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Australia: Latest News

Australian university launches first mobile application

James Cook University launches brand new app to enhance the university experience

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Yet another Australian university has joined its peers in the realm of mobile technology.

James Cook University, Australia has recently unveiled ‘James Cook Uni Mobile,’ its very first mobile application.

Debuted on February 17, the app is a university-wide initiative to enhance student’s university experience by helping them engage with campus life and teaching facilities.

‘The app makes finding out about the campus, university events, workshops, and student services easier,’ JCU’s Web and Social Media Manager Jane Polak Scowcroft said in a university release. ‘Not to mention the opening hours of coffee shops during exam time.’

Students can check their university email, search the public directory for faculty and staff, browse the university library catalogue and directly contact JCU’s Student Association on the go. The ‘LearnJCU’ function also lets students access Blackboard, the university’s internal subject portal and key teaching tool, via mobile. This means that students will be able to download class readings, access group assignments and participate in subject-based discussions wherever they are.

But the app is not just for students. Visitors can keep up to date with university events, consult a map or discover key information about JCU’s campus and places of interest, whilst staff may distribute class information instantly and directly connect with students, as well as easily find other members of staff on campus.

Engagement with mobile technology is nothing new for Australian universities. In 2013, Australian National University added augmented reality technology to its ‘iANU’ mobile app, allowing students to use GPS technology and 360 degree navigation to find their way around campus.

‘You can simply find a building as you rotate around and it will tell you exactly how far away it is from where you are currently standing,’ ANU’s Chief Information Officer Peter Nikoletatos told CIO Australia.

Plans are underway to develop more mobile learning management tools that enable students to engage with class material before they’ve arrived, leaving more time to participate in discussions and work collaboratively.

Now with its own app to match the likes of The University of Melbourne, University of South Australia, Flinders University and University of Sydney, JCU is working on ways they can develop the app to further enhance students’ campus experience.

‘We look forward to the many exciting ideas of where we can take the mobile app,’ Polak Scowcroft said.

Available for iPhone, iPad and Android, the launch of ‘James Cook Uni Mobile’ coincides with Orientation Week (‘O-Week’) for first year students at both JCU’s Townsville and Cairns campuses.


Whilst some universities may have their own app, there are plenty of others designed to help make your life as a student easier. Thinking of studying abroad in Australia? Here are three essential apps to help make university life a breeze.


3 essential apps for international students

Australian Dictionary

Australian slang and conversational style can be particularly trying for international students, even if English is your native language. This app is a free dictionary for Australian slang and popular conversational phrases, with user ratings and input to help you better understand how they are used. Also see Aussie Translator if you need an entire phrase translated.



iWallet is a clever application that help you manage your finances. You’re able to record your monthly expenses, ongoing expenses and note how much cash you’ve spent per day, as well as manage multiple bank accounts. Provided you record your expenses, iWallet lets you see exactly what you’re spending your money on, allowing you to create budgets and budget alerts to help keep your cash in check. You can also use your data to create graphs and charts.



Want to discover your new city, but have no idea where to start? Urbanspoon lets you search for a place to eat by price and area, so you don’t have to stay in if you’re feeling tight with funds. With maps, prices, online menus, user reviews and sometimes even the option to book a table, Urbanspoon will help you settle into your new social life smoothly.  


Useful Links

Applying for an Australian student visa

Student life in Australia

Study in Australia


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