Student FAQs for COVID-19

Student with backpack

With the continued outbreak of COVID-19 we have moved all of our classes from face-to-face to online delivery.

We understand that this is a particularly challenging time for all students and that you may have some specific questions about what the University is doing to manage your educational experience. La Trobe University is committed to ensuring our students can continue to study as many subjects as possible without travelling to campus.These FAQs are intended to provide high level guidance to students.

Please be aware that Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions are now in place in metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions are in place for the rest of 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, and factor their advice into your planning.

Please check your LMS site regularly for subject updates.

If you are a research students 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 ADVICE

I'm concerned about the current spike in cases in Melbourne, what should I do?

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 continue to observe the requirement to use a face mask/covering, physical distancing rules, practice good personal hygiene such as hand washing and get tested if you have symptoms. We also encourage you to pay close attention to 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.

Can I come to the Melbourne (Bundoora) or City campus?

In metropolitan Melbourne all teaching is now remote, with limited face to face teaching that had been planned needing to be postponed for at least six weeks. No students should attend our Bundoora or City campuses for face to face classes. 

For students in the College of SHE, placements will continue as planned. Teaching practicals in health services will be suspended.

If you had planned to attend campus for face to face learning, please contact your supervisor/course coordinator for further advice.

The library in Bundoora is now closed and will not be available as an on-campus study space. Arrangements for study spaces are currently being finalised and will be shared with students soon.

Residential students will continue to be supported to live with us and should contact the Accommodation Services team with any questions.

SEMESTER 2, 2020

What are the updated dates for Semester 2 2020?

13 - 17 July

Orientation Week – Semester 2 (revised dates – online orientation)

20 July - 16 October

Semester 2 (12 weeks - revised dates)

31 August - 6 September

Semester 2 vacation (non-teaching week) (revised dates)

Monday 19 - Tuesday 20 October

Study vacation (SWOT Vac) – Semester 2 (revised dates)

Wednesday 21 - Saturday 31 October

Examination period – Semester 2 (revised dates)

26 November

Last day for release of results – Semester 2 (revised date)

Please visit the website for the complete 2020 academic calendar.

How will La Trobe deliver teaching in Semester 2, 2020?

Most subjects were to 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.

While Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne face to face subject activities will not take place at these campuses. If you had planned face to face subject activity, please check your LMS subject site or contact your subject coordinator for advice.

Face to face activities will continue as planned in Bendigo, Mildura and Shepparton with strict COVIDSafe protocols in place.

Students must not travel from metropolitan Melbourne to our regional campuses for any face to face activities.

You will be advised at a course level about your options: please contact your course coordinator if you have any specific subject queries. For all other queries, please read through our comprehensive Student FAQs or contact ASK La Trobe.

Will online delivery continue for all of Semester 2, 2020, when other universities have returned to campus?

Yes. At La Trobe we have strictly observed advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. At present, DHHS recommends that everyone continues to work from home wherever possible and we are observing this advice with all our operations. Guidelines developed by the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee (AHPCC) for universities include the continuation of strict physical distancing measures, which means that it is not practical or safe to resume face-to-face teaching for all subjects. We must therefore prioritise those subjects which can’t be taught online.

When this advice changes, we will review our service delivery and operations, but we will not have a complete return to on-campus operations until it is deemed safe.

Which subjects and courses will be taught face-to-face in Semester 2, 2020?

While Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne face to face subject activities will not take place for at these campuses. If you had planned face to face subject activity, please check your LMS subject site or contact your subject coordinator for advice.

Face to face activities will continue as planned in Bendigo, Mildura and Shepparton with strict COVIDSafe protocols in place.

Students must not travel from metropolitan Melbourne to our regional campuses for any face to face activities.

Where subjects are delivered face to face the University will comply with all DHHS health and safety guidelines while delivering these subjects. This includes the observation of strict physical distancing and deep cleaning of spaces where there are on-campus activities. You can find a full list of the subjects with face to face activity for Semester 2 here.

Please monitor this information and your subject site on the LMS, as it may be updated as restrictions change.

Are the University’s student support services online or face-to-face in Semester 2, 2020?

At present, most University services will be delivered online for Semester 2, 2020.  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. When there is a return to face-to-face activities on campus, strict physical distancing requirements will remain enforced, in line with DHHS protocol.

You can find a full list of our student support services available online via the website.

Why are some of my Semester 2 classes only being delivered online?

Where a subject does not have required face-to-face activity, such as a lab or practical, we will deliver this subject online for Semester 2, 2020. This will reduce the need for students to come to campus and protect the health and safety of our students and staff.

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?

We want to assure you that the University is taking all the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of students and staff when they return to campus. 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.

What has the University done to ensure that subjects delivered face to face will be safe for students and staff?

For Semester 2, 2020 the University will strictly observe Government’s COVID-19 workplace health and safety regulations to protect our students and staff. Safety measures will include strict physical distancing within teaching spaces and deep cleaning of all spaces where there is on-campus activity. These safety measures are a significant factor in our ability to only offer select subjects and activities face to face in Semester 2.

Will La Trobe be discounting fees for domestic or international students now studying online?

No. All learning activities have moved successfully online and any required face-to-face activities will return in Semester 2, 2020. As such, all La Trobe students can progress and complete their courses as planned.

Will the University be making any academic concessions for students for studying online in 2020?

The University has introduced a V grade so that students who do not successfully complete their subjects in Semester 1 and Semester 2, 2020 will not receive a fail grade. You can find out more about the V grade here.

How will I be supported in the shift to online?

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.

I have on-campus practicals and labs that are a compulsory part of my course, what do I do?

While Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne face to face subject activities will not take place for subjects at these campuses. If you had planned face to face subject activity, please check your LMS subject site or contact your subject coordinator for advice.

Face to face activities will continue as planned in Bendigo, Mildura and Shepparton with strict COVIDSafe protocols in place.

Students must not travel from metropolitan Melbourne to our regional campuses for any face to face activities.

Where subjects are delivered face to face the University will comply with all DHHS health and safety guidelines while delivering these subjects. This includes the use of face mask/covering. strict physical distancing and deep cleaning of spaces where there are on-campus activities. You can find a full list of the subjects with face to face activity for Semester 2 here.

Please monitor this information and your subject site on the LMS, as it may be updated as restrictions change.

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 the SSAF waiver be extended to Semester 2, 2020?

Semester 2 SSAF has been reduced and will ensure that you will still have access to key services. If you have already paid your SSAF for Semester 2, you should have received an email to your student account with instructions for processing your refund. Due to the high number of refund requests, please allow up to 8 weeks for your refund to be processed.

For Semester 1, 2020, the SSAF was completely refunded and waived. Overall, SSAF has been reduced by 75% in 2020.

Are La Trobe campuses open in Semester 2 2020?

At present limited locations at our campuses 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.

Is the library still open in Semester 2 2020?

With the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne, the University is currently working through the details of these recent Government announcements. Until further notice, Level 1 of the Borchardt Library at the Melbourne Campus in Bundoora will not be available as a study space. For students at our Albury-Wodonga and Mildura campuses libraries will remain open.

If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you must NOT attend campus and should seek advice and get tested. This requirement applies to all staff and students, regardless of where they live.

When will all face-to-face teaching resume?

At this stage, a limited amount of required on-campus teaching is underway in Semester 2 in Bendigo, Mildura and Shepparton. You can find a full list of the subjects with face to face activity for Semester 2 here.

We must also make sure that our approach is compliant with the advice of health authorities and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) directives. The situation with COVID-19 is changing very rapidly, and we will monitor events closely in determining the arrangements for teaching in Semester 2. We will communicate with students as soon as information is available. Please check your student email regularly for updates.

STUDYING ONLINE

What does studying online involve?

To ensure that our students can continue their studies during the COVID-19 outbreak, while removing the need to come to campus, the University has made as many of our subjects available online as possible.  This includes lectures, tutorials and classes not involving a need for physical presence on campus.

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.

Where are all the learning materials available online?

Academic staff will be working hard to ensure that all relevant learning materials are loaded as quickly as possible. For some subjects this may take a little longer than others and there may be a delay of some activities. You should monitor your subject sites on the LMS for information on any revised schedules of learning activities.

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.

I would prefer not to study online.

The safety of our students and staff is the number one priority for La Trobe University. The University is closely following the advice of the Health Authorities who have advised that we prioritise physical distancing at this time. We understand that you have chosen to study at La Trobe for a number of reasons including the on-campus experience.

The University is working hard to ensure that we provide all students with a quality online learning experience during this time. Once we are able, classes will revert to face-to-face delivery. We are confident that this transition to online will further enhance the way in which La Trobe is able to support students to be successful in their studies long after this situation resolves.

What if I require library resources like a book/research paper, etc?

The Melbourne Campus (Bundoora) library is closed. However, 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 Coronavirus period, 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.

YOUR CAMPUS

Are the campuses closed?

In response to the latest advice and requirements from Government, La Trobe has taken the decision to close most of its buildings across all campuses. This is effective until further notice. Students can continue to access on campus study spaces in limited venues including - you can find the updated list of venues here.

Is there still security on campus?

While La Trobe has taken the decision to close most of its buildings across all campuses, security services are still operating on campus.

What is going to happen with my honours project now that we cannot come onto campus?

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 social distancing measures. It may be necessary for some students to defer their enrolment, however, please speak with your supervisor before changing your enrolment.

ACADEMIC

What is a V Grade and how does it benefit me?

The University has been proactive in implementing a V Grade for students since 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.

How does a V Grade work?

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?

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.

What happens if I fail my subject?

We understand that studying online can take some time to adjust to.

For Semester 1 and Semester 2, 2020, 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.

If this happens to you, instead of a fail grade 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, your academic progression won't be affected for this period. Instead, 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 Semesters 1 and 2,  2020, if you unsuccessfully attempt a subject (i.e. you enrolled in a subject and fail due to your grades) a traditional fail result (like N, NS and F) won't be recorded on your transcript and your course Weighted Average Mark (WAM) will not be negatively affected. If this happens to you, instead of a fail grade, you'll see: ‘V – No result recorded due to extenuating circumstances’ on your transcript. Please read the last dot point below for the two exceptions to this process.

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, your academic progression won't be affected for this period. Instead, 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.

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.

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.

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. We are aware that some students would prefer the university to change our WAM policy so students can opt-in to having their grades included in their WAM calculation, however this proposal 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;

  1. Extending delays to the processing, validation and publication of results for subjects.
  2. Students being unable to progress into second semester subjects where a first semester subject was a prerequisite.
  3. Students being unable to progress into placement where passing a first semester subject is a requirement.
  4. Delays to finalisation of results and subsequent impact on graduation and progression into Masters courses.
  5. 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. As COVID-19 unfolded, we were was asked by some students to consider a pass/fail system of grading for all students this semester. In considering this approach, 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. We did not progress to implement this system, because of the broad negative sentiment. Several universities have implemented this approach despite the impacts for students and the negative sentiment this has caused.

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 legislation to warrant that grades awarded directly reflect attainment against subject learning outcomes.

This proposal also assumes that all students and all subjects will be impacted in the same way. This will however not be the case, as we have encouraged academics to adjust assessment and make concessions for the changes that needed to occur in the transition to remote learning. 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.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR

What are the updated dates for Semester 2?

13 - 17 July

Orientation Week – Semester 2 (revised dates – online orientation)

20 July - 16 October

Semester 2 (12 weeks - revised dates)

31 August - 6 September

Semester 2 vacation (non-teaching week) (revised dates)

Monday 19 - Tuesday 20 October

Study vacation (SWOT Vac) – Semester 2 (revised dates)

Wednesday 21 - Saturday 31 October

Examination period – Semester 2 (revised dates)

26 November

Last day for release of results – Semester 2 (revised date)

Please visit the website for the complete 2020 academic calendar.

What is happening to the timing of exams?

Full details of assessment tasks will be provided to you through the subject LMS sites and updates.

The assessment timetable can now be found on the exam timetables webpage. Please speak to your subject coordinator for more information.

SSAF

What is the SSAF?

The SSAF is a compulsory fee to cover non-academic 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?

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. To do this we have identified savings of $1.9m 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 and closure of our campuses, impacted on 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.

From the University perspective it was imperative that we were able to continue to deliver essential SSAF funded services such as counselling and learning support without impact, and as a result you will note that some areas have borne a greater percentage reduction in their budget.

Service Area

Saving

Initial Allocation

Student Wellbeing and Counselling

$100,000

$1,107,985

Learning Hub and Learning Support

$60,000

$762,044

La Trobe Sport

$700,000

$1,280,000

Student Advising

-

$685,460

Campus Life

$100,000

$100,000

Glider Bus

$50,000

$67,000

Student Concessions

$60,000

$95,000

Employability events

$30,000

$30,000

Student Partnership events

$12,000

$62,511

Change the Course Project

$100,000

$100,000

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.

STUDENT SUPPORT

What wellbeing support do I have if I am in self-isolation?

Georgina Hanna is one of the members of the La Trobe University Student Wellbeing Team. She or one of her colleagues is able to reach out 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 Georgina or a Wellbeing team member and you are in self-isolation, please email g.hanna@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.

I am having trouble remotely accessing study resources, how do I get help while off-campus?

In response to the latest advice and requirements from Government, La Trobe has taken the decision to close the majority of its buildings across all campuses. This is effective until further notice. Students can continue to access on campus study spaces in limited venues – you can find a list here.

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

How will my placement be affected?

All clinical health placements will continue or commence as scheduled unless otherwise advised by the placement facility/educational setting/host organisation. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Placement Operations team.

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.

All placements outside of clinical health or educational settings (including IT, Engineering, Science, non-clinical Health, Agriculture, Law, Business and Humanities) are planned to occur in semester 2 in either an on-site or an online capacity.   On-site placements will be subject to additional measures, as host organisations will need to confirm for La Trobe that they are complying with the government’s COVID-19 Worksafe advice. Please discuss the approach to placements with your subject coordinator if you have any specific questions.

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 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.

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?

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 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).

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.

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.

The 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. We will continue placements until otherwise advised by DHHS or the placement facility/host organisation.

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.

How do I stay safe on my health placement?

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, including those completing approved course-related placements, is our highest priority.

Staying safe on your health placement:

The Australian Government has developed 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.

While on placement, you should follow the advice of your clinical placement coordinator or supervisor about social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene protocols.

If you are on placement with patients who are known or suspected to have COVID-19 and/or entering the rooms of patients known or suspected to have COVID-19, you must have completed personal protective equipment (PPE) training and be wearing appropriate PPE. If you have any concerns about working with known or suspected COVID-19 patients, please discuss this with your supervisor or clinical placement coordinator.

How do I stay safe on my non-health 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.

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 clinical placement supervisor and La Trobe subject coordinator, 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 reside in Metropolitan Melbourne and have a health placement and or catch up in a regional area. What should I do?

The University is advising students not to travel from Metropolitan Melbourne to regional, or vice versa. The University has paused health placement and or catch up for all metropolitan based students who were scheduled to commence placement and or catch up in regional. You will be contacted shortly with an update on alternate arrangements.

I reside in regional Victoria and have to attend a health placement and or catch up in Metropolitan Melbourne. What should I do?

  • Approval to proceed with the health placement would be provided if the student can demonstrate that they would be relocated to Metropolitan Melbourne for the duration of the placement and or catch up. Once activity has been completed, students will need to return to their primary residence.
  • Students are reminded that they will need to comply with the government Stay at Home restrictions when in Melbourne and any relevant COVID Safe guidelines when returning to their primary place of residence.
  • The university will provide letter of support to the student for attending teaching activity and or placement

I am a regionally based student who has already commenced a health placement and or catch up in Metropolitan Melbourne. Should I continue with the activity?

  • Continue with activity and follow any relevant government health advice.
  • Students are reminded that they will need to comply with any relevant COVID Safe guidelines when returning to their primary place of residence.
  • The university will provide letter of support for attending teaching activity and or placement

I am a Metropolitan Melbourne based student who has already commenced regional placement and or catch up. Should I continue the activity?

  • If you have temporary relocated to a regional centre, continue with activity and follow any relevant government health advice. The university will provide letter of support for attending teaching activity and or placement. If you are travelling regularly between Metropolitan Melbourne and your regional placement and or catch up you should cease immediately. You will be contacted shortly with an update on alternate arrangements.

Regional students currently travelling daily to metro placements

  • The University is advising students not to travel from Metropolitan Melbourne to regional, or vice versa. Travel to between Metropolitan Melbourne and regional should cease immediately

GRADUATIONS

Where can I find out more about changes to Graduations as a result of COVID-19?

You can also find the latest graduation updates via our COVID-19 graduations update page.

OVERSEAS PROGRAMS

I am a student who has an upcoming Semester 2 Exchange or Overseas Short Program planned – what does this mean for me?

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve quickly and that is creating uncertainty around travel and student mobility programs. La Trobe University has made the difficult decision to cancel Semester Exchange Programs scheduled for semester 2, 2020 (July to December) and Overseas Short Programs for the time period of July-October. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students during the evolving global health situation presented by COVID-19.

If you had plans for a semester study program or an overseas short program in Semester 2, 2020, please contact La Trobe Abroad at StudyAbroad@latrobe.edu.au for clarification and further arrangements for a deferral or withdrawal.

Support for students to participate in Overseas Short Programs during the summer holiday period (November 2020 - February 2021) will continue at this stage but may change. If you are planning to pursue a program for this period:

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 flexible tickets and refundable accommodation where possible.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

How is the University financially supporting students?

All students, if eligible, can apply for Emergency Aid, a Student Loan or Student Grant through our standard processes. Check this page for eligibility criteria and how to apply.

To help all our students, we have also:

  • Waived the Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF) for every student for Semester 1 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.

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.

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.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

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 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.

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?

On Monday 20 July the Australian Government made an announcement which included a new student visa fee-waiver. This fee-waiver is for students who are unable to complete their studies due to COVID-19 and need to secure a subsequent student visa to enable them to complete their course. Unfortunately, the waiver is not available yet, but the Department of Home Affairs has a dedicated website where they will be updating information about this new fee-waiver when the details are finalised.

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 the Semester 1 Student Services and Amenities Fee ($154) 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 for a second time to 18 June for Semester 1, 2020 fees. You are also welcome to discuss your situation with the International Student Services Team.

RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

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 living@latrobe.edu.au 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.

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.

Gatherings are prohibited. Guests are prohibited.

Will the gyms and other common spaces re-open?

Facilities including the gym, sauna, games room and Eyrie Bar remain closed at this stage in line with the direction and advice of the Victorian Government and Department of Health and Human Services. Common spaces can only be utilised if physical distancing is possible.

Do I have to wear a face masks or face covering?

It is expected that students purchase personal face masks or face coverings. Residents must wear a mask or face covering at all times when outside of their single room or apartment

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, takeaway meal packs have now replaced our sit-down meal service due to the government’s new requirements for food services nationally to operate only in takeaway mode.

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, living@latrobe.edu.au. 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.