Back to Uni for Newcastle students and it’s ‘COVID new normal’

Monday, 15 February 2021

As part of Orientation or ‘O’ Week celebrations, the University of Newcastle will welcome new students to its campuses via a series of welcome addresses, campus tours, demonstrations and social gatherings, commencing today.

Students arriving at University for the first time
Orientation Week helps new students build a sense of community and belonging

The week-long event is aimed at helping new students build a sense of community in the post-COVID, ‘new normal’ context.

This year will see a return to more face-to-face learning experiences for students, following the move to a higher proportion of online learning last year. Each course will set its own blend of on-campus and online activities and new COVID-safe 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 and the University was committed to creating the best environment for them to thrive.

“Students 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,” Professor Hoffman said.

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,” Professor Hoffman said.

“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 University were in Education, Science and Psychology, with the new Bachelor of Criminology also generating significant interest.

Students can keep an eye on the University website to see what’s happening during O week and beyond.


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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.