Student FAQs for COVID-19
With the COVID-19 situation continuing to evolve and the Victorian Government health directions remain that all those who can continue to work and learn from home should continue to do so if you can, therefore the University's default position remains that classes are delivered online. We understand that this is a challenging time and that you may have some specific questions about what the University is doing to manage your educational experience. These FAQs are intended to provide high level guidance to students.
It is likely some form of health restrictions will remain in place in metropolitan Melbourne and in regional Victoria. Please refer to the information provided by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the latest advice on current COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria. It is important to understand and abide by all 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.
You can also find the University's latest communications to students here.
COVID-19 GENERAL ADVICE
I'm concerned about COVID-19, what should I do?
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 continue to observe the requirement to use a fitted face mask (unless medical exemption applies), physical distancing rules, practice good personal hygiene such as hand washing, and get tested if you have symptoms. You can stay informed of the general situation through the daily updates from Government.
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 you need to.
ACCESSING THE CAMPUS
Are the campuses open?
At present limited locations in Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Bundoora, Mildura, and Shepparton are open for those students who do not have access to a computer or the internet at their home. You can find updated information on the website. Study spaces at the City campus are closed. If you are attending the campus, you must sign-in (see below for sign-in process).
Can I come on campus?
The Government has indicated that all those who can continue to work and learn from home should continue to do so if you can. This direction is likely to remain in place for the remainder of 2020. In response to this, the University has taken the decision to keep most of its buildings across all campuses closed. A limited number of on-campus spaces is available on Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Bundoora, Mildura, and Shepparton camps. You can find updated information on the website. Study spaces at the City campus are closed. You must sign-in when attending the campus (see below for sign-in process).
Please remember that you should not attend campus in the event you feel unwell. If you have respiratory symptoms (even mild ones), call the Department of Health and Human Services COVID hotline on 1800 675 398 and follow advice about seeking a test and self-isolation.
Remember, if you are able to complete your studies from home, then you should study from home.
Residential students will continue to be supported to live with us and should contact the Accommodation Services team with any questions.
Is there still security on campus?
Yes. While La Trobe has taken the decision to close most of its buildings across all campuses, security services are still operating on all campuses.
What do I need to do if I am accessing the campus (SIGN IN PROCESS)?
All student who attends any La Trobe campus will need to:
- Sign in via text message each time you enter a building on campus
- If multiple buildings are entered then multiple text messages will need to be lodged.
- Multiple text messages are not required if the same building is entered on the same day multiple times.
- Signing out will not be required.
Send a text with the building name, your name and your Student ID Number to the phone number listed on the signage at your campus (e.g. LIMS1: Jane Smith 12456778). There is a different phone numbers for staff and students to use.
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
This sign-in process applies to all buildings on all campuses. Signage is in place at entry points to buildings to remind students of the process.
To assist with the public health requirements, it is important that you sign-in and we have a record of your attendance on campus. This information is being collected solely to support the university’s compliance with public health requirements.
Why do I need to sign-in when I attend campus?
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has advised that all workplaces must keep records of those who attend that workplace. This includes universities. The new sign-in process will ensure we have records of any students and staff attending campus to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing, should this be required.
I am both a student and staff member at the University, which phone number and ID number do I use to sign in?
You can use either the student or staff phone number to sign in. If you use the student phone number to sign in, please use your student ID when you provide your details. If you use the staff phone number to sign in, please use your staff ID when you provide your details.
The important thing to assist with the public health requirements is that you are signed in and we have a record of your attendance on campus. This information is being collected solely to support the university’s compliance with public health requirements.
I live on residence, do I need to sign in at my residential building every day?
If you leave your residence on one day and return on another day you will need to sign in when you re-enter the building.
You do not need to sign in multiple times if you enter the same building on the same day, multiple times.
If you do not leave your residence you do not need to sign in each day.
I live on residence and access multiple buildings on campus, including multiple buildings within my residential precinct, do I have to sign in at those other buildings?
Yes. If you are entering multiple buildings then you will need to sign-in into each building, unless you are entering the same building on the same day, multiple times.
Can I sign in multiple people in the one text message/sign in on behalf of someone else?
No. Each individual attending campus must sign in for themselves, using their own device. This is so that we are maintaining a record of who is attending and can provide this when requested by DHHS for contact tracing purposes.
Is the library open on campus?
All our library locations are now open, including the Bundoora Library which is open on all levels. Students now have normal access to the Library's collection and Click & Collect/Click & Send services have ceased. Visit the University's COVIDSafe Library website for information on opening hours for each campus, procedures and a full list of services.
STUDYING ON CAMPUS
When will all face-to-face teaching resume?
Most subjects will be delivered online to ensure that the University continues to comply with Government’s strict physical distancing measures to protect the health of our students and staff. At this stage, a limited amount of required on-campus teaching is underway in Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Bundoora, Mildura and Shepparton. The situation with COVID-19 continues to change very rapidly. It is impossible to say when campuses will be able to fully reactivate but we will communicate with students regularly as things change. Please check your student email regularly for updates.
I have on-campus practicals and labs that are a compulsory part of my course, what do I do?
The University have resume practical, skills-based learning activities on campus where the activity cannot be completed remotely. Any aspects of subjects that can still be delivered via remote learning will continue online, consistent with Government requirements.
Please remember that you should not attend campus in the event you feel unwell. If you have respiratory symptoms (even mild ones), call the Department of Health and Human Services COVID hotline on 1800 675 398 and follow advice about seeking a test and self-isolation.
The University has a COVIDSafe Plan and all on-campus activities are conducted in accordance with detailed safety risk assessments. Safety measures include strict physical distancing within teaching spaces and increased cleaning. While face masks are a requirement when out in public, teachers in a classroom are exempt from this requirement where the wearing of the mask impedes the ability to teach.
Please monitor this FAQ and your subject site on the LMS, as it will be updated as circumstances change.
What has the University done to ensure that subjects delivered face to face will be safe for students 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 and all on-campus activities are conducted in accordance with detailed safety risk assessments. Safety measures include strict physical distancing within teaching spaces and increased cleaning. While face masks are a requirement when out in public, teachers in a classroom are exempt from this requirement where the wearing of the mask impedes the ability to teach.
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 students and staff when attending a campus. Safety risk assessments have been completed for all on-campus teaching activities. Many of the subjects with an essential 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.
Why are some of my classes only being delivered online?
Public health directions require that students study from home wherever this is possible. Where a subject does not have required face-to-face activity, such as a lab or practical, these will be delivered online. This reduces the need for students to come to campus and protect the health and safety of our students and staff.
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 now be found on the Exams and results page. Please speak to your subject coordinator for more information.
Can I attend the campus to do my Honours project?
Your supervisor is your first point of contact for questions related to your honours project. Your supervisor will be able to discuss your project and any changes that may need to be made to the scope of your research to ensure that you can continue your studies. Your supervisor will work closely with Honours Coordinators to ensure you receive appropriate flexibility in submission dates if your project has been impacted by public health directions. It may be necessary for some students to defer their enrolment, however, please speak with your supervisor before changing your enrolment.
Are the University’s student support services online or face-to-face?
At present, most University services will be delivered online. However, we will continuously review our approach to the delivery of face-to-face services. When the Government restrictions change, we will review our operations accordingly.
You can find a full list of our student support services available online via the website.
I am a resident of a border zone and is required to cross a state border to attend my face to face class. What do I need to do?
Where can I find out more about changes to Graduations as a result of COVID-19?
You can find the latest graduation updates via our COVID-19 graduations update page.
EXCHANGE AND OVERSEAS PROGRAMS
I am a student who has an upcoming Semester Exchange or Overseas Short Program planned – what does this mean for me?
La Trobe University has made the difficult decision to suspend all outbound mobility programs, that require a student to travel overseas, with a scheduled commencement date on or before 30 June 2021. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students during the evolving global health situation presented by COVID-19.
A decision on programs that commence on or after 1 July 2021 will be announced at a future date if needed.
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 July 2021, 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 where possible.
What international study experiences are available to me as part of my La Trobe University degree during the travel ban?
Although Intranational 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
I am keen to study as an international Exchange or Study Abroad student at La Trobe – what does the travel restrictions mean for me?
All Inbound Exchange and Short programs and Study Abroad programs have been called off until the end of June, 2021. We are currently accepting applications for semester exchange and Study Abroad for the La Trobe Semester 2 (July – Nov), 2021. This will be subject to change if current conditions affecting international arrivals prevail through 2021. To further discuss your options, please contact La Trobe Abroad at Studyabroad@latrobe.edu.au .
Where can I get help with online learning?
To support new La Trobe students beginning their course online 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.
Do I have access to everything I need for my subjects through the LMS?
In addition to enabling online lectures and classes, subject coordinators and teachers are working to ensure that 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.
Are there changes to assessment or learning activities?
Subject coordinators are trying wherever possible to limit changes to learning activities and assessment, however this may need to occur in some cases. Information on changes will be posted to the LMS subject sites as this is being completed.
Will I still have exams? How will the exam period be run?
Full details of assessment tasks will be provided to you through the subject LMS sites and updates and the assessment timetable can be found on the exam timetables webpage. Please speak to your subject coordinator for more information about your assessment task.
Points to take note of:
The first thing you may notice when you download the assessment timetable is that some assessments are scheduled on a Saturday. This scheduling has allowed for an overall shorter assessment period which now runs for a condensed two weeks.
There are also two different types of online assessment tasks:
1. Assessments with a set time to complete - these tasks have a specific beginning and end time
2. Assessments with a window of time to complete - these tasks can be completed any time throughout a longer window
- The full details of your assessment task will be available in your subject LMS site. There you will find specific instructions from your subject coordinator and an indication of how long the task should take you to complete.
- If you have a Learning Access Plan (LAP), the normal arrangements will apply. Your subject coordinator will make sure you're allowed the provisions outlined in your LAP for each appropriate assessment task. Requests must be organised a minimum of 2 weeks before the Assessment period starts. Please contact Equity and Diversity if you have any questions about your LAP or you need further assistance with your studies.
- If you're not able to complete an assessment task due to serious illness, emotional disturbance or misadventure, 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 sufficient reason to apply for special consideration.
Can I still meet with my tutor or subject coordinator to ask questions?
You will still have access to your teachers when your subject continues online. Your subject coordinator will advise you as to the new approach to consultation for their subject. This may include use of the discussion board in the LMS, Zoom appointments or group web sessions.
Is there a guide to studying online?
The La Trobe Guide to Studying Online has been designed to provide practical tips and guidance to support you with the transition to studying online. This LMS subject is available for all students – enrol here.
What if I require 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.
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. The purpose is to 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.
What about our assigned groups for completing course work, can we still meet up?
No. We recommend that you use Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other online collaboration tools to complete your group work assignments.
Will I still have to do my group presentation?
Amendment has been made to face-to-face assessments and presentations for online delivery. You will be advised by your subject coordinator of any arrangements for your subject in your LMS subject site.
What happens with assignments you must hand in during tutorials?
We are working with our staff to amend all face-to-face assessments and presentations for online delivery. You will be advised by your subject coordinator of any arrangements for your subject in your LMS subject site.
Will the University be making any academic concessions for students for studying online in 2020?
What is a V Grade and how does it benefit 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. 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 struggle and fails in 2020 will not be disadvantaged by having a fail recorded. La Trobe was the first university to implement this approach and several other institutions have since adopted a similar grading strategy.
Will V Grade apply to Summer 2020?
V Grade will apply to subject in Semester 1 and Semester 2 2020.V grade will also apply to any subject where the teaching commences in 2020 and concludes before or up to 28 Feb 2021.
What happens if I fail my subject?
We understand that studying online can take some time to adjust. For Semester 1, Semester 2, 2020 and any subject where the teaching concludes before or up to 28 Feb 2021, if you unsuccessfully attempt a subject (i.e. you are enrolled in a subject and fail due to your grades) a traditional fail result (like N, NS and F) will not be recorded on your transcript and your course Weighted Average Mark (WAM) will not be affected.
Instead you will see: ‘V – No result recorded due to extenuating circumstances’ on your transcript and no numerical grade will be recorded.
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. 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 the usual Special Consideration process 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.
Should I take a leave of absence/defer?
As we continue to deliver your course online, we encourage you to progress as planned.
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?).
Please read the last dot point below for the two exceptions to this process.
- V grade and its impact on your academic progression (see: Receiving one or more V grades and the impact on your academic progression)
- V grades and sanctions or enrolment restrictions (see 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.
Has the University considered adopting an opt-in WAM policy?
Yes, this is something that was considered by the University, but it will not be introduced. This has been investigated and is not something the University can deliver.
Unfortunately, significant systems issues prohibit the university from implementing an opt-in WAM approach. There are several significant risks to students associated with this approach to grading, including;
- Extending delays to the processing, validation and publication of results for subjects.
- Students being unable to progress into second semester subjects where a first semester subject was a prerequisite.
- Students being unable to progress into placement where passing a first semester subject is a requirement.
- Delays to finalisation of results and subsequent impact on graduation and progression into Masters courses.
- The acute stress of having to wait for many months before grades can be provided was also considered a significant risk to students.
Our main aim is to support students with their progression through their studies and an opt-in WAM will not help with this. The V Grade has been implemented to ensure students who fail a subject are not disadvantaged.
Is the introduction of blanket pass/fail grading for all subjects something the University has considered?
Yes, the University has considered the introduction of a blanket pass/fail grading, but it is not something that we will introduce. Professional accrediting bodies and students from across disciplines were consulted to see if this would be a potential solution for La Trobe. Most disciplines we consulted deemed this to be disadvantageous to students, particularly for those students intending to progress into postgraduate study. The V Grade has been implemented to ensure students who fail a subject are not disadvantaged.
Has the blanket 3% applied to every final grade approach been considered by the University?
Yes, this is a proposal that was considered by the University, but it will not be introduced. While feasible from an administrative perspective, from an academic perspective, the University is required under higher education regulation to warrant that grades awarded directly reflect attainment against subject learning outcomes.
This proposal assumes that all students and all subjects will be impacted in the same way. This will however not be the case. It could be anticipated that some groups of students would continue to be disadvantaged while others would be unnecessarily advantaged if we were to implement this blanket grade uplift.
The V Grade has been implemented to ensure students who fail a subject are not disadvantaged.
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, 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.
Will La Trobe be discounting fees for domestic or international students now studying online?
No. All learning activities have moved successfully online and essential face-to-face activities is gradually resuming as health guidelines permit.
What is the SSAF?
The SSAF is a compulsory fee to cover student support services such as our student associations, student wellbeing, student advising and the learning hubs.
How much is the SSAF?
If you’re a full-time student in 2020 the fee has been reduced from $308 to $77 for Semester 1 and Semester 2.
If you’re a part-time student in 2020 the fee has been reduced from $230 to $56.75 for Semester 1 and Semester 2.
What does this reduction in the SSAF mean for the University services it supports?
A reduction in the SSAF for 2020 means there has also been a reduction in funding available for the services it supports. Reducing funding to areas supported by SSAF was a decision the University did not take lightly, however in reallocating funding our priority was to ensure that we maintained service delivery in essential SSAF funded services while also keeping money in the pockets of students during these challenging times.
This is student money, and it is important that students see how it is spent.
Has funding for our student associations been reduced?
Despite a 75% reduction in the SSAF collected by the University funding for student associations has been reduced by 50% in 2020, from $4.124m to $2.062m. The University will protect the student associations from any further budget impacts in 2020 regardless of the additional shortfall. To do this we have identified equivalent savings elsewhere in the University to guarantee the funding to our student associations for the remainder of the year.
What other University services have been impacted by the reduction in SSAF?
The reduction in SSAF funding has also affected the resources available to the University’s non-academic service units. COVID-19 related changes to on-campus operations, have impacted the range of activities that would normally be delivered face to face such as events and sporting activities – this has resulted in some clear areas for saving across those funded by SSAF.
Throughout this year, the University has continued to protect services that provide essential support to our students. The money we have saved by not offering on-campus activities has been used to support in-demand services like Counselling, Wellbeing and the Learning Hub.
The University is also working very hard to identify potential areas of additional savings that can be redirected to ensure that services and engagement activities will continue to be available for the remainder of 2020.
What wellbeing support do I have if I am in self-isolation?
If the University is aware that you are in self-isolation, The La Trobe University Student Wellbeing Team may be notified. They are able to reach out to you during this period of self-isolation to check in on this aspect of your wellbeing, how you are going, suggest strategies on managing during this unique time, and exploring whether there is anything the University can do to support you. If you haven’t heard from the team and you are in self-isolation, please email: email@example.com 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.
I am having trouble remotely accessing study resources, how do I get help while off-campus?
Students can continue to access on campus study spaces in limited venues – you can find a list here. City campus is closed temporarily.
You can also access all of our student support services online.
How do I access learning support while studying online?
While you are studying from home, please be sure that you can continue to access our learning support services through the Learning Hub (academic skills, English language, Maths and Science) via Zoom appointments that you can book by accessing the Learning Hub LMS page or by emailing LearningHub@latrobe.edu.au. You also have access to assignment feedback and online study support chat through Studiosity that can be accessed from any subject LMS page. You can also access the Library services remotely through the library website.
What wellbeing support is available to me?
All existing wellbeing services continue to be accessible to students via phone or Zoom. You can make an appointment with a counsellor here. In addition to our counselling services, you can access a range of self-help resources, including some great advice and suggestions on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19. 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 Disability Advisor as soon as possible. Your Disability Advisor will work with your subject coordinators to ensure any adjustments that are required are updated in your plan.
Is ASK La Trobe still open?
ASK La Trobe will continue to operate to support all our students and answer any questions you may have. You can contact ASK La Trobe by phone 1300 528 762 (+61 3 9479 6000 from overseas) or online.
Can I get special consideration if I am required to be in self-isolation or am diagnosed with COVID-19?
We understand that your studies may be impacted by your illness and you can apply for special consideration if you need to. If this applies to you, please read our specific COVID-19 Special Consideration information and eligibility criteria.
If you are unable to continue with your studies due to your health, you may also be eligible to withdraw from your subjects without academic or financial penalty. We encourage you to discuss your circumstances with your subject or course coordinator for subject-specific advice, or ASK La Trobe for advice about your overall course enrolment if you were to withdraw.
PLACEMENTS - HEALTH
Are clinical health placements continuing?
We take our duty of care to our students and communities seriously. The University is working closely with and following Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) advice about health student placements. We are updating students and placement providers regularly as this advice changes so please monitor these FAQs for the most up to date information.
DHHS currently supports the continuation of health placements and the College of Science, Health and Engineering at La Trobe University is continuing or commencing student health placements as scheduled where possible. On-site placements will be subject to additional COVID safety measures, as host organisations need to confirm for La Trobe that they are complying with the government’s COVID-19 Worksafe advice. We will continue placements until otherwise advised by DHHS or the placement facility/host organisation.
DHHS has requested Healthcare Services and Universities prioritise placements for final year students where necessary. Our placements operations team is working with our healthcare partners to ensure as many students as possible can undertake their scheduled clinical placements. The team will be in contact with you if your placement is affected.
We will let you know as soon as possible if a placement is cancelled, or arrangements have been altered, but also please make sure you follow the advice given by your placement provider.
Please contact the placements team or your subject coordinator if you have any specific questions.
Do I need a permit to attend placement?
Students must follow travel guidelines as per the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and relevant state authorities. Where required, student need to ensure they carry their permit when travelling to and from placement.
Current guidelines require students to obtain a permit when travelling across state boundary. If you are required to cross a state border, you will receive from the placement team a permit supporting your need to travel to attend placement. You should carry the permit with you when travelling for this purpose and the Government recommends you also carry with you photo identification. We also recommend printing a copy of your placement roster (if one has been provided) or email confirmation from your placement supervisor of agreed shifts to support the time of day you are travelling. If you have not received a permit, please urgently contact SHE.HealthPlacements@latrobe.edu.au.
Can I undertake more than one placement at the same time across different locations?
No, current DHHS advice states that concurrent placements across different sites should not be undertaken at the same time.
Can I undertake consecutive placements?
Yes, once one placement has been completed, you may then start another placement. However, placements must not overlap. Additional requirements apply if your first placement was affected by a COVID outbreak - please see additional FAQs below.
Is a certain time period required in between different placements locations?
No. Provided your previous placement has not experienced any active outbreaks of COVID-19, you may start your next placement once the previous one has finished.
Will I be placed in a COVID ward or COVID testing clinic?
No, current DHHS advice is that students should not undertake placement in healthcare settings with patients known or suspected of being COVID positive.
Can I undertake paid work in a healthcare setting at the same time as placement?
Based on DHHS advice, there may be restrictions on your employment in a healthcare setting and ability to undertake health placement in a different setting at the same time. Where possible, La Trobe recommends pausing healthcare related work during your placement. Your placement facility may also make a recommendation and if this occurs La Trobe University will advise you of their requirements.
If you have a work and health placement related concern or questions, please contact your La Trobe University placement coordinator.
I am employed in an aged care facility, at a COVID testing site or in a COVID/SCOVID health setting. Am I able to continue paid work and undertake placement at the same time?
It is highly recommended that people employment in aged care facilities, COVID testing sites, or COVID/SCOVID health settings do not undertake placement at this time without a 14-day quarantine period between employment and placement. La Trobe University will consider exceptional circumstances and advise on a case by case basis.
Can I undertake paid work in a non-healthcare setting at the same time as placement?
Yes, provided your place of employment does not have active cases of COVID-19 you may undertake non-healthcare employment whilst attending placement.
My place of employment has experienced a COVID outbreak – am I allowed on placement?
DHHS advises that if a student’s place of employment has recently experienced an active outbreak of COVID they may be required to undergo testing and quarantine. Affected students should follow the advice of their employer and DHHS and may not be allowed to undertake placement until they have received clearance from DHHS.
My health and wellbeing – where do I get support?
The University recognises that this is a particularly 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
Am I eligible for government or other financial assistance if I cannot work due to testing/quarantine requirements?
Yes, Victorian workers who are unable to attend their paid shifts due to testing and awaiting test results are eligible for a $300 government payment.
Workers that test positive for COVID or are a close contact of confirmed case may be eligible for a government funded $1500 payment ‘Worker Support Payment’ whilst they complete quarantine.
Please refer to: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/covid-19-worker-support-payment for information regarding the above two payments.
Students may also apply to the university for additional support or financial assistance if they are experiencing significant hardship. Please refer to the Student FAQs listed under Student Support and Financial Assistance for additional information.
Please refer to https://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/admin/fees-and-money/assistance/loans for information on LTU financial assistance.
How do I stay safe on my health placement?
The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, including those completing approved course-related health placements, is our highest priority.
The Australian Government has a 30 minute online training module for healthcare workers about infection prevention and control for COVID-19. It is essential that you complete this module prior to commencing placement for your own safety and the safety of other people you will interact with on placement.
If the number of patients positive for COVID-19 in healthcare facilities rises it is possible you will provide care to an affected patient despite the fact that you will not be placed in COVID or Suspected-COVID wards, or asked to provide care to individuals known to be affected by COVID-19. While on placement, you should follow the advice of your clinical placement coordinator or supervisor about infection control, social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene protocols.
Depending on where you are undertaking your placement, you may need to dress in civilian clothing while travelling to and from placement and only wear your uniform while at your placement. Please ensure you wash your uniform or work clothing in hot water at the end of each shift. Please check with your placement co-ordinator at your placement health service for site specific uniform or clothing requirements.
Please also consider the safety of those in your household. Ensure you practice appropriate personal hygiene including washing your hands and ideally showering upon returning home at the end of your shift and consider whether you need to practice social distancing within your home while undertaking placement.
All people must follow the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) requirements including the use of masks when outside of home (unless a medical exemption applies).
Please speak to your subject/course coordinator or placement supervisor if you have any questions about the use of PPE or infection control principles related to your placement or any concerns about your placement’s COVID Safety practices.
If I contract COVID-19 while on placement (non COVID-19 testing site), would the University’s ‘personal accident and sickness policy’ cover me?
If you contract COVID-19 on placement:
- The policy does not provide compensation for any medical costs incurred, as this is catered for either via Medicare, or your Private Health Insurance.
- If the case of COVID-19 is severe and results in surgery, you may be entitled to claim for a lump sum benefit.
- If you are unable to work as a result of contracting COVID-19, there is no cover for loss of earnings.
- You do not have access to Workcover as you are not an employee.
- Our insurer has declined to extend cover to include sickness, which is consistent across the insurance market.
- Any income protection not afforded by government assistance may be considered by LTU.
Following the recent partnership between the private and public health sectors; will international students continue to be covered under their private health insurance?
The private sector has opened up their facilities to support the public sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – international students with private insurance would continue to receive medical treatment under their private health insurance (subject to T&Cs of their individual policies).
I am volunteering in the medical industry – will LTU’s insurance cover me if I contract COVID-19?
No, volunteers must be insured under the insurance of the organisation they are volunteering for.
I still have questions about my health placement, who should I contact?
If you have immediate health placement related concerns or questions, please contact your Course/Subject Coordinator or La Trobe University placement coordinator.
PLACEMENTS - TEACHING AND OTHER NON-CLINICAL
How will my placement be affected?
Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Placements
All Initial Teacher Education placements will continue unless the educational setting has postponed the placement to a later date. Your Placement Operations team will be in touch with you to notify you whether your placement will be going ahead. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding your placement.
Pre Service Teachers (PSTs)
The Victorian Government and Department of Education and Training (DET) today confirmed that PSTs are no longer able to attend professional experience placements on-site in the metropolitan Melbourne during restrictions, even if your school has provided you with a worker permit. Please contact your supervising teacher to discuss continuing your placement through this period of remote and flexible learning.
Please review the expectations of a flexible and remote placement in your Professional Experience Guidebook, to ensure you are across the mandatory conditions required. If you are involved with planning, development and/or delivery of teaching and learning materials this will count toward your placement days, as outlined in the guidebook. This is where you will find examples of remote and flexible teaching.
If due to your circumstances it is difficult for you to undertake your placement remotely please contact email@example.com
Non-clinical/Non-Initial Teacher Education placements
Most placements outside of clinical health or initial teacher education settings (including IT, Engineering, Science, non-clinical Health, Agriculture, Law, Business and Humanities) are planned to occur in an online capacity. These arrangements are being regularly adjusted in response to government requirements for COVID-19.
Depending on the current government restrictions level, on-site placements may only be able to take place in special circumstances. If you have any questions please contact the WIL team in your College.
How do I stay safe on my placement?
The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, including those completing approved course-related placements, is our highest priority. To stay safe on your placement, you should follow the protocols put in place by your placement organisation, which should be in line with the government’s COVID-19 WorkSafe advice as explained here. You should maintain a safe social distance (1.5 metres), sanitise your hands regularly, clean your work surfaces, and monitor yourself for any symptoms.
PLACEMENTS - GENERAL
What happens if my placement is postponed or cancelled?
If your placement facility/educational setting/host organisation postpones or cancels your placement as a result of COVID-19 you will receive an email from the Placement Operations team notifying you of this. Academic staff and the Placement Operations team will be working collaboratively on alternative placement options. Individual plans will be communicated to any affected students by your Placement Officer.
For health placements, it is likely that there will be significantly delayed in finding alternative option due to the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare facilities.
For non-clinical placements, cancellations will be handled on a case-by-case or subject-by-subject basis, and the options available to you should be discussed with your subject coordinator, WIL team or Placement Operations team.
For Teacher Education placements, you are able to continue with your subject and your result may be entered as SAHA (Supplementary Additional Hurdle Assessment) on your transcript until the placement hurdle has been successfully completed.
If I am completing my placement from home, are there any steps I need to follow?
Yes. You will be sent an OH&S guide/self-assessment and some tips for safely and successfully completing a placement off-site. You should review the checklist and use it to ensure you have a safe and productive home workspace. You should also ensure that you have regular contact with both your subject coordinator and your host supervisor.
Will professional accreditation be impacted?
The University is working closely with professional accrediting bodies to ensure that any changes to your subjects or placements do not negatively affect accreditation.
What if I get sick on placement?
Any students who become unwell on placement need to follow the advice of their allocated placement facility/educational setting/host organisation, inform the Placement Operations team and seek medical advice to obtain a medical certificate. The potential impacts of any sickness during placement will be managed on an individual basis.
If I am feeling even slightly unwell, should I attend placement? or have COVID-19 symptoms, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results, have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, or are positive for COVID-19?
If you are feeling unwell, do not attend placement. No matter how mild the symptoms, you should stay at home. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever, cough, sore throat, chills, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell), however mild, you should:
- self-isolate immediately
- seek medical advice from your GP or the DHHS 24-hour coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398, and get tested
- tell your placement organisation, your Placement Operations Team and the University as soon as possible, following the procedures your workplace has in place and updating both parties if your situation changes (for example if you receive a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis).
It is crucial that you do not attend University campus or your placement, or anywhere else, until you are advised it is safe for you to do so. You must advice the University of your health status.
If you have been informed by Public Health authorities that you are a close contact of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 you must follow the instructions provided by Department of Health and Human Services and inform the University.
If you are unable to attend your placement because you are unwell, regardless of the cause, you must contact your course coordinator and La Trobe University placement coordinator to to advise them. We will work with the placement provider to assist you to complete the required hours/assessments at a later date.
What if I am in a high-risk category of contracting COVID-19 or I have carer responsibilities for others who are in a high-risk category and can’t attend placement?
Please provide medical documentation to the Placement Operations team and your case will be managed on an individual basis.
Can I opt out of placement?
Where you have significant concerns for your health and wellbeing, or the health and wellbeing of others living in your home, you can choose to opt-out of placement.
However, it’s important to note that completing your accredited program of study requires completion of all approved activities (including professional placement). Your course progression and completion date may be affected by your choice to opt-out at this time, so it is important to seek guidance from your year or course coordinator. We cannot guarantee when an alternative placement will be available, so if you are currently in your final year of study, opting out may delay your course completion so that you graduate and/or become registered for your profession later than you expected.
Opting out of placement will not result in a fail for the placement subject. The exact arrangements will depend on your specific course and registration requirements. Your subject and course coordinators are working through these issues and will communicate with you via the LMS and individually as required. The most likely scenario is that we will organise for you to receive a 'Grade Withheld' (W) result for the subject associated with your placement until the placement requirements have been completed. We will work with the placement provider to assist you to complete the required hours/assessments at a later date.
If you are considering opting out, you will need to:
- Discuss this with your placement supervisor and La Trobe subject coordinator, and also contact the Placement Operations team, if you are already on placement.
- Contact your La Trobe subject coordinator or year coordinator by email, if you are not yet on placement.
- Complete the online form and upload a copy of the email correspondence with your subject or year level coordinator as a supporting document.
- Where possible, please notify us of your decision to opt-out at least 1 week before a placement is due to commence.
I am a resident of a border zone and am required to cross a state border to attend my placement. What do I need to do?
To cross between NSW and Victoria and South Australia and Victoria, you need to obtain a permit. For the most up to date information on NSW border restrictions visit Service NSW website and information for South Australia here. To apply for a permit, you will need to provide an acceptable reason for crossing the border. Education is an acceptable justification.
If your placement requires you to cross the border:
- Students residing within border region should apply for a permit before attending placement.
- Students residing outside border region are unlikely to be granted a permit and cannot cross the border for placement. Your placements will need to be conducted in Victoria. The Placement Operations team will contact you to work through your options.
How is the University financially supporting students?
To help all our students, we have:
- Reduce the Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF) for 2020 and refund the equivalent campus contribution for all international students which amounts to $4.5m.
- Extended the due date for international student fees.
- Provided rent relief to support students in financial hardship who live in on campus accommodation.
- Waived all on-campus parking fees and processed refunds.
- Awarded nearly $5m in direct student support through our Financial Assistance Program and International Student Emergency Relief Fund
What support will I be eligible to receive through Centrelink (AUSTUDY, ABSTUDY)?
The Australian Government announced that the special ‘Coronavirus Supplement’ has been extended to eligible Abstudy, Austudy and youth allowance (student) claimants. This support is in addition to the one-off economic stimulus payments being provided to income support recipients, pensioners and other eligible concession cardholders. More information will be available on the Services Australia website.
Will I still receive Centrelink benefits if I cannot continue with a full study load?
You will continue to receive your Centrelink payments if the university has to close or reduce your study load. More information is available directly from Services Australia.
If there are specific conditions of my scholarship that I now can’t meet, will my scholarship and payments be affected?
You are advised to please contact your scholarship advisor to discuss the conditions of your scholarship and any adjustments that need to be made. Your payments will continue as planned at this stage.
What does studying online mean for me as an international student?
With continued restrictions due to COVID-19, most classes will continue to be delivered online. Please check your LMS site regularly for subject updates. We have developed a resource on how to succeed with online studies. This LMS subject has been designed to provide practical tips and guidance to support you with the transition to studying online. This LMS subject is available for all students - enrol into it today.
Does studying online impact my student visa and CoE?
We have confirmation from the Department of Home Affairs that studying online during this disruptive time is permitted and should not impact on your visa. La Trobe will maintain your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) provided you are enrolled in either on-campus or off-campus (online) subjects and you are in Australia or located in another country, as long as your course enrolment status remains on campus.
I don’t want to study online. What are my options?
If you prefer to pause your studies, then we can assist you. Please contact La Trobe International Student Services for advice on how to proceed. For sponsored students or US Financial Aid students please discuss your situation with the Sponsored Programs Team.
Can I return to my home country to study online?
We understand this is a stressful time and you may prefer to be with your family and community. If you are able to return home and can continue studying online with access to the internet, then you should continue your studies. Please note that any live sessions will be conducted in Australian Eastern Standard time (AEST). However please check with your course coordinator and subject coordinators whether there are compulsory face-to-face components and what this means if you are not in Australia. It may be necessary that you withdraw from that subject and pick up the credit points at a later date.
International students deciding to return to their home country and study online should also be aware of the Australian Government’s travel advice and restrictions, which may prevent you from returning to campus for an undefined period depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops. For any visa enquiries, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs.
What if I need more time to complete my course?
If you have to make changes to your enrolment during this time, then please note you will need to catch up and this may require enrolling in Summer or Winter subjects or extending your CoE and visa, and health insurance. Please contact La Trobe International for advice: +61 3 9479 1199 or send us a question.
What if I cannot study a full-time course load?
Not all of your subjects may be able to be studied online at this time. This is called underloading and is permitted under these special circumstances. If an underload is unavoidable, you need to try as much as possible to update your study plan to match your CoE end date. You will need to catch up and this may require enrolling in Summer or Winter subjects or extending your CoE and visa, and health insurance. Please contact La Trobe International for advice: +61 3 9479 1199 or send us a question.
For Teacher Education placements, you are able to continue with your subject and your result may be entered as SAHA (Supplementary Additional Hurdle Assessment) on your transcript until the placement hurdle has been successfully completed.
What if my full-time placement/practicum is cancelled?
There may be a few subjects that cannot be taught online. If you cannot complete a subject because of this period of physical distancing then you will need to discuss with your subject coordinator what options there might be for you at a later date. Please note this may require enrolling in Summer or Winter subjects or extending your CoE and visa, and health insurance. Please contact La Trobe International for advice: +61 3 9479 1199 or send us a question.
What if none of my subjects are available online?
If none of your subjects are available to study online then you will need to defer if you are a new student or take leave of absence if you are a continuing student. Please contact La Trobe International for advice: +61 3 9479 1199 or send us a question and we will work with you and your course coordinator to identify a new study plan for you.
If I am on Leave of Absence and cannot travel home, am I still covered by OSHC?
If you choose to take Leave of Absence but cannot return to your home country, please contact your health insurance provider for confirmation of your coverage.
Do I need to update StudentOnLine if I leave Australia?
It is a student visa requirement to maintain correct address details in StudentOnline. Your home address is your permanent home, the postal address is where you are during the Semester. This means that if you return home and you are studying online, your postal address should be changed to reflect this.
I would like to meet with someone in the International Office about my situation. How can I arrange this?
The International Student Services Team is taking calls Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (AEST) on +61 3 9479 1199. We are also happy to make a time to meet you virtually using Zoom technology. Please call us or send us a message and we will get in touch to set it up.
Am I eligible for the student visa application fee waiver?
We’ll provide you with a completed fee waiver form if all of the following apply:
- you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020
- you couldn’t complete your course within your original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19
- you haven’t already applied for a new student visa (you won’t get a refund if you’ve already applied)
- your student visa expires within the next three months (we encourage you to apply no later than six weeks before your visa expires).
We won’t be able to give you a fee waiver form if the reason you require a new visa:
- is not related to COVID-19 (including in cases where you took a leave of absence, deferred your course, reduced your study load or failed subjects before semester one 2020), or
- is because you’ve started a new course due to a course transfer.
To apply for the fee waiver form
- Read the information on the Department of Home Affairs’ student visa page.
- Submit statement explaining why the impacts of COVID-19 meant you couldn’t complete your course within your original student visa duration when you apply for an updated CoE, by completing the online Application for Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) form
- You will be required to renew your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to cover the duration of your new visa when you apply for a CoE . Your receipt of payment is proof of renewal.
- You must apply for your new student visa online. For more information refer to student visa (subclass 500).
You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. Please note, visa application fee refunds will not be available for students who have already applied for a Student visa.
Will my scholarship still apply if I go back to my home country?
Yes, if your enrolment is maintained, your scholarship is also retained. If you have taken leave, your scholarship is paused and resumes when you re-enrol.
Is there any fee reduction because we are studying online?
We are working very hard to deliver the best experience that we can in this new delivery mode. For this reason, we will be refunding 50% of the Semester 2 Student Services and Amenities Fee to all students. International students have received an email and instructions on how to apply. If you have not yet applied and have questions, please contact International Student Services on +61 3 9479 1199 or send us a question. If you have already applied for the SSAF refund, thank you for your patience and we are working as quickly as we can to process applications.
What if I need more time to pay my fees?
If you have been impacted by COVID-19 and need more time to pay your fees we are pleased to advise we have extended the fee payment deadline to 31 January 2021 for any fees owing. Please note you will not be able to access results, graduate, get official documents or enrol in Summer or future Semesters until the outstanding fees are paid in full. You are also welcome to discuss your situation with the International Student Services Team.
Can I go back to my home country in the summer break?
We understand that this year has been challenging and that you are keen to be reunited with your family and friends. Please note the following:
- Australia’s borders and travel restrictions are being managed by the federal and State government and are outside of La Trobe University control. If you do decide to return home there is no guarantee you will be able to re-enter Australia, or Victoria, in time for Semester 1, 2021. Therefore, in terms of the continuation of your studies, you leave Australia at your own risk.
- If you are a sponsored student, you will need approval from your sponsor before planning a trip. Failure to do so and being unable to study in Semester 1, 2021 may have ramifications for your sponsorship/scholarship.
- If you do return home, there may be strict quarantine measures in your home country. You will need to make enquiries and manage accordingly.
- Should you be able to re-enter Australia in 2021, there may be quarantine on arrival as directed by the Australian authorities. This will be at your own cost. Please check the Australian government Department of Home Affairs website and Australian Department of Health website regularly for updates.
- If you are unable to return to Australia and wish to continue your studies online we are happy to discuss with you on a case-by-case basis, again noting the situation changes rapidly, and importantly, not all courses and subjects, including placements, labs, or practicums are able to be delivered in an online mode. Please contact us at www.latrobe.edu.au/ask-us and we will be happy to discuss what your options might be.
Can I return to Australia for my studies in 2021?
La Trobe University is closely monitoring the travel situation and we hope very much that borders will open soon and studies will resume as normal. Please check the Australian government Department of Home Affairs website and Australian Department of Health website regularly for updates. Please ensure you stay up to date with news and announcements via student communications that are sent to your student email address and updated online.
When can we return to our residence?
You can return to your residence based on requirements to attend face-to-face classes. You can consult with Accommodation Services via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 9479 1071 to discuss your return to campus on a case by case basis.
What is the check-in process when returning?
To initiate your return to residences, please give three days’ notice and apply through the StarRez link.
When arriving back to campus, please present at reception and the customer services team will assist you with check-in. Please do not return to campus if you are feeling unwell.
What do I need to know about group gatherings in the residences?
Strict adherence to physical distancing is always required, this is 4 metres squared per person. Please be particularly mindful of physical distancing when using the common facilities on your floor and in your apartments.
Some common areas in the Bundoora precinct have had to be restricted.
Do I have to wear a face masks?
Yes. It is expected that students purchase personal fitted face masks. Residents must wear a fitted face mask at all times when outside of their single room or apartment, in accordance with Government directions.
How do I access groceries/meals whilst living in accommodation on campus?
Supermarkets are available close to campus, with some providing a delivery service. Other online services such as UberEATS, Deliveroo and Hello Fresh are also an option. For ready-made meals at Bundoora Campus, Chartwells our catering partner is offering meal which can be organised through visiting the Glenn Dining Hall. For Glenn Dining, dine in meals will resume shortly, take away options will still be available.
How do I find out more/who do I contact?
The Accommodation Services team is working hard to ensure residents receive regular updates, these updates will be sent to your student email. If you have any questions please talk to a member of the Accommodation Services team contactable via phone or email at 9479 1071, email@example.com. We ask that if you are coming into the office reception areas that you maintain appropriate social distancing of at least four square metres between yourself and others.