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 and being conducted 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.

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.

For the most up to date information on local Government COVID restrictions, refer to the Victorian Department of Health or the New South Wales Health websites.


Victoria COVID restrictions

The current lockdown in Victoria has been extended until at least 11.59pm, Tuesday 27 July. If you can work/study from home, you must work/study from home. There remain only five reasons to leave home:

  • authorised work
  • essential shopping – one person per household, once per day
  • exercise – up to two hours, with one other person or members of your household
  • caregiving or compassionate reasons
  • to get vaccinated against COVID-19, if eligible

Refer to the current COVIDSafe Settings from the Victorian Government for a full list of what is and is not permitted. Also see our all-student email from 27 July 2021 for implications for our Victorian based students.

NSW and Sydney COVID restrictions

A stay at home direction is currently in place for people who live in, usually work in, or usually attend a university or other tertiary education facility in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas. You must stay at home and only leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse. If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it. See the NSW Government COVID rules for the latest information.

The reasons you may leave your home include:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (including vaccination);
  • Exercise outdoors within your local government area or up to 10km from your home;
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

There are additional restrictions for those residing in Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown local government area.

Red Zones

The Victorian Government has declared all of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory a red zone. Visit the Victorian travel permit system page for more information on zones and specific information for cross-border communities.

COVID-19 GENERAL ADVICE

I'm concerned about returning to campus and returning to complete face-to-face classes. Can I complete my degree as planned if I don’t attend?

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

In addition, 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 state Government’s public health directions (Vic and NSW)
  • Staying home if you are unwell. Self-isolate and getting tested if you have respiratory symptoms.
  • Immediately notifying the University’s Health, Safety and Environment Team (Spomenka Krizmanic 0447 323 256) if you have been diagnosed as COVID positive
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Practising good hand hygiene including sanitising your hands when coming in and out of lecture theatres and other spaces
  • Wear a face mask as required by current Government directions (Vic and NSW) unless medical exemption applies
  • Using the QR code sign-in to each building you enter on campus. This will allow health authorities to contact you quickly with the most appropriate health advice.

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.

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.
  • Staff, students and visitors are regularly reminded of the key COVID control measures to follow including mask wearing and hygiene measures; and staying home and getting tested if unwell
  • All people must use the QR code system to record the buildings entered across the campus and class rolls are also being taken to comply with the Government’s contact tracing requirements
  • Buildings are being professionally cleaned, to the standard 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
  • Physical distance reminders are in place at key locations
  • Perspex screens are in place at service counters
  • Safety Risk Assessments are being undertaken for on-campus events and specialist teaching activities (such as field work)

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 or 0447 323 256). 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.

I am a La Trobe student and am working in the State’s hotel quarantine system. Can I attend campus?

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria has a strict Outside Work Policy that applies to all its employees. You should follow the provisions of that policy.  If approved to undertake studies in a face to face environment please contact Spomenka Krizmanic the University’s Manager, Health Safety and Environment (0447 323 256) to discuss how your campus attendance can occur in compliance with the Quarantine Victoria Outside Work Policy.

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. In accordance with the current government health directions, there will be a continuation of online learning. Classes that can be conducted successfully online will continue online until 13th August 2021. Students will receive information from individual subject coordinators and teachers (with details, Zoom links, etc.).

Students are requested to check their email and LMS for specific advice.

Most face to face teaching has to be paused, except for very limited circumstances.

Do I need to sign-in when on campus?

Yes. All students, staff and visitors are required to use the QR code system to sign into each building they visit on campus. If you do not have a device on you please ask someone to assist and sign-in for you. Signing in means you will be able to be contacted quickly with authoritative advice in the event of an outbreak.

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. This data is available directly to the Government’s contact tracing team.

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 Government contact tracing team 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 to 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 are required to still register your movements. You should ask someone to assists and sign you in using their phone.

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

Each individual person attending each building must sign in. This is so the Government contact tracing team have a detailed records of who attended the venue. You can sign in on behalf of someone only if they do not have access to a smart device to use 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. Professional 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, the University requires all students to:

  • sanitise their hands regularly,
  • maintain suitable physical distance,
  • wear a face mask as required by the Victorian Government's health directions (or NSW Government, for Sydney students),
  • do not attend campus if you feel unwell, and
  • if you have respiratory symptoms (even mild ones), self-isolate and call the Department of Health COVID hotline on 1800 675 398 (or NSW Government website for Sydney students) 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) systems 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 buildings will be warmer/colder inside, depending on the weather.

What are the requirements for mask wearing on campus?

For the latest health directions on mask wearing visit the Department of Health's website (VIC) or NSW health website. All citizens are required to abide by the public health directions and the University has obligations to enforce these provisions to protect the La Trobe community. Failure to comply will be treated very seriously by the University.

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

Student support services are being provided in a variety of ways. Visit MyLaTrobe to see the full list of our student support services and how to access them.

Can we restart having student events?

Department of Health has advised the University that events are considered a place of high transmission of COVID-19. While the current Government Health Directions allow for some smaller event activity to take place, the Government is requesting organisations to consider the business imperative of any event taking place in order to reduce the number of opportunities for transmission. Private, social and mass gatherings have been identified as one of the more challenging areas to trace and can escalate contact numbers very quickly.

Implications for events

  • The University will continue the suspension of all event activities for an additional 2 weeks (ending 11:59pm 10 August).  Exceptions can be considered for those events that can demonstrate to be of business imperative.  This suspension applies to events organised by staff, students or external groups wishing to hire facilities for event use.
  • Events that fall under the Public Events Framework will not be approved for the month of August
  • Social events are strongly discouraged
  • COVID Marshalls are required at check-in point for all events until further notice

All events must be registered with an Events Safety Risk Assessment. If you have any question, please contact LTSA. LTSA is working with the University Events Team to support student lead events.

Where are the quiet study spaces located on campus?

There are various quiet study spaces on all campuses. Additional cleaning of these rooms will be undertaken.

When attending the campus, students are reminded that it is essential they sign-in to each building they visit using the QR code system. Some study spaces will require a swipe card to access, student should carry their swipe card.

All University Campus Libraries are open as study spaces (Melbourne (Bundoora), Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura (SuniTAFE Campus)). For opening hours see COVIDSafe Library Website

In addition, the following locations will be open daily 8 am to 6 pm

  • Bundoora: Beth Gleeson level 1 computer labs
  • Bendigo: HHS2 level 3 dentistry and oral health areas

The following locations will open daily from 9 am to 5 pm

  • Mildura: Brian Grogan Building, Computer Lab BGR 125, Seminar Room 1 BGR 103, Seminar Room 2 BGR 127 and the Student Hub

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

To 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, subject coordinator or assignment group?

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?

Note, the current Government Guideline is for those who can study from home, you should continue to study from home. 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 is V Grade? What happens if I fail my subject and receive a V Grade? How will this impact me?

The University implemented a V Grade for students at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and this applied for 2020, Summer 2020/2021 and Semester 1 2021. While this was in place, a fail grade was not recorded on the academic transcript and will not be included in the calculation of WAM.

Due to disruption of current lockdowns, the V Grade will be reintroduced for Semester 2, 2021 and any non-standard teaching periods which conclude by 30th November 2021.

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.