April 9, 2020, by Emma Thorne

Student life on campus during Covid-19 outbreak in China

During Chinese New Year, the majority of UNNC students and staff were at home or on vacation with family and friends when the Covid-19 pandemic emerged.

At UNNC, a number of staff and students spent the winter break on campus, and many faced great inconvenience due to municipal regulations brought in to help control the virus. UNNC responded quickly to regulations aimed at bringing the new coronavirus infection under control. Such measures were entirely targeted at ensuring the health and safety of our staff and students and protecting all on campus and beyond.

Liam, a Year four student of Civil Engineering from Saudi Arabia, is one student who remained on campus for the whole winter break. Every day Liam receives updates and guidance from his personal tutor. “I’m well informed of the national pandemic controls and local measures against the coronavirus, like going out only every two days for shopping,” Liam said.

At the beginning, Liam’s parents and friends were quite worried and kept asking him about the latest situation. However, with the quick response of the University, Liam got used to life on campus, wearing a mask when going out and keeping in close touch with his personal tutor.

Soon Liam considered remaining on campus much safer than travelling all the way back to his home country. When speaking of staying at the dormitory, Liam said he worked on his research proposal, cooked meals for himself and exercised indoors. The front desk of dormitory buildings also helped to purchase the ingredients he needed for cooking. Liam appreciates the efficiency and responsiveness of government actions regarding the epidemic control: “I believe the virus will be defeated very soon.”

Currently, there are approximately 60 international students from over 10 countries living on campus. Student accommodation officers conduct regular disinfection in public areas, take charge of facility maintenance, form and respond to concerns raised in a special group chat of students on campus, and pair with them to provide support and guidance. The supermarket on campus opens from 9am to 5pm and the University canteen is also operating to provide three meals a day. David Zhang, Director of the Department of Campus Life, said that the University would make the best efforts to ensure the safety and health of all students and staff.

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