to enable out teaching staff to prepare, all face-to-face classes scheduled for Thursday March 19 and Friday March 20 have been cancelled.
Students can still visit campuses on these two days to connect with staff and to ensure they are planned and ready for the remainder of the trimester.
Lecturers will confirm arrangements with students, for effective continuity of teaching and learning including ongoing communication and scheduling group forums.
Students will be kept updated over coming days and weeks.
On Monday, March 23, our campuses will be closed and online studying will commence on this date. However, it’s important to remember that while students will be studying remotely online, the levels of student support and services will remain unchanged.
We are confident in delivery of our blended services
We are a fully integrated online environment. Our teachers have experience in online teaching, our student satisfaction is high online, and we are experts at managing education across 14 campuses. So, we do not believe the quality of education or levels of support will be diminished in any way. This is why we expect that students will be able to continue with the same programs of study and to complete assessments with the same equivalency.
It is important to remember
Conversations will not be cancelled
Relationships will not be cancelled
Love will not be cancelled
Songs will not be cancelled
Reading will not be cancelled
Self-care will not be cancelled
Hope will not be cancelled
May we lean into the good stuff that remains.
This is about our shared humanity. This is about our common purpose. Let us support each other the best way we can.
Even if it is through our common purpose of being here for good, through taking care at this time and taking care of each other.
Professor Alwyn Louw
Vice-Chancellor, Torrens University Australia