Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt has just announced a staged return to campus for semester two. This includes campus reopening based on four levels of restriction. Currently, the ANU is striving to re-open campus, with restrictions, to students from the 27thof July in time for semester two.  

Schmidt says that the College Deans will be responsible for making decisions regarding the re-opening of their College, claiming that “this graduated return is complex and the ‘one-size fits all’ approach won’t work.” He noted that research students and staff who require access to labs and campus facilities will be able to return to campus first. 

Level-C, which is the current state, means that all campus facilities are closed to all staff, students and visitors. From the 18thof May, those who require labs for research will be permitted to access the facilities with the approval of the relevant Dean. 

The ANU hopes to implement Level-B on the 2ndof June. This would include a return to campus of staff and approved students, “subject to local area arrangements to ensure a COVID safe workplace.”  

Level-A would mean that all staff and students are permitted to return to campus, however social distancing requirements would remain in place. The ANU has stated that “further access restrictions may need to be applied at any time.”

In his blog, Schmidt says that the ANU is in a better financial situation than many other tertiary institutions, and will continue to provide what is “in the best interests of our community.” Two initiatives have been introduced to provide support to staff and students; the staff urgent relief fund, and the student urgent relief fund, both of which would provide immediate assistance to those who are struggling throughout this period.