Travel to risky countries

It is the University’s philosophy that staff or students would not normally be given permission to travel to any area where the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade recommends you "reconsider your need to travel" or "do not travel" or where “City Brief” rate a city at Medium or Extreme.

Consideration for request

In considering a request for staff or students to travel to such an area, city or country, the following must be taken into account.

  • Does the staff member or student have additional expertise, local knowledge, local networks and support to significantly reduce the risks that would apply to other travellers?
  • In addition, has the staff member or student prepared a suitable risk reduction and risk management strategy?
  • Would the applicant’s physical appearance and/or language fluency reduce the risk, or perhaps increase it?

In order for a travel application to be considered in such circumstances, a copy of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade Travel Advice must be attached to the Travel Application form and provided to the Head of School and Dean, together with reasons why the travel is considered essential. For example, does the applicant need to go to that particular place? Can the matter be handled by other than a visit to the country (ie can they come to the University or can a meeting be arranged elsewhere)? Does the trip have to be made at that particular time, or can it be deferred until the situation improves?

Compelling reasons for travel

Examples of circumstances that the University may regard as compelling reasons why the travel is essential, and therefore sufficient to overcome the University’s reluctance to permit travel to a risky or dangerous area, city or country are:

  1. Inability to complete a course of study
  2. Course delivery materially interrupted
  3. Inability to fulfill research commitments
  4. Significant negative impact on University’s image or reputation
  5. Strategic alliance at risk
  6. Loss of confidential information or data
  7. Loss of significant research opportunity
  8. Financial implications such as loss of revenue or potential litigation (eg possibility of claim for breach of contract).

Reduction of risk factors

The University is primarily concerned about the safety of staff and students and although matters such as the following may reduce the risk, they are unlikely to be relevant in determining whether the business is essential. Nevertheless, relevant information on these issues should be included in the application.

  1. Traveller has lived in the area
  2. Traveller has extensive in-country knowledge and experience
  3. Prior training conducted
  4. Traveller can speak the language
  5. Reliable local supervision and guidance being provided
  6. Local guide or security firm engaged
  7. All activities and travel will be with a local agent
  8. Safe venue and transport arranged
  9. Location or areas of concern are some distance away from traveller’s route
  10. Evacuation contingency plan is in place.

Travel threat risk assessments

In addition travellers to dangerous or risky countries will have to undergo a Travel Threat Risk Assessment briefing with the Insurance Office.