Student FAQs for COVID-19

Student with backpack

The University is focused on offering you the best possible student experience. All on-campus learning, and any events or activities on campus, are COVIDSafe and conducted in line with Government public health directions.

Please check your student email and LMS site regularly for 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.

As we have communicated previously, all staff, students, contractors and visitors attending La Trobe’s campuses from 1 December 2021 must be fully vaccinated (or hold a valid medical exemption). Upload proof of your vaccination status to StudentOnLine and link your digital vaccination certificate to the Service Victoria app on your phone before attending campus.

General vaccination requirements and accessing our campuses

The Victorian Government COVIDSafe settings, and our new Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination, now requires students to be fully vaccinated to access on-site learning (with very limited exemptions including evidence of a valid temporary medical exemption). We encourage all students to get vaccinated.

What is the vaccination requirement for students who wish to attend a La Trobe campus/on-site activity?

As communicated previously, from 1 December 2021, all staff, students, contractors and visitors attending La Trobe’s campuses must be fully vaccinated. Upload proof of your vaccination status to StudentOnLine and link your digital vaccination certificate to the Service Victoria app on your phone before attending campus. While on-site you will be required to provide evidence of your vaccination status if requested by a COVID Marshall.

See also: Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination

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:

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

In addition, we will not be able to validate your certificate if the information:

  • you provided does not match the information on the vaccination certificate provided
  • on the vaccination certificate does not match the information we have in our student records

Under the Government guidelines and the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Procedure, 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, if you choose not to be vaccinated (without a valid medical exemption), you are not permitted to enter any La Trobe campus and will no longer satisfy the legal requirements as outlined in the Victorian Government’s Pandemic Order and the University’s Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination

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 loaded a valid vaccination certificate or exemption to ensure you are not charged for subjects you cannot attend. This may impact your progression.

Graduate researchers and students undertaking placement should inform their supervisor or the placements team for further information.

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 for further details.

RETURN TO CAMPUS

COVID-19 General Advice

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

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.
  • Notifying the University via our COVID-19 Notification form (see: COVID-19 Update: New processes for reporting positive test results) 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 required by current Government directions (Vic and NSW) unless medical exemptions apply. It is highly recommended you continue to wear a face mask in situations where you cannot maintain suitable physical distancing including undertaking in person group work or gathering in student residences.
  • Using the QR code sign-in to each building you enter on campus (Vic only).

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 students and staff?

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

The University has a COVIDSafe Plan in place.

    • 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
    • All people must use the QR code system to record the buildings entered across the campus (Vic only)
    • Buildings are being professionally cleaned, to the standard guided by the 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 (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 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 complete the notification form at latrobe.edu.au/covidnotification. For more information see: COVID-19 Update: New processes for reporting positive test results.

ACCESSING THE CAMPUS

Do I need to sign-in when on campus?

Yes, the University is part of the Victorian Government’s Vaccinated Economy and as such QR code sign in is still required. All students, staff and visitors are required to use the QR code system to sign into each building they visit on campus (Vic only). If you do not have a device on you please ask someone to assist and sign-in for you.

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
  • If you have been in contact with a confirmed/probable Coronavirus COVID-19 case, you have been tested and returned a negative result
  • 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

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.

I forgot my phone and I don't have a device to use for the QR system – what should I do?

You are required to still register your movements. You should ask someone to assist and sign you in using their phone. The Service Victoria App has the facility to sign in multiple people.

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

The University’s cleaning standard is guided by 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),
  • not attend campus if feeling unwell, and
  • if experiencing respiratory symptoms (even mild ones), get tested (PCR or RAT) and 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?

All of our buildings meet or exceed relevant ventilation standards based on the time of construction. The ventilation systems within La Trobe University buildings have been adjusted wherever possible to provide the maximum amount of fresh air supply since early 2020.

In areas considered higher risk, HEPA filters and CO2 monitors have been installed where the building’s ventilation systems are able to accommodate it.  Portable air purifiers are being used in some locations where a safety risk assessment has deemed it necessary.

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.

While indoor face mask mandate has been removed for most settings, for some on campus activity 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.

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

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

I am on campus but I have to attend an online class/lecture, where can I attend it?

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 and wear your headphones so others can enjoy a similar experience.

In addition, the University have quiet study/informal learning spaces across all campuses, this includes:

  • 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

La Trobe University has suspended all inbound Exchange and Study Abroad programs that require a student to travel overseas with a scheduled commencement date on or before 30 June 2022.

Are there any impact international Exchange and Study Abroad program?

For students with upcoming Semester Exchanges or Overseas Short Programs.

The Australian Government has recently reopened the national border.

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.

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 students 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

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

There are a number of virtual programs available to La Trobe University students including virtual internships with international organisations. Please contact the Study Abroad Team at  Studyabroad@latrobe.edu.au for more information.

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 -please refer to the library's 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.

ACADEMIC

Will there be an adjustment to special consideration requirements?

We have made adjustments to our Special Consideration process to account for challenges with COVID-19.  More information can be found in the  Special Consideration, Reasons and documentation page.

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 to me?

Student Health and Wellbeing services are available online, via telephone and in-person. See the Health and Wellbeing page for details.

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 financial assistance if I cannot work due to testing/quarantine requirements?

Students may 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.