How La Trobe’s new student support measures are helping students during the COVID-19 crisis

La Trobe University has acted quickly to respond to the needs of our student community since the COVID-19 outbreak began. See how our new support measures can help you.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in January, the University has responded quickly to support you in new ways, we want to ensure that this global crisis has as little impact on your studies as possible and ensure you can complete your degree as planned.

Over the past few months we’ve introduced a whole series of new support measures to ensure you can stay on track with your studies. In case you’ve missed any of our new support measures and how to access them, here’s a quick wrap so you can get the support you need.

Financial Assistance Program

In response to a growing demand for assistance from those of you who are struggling we launched our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program. The program is available to all our students and has focused on assisting those most in need first. 

This support package is available to you if you are experiencing financial hardship and includes three key supports:

  • A technology bursary that will support you if you don’t have access to computers or internet services at your place of residence.
  • A one-off $3000 Crisis Support Scholarship for those of you experiencing significant financial crisis and housing insecurity
  • An emergency relief fund that will provide one-off payments for essentials such as food.

The fund has already provided over $1.9M in support and will continue to ensure students receive the support they need when they need it most. This fund has been supported by staff, alumni and the wider La Trobe community who have raised $400,000 in the first week to help get every student through COVID-19.

Other financial assistance

We are conscious that all our students require financial support at this time, to support you we have:

  • 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. If you have already paid you SSAF contribution for Semester 1 you will receive details about your refund in the coming weeks.
  • Extended the due date for international student fees until 30 April.
  • Provided rent relief to support students in financial hardship who live in on campus accommodation.
  • Waived all on-campus parking fees and are processing refunds.

All learning support now online

When we moved all classes online in March, we also made all of our on-campus learning support available online.

University services you can now access remotely include the LibraryASK La TrobeCareers Service and The Learning Hub and our Peer Learning Advisers.

Supporting your wellbeing

All of our counselling services are now delivered online and we’ve created a new wellbeing check-in service to support you if you need assistance but don’t require therapeutic counselling.

An additional support we’ve introduced is outreach phone calls to every student to check in on how you are doing and ensure you are connected to the support you need.

The University has also provided specialist wellbeing support to all the students who were required to self-isolate due to potential exposure to COVID-19 that included a daily wellbeing check in.

More flexible study arrangements

We know that the COVID-19 crisis may have presented you with new challenges or difficult changes to your circumstances that could impact your ability to progress with your course or subjects as planned. 

We are introducing more flexible special consideration processes for assignments and exams, including alteration to the evidence required to support applications. 

The University has also extended Semester 1 Census Date by two weeks to Wednesday 15 April. 

If you’re thinking about changing your subject enrolment, we would encourage you to speak to your course or subject coordinator to discuss your options, and make sure it’s completed by census on 15 April. Also ensure you get  Subject Coordinator permission to add subjects as self-enrolment is now closed.

Changes to our academic calendar

In the past two months we’ve seen huge changes to how we deliver all our courses and subjects at La Trobe. As a result of these significant changes we’ve had to move a few things around. 

We will now start Semester 2 one week earlier than planned on 20 July. This will allow us to provide additional teaching periods for catch up studies later in the year for subjects that were unable to continue in Semester 1.  

Those who missed their compulsory face-to-face activities in Semester 1 we are working to schedule opportunities for you to make this up. You will receive more detailed information on this from your subject coordinators in the coming weeks.

Opportunity for feedback

We are always happy to receive your feedback, and we understand that since the COVID-19 restrictions have been introduced and we’ve transformed the way we teach you may have additional concerns that you may want to raise.

We will be launching a short survey for all students on Wednesday 15 April and we encourage every student to provide feedback about what is working well and what can be improved.

Updates

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve we would ask that you check your student email regularly for administration and support information and that you monitor our MyLaTrobe channels for regular updates.