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06 August 2020

OpenAugust Portal .jpgIn what has been a trying year for everyone, but one where COVID-19 challenges have been met with new ideas and new ways of communicating and providing services, UniSA Open August kicks off this weekend with Virtual Open Days - a full range of information sessions – degree presentations, inspiring speakers and everything you need to know about university life – all available to students in real time from their lap tops or mobile phones.

In keeping with the statewide effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, instead of the traditional Open Day, UniSA has created a dynamic, large-scale, online expo starting this Sunday and Monday August 9 & 10, and that will be complemented by the opportunity to book in-person small group campus tours throughout August.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says like almost everything this year planning for the key annual university exposition has been a stop, start affair.

“Early on in the pandemic, August seemed a long way off and we were hoping that a live event would be possible, but it soon became clear we would have to get creative and reach out to students in new ways,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We have really pared down the elements of Open Days to think about the things that really matter and have constructed our virtual version, keenly focused on giving all prospective students  – school leavers, international students, post graduates and career changers – the very best advice on their study options.

“After months of working and learning online, we know that Open Day communications can be done very effectively with the technologies we have available – in some ways the experience will be even more personalised.”

Prof Lloyd says amid all the negative aspects of the pandemic, the bonus for students this year is that all the UniSA sessions presented by the experts online on the day, will be accessible on-demand  for the next few months.

“For UniSA this year it is Open August because we know we are living in extraordinary times and students need as much support as possible in planning future careers or making decisions about reskilling.”

On August 9 and 10 UniSA  will have 150 staff assembled across various locations on campus, ready to answer questions and discuss the various degree programs and career fields with students in real time.

For the rest of the month and beyond prospective students can still register for Open August and access all the materials on site, including, webinars, brochures, presentations about different study options and virtual tours. Any questions and requests for more information can be submitted and will be will be answered with follow-up emails or personal phone contact with students to make sure they have everything they need.

Students and parents can go online to register their attendance at unisa.edu.au/openaugust

In the Open August platform visitors can choose virtual exhibition halls focused on different aspects of university life – degree presentations and information; a main stage featuring live and pre-recorded webinars; campus life, including information on sports and clubs and other student services and virtual tours of facilities, and a “how to apply and pathways” expo, where both local and international students have access to chat for answers to questions on pathways and admission to UniSA.

The site features more than 100 on-demand degree presentations, 25 main stage presentations, including talks from successful graduates, insights into university life and featured careers, and more than 180 study guides and video resources.

“It might be the first time UniSA has not been able to stage a full Open Day on campus, but we are making our Virtual Open Day and our special Open August series of events, one of the best yet and one where each and every student will have the chance to get the advice they need to determine their best study options,” Prof Lloyd says. 

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli phone: +61 418 823 673 or +61 8 8302 0966 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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