Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott, today announced a tripling of the University’s investment in Welcome Week for the 2022 cohort to provide new students with the best opportunity to make the friends and connections that are so important to university life.
“Students who will join us for the first time in 2022 – most of whom sat their HSC English exam this morning – have had a very challenging end to high school and we want to celebrate their achievement and introduce them to all that University should be,” Professor Scott said.
Like the days of old, Welcome Week in 2022 will include live music, hundreds of clubs and societies to join, an outdoor cinema and food trucks. Our gyms, cafes, ovals and lawns will be teeming with student life once again.
“We will also be providing grants to our student organisations so they can increase their already substantial contribution to student life.
“Our student services will be out in force – from academic advising, library services and student wellbeing support - to ensure students learn to navigate our institution and help them flourish in our learning environment.”
The Vice Chancellor made the announcement during a webinar with staff where he also acknowledged the enormous contribution staff had made during the last year and said a decision had made to recognise that contribution with a special one-off ‘COVID recognition payment’.
“In recognition of the remarkable and sustained service our staff have delivered during this most testing of years, particularly the prolonged lock down, we have chosen to invest in our people with a one-off ‘COVID recognition payment’ of $2000 for all our permanent and fixed-term staff and also casual staff members who have worked three or more pay periods in Semester 2,” Professor Scott said.
So many of our academic and professional staff have kept Australians informed and helped shape policy responses to COVID in the public eye and behind the scenes. They’ve done so on top of their business-as-usual responsibilities including research, teaching and clinical work.
“Innovation loves constraints, and with commitment, our staff have been highly innovative. Our students stayed with us, more international students joined than we anticipated and we have managed costs effectively in the face of a continuing uncertain outlook.”
The Vice Chancellor said that as the pandemic dragged on with no clear end in sight, the University was forced to revise budgets and targets for 2020 and 2021.
“We put projects and capital works on hold, paused recruitment and went through a voluntary redundancy scheme,” Professor Scott said.
“We believed keeping our enrolments steady, to match our 2020 performance, would be the best we could hope for in 2021. So, it is wonderful that we have seen growth for the first time since 2019.
“Whether we’re able to maintain this position is hard to predict, but what is clear for now is that our academic and professional staff have made an enormous contribution to our success.
“While much of our increased revenue will go towards student support, research and ensuring we have necessary reserves for these uncertain times, I am pleased to confirm that we are also saying thank you by investing in our people.
“It has been an extraordinary time, and this extraordinary measure is our way of saying thank you to our much-valued community.”