CHARLES Sturt University has welcomed new students to its Bathurst campus on Tuesday, marking the first time students have been on campus full-time since the pandemic began.
Only small groups of students of students were permitted on campus during the pandemic last year, including students such as those studying paramedics and nursing that are required to complete practical examinations.
Charles Sturt University deputy vice chancellor for students Jenny Roberts said 572 new students have arrived at the Bathurst campus, with an additional 600 students continuing students. There's also more than 2500 new students across all campuses and 5000 new online students.
She explained that CSU will be following appropriate NSW Health guidelines, as students return.
"We're getting everyone to check-in and use the QR codes in all of the locations they go to, so even if they go and get a coffee, they'll scan in," she said.
"We're increasing our cleaning, which we've been doing pretty much for the last year anyway. We're making sure students queue up in a safe way too.
"We're also encouraging students to maintain all of the healthy things like cough etiquette, not handshaking. If students want to wear a mask, they can but we're not insisting that they do because that's not part of the NSW Health guidelines."
Ms Roberts said CSU is prepared in case there is another outbreak.
"We have a critical incident team has met weekly during the pandemic. It's had hundreds of meetings and they've developed a safe return to campus plan, which we've initiated for this week."
There's also no restrictions to numbers at the university's on-campus residential locations, which has only seen increased cleaning.
Ms Roberts said she was pleased to finally see students make their long awaited return to campus.
"We're so excited for this week," she said.
"It's like we've been waiting for a year. It's incredibly exciting for the staff and for the community to have students back."
Tuesday marked the beginning of orientation week, which will run to Friday, February 26.
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