Serious woman using laptop checking news online sitting on sofa
Serious woman using laptop checking news online sitting on sofa

JCU booming as students head online

Studying online has become the way of the future, with James Cook University recording a sharp increase in enrolments.

As tertiary education adjusts to the post-coronavirus world, the university has found more students are taking advantage of online studies as semester two begins.Domestic enrolments climbed 37.6 per cent in comparison with the same time last year, with many students opting to take advantage of the university's online courses.

Acting vice-chancellor Chris Cocklin said the enrolment figures underlined the importance of studying in uncertain times.

"Growth areas include our new short courses offered as part of the federal government's call to upskill workers displaced by the COVID-19 crisis," he said.

"We're also seeing an increase in JCU's market share in both Cairns and Townsville of QTAC applications."

The most popular courses include the diploma of higher education, bachelor of nursing science and the masters of nursing science.

In March this year, as the coronavirus pandemic worsened across Australia, JCU made the decision to stop all face-to-face classes.

While the university already had a large number of online courses, many courses changed as the university adapted.

Serious woman using laptop checking email news online sitting on sofa, searching for friends in internet social networks or working on computer, writing blog or watching webinar, studying at home
Serious woman using laptop checking email news online sitting on sofa, searching for friends in internet social networks or working on computer, writing blog or watching webinar, studying at home

As North Queensland nears four months COVID-free, classes that require hands-on, practical components will return to campus in Townsville and Cairns this semester, with lectures and some tutorials remaining online.

Professor Cocklin said social distancing would be in place as students returned to campus.

"We're being cautious," he said. "We're practising social distancing, which includes strict number limits on room capacities and we're avoiding big gatherings, including ­lectures.

"Orientation Week, which is usually a face-to-face experience, has also been conducted online this semester."

Professor Cocklin thanked the staff who kept the university's services running throughout the online learning period.

"Although students weren't attending classes on campus, they have still had access to various on-campus services including the library and IT support," he said.

Professor Cocklin also thanked security and cleaning staff.

Originally published as JCU booming as students head online


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