Forgan Smith building, The University of Queensland. Picture: Supplied
Forgan Smith building, The University of Queensland. Picture: Supplied

When unis will head back to campus

QUEENSLAND'S top universities plan to resume on-campus classes with face-to-face teaching for the second semester despite announcing last month that the rest of the academic year would be held online.

The University of Queensland has developed a road map for a safe return to face-to-face classes and on-campus activities as coronavirus restrictions lift around the state.

Where possible, face-to-face teaching and support will resume but online delivery will continue for courses where COVID-19 restrictions still prevent normal classes and for those students who need digital learning to continue.

It comes after UQ students received a letter in May informing them semester two would be taught online with the start of classes delayed by a week to August 3.


In a letter to staff UQ Vice-Chancellor Peter Høj said given the size of the organisation, an across-the-board approach was not possible but the key aspiration of the university's road map was to provide semester two on-campus experiences and learning opportunities for students.

"Our students, the broader community and government expect that semester two will be a blended approach: face-to-face learning - where this can be done without compromising the health of staff and students, or academic integrity - supported by digital delivery," he said.

However, a UQ spokeswoman said any changes to COVID-19 numbers and government restrictions could still impact semester two, so the university would continue to plan for a range of scenarios.

Meanwhile QUT will hold as many classes as possible back on its campuses for the start of semester two on July 20 but some will still need to be delivered online in order to comply with government social distancing requirements.

"A wide range of teaching activities will be delivered face-to-face and this is expected to increase as tutorials and laboratory pracs roll out during the semester with a number of classes offered in mixed delivery mode," a QUT spokeswoman said.

Griffith University Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Henly said the tertiary institution was also implementing a staged return of on-campus activities including teaching and learning, and on-campus amenities and support services.

"Griffith has advised students they will have the flexibility to continue their studies online for the remainder of the trimester, should they wish," she said.

"The approach takes into consideration social distancing requirements in classes, laboratories and around our campuses."

A University of Southern Queensland (USQ) spokeswoman said the institution would continue to hold large lectures and classes online with a staged return to campus for mandatory face-to-face components of second semester courses.

"We anticipate a mix of on-campus and off-campus staffing arrangements for the foreseeable future," the USQ spokeswoman said.

USQ is working with staff who will be required to deliver mandatory face-to-face components in semester two, and the majority of staff will likely return to campus later in July."

Originally published as When unis will head back to campus