Illustration: Zoe Austen
RMIT has extended the semester one census date to 30 April 2020, following a campaign from the RMIT University Student Union (RUSU).
Practically, the extension means students have more time to pay fees or take a Leave of Absence if they decide online learning isn't suitable for them.
The last day to withdraw without a fail grade has also been moved to week 13, which is the first week of June and one week after classes end.
In an email to students, Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean said it will take some time to settle into different ways of studying and collaborating.
Vice-Chancellor Bean said RMIT is doing ”everything it can to adapt and provide support to students” and that early feedback on the changes had been positive.
“The situation around us is unprecedented and I realise some [students] may need some extra time to decide what is best for [them] right now,” he said.
He also confirmed there will be no face-to-face exams during semester one and assessments will be reworked to adjust to limitations of online learning.
RMIT University Student Union had been in talks with university management to see the date changed and initiated an online campaign to boost student voices.
In a statement to the Swanston Gazette, RUSU President, Daniel Hoogstra, said RUSU is pleased their campaign has succeeded.
Screenshot of RMIT’s Enrolment Online with the updated dates.
“RUSU received a lot of messages from students who were worried about the census date and we worked really hard to convey all those messages to RMIT,” Mr Hoogstra said.
He said students need ”more than a few days” to decide whether the new form of learning is right for them.
The original census date was 31 March 2020, just one day after classes were scheduled to be fully transferred online.
The move brings RMIT in line with other universities across Australia which have taken similar measures, including the University of Melbourne.
In a Facebook post this afternoon, Hoogstra said RUSU will “keep pushing for all fail grades to not be recorded on transcripts or contribute to GPAs” this semester, to match a decision made by Swinburne University of Technology.
Any student who is wanting further information on the university’s response to COVID-19 can visit this site.
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