Sunday, July 17, 2022

Universities Must Prepare for the COVID-19 Peak by Keeping an Online Option for Courses, Meetings & Events

Australia's National Cabinet met on Saturday and agreed to reinstate, continue and introduce some new emergency measures due to rising cases of COVID-19. I suggest all universities must offer an online option for all courses, meeting, and events, at least until the end of 2022. Forcing staff and students to return to a classroom, will place at risk the lives of staff, students, and the general public. It will also place in jeopardy the ongoing operation of our educational institutions. 

Vice Chancellors, university executive members, and all academics who teach, have a duty of care. Allowing students to participate online, without requiring to specially apply, or get permission, is a way to meet that duty of care, and remain within the law.

As well as slowing the spread of disease, an option option will allow those in isolation to participate. Not offering them that option would be unlawful discrimination. It is not as if universities were not ready with an online option. Even those which failed to prepare in advance of the current pandemic, have now had two years to equip and train.

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