Open Day gives visitors a taste of campus life

Published 04 May 2012

Prospective students travelled to the University of New England from as far away as Mount Gambier in South Australia to gain knowledge and experience of living and learning on campus at today’s UNE Open Day.

Some came with a particular interest in one of the many fields of teaching and learning at which UNE excels. Mitchell O’Donoghue, from Great Lakes College Senior Campus at Tuncurry, was looking into animal science courses, and talked to UNE’s Dr Wendy Brown, who coordinates the Canine and Equine major of UNE’s unique Bachelor of Animal Science degree program. “I liked what I heard,” said Mitchell, who has seven dogs of his own, has worked with a horse trainer, and has done work experience at Dubbo Zoo.

Carl Sully, a Year 12 student from Quirindi High School who has an ambition to study sport science at UNE, said the day had given him “an insight” into what was involved.

Carl, who lives at Werris Creek, added that he had been impressed by the friendliness of the staff and students at UNE.

The friendliness of the campus was an aspect of UNE life that the Chancellor, Richard Torbay, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber, both emphasised in welcoming the Open Day visitors. “At UNE you’re going to make friends – and they’ll be friends for life,” Mr Torbay told them.

He said that not only the UNE community, but also the wider Armidale community, “cares about its students”.

“We offer you not just an education but a way of life – an educational experience not just for the mind, but for the heart and soul as well,” Professor Barber said.

More than 1,000 prospective students visited the campus today. As well as travelling in school groups from throughout northern NSW, they came from farther afield accompanied by their parents. Paige Kiehne, from Centenary Heights State High School in Toowoomba, came with her mother Shirley Kiehne to look around the residential colleges as well the academic campus. “I looked at a few of the colleges – and liked them,” Paige said.

The visitors enjoyed the free lunch and entertainment provided – entertainment that included music from two bands, games and competitions.

Sarah Wilson, UNE’s Marketing Manager, pointed out that, by providing a program of informative talks by lecturers in several of the university’s main lecture theatres, Open Day had given the visitors a genuine taste of life on campus. “That experience included the personal contact with lecturers so readily available at UNE,” she said.

This year’s Open Day is extending into a second day, making it available to those unable to attend on a week day. The program on Saturday 5 May will be particularly helpful for distance education students, who will be able to find out – and ask questions – about online learning and library resources at UNE, while tours, a free lunch and entertainment will also be provided.

THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here shows Mitchell O’Donoghue talking to UNE’s Dr Wendy Brown about  programs in animal science.