Trinity Western University is moving Preview Weekend, an on-campus event for prospective students, to an online virtual experience amid rising concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. (Trinity Western University/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

COVID-19 concerns lead Trinity Western University to organize virtual campus experience

Registered prospective students will be mailed virtual reality headsets

Amid rising concerns of the coronavirus outbreak Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley is moving its on-campus Preview Weekend for prospective students to an “online immersive experience.”

Students who planned to visit the university on March 19 to learn more about the Christian liberal arts institution are now being asked to register online for a virtual experience on March 20 instead.

READ MORE: Trudeau promises $1 billion for COVID-19 research, resilience

The university will mail registered prospective students in North America TWU merchandise, information and a virtual reality headset to participate in Preview Weekend now referred to as TWU Live: Bringing Campus to You, according to Scott Fehrenbacher a senior vice-president of external relations at TWU.

Despite the quick change in plans the school says they have seen a spike in interest.

“We already have experienced a 50 per cent increase in registrations above expectations due to our new strategy,” said Fehrenbacher.

Typically, the two-day on-campus event sees upwards of 250 students attend.

READ MORE: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic

So how will the online-only experience work?

“On Friday, March 20, prospective students and parents will open the box and will be directed to follow a series of presentations via an internet link,” explained Fehrenbacher.

“Some will be live, some pre-recorded, and some will integrate the VR (virtual reality) experience using 360 degree videos taken on campus and designed to replicate the experience of being here as much as possible.”

On Wednesday morning, the World Health Organization declared the global coronavirus crisis a pandemic.

The are no known cases of COVID-19 at TWU, the university said in a press release. TWU campuses remain open.


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