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SP Jain welcomes students back to Sydney campus with safety measures in place

 

“I think the students sensed that this was a rather special moment,” shared Dr John Lodewijks (Professor and Vice President – Academic, SP Jain School of Global Management) as the School welcomed students back to the Sydney campus and resumed in-person classes on August 31, 2020.

“I think the students sensed that this was a rather special moment,” shared Dr John Lodewijks (Professor and Vice President – Academic, SP Jain School of Global Management) as the School welcomed students back to the Sydney campus and resumed in-person classes on August 31, 2020.

After leading a virtual life for five and a half months, 51 students from the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program (Intake of 2017) returned to campus to start their Semester 7 (Year 4), in line with the safety regulations put forth by the local governing bodies and the COVID-safe campus guidelines set by the School.


Students and Staff Test Negative for COVID-19

All the 51 students and 11 staff members who attended Sydney campus on August 31, 2020, were tested negative for COVID-19 prior to arrival. “All students and staff attending campus completed all the requirements and sent in their test results by 28th August,” said Peter Helson (Head of Campus – Sydney, SP Jain), who also hosted a webinar to brief students on the new safety measures and prepare them for their return to campus.

A New Beginning

The excitement in the air was palpable as students were keen to gain from the on-campus experience for the first time since mid-March. Here’s how the day on campus unfolded for our students:

  • On arrival, they queued up outside the cafeteria entrance, socially distanced, for temperature screening.
  • Most students had brought their own face masks; the few who hadn’t were provided with it.
  • After temperature screening and recording, students headed to the Simulation room which has been specially set up to have socially distanced desks and seating to accommodate our 51 BBA’17 students.
  • Students logged in their attendance in a contactless way using facial recognition biometrics.
  • Mr Helson welcomed them before their first lecture with Dr Lodewijks on ‘Australian Business Environment’. All teaching faculty have been provided with a COVID-safe lecture kit including a face shield, personal microphone and white-board pens.
Students standing in line, socially distanced, outside the cafeteria entrance
Students standing in line, socially distanced, outside the cafeteria entrance
A student gets his temperature screened and recorded before entering the campus
A student gets his temperature screened and recorded before entering the campus
The Simulation room has been set up with socially distanced desks and seating
The Simulation room has been set up with socially distanced desks and seating

The In-Class Experience

How did our students and faculty adapt to the transition from virtual to on-campus classes while following the safety measures? Sharing his experience of conducting the first on-campus class for this semester, Dr Lodewijks said, “I have to say it was weird! I walked into a class with students all socially distanced and all wearing masks. I was wearing a face shield which is much better than a face mask – you can breathe with ease, students can hear you well and you feel safer walking amongst them. The 3-hour class went exceedingly well. Students were delighted to see their batchmates again. They were attentive and engaged actively in class discussions.”

BBA’17 Students Share Their Experiences of Returning to Campus

  • Hiba Essahli
    “I loved waking up in the morning and having something to look forward to, a schedule to follow. It’s been a long break. The faculty was very supportive and made the class fun to start with.”
  • Reet Mediratta
    “Returning to campus after a 5-month break – felt like I’m back where I’m supposed to be! Surrounded by my friends, studying together and being around people while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. It’s going to be my last year at SP Jain and I’d like to make every moment count.”
  • Rishi Gupta
    “Walking into the campus, wearing a mask, using sanitisers at every door and trying to match the faces covered with masks seems like a new activity. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Semester 7.”

A Successful Return and the Steps Ahead

Mr Helson lauded the students and staff for quickly adapting and complying to the new COVID-safe campus protocols. “The return to campus on the 31st August went safely and smoothly which is testament to the rigorous procedures, communications and preparations that were made beforehand by the Sydney team.”

We will continue to keep an active monitoring of all COVID developments in New South Wales and the immediate campus and student residential areas. We have developed a dedicated WhatsApp group for all on-campus students so that any necessary alerts can be sent out instantly.”

Noting the thoroughness of SP Jain’s COVID-safe campus plan, Mr Helson has been invited to present the School’s operating procedures and share his experience with Independent Higher Education Australia’s (IHEA) fellow member institutions later this month. It is noteworthy that the Australian independent higher education sector comprises more than 130,000 students and 120 institutions.

The Sydney campus will now prepare to welcome the Bachelor of Data Science (BDS) students (Intakes of 2018 and 2019) when their semester commences in the first week of October – yet another ‘special moment’ for the SP Jain community as we continue to adapt, support each other and create a secure environment for students to focus on their learning goals.

(You can watch our video to learn about the safety measures implemented at our Dubai campus. Similar protocols have been put in place at each of our other campuses in MumbaiSingapore and Sydney.)

 

 

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