Student FAQs for COVID-19

Student with backpack

The University is focused on offering you the best possible virtual and on-campuses experiences. All on-campus learning and other student activities are COVIDSafe , consistent with Government public health directions.

These FAQs are intended to give you answers to some common questions. They are updated regularly but please make contact with us if you have a question not answered here.

While the risk presented by COVID-19 is very low across Australia, there is the ongoing possibility of COVID hot spots.  This means we must all remain vigilant – including staying home and getting tested if you have any respiratory symptoms; practicing good physical distancing and hand hygiene; mask wearing when needed and making sure we follow the State Government’s public health directions.

Please check your LMS site regularly for subject updates.

If you are a research student you can find more detailed FAQs about the continuation of your research on the Graduate Research School website.

More detailed information is available for international students, placement/WBL students and residential students.

COVID-19 GENERAL ADVICE

Overview for students returning to campus

We are delighted to be able to welcome back many students to study on La Trobe’s campuses.  We have a COVID-safe plan in place to make sure all our on-campus activities are conducted safely.  Thank you for the part you will play in ensuring we have a safe work and study environment.

All students returning to campus must:

  • Comply with the current Government Health Directions (see Department of Health website for the most up to date Directions) and the University's COVIDSafe Plan, and please comply with requests of staff
  • Do not attend campus if you feel unwell. If you have respiratory symptoms (even mild ones), self-isolate and call the Department of Health COVID hotline on 1800 675 398 to find out how to get tested; then continue to self-isolate until you have your result.  If you need support from the University while you are self-isolating please contact the student wellbeing team.
  • Immediately notify the University’s Health, Safety and Environment Team (Spomenka Krizmanic) if you have been diagnosed as COVID positive. This will help us provide you any support needed, and take the actions we need to take to protect the health of the wider university community.
  • Maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times.
  • Carry a face mask at all times and wear it as required by current Government directions (note that teaching staff are exempt from mask wearing while they are actually teaching if the mask would impede their ability to teach).  A mask is recommended in situations where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Practice good hygiene at all times including sanitising your hands regularly as you move around campus. Sanitiser is widely available and in the entry points to buildings.
  • Sign-in using the University's QR code system each time you enter a building.
  • Follow all control measures outlined in the relevant Safety Risk Assessment (either located in your subject LMS or provided directly to you) for each of your subjects.

A summary of our COVID safe arrangements for face to face classes:

  • Each on-campus activity has an approved Teaching and Learning Safety Risk Assessment developed and control measures in place.  Please follow all advice of staff about how the activity can be completed in a COVID-safe fashion.
  • Lecturers and tutors will take an attendance roll of all those people attending the class in person. The University is required by the Department of Health to collect and store this information (along with the information from the QR code system), and provide it to the Department for contact tracing purposes in the event of a COVID outbreak.
  • The University is ensuring that general cleaning of teaching spaces and the operation of building ventilation are guided by Safe Work Australia  and the Department of Health.

I'm concerned about returning to campus, what should I do?

The University has a wide range of safety measures in place and is operating its on-campus activities based on a detailed COVIDSafe plan.

There are things we can all do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:

  • Continuing to be informed about and observing the current Victorian Government’s public health directions.
  • Staying home if you are unwell.
  • Self-isolating and getting tested if you have respiratory symptoms.
  • Maintaining physical distancing.
  • Practising good hand hygiene including sanitising your hands when coming in and out of lecture theatres and other spaces.
  • Wearing a mask as required by current Government directions and consider wearing a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Using the QR code sign-in to each building you enter on campus.

We provide a comprehensive student wellbeing support service at La Trobe, including free counselling. This is available online or over the phone, and we encourage you to access these support services if needed.

What steps has the University taken to provide a COVIDSafe workplace for student and staff?

The University is strictly observing the Government’s COVID-19 workplace health and safety regulations to protect our students and staff.

  • The University has a COVIDSafe Plan in place.
  • All on-site teaching and learning activities, research activities and events have a completed Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) which outlines control measures that support COVIDSafe operations.
  • The University’s cleaning standard is guided by the Safe Work Australia.
  • Wall mounted hand sanitiser are placed at the entry points and in other locations across buildings, for the use of students and staff.
  • People are asked to wipe down shared equipment (eg keyboards) after use.
  • Building ventilation systems  have been adjusted where possible to maximise airflow.
  • All people are asked to use the QR code system to record the buildings you enter across the campus and class rolls are also being taken to comply with the Government’s contact tracing requirement.

Everyone has a role in supporting health and safety when on campus, and we thank students for playing your part by following the health advice and any special instructions of staff.

Am I required to notify the University if I think I may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed or has been diagnosed as having COVID-19?

Yes.  Under the workplace directions issued under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic), students and staff must notify their tertiary education provider if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and may have attended while infectious. Please contact Spomenka Krizmanic the University’s Manager, Health Safety and Environment (email: s.krizmanic@latrobe.edu.au).  This is vitally important so that we can provide any necessary support to you, and take the steps needed to protect the health of the wider La Trobe community.

ACCESSING THE CAMPUS

Why are some of my classes only being delivered online?

The mode of delivery of subjects is planned by Schools based on a range of factors including providing flexibility for students and accommodating those students who, at the moment, can only study in virtual mode.

What are the arrangements for car parking while on campus?

On-campus car parking fees recommenced in mid March 2021. More information about car parking and other travel options can be found at Transport Central.

Do I need to sign-in when on campus?

Yes. All students, staff and visitors are asked to use the QR code system to sign into each building they visit on campus:

  • If multiple buildings are entered then multiple sign-ins will need to be lodged.
  • Multiple sign-ins are not required if the same building is entered on the same day multiple times.
  • Signing out is not required.
  • Each person must sign-in themselves on their own device, you cannot sign-in on behalf of someone else.
  • If you do not have a device on you please use a landline telephone to contact I&O on 9479 8888 and they will provide an email address you can use to sign-in instead of using the QR system.
  • Scan the QR code located outside the building and provide your name (First and Last), mobile number, email address and indicate if you are "Staff, Student or Other".

The following are considered ‘Conditions of Entry’ that you acknowledge when you sign in:

  • You are feeling well and have no symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19
  • You have not been in contact with a confirmed Coronavirus COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
  • You have not been directed to self-isolate due to Coronavirus COVID-19
  • You will comply with control measures outlined in the University's COVIDSafe Plan, Government Health Directions, and the relevant Safety Risk Assessment for the activities you are engaged in

This sign-in process applies to all buildings on all campuses. Signage is in place at entry points to buildings. Visitors are also required to sign-in via the same process.

A class roll will be taken as well. This information is collected solely to support the University’s compliance with public health requirements for contact tracing information in the event of a COVID outbreak. The University would provide this information to the Victorian Department of Health if required.

I live on residence; do I need to sign in at my residential building every day?

When you come into a building for the first time each day, please sign in.

You do not need to sign in multiple times if you enter the same building on the same day.

What if I forgot my phone I don't have a device to use for the QR system?

You can contact I&O on 9479 8888 and they will provide an email address you can use to sign-in instead of the QR system.

Can I sign in multiple people or sign in on behalf of someone else?

Each individual person attending each building must sign in for themselves. This is so we have detailed records of who is attending, as required by the Department of Health for contact tracing purposes. The only instance where you can sign in on behalf of someone else is when that person do not have access to a smart phone to sign in.

What has the University put in place to ensure appropriate cleaning of communal spaces?

The University’s cleaning standard is guided by the Safe Work Australia COVID-19 Information for Workplaces, Tertiary Education, Cleaning. Daily cleaning takes place within student-facing spaces and highly populated areas with supplementary cleaning possibly required as specified in the subject's safety risk assessment.

Recognising everyone’s role in health and safety, we encourage all students to:

  • sanitise their hands regularly,
  • maintain suitable physical distance,
  • wear face masks as required by the Victorian Government and when physical distancing is not possible (eg. while doing group work in class)
  • do not attend campus if you feel unwell
  • if you have respiratory symptoms (even mild ones), self-isolate and call the Department of Health COVID hotline on 1800 675 398 to find out how to get tested; then continue to self-isolate until you have your result.

If you need support from the University while you are self-isolating please contact the student wellbeing team.

What has the University put in place to ensure appropriate ventilation for our study spaces?

The University's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are operating to ensure suitable building ventilation. This is in line with the requirements of the Department of Health in relation to COVID-19 risk mitigation. The ventilation systems within La Trobe University buildings have been adjusted to maximise airflow.

Our lecture theatre/tutorial room/lab/studio is very warm/cold, what can be done about this?

Ventilation systems within the University's buildings have been adjusted to provide the maximum amount of outside air supply possible. This will result in a major change to how the systems will operate given our ventilation system is typically designed to recirculate already cooled/heated air within the building and introduce small amounts of outside air. Building occupants will notice our buildings will be warmer/colder inside, depending on the weather, as we have now increased the intake of outside air.

What are the requirements for mask wearing on campus?

The Government health directions require you to carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home.

Masks remain a requirement in some settings such as hospitals and age care, and when catching public transport or ride share. For the latest health directions on mask visit the Department of Health's website.

It is recommended that you wear a mask indoors and outdoors whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others (eg. when you are working in close proximity with others while undertaking group work in class). You may choose to wear a face mask while on campus, even where you able to maintain a 1.5m distance from others.

I’m not comfortable returning to campus to complete face-to-face classes. Can I complete my degree as planned if I don’t attend?

The University is taking all the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of our students and staff when attending a campus. Safety Risk Assessments have been completed for all on-campus teaching activities. Many of the subjects with a face-to-face element that will be delivered on campus are core subjects. You are required to complete core subjects to progress through your degree as planned. If you do not attend face-to-face core subjects as planned it will delay completion of your course.

What is happening with exams?

Full details of assessment tasks will be provided to you through the subject LMS sites and updates. General information on assessment can be found on the Exams and results page. Please speak to your subject coordinator for more information.

Are the University’s student support services online or face-to-face?

Student support services are being provided in a variety of ways.  Limited wellbeing face to face services are available on all campuses with some COVIDSafe restrictions in place to ensure your safety.  Face to face services are supported by online services. We are working towards reactivating more face-to-face student support services (see Student Support section for more details) and will provide updates when things change. A full list of our student support services is available online via MyLaTrobe.

What needs to be in place to allow our student association/group to run an event?

All on campus events must be COVIDsafe.  Students (and student groups) who wish to run an event should get in contact with the La Trobe Student Association (LTSA). LTSA can assist all students (irrespective of membership) with navigating what needs to be done to plan and conduct safe events on campus.

EXCHANGE AND OVERSEAS PROGRAMS

The Australian Government has closed the national border and has a ‘do not travel’ order in place. La Trobe University has suspended all inbound Exchange and Study Abroad, and all outbound mobility programs that require a student to travel overseas with a scheduled commencement date on or before 30 December, 2021.

How will the border closure impact international Exchange and Study Abroad program?

For student with upcoming Semester Exchange or Overseas Short Program

All outbound mobility programs that require overseas travel with a schedule commencement date of before 30 December 2021 have been suspended.

A decision on programs that commence on or after 1 January 2022 will be announced at a future date.

If you had plans for an overseas study program during this period, please contact La Trobe Abroad at StudyAbroad@latrobe.edu.au for clarification and further arrangements for a deferral, withdrawal, or alternate opportunities.

For programs that commence on or after 1 January 2022, please check carefully the terms and conditions of your program costs, (e.g. fees to the third party) to determine implications in the event of a cancellation.

We strongly recommend securing flexible tickets and refundable accommodation given the high degree of uncertainty about when the Government might change the border restrictions.

For students interested in studying at La Trobe as an international Exchange or Study Abroad student

We are currently accepting applications for semester exchange and Study Abroad for the La Trobe Semester 1 (March – June), 2022. Arrangements are subject to further change if current conditions affecting international arrivals prevail beyond 2021. To further discuss your options, please contact La Trobe Abroad at Studyabroad@latrobe.edu.au.

What international study experiences are available to me as part of my La Trobe University degree during the travel ban?

Although International travel is currently banned by the Federal Government until further notice, there are a number of international remote learning experiences available to La Trobe students. To find out more about these options, please contact La Trobe Abroad at Studyabroad@latrobe.edu.au

HELP WITH STUDYING ONLINE

Where can I get help with online learning?

To support students to feel confident learning in the online classroom, we have designed the La Trobe Guide to Studying Online available through our Learning Management System (LMS). The guide provides practical tips and guidance to support you as you begin studying online. This LMS subject is available for all students – enrol via the website.

You can also access our learning support services through:

  • the Learning Hub (academic skills, English language, Maths and Science) LMS page
  • access assignment feedback and online study support chat through Studiosity (from any subject LMS page), and
  • access the Library services remotely through the library website.

Do I have access to everything I need for my subjects through the LMS?

Subject coordinators and teachers are working to ensure all learning materials are located on the LMS subject site. This may also include alternate readings and resources. Please regularly check your LMS subject sites for updates.

Where can I access recorded lectures?

Your subject coordinator will provide information regarding the format of your classes. This may include live streaming or webinar at the scheduled class time or pre-recorded content. Your subject coordinator may also arrange Zoom sessions for tutorials and workshops or utilise the discussion board in the LMS.

Can I still meet with my tutor or subject coordinator to ask questions?

Yes. You will still have access to your teachers when your subject is online. Your subject coordinator will advise you as to the approach to consultation for their subject. This may include use of the discussion board in the LMS, Zoom appointments or group web sessions.

Can I access library resources like a book/research paper, etc?

The La Trobe Library has extensive online resources like eBooks, research papers and journals that are available through the library website. All campus libraries are open to La Trobe staff and students.

Please refer to the library's COVIDSafe Library website for building opening and virtual service hours as well as borrowing and returning information.

If my classes are by Zoom will they be recorded, and can I opt out of being recorded?

As part of the University’s commitment to maintaining learning access for students during the COVID-19 pandemic, some activities may be recorded and published to the subject site. This will allow enrolled students to revisit learning materials and events online or to catch up on classes they have missed because of illness or family caring commitments. Where an event is being recorded, we will let you know at the beginning of the session. To ensure appropriate privacy protections, recordings must not be distributed by students or staff outside of the learning management system.

If you do not wish to be recorded, you can either disable the video capability of Zoom or alternately connect with your subject coordinator or teacher, who will be able to advise if accessing the recording only will be appropriate in your case.

Can we meet up with our assigned groups for completing course work?

If face-to-face group work is covered within your subject's Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) then face to face meeting is permitted provided you follow the control measures outlined in your subject's SRA. We recommend that you consider using Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other online collaboration tools to complete your group work assignments particularly where group members are across multiple locations.

ACADEMIC

What happens if I fail my subject and receive a V Grade? How will this impact me?

The University has implemented a V Grade for students at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. A V Grade will be applied for all students who fail a subject in:

  • Semester 1 and Semester 2 2020,
  • Summer 2020/2021, and
  • Semester 1 2021.

A fail grade will not be recorded on the academic transcript and will not be included in the calculation of WAM.

By implementing the V Grade we are ensuring that students who fails in 2020 and Semester 1 2021 will not be disadvantaged by having a fail recorded. Instead, you will see: ‘V – No result recorded due to extenuating circumstances’ on your transcript.

(See How does a V Grade work?)

Receiving one or more V grades and the impact on your academic progression
The introduction of 'V grade' means that academic progression will look different for 2020 and 2021. If you receive a V grade, our Student Success team will call you to help you access the most appropriate support services available, depending on the results you receive. We can help you with accessing academic support services, academic support resources and workshops, wellbeing services, or meeting with an advisor to create an action plan.

Receiving a V grade if you have sanctions or enrolment restrictions from Semester 2, 2019 and Summer 2020 
If you had a sanction or enrolment restriction imposed by the Unsatisfactory Progress Committee (UPC) in previous academic progression periods and you receive a V grade this semester, your grades for this semester won't affect your progression this period. Your sanction will be carried over to the end of Semester 2, 2020. For example, if you had a restriction of 30 credit points, it’ll remain on your record until the end of academic progression period 2 (December 2020). Your academic progress will then be re-assessed based on your Semester 2 results.

Other important things to note if you receive a V grade:

  • Your subject fees will still be charged/accrue as usual – there is no automatic remission of debt for subjects that receive a fail or 'V'.
  • If the subject is a pre-requisite for another subject, you will still need to pass it before being able to progress to the follow-on subject (i.e. you will need to repeat it if you do not pass).
  • You may still be eligible to apply for Special Consideration if there are extenuating circumstances specific to your situation.
  • For cases where a Schedule A subject (clinical or industry placements) is failed, an initial V, or W grade may be replaced with a formal fail grade of either F or N with a mark between zero and 49. It may be assessed as part of the normal Academic Progress Review policy.
  • For cases of proven academic misconduct, an initial V, or W grade may be replaced with a formal fail grade of either F or N with a mark between zero and 49.

Will V Grade apply to subjects offered in 2021?

V Grade will apply to subject offered in Summer 2020/2021 and Semester 1 2021.

What happens with Results and Academic Progress reviews this year?

The 2020 Results and Academic Progression process will be slightly different from past periods. Changes for this year include:

  • Additional 'V' grade code for semester 1 and 2, 2020 (see: What happens if I fail my subject and receive a V Grade?). 
    Please read the last dot point below for the two exceptions to this process.
  • V grade and its impact on your academic progression (see: above - Receiving one or more V grades and the impact on your academic progression)
  • V grades and sanctions or enrolment restrictions (see above - Receiving a V grade if you have sanctions or enrolment restrictions from Semester 2, 2019 and Summer 2020) 

    Exceptions to V grades and academic progression
    There are two exceptions to the above results and academic progression changes for 2020, and may still receive a standard grade in the following situations:
  • Fail grades for Schedule A subjects (clinical or industry placements) – a formal N or F grade may be assessed as part of the normal Academic Progress Review policy.
  • Academic misconduct – if you're found guilty of academic misconduct you may receive an N (fail) grade and a mark of zero.

Will there be an adjustment to special consideration requirements?

If you can’t complete an assessment task due to serious illness, emotional difficulties or misadventure (including COVID-19), please let your subject coordinator know as soon as possible. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for special consideration within 5 working days (inclusive) of the task. You must submit relevant supporting documentation with your application for it to be processed. Failure to complete an assessment task by misreading the timetable is not a reason to apply for special consideration.

Please also view the specific COVID-19 special consideration website for scenarios and guidance for submitting an application.

STUDENT SUPPORT

The University recognises that this is a challenging time for many people. Please remember La Trobe has a range of health and wellbeing services available to you which can be accessed remotely and 24/7 at Health and Wellbeing page. This includes tailored support for you if you are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

What wellbeing support is available if I am in self-isolation?

If you are in self-isolation, please email: student.wellbeing@latrobe.edu.au and indicate that you are in self-isolation in the subject line, and leave your name, student number and your telephone number, and we will be in touch to talk to you.

What wellbeing support is available to me?

All existing Student Health and Wellbeing services continue to be available to students via phone or Zoom with some wellbeing face to face services now back on all campuses with appropriate COVID safe restrictions in place to ensure your safety. You can make an appointment with a counsellor. In addition to counselling services, you can access a range of self-help resources. If you would just like to touch base with someone, you can also request a call from our wellbeing team. An after-hours crisis service is available by calling 1300 146 307 or text: 0488 884 100. This service operates between 5pm-9am on weekdays and 24 hours during weekends and public holidays.

What happens if I have a Learning Access Plan?

If you have a Learning Access Plan you are encouraged to reach out to your AccessAbility Advisor as soon as possible. Your AccessAbility Advisor will work with your subject coordinators to ensure any adjustments that are required are updated in your plan. Contact your Advisor via the AccessAbility Hub.

Am I eligible for government or other financial assistance if I cannot work due to testing/quarantine requirements?

Victorians who are unable to attend paid work due to self-isolation or a COVID diagnosis may be eligible for financial support from the Victorian Government Please refer to the Government’s page on Financial and other support for coronavirus for further information.

Students may also apply to the university for additional support or financial assistance if they are experiencing significant hardship.

Please refer to LTU financial assistance page for more information.