Friday, 27 March 2020

The University of Western Australia has transitioned rapidly to an online mode to ensure continuity of teaching for students as well as the safety of its workforce.

Aligned with Federal and State Government announcements restricting travel and strengthening physical distancing, the University is encouraging all staff to work from home.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said 75 to 80 per cent of staff had been supported to transition to work from home, with the exception of select roles that were critical to maintaining student and staff support services and essential campus operations.

“To facilitate home-based work, we have developed a streamlined procedure that considers occupational health and safety aspects of the home work environment, equipment required and provides flexible options for parents who are working from home with caring responsibilities,” Professor den Hollander said.

In response to feedback from staff and students, the University will provide an additional tuition-free week from April 6 to 9. This will be followed by the Easter break and scheduled mid-semester break from April 15 to 17.

“This will provide staff with two weeks to adapt more fully to online teaching, with the extra week of teaching made up at the end of semester to guarantee students receive the full 12 weeks of semester,” Professor den Hollander said.

“Solutions are well advanced to provide robust online examinations and to ensure fair and equitable assessment processes for our students.

“I recognise the agile and innovative efforts of staff across all areas of the University to move our operations and teaching into the virtual environment in such a short time.

“As a University committed to truth and to research-informed decision-making, we have maintained a calm and evidence-based approach to inform our response to the virus and carefully consider how best to keep our students and staff healthy and safe.

“Our response to this unprecedented situation exemplifies UWA’s well-embedded tradition of endeavour and commitment to finding solutions to current challenges.”

Media references

Simone Hewett (UWA Media & PR Manager)                            08 6488 3229/0432 637 716


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