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Welcoming new students to our virtual campus

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Published on 15 September 2020

Sunderland students can now meet on a virtual campus
Sunderland students can now meet on a virtual campus

Teaching at the University of Sunderland will begin for all years on Monday 21 September, when students will learn via a hybrid blend of on-campus and online learning, tailored to each course.

Dr Abigail Moriarty, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sunderland commented: 

“We are very excited about our ‘Virtual Campus’, which we launched for our new students to visit during Freshers Welcome Week. The private area of the VirBELA platform, supported by Vector 76, allows Student Avatars to ‘talk’ and interact with fellow students and staff. This virtual platform provides interactive spaces filled with a programme of over 100 Student Union led practical and recreational events, along with the University’s sport and wellbeing.

“This is a bit of a departure from the norm for us. We would usually invite our new students onto campus during Welcome Week, so they can find their feet, meet academics and fellow students, connect with the Students’ Union, tour the excellent facilities and get to know beautiful Sunderland. All the practical things you would expect as you embark on something as exciting as a degree for the first time.

“Clearly this year none of that was possible in the current environment. There is still a lot we need to share with our new students so the ‘virtual campus’ seemed like a fun way of making that all possible.

“We are really pleased that many hundreds of our first years have already visited the virtual campus, created an avatar and are taking part in activities."

Chris Davison, President: Activities, added: “After the turbulent year that Covid-19 has brought, we are delighted to be a part of the virtual platform. Connecting our students to a new way of participating in Welcome Week.

“It’s really important for us to meet our students, granted this year is very different but non the less as important as ever for the Students’ Union."


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