Australian National University students in Shanghai gathered last Friday night to celebrate the opening of the university's first offshore Study Hub in the city, which will run throughout Semester 2, 2020. The Hub hosted its first welcome event for students on Friday 14 August and its study spaces commence operations this week. The Hub is hosted in a unique partnership between ANU and the Australian Chamber of Commerce Shanghai.
Located in Australia House by AustCham Shanghai, a new venue in downtown Shanghai, the Hub offers new and continuing ANU students a range of study spaces, access to staff and peer-to-peer support, as well as ongoing event and workshop programming and the all-important opportunity to build student networks against a background of ongoing remote learning.
"Our students in China were amongst the first to be affected by the evolving pandemic, back in early February 2020 when the Australian government travel restrictions made it very challenging for them to return to Canberra and continue or commence their studies on campus," said Dr Amanda Barry, Director of the ANU China Liaison Office.
"In recent months, life is returning to a new-normal in mainland China, and we are very keen to start to give our students there opportunities to build local networks and social connections which we know are so important to help students succeed in their studies, as well as after they graduate."
The Hub will not replace remote learning, with students continuing to access lectures, tutorials and online support in the same way as all ANU students. Instead, the Hub will provide quiet learning spaces, and will focus the workshops and programming on topics including careers, graduate employment and professional development, in a continuation and expansion of the work of the ANU China Liaison Office in the careers space.
"We also hope that students themselves will take some ownership of the Hub as their own space and platform to develop programming that is of interest and relevance to them," said Dr Barry. The Hub also had potential as a site for group work or even case-study work through interaction with the Chambers large member company network, Dr Barry noted, and there are plans for company site visits and boardroom briefings later in the semester.
The Shanghai Study Hub will be open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm until 20 November, 2020 and students can book their space here. Regular events, workshops and activities will be held.