Student FAQs for COVID-19

Student with backpack

The University continues to maximise face-to-face classes in Semester 2, 2022, with online learning options also available, where possible, to offer maximum flexibility for students. All on-campus learning, and any events or activities on campus, are COVIDSafe and conducted in line with guidelines provided by the Victorian Government Department of Health and our Health and Safety procedure. University operations will continue to be managed in accordance with the directions of the Victorian Government. As measures change, student announcements and updates to these FAQs will be made.

Please check your student email and LMS site regularly for updates.

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

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

Under the workplace directions issued under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic), students and staff must notify their tertiary education (via notification form) provider if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and may have attended while infectious.

Vaccination requirements

I haven’t provided my vaccination information to the University yet; do I still need to provide my vaccination information to the University if I need to attend on-site learning in Semester 2?

Yes, you will need to demonstrate to the University that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This can be done by providing your digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate to the University (upload your proof of vaccination). You cannot access our campuses or attend any on-site learning if you have not demonstrated to us that you are fully vaccinated.

Students undertaking work based learning activities will need to comply with the vaccination requirement of the workplace. This could include the need for Boosters. See Placements and WBL for more information.

How do I provide my vaccination information to the University?

Please upload your proof of vaccination to StudentOnLine and add your digital vaccination certificate to you digital wallet or the Service Victoria app.

Why have I been asked to resubmit my vaccination certificate?

There are a number of reasons why we may request you resubmit your vaccination evidence. It could be one of the following:

  1. The vaccination certificate provided is not the accepted COVID-19 Digital Certificate (we required the original unaltered secured certificate issued by the Federal Government via Medicare through MyGov). We are unable to accept certificates that are:
    • screen shots
    • from Apple Wallet, Google Wallet or similar
    • from various state government check-in apps
    • an old version of your digital certificate for your booster
  2. The information you provided does not match the information on the vaccination certificate provided
  3. The information on the vaccination certificate does not match the information we have in our student records

Under the University’s Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination and Other Measures you are considered unvaccinated if the University is unable to verify your COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

I am not intending to get vaccinated against COVID-19. What do I do?

As a student, under the University’s Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination and Other Measures, if you choose not to be vaccinated (without a valid medical exemption), you are not permitted to enter any La Trobe campus or attend any on-site learning activity.

It is important that you do not enrol in any subject that requires you to come to campus to participate in learning activities. The University will unenrol you from subjects prior to census if you have not uploaded a valid vaccination certificate or exemption to ensure you are not charged for subjects you cannot attend. This may impact your progression.

Graduate researchers should inform their supervisor and students undertaking placement  should inform the placements team.

All staff, students, honorary appointees, contractors, tenants, volunteers and visitors attending our campuses are required to be fully vaccinated (limited exemptions apply). See: Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination and Other Measures for further details.

Why is the University keeping its COVID-19 vaccination mandate in place?

With vaccination requirements now the responsibility of individual employers, we have a duty under the Work Health and Safety laws to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

Our public health experts have emphasised that COVID-19 vaccinations remain an important way to protect us from severe illness, hospitalisation and death.

Following advice from our own experts in public health, survey feedback from staff and students and our assessment of our health and safety obligations, we have decided to extend the existing vaccination requirement through winter until the end of Semester 2 activities this year. This will give us time to strengthen our other defences against COVID so that we can start to lift the vaccine mandate later in the year.

COVIDSafe Campus

Am I required to notify the University if I have tested COVID positive and have attended the University while infectious. What do I need to do?

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.

If you have test positive to COVID-19 or have been notified that you are COVID positive and you have attended the University while you may be infectious (within 48 hours of onset of symptoms or being diagnosed) you will need to:

Contact tracing is now the responsibility of the COVID positive individual.

I'm concerned about returning to campus and returning to 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.

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.

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
  • Staying home if you are unwell. Self-isolate and getting tested if you have respiratory symptoms.
  • Notifying the University via our COVID-19 Notification form if you attended campus in the preceding 48 hours before becoming symptomatic/testing 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 if determined by your subject’s Safety Risk Assessment unless medical exemptions apply

The University’s public health experts have advised that couple with vaccination, the use of N95/P2 face masks is an effective way to reduce COVID-19 transmission. We strongly recommended you continue to wear a face mask indoors and in situations where you cannot maintain suitable physical distancing including undertaking in person group work or gathering in student residences.

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

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

The University has a COVID-19 workplace health and safety procedure in place to protect our students and staff.

In addition, the University has a COVIDSafe Plan.

  • Staff, students and visitors are regularly reminded of the key COVID control measures including mask-wearing and hygiene measures; and staying home and getting tested if unwell
  • Buildings are being professionally cleaned, to the standard guided by Safe Work Australia
  • Wall-mounted hand sanitiser is placed at building entry points and in other locations
  • People are asked to wipe down shared equipment (e.g. 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 undertaken for on-campus events and specialist teaching activities (such as field work)
  • the University are providing face masks to staff and students on request (see below for a list of pick up points), and we are updating our campus signage to encourage mask wearing.

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.

Where can I pick up a face mask when I am on campus?

The University strongly recommend that all staff and students wear high quality face masks in indoor settings and in outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible. To assists with this, the University is providing face masks to staff and students on request. The pick up points are:

  • Melbourne (Bundoora) campus - Borchardt Library entrance ground floor and reception in the Sylvia Walton Building
  • Bendigo campus - LTSA Info Centre Monday to Thursday, 10am to 3pm and Security
  • Albury-Wodonga campus - ASK La Trobe counter, Building 4 Level 1 and Library desk
  • Shepparton campus - Ground floor reception desk, near main entrance
  • Mildura campus - Main Reception in the Brian Grogan Building
  • City campus – Reception
  • Sydney campus - Reception

What are the requirements for face mask wearing on campus?

While face mask mandate has been removed for most settings, for some on campus activity face masks may still be required as a control measure. This will be informed by our Safety Risk Assessment process. Where wearing a face mask is required, you will be notified by your subject co-ordinator or staff member involved in the activity.

We strongly encourage you to consider wearing a face mask indoors and in situation where you cannot maintain suitable physical distance. To assists with this, the University is providing face masks to staff and students on request (see above for the location of the pick up point).

I am on campus, but I have to attend an online class/lecture. Where can I find quiet study space to attend?

At the Bundoora and Bendigo campus, you can find The Online Learning Zone on Level 2 of the Library. It is designed specifically for you to participate in your online classes. Inside, you’ll find PCs equipped with webcams and study spaces for your use as well as facilities to plug in your own devises.

In Bundoora you can enter by swiping your student ID. Wear your headphones when in an online conversation so others can enjoy a quiet experience.

In addition, the University has quiet study/informal learning spaces across all campuses, including:

  • spaces in the Bendigo, Bundoora, Shepparton, and Wodonga library and the Student Hub in Mildura.
  • quiet study or informal learning spaces within many refurbished buildings on campus, and
  • various outdoor spaces throughout our campuses

EXCHANGE AND OVERSEAS PROGRAMS

Are there any impact international Exchange and Study Abroad program?

For La Trobe University mobility programs that commence on or after 1 July 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.

All students will need to comply with local (ie overseas country’s) Covid vaccination requirements.

Students should check the country/city destination government rules and regulations before departing; check regularly whilst in country and again before they depart to return to Australia.

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

If you are an overseas student interested in studying at La Trobe as an international Exchange or Study Abroad student, please contact the Study Abroad Team 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 LMS.

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.

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.

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 offering maximum flexibility for our students, and to accommodate those who are unable to attend onsite,  including those who are immunocompromised, offshore international students, and students who are COVID-exposed or isolating, some activities may be recorded and published to the subject LMS. 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 LMS.

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.

STUDENT SUPPORT

What wellbeing support is available to me?

A range of Student, Health Wellbeing and Inclusion services are available online, via telephone and in-person including Counselling Services and Student Wellbeing Connect. See the Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion webpage for details of all of the services available.

You can also access a range of self-help resources.  An after-hours crisis service Uni Crisis Line 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 your Learning Access Plan is updated as required, and reasonable adjustments are implemented where possible. Contact your Advisor via the AccessAbility Hub.

Am I eligible for financial assistance if I cannot work due to quarantine/isolation requirements?

The Federal Government has reinstated its Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. The scheme will run between 20 July 2022 (back dated to 1 July 2022) to 30 September 2022. If you cannot work due to quarantining/isolation requirement you may be eligable for payment under this scheme (including international students). Please check the Services Australia website for specific eligibility and application requirements.

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

For more information, visit the Financial Counselling webpage.

Additional information is available on the Wellbeing support during COVID-19 webpage.

I am experiencing prolonged symptoms from COVID-19, who should I contact for help?

You should contact AccessAbility and Inclusion and discuss the support you may need to help you manage your studies.