Dean's letter: 2021 Welcome and Updates

Professor Paul Kofman addresses returning to campus and how you will be supported in your educational journey this year.

Dear Students

Welcome back. I hope that you’ve been able to usher in the new year with friends and family, and that you are all in good spirits.

Since the summer term commenced earlier this year, the University has seen an average of 5,000 people across our campuses each day. As we approach the start of Semester One, 2021, I am sure that many of you will have questions about returning to campus, and how you will be supported in your educational journey this year.

Your Studies

Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge our international students, many of whom are currently based offshore and studying remotely. Our international student cohort, which includes students from 177 countries, is an integral part of our global University of Melbourne community. The University is working with the Victorian and Australian governments to help our students find a way to travel to Australia to complete their studies as soon as it is safe for everyone.

The University is offering its full support to international students and those graduate researchers based offshore to help them continue developing their skills. And outside of virtual classrooms and research spaces, our full range of support services continues to be accessible online.

Keeping You and Our Campus Safe

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back but your health and safety are always our first priority – we have enhanced infection control and cleaning measures in place to ensure that we are creating the safest environment possible and this means our campus will seem a little different.

There’s currently fewer people, some furniture has been moved around, there are sanitiser stations in high traffic locations and there’s a range of signage – including QR codes – that were not there pre-pandemic. For the time being, this is our new normal, and we all need to take it seriously. Our transition back to campus will be phased to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff, and this will take time.

If you notice something that isn't quite right on campus, such as an empty hand sanitising station, you can use the Snap Send Solve app to quickly arrange for a new one. It is good practice to wipe down the things you touch. Every time you hit the desk, use alcohol wipes to clean your keyboards, mouse, mobile phone and other personal possessions.

If you're coming to campus, make sure you carefully read our guidelines so you know your responsibilities to help us keep our campuses safe for everyone. Don’t come to campus if you are unwell.

Find out more about coming to campus on our coming to campus page.

FBE News

It is our commitment as leaders in research and teaching in Business and Economics to provide insights in real time to help policymakers better understand current contexts and formulate strong and effective remedies to the problems that our society faces.

Alongside a myriad of research to advance our understanding and efficacy in addressing the pandemic, the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research developed the Taking the Pulse of the Nation Survey in April 2020. The fortnightly survey tracks changes in the economic and social wellbeing of Australians. I encourage you to view ‘Coping with COVID-19: Rethinking Australia’, which showcases the considerable findings and insights from the survey.

I look forward to seeing some of you in our hallways and teaching spaces in the coming months, and many more of you as restrictions ease. In the meantime, stay safe.


Paul Kofman