Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Auckland universities set to resume on-campus learning next semester

Focus Live: Dr Ashley Bloomfield provides an update on Covid-19

Two of New Zealand’s biggest universities will welcome students back to campus in early May as the country continues to battle the Omicron outbreak.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and the University of Auckland have announced that students will resume in-person and on-campus learning from May 2.

The University of Auckland encourages students to return to campus. However, the lectures will continue to be recorded and published.

In an email sent to students earlier today, AUT said normal teaching and learning would resume when students return from mid-term break.

“Subject to unforeseen circumstances, we intend to resume normal teaching and learning on Monday 2 May.”

This means that all courses will be offered in the mode in which they were originally intended before the outbreak of Omicron in the country.

AUT also announced that as of 11:59 p.m. on April 4, my vaccine passes will no longer be required to access AUT campuses.

Before, students who were on campus had to be vaccinated and have a pass.

However, the use of masks indoors is still required and students are asked to maintain physical distancing.

Meanwhile, students studying at the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) will also return to on-campus learning from April 26.

The email that was sent to students yesterday said most classes would return to campus while also mandating some online or blended activities to help manage capacity limits.

“Expert modeling suggests that the current Omicron outbreak has peaked in Auckland. As such, we look forward to returning more teaching and learning to campus following the assessment review of risks.”

Other big changes for students at the University of Auckland are the introduction of open-book, remote and non-proctored exams for the rest of the year.