UON Central Coast on track for a normal year post COVID

An Artist’s Impression of the Central Coast Clinical School and Research Institute

Despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown at the institution, staff at the University of Newcastle’s Central Coast Campus say they’re looking forward to a busy 2021.

According to UON’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Mark Hoffman, enrolments are high and courses are filling up nicely, as thousands of new and returning students prepare to go to the Ourimbah campus when Term 1 commences on February 22.

While data around enrolments and student numbers is currently unavailable, Prof Hoffman said the approaching academic year was on track to reflect previous years, a welcome sign given the institution had to discontinue or consolidate eight undergraduate degrees, 14 postgraduate degrees and 530 individual courses across all of its campuses in response to its forecasted $58M revenue loss in 2020.

“We’re seeing enthusiastic acceptance of offers to our programs and courses at Ourimbah for 2021 and we’ll have a more complete picture of enrolments when the April census date comes around,” Prof Hoffman said.

But even without the census results, Prof Hoffman said initial data indicated historically popular courses at the Ourimbah campus were once again drawing big interest.

“Our most popular programs at Ourimbah are the ones where students develop the relevant skills for the local community and a career in industries that exist on the Coast.

“Strong interest particularly exists in our Food Science and Coastal and Marine Science degrees as well as secondary Education and in Exercise and Sport Science.

“We’re also seeing solid enrolments in our enabling and pathway programs, which increase opportunities for local people to then progress to a University education,” Prof Hoffman said.

Prof Hoffman said a major boom in students studying clinical and allied health related programs is also expected to grip the Coast later this year when the Central Coast Clinical School and Research Institute officially opens.

Dilon Luke