Canberra universities will deliver remote and on-campus learning from next week to cater for more than 1000 students unable to return to the capital because of border closures.
The Australian National University students will be the first to return next week, with 650 stuck in NSW, 270 in Victoria and 75 in South Australia, while the University of Canberra is expecting 250 to be learning online from August 2.
ANU deputy vice-chancellor for student and university experience Ian Anderson said in a letter to students ACT Health had no approved campus accommodation for large-scale quarantine.
The university, however, is able to host federal government officials who need to quarantine upon their return to Australia.
"Based on the current COVID-19 situation and statements from state leaders in recent days, we expect large numbers of our students in Australia will have to study remotely for at least the start of semester two," Professor Anderson said.
"We're preparing for this by working with course convenors and lecturers to make sure course content is ready online, and we are advising you to prepare for online learning too."
University of Canberra deputy vice-chancellor Geoffrey Crisp said the main priority was the safety of the ACT community and ensuring students could complete their degrees.
"If ACT Health then recommends a lock down... we will go to remote teaching."
Australian Catholic University chief operating officer and deputy vice-chancellor Dr Stephen Weller said classes would resume as normal on Monday.
"If students have not been able to return to campus and need to undertake practical classes or placements for their degree, we are looking at arrangements that can be made under current public health orders or when these are lifted," Dr Weller said.
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