The Asian Institute of Technology conducted a Hybrid Fall Semester 2020 Orientation Ceremony on August 3 to welcome its intake of new students, comprising of those who are already on campus and those who are unable to be in Thailand yet because of Covid-19 restrictions. Just like what these two sets of students will do in Hybrid Instruction classrooms starting 4 August, they attended the ceremony together, in both in-person and on-line modes.
A total of 168 new students joined in-person and over 200 new students joined online from countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. For those in the auditorium, social distancing and coronavirus safety procedures were maintained throughout the program.
AIT President Dr. Eden Woon welcomed all the incoming students to AIT by physically addressing the Orientation from the auditorium during the morning session and via Zoom in the afternoon to deliver his closing remarks.
The AIT leadership team, including the vice presidents and deans, provided personalized welcome remarks. In the morning, senior institute representatives briefed the newcomers on the AIT Community Compact for Students, Harassment Policy, and Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Start-up Opportunities at AIT. To round out the full day, new students received full briefings on things they need to know concerning Academic Requirements and Practices, Student Code of Conduct and Ethical Behavior, Student Welfare Counselling and Medical Services, Language Center Services and English Language Requirements, IT Services and Facilities Management and Accommodation Policies.
Reiterating what he told all incoming students in an email that day, the president emphasized that we are all living in an uncertain and unusual time of human history because of the Covid-19 global pandemic. People’s lives have been turned upside down, and those of us at AIT are not exempt, he said. But the Hybrid Instruction system, where the students on campus and students overseas share one classroom interactively with the instructor, will allow AIT quality education to continue “without missing a beat,” President Woon explained. In addition, he said that AIT is devising co-curricular non-academic activities to bring our two sets of new students closer together.
“Though the coronavirus situation is depressing, this is also an exciting time to be alive,” the President said, reminding the students that every crisis can be turned into an opportunity and that this Covid-19 pandemic is spurring many new ways of thinking, technologies and innovations, including hybrid learning. In addition, being able to study sustainability and nature at AIT at this time of human history is extremely appropriate, when nature is delivering a devastating blow to the world.
The president stressed that everyone at AIT looked forward to the day in the near future when all our students can be on campus, and he wished all new overseas students good health and speedy processing of their entry into Thailand. President Woon called on the students to make the best of these “exciting times” and thanked the newcomers for being a part of the AIT journey as it transforms itself under the motto of “Social Impact With Innovation.”