Emailed updates

Catch-up with the Vice-Chancellor's COVID-19 related emails to students.

This page was last updated on 14 April 2022.

The COVID-19 Protection Framework is in effect – all of Aotearoa New Zealand is currently at orange. Public health measures apply.

If you are unwell: stay at home, study remotely where possible, and contact your faculty office if you are concerned about any impact on your academic programme.

You must wear a mask at all times while indoors on campus, including during teaching and learning activities. Spare masks are available if needed.

Aotearoa New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Orange setting

This email is sent to all students on behalf of COVID-19 Incident Controller Leon Bakker

Kia ora koutou,

As you will now know, Aotearoa New Zealand is moving to the COVID-19 Orange setting from 11.59 pm tonight, Wednesday 13 April 2022.

Moving to Orange means there is still transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, with increasing pressure on our health systems, but some restrictions can be eased.

Currently, we do not expect to implement any significant changes to University operations under Orange, with a lot of the guidance under the Red setting still in place. We expect the capacity limits on campus may change.

Once we receive further information from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, more detailed guidance on University operations will be updated on our website.

While on campus, we all have an important role to play in reducing transmission of COVID-19 by following public health measures. Everyone following these measures, such as staying home when sick, wearing a face mask at all times indoors, and maintaining physical distance, is vital in protecting your own health and that of others, including members of our community who are at greater risk of the effects of COVID-19, so that they can fully participate in their work or study.

You will receive an email tomorrow linking to the relevant documents which helped shape Kaiwhakakapi Tumu Whakarae—Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Jennifer Windsor’s decision to discontinue the University’s vaccine mandate from 11.59 pm on Monday 25 April.

If you have any questions, please send them to students@vuw.ac.nz.

Take care of yourselves and enjoy the mid-trimester break.

Ngā mihi,

Leon

All emails to students

14 April student message

Aotearoa New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Orange setting

This email is sent to all students on behalf of COVID-19 Incident Controller Leon Bakker

Kia ora koutou,

As you will now know, Aotearoa New Zealand is moving to the COVID-19 Orange setting from 11.59 pm tonight, Wednesday 13 April 2022.

Moving to Orange means there is still transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, with increasing pressure on our health systems, but some restrictions can be eased.

Currently, we do not expect to implement any significant changes to University operations under Orange, with a lot of the guidance under the Red setting still in place. We expect the capacity limits on campus may change.

Once we receive further information from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, more detailed guidance on University operations will be updated on our website.

While on campus, we all have an important role to play in reducing transmission of COVID-19 by following public health measures. Everyone following these measures, such as staying home when sick, wearing a face mask at all times indoors, and maintaining physical distance, is vital in protecting your own health and that of others, including members of our community who are at greater risk of the effects of COVID-19, so that they can fully participate in their work or study.

You will receive an email tomorrow linking to the relevant documents which helped shape Kaiwhakakapi Tumu Whakarae—Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Jennifer Windsor’s decision to discontinue the University’s vaccine mandate from 11.59 pm on Monday 25 April.

If you have any questions, please send them to students@vuw.ac.nz.

Take care of yourselves and enjoy the mid-trimester break.

Ngā mihi,

Leon

4 April student message

COVID-19 update Monday 4 April

Timing for decision on University vaccine mandate

This email is sent to all students on behalf of COVID-19 Incident Controller Leon Bakker

Kia ora koutou,

Thank you very much to everyone who contributed their views on the University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate through last week’s survey.

We know that there are a number of different views on this topic and taking the time to make a decision is in the best interests of our community. The wellbeing, health, and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority as we continue to respond to COVID-19. We also understand that a potential change to the current vaccine mandate position may create more uncertainty and support is available to you throughout the University.

Our Kaiwhakakapi Tumu Whakarae—Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Jennifer Windsor is currently considering the future of the University’s vaccine mandate, taking into account a range of factors. These include our updated health and safety risk assessment (PDF), the consultation with students and staff through last week’s survey, current public health guidance, our obligations under the University’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi Statute, our obligations to our students, equity considerations, the Pastoral Care Code, the Human Rights Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act, and our obligations as an employer.

As you may be aware, the Government has announced this afternoon that all of Aotearoa New Zealand will remain at the Red setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework with the next review to take place on Thursday 14 April.

At 11.59 pm this evening (Monday 4 April) a number of changes the Government is making to the Red setting take effect, including the removal of Government vaccine mandates for tertiary education facilities.

As a decision is yet to be made about the Te Herenga Waka vaccine mandate, our requirement remains that anyone coming to our campuses or taking part in face-to-face University activities must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) against COVID-19.

We will be in touch with you as soon as a decision has been made and expect this will be later this week.

More information about the vaccine mandate survey, and our process, can be found on the University website.

If you have questions, please send them to students@vuw.ac.nz.

Ngā mihi,

Leon

23 March student message

COVID-19 update Wednesday 23 March

Kia ora koutou,

This morning the Government made a number of announcements about the current COVID-19 settings in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are working to understand what these changes will mean for our community and will provide you with more information as soon as we can, including on the University’s vaccine mandate.

The changes announced included:

  • From Monday 4 April, a My Vaccine Pass will no longer be required by the Government to enter venues currently requiring a Pass and the Government’s vaccine mandates will be removed, except for certain workforces, including health and disability.
  • Requirements to scan in with the NZ COVID Tracer app will end.
  • The number of people allowed to gather inside will increase from 100 to 200 under the red traffic light setting. This guidance does not apply to educational settings as lectures, tutorials, and labs are not considered ‘events’.

As an important means of reducing transmission of COVID-19, face masks will still be required, including on campus.

We know that some of you may feel worried or concerned about these changes, particularly if you are at higher risk from the effects of COVID-19. I encourage you to make use of the support services available, including at Te Amaru—Disability Services and Mauri Ora—Student Health and Counselling. You can also read further guidance on our website.

A further update will be provided soon, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please send them to students@vuw.ac.nz.

Kia manawanui —hang in there, and take care of yourselves and each other.

Ngā manaakitanga, nā

Jennifer

28 February student message

COVID-19 update Monday 28 February

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome to Trimester 1. Whether you are studying with us in Aotearoa or overseas, I wish you all the best for your studies this year.

While a time of excitement and opportunity, the new academic year here also begins as we navigate the disruption caused by the Omicron outbreak. I want to reassure you that your health and safety remains our top priority.

For almost all of our courses, learning and teaching is being offered through dual delivery (both in-person and online learning). Please refer to Blackboard for information specific to your course. Capacity limits and distancing requirements apply in teaching and learning spaces. If your lecture theatre is full, overflow spaces are available where you can take your device and participate online. These include:

  • the Reading Room in the Kelburn Library
  • the Memorial Theatre foyer in the Student Union Building
  • the Hunter Lounge in the Student Union Building.

Your lecturer may also advise you of additional study spaces on our Kelburn campus.

These overflow spaces are also available for study for students who are ordinarily based at our Pipitea campus. If you have been affected by the temporary closure of our Pipitea campus, you can find further information and answers to student queries on our COVID-19 website. We continue to review this situation regularly and will keep you updated.

If you have not yet done so, please upload your My Vaccine Pass before coming in to any of our campuses—this will be linked to your student ID and to your campus access. While on campus, students are asked to wear a face mask at all times. Face masks are an essential tool in preventing the spread of infection and reducing your likelihood of needing to isolate. It is important we all follow the public health measures to protect everyone within our community.

Support is available throughout the University to students who test positive for COVID-19 or are in isolation. If you do test positive, or are isolating as you are a household contact, please let the University know by completing this webform. Students in University accommodation should follow instructions from their hall.

Our Student Health team have put together advice on managing your health if you test positive—you can find this on our website, as well as advice on what to consider if you are in self-isolation. Students who may be at higher risk from the effects of COVID-19 can also find further advice on our website.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 at Te Herenga Waka, including if you experience difficulty uploading your My Vaccine Pass, please email students@vuw.ac.nz.

All the best for the start of this trimester.

Ngā mihi nui,

Grant

24 February Student message

COVID-19 update Thursday 24 February

Kia ora koutou,

I hope those of you who have just joined us are enjoying New Students’ Orientation and are looking forward to starting your studies next week. We look forward to welcoming you and our returning students to Trimester 1.

Our students contribute to the Wellington region in various ways. With a new academic year about to begin, it is timely to remind you that as members of the University and the wider Wellington community, all of us need to be considerate and respectful to our neighbours. In addition, all students must follow the government requirements around gatherings under the Red setting, which is in place for all of Aotearoa New Zealand.

COVID-19 updates—campus life

Information for students about campus life under the Red setting is regularly updated on our COVID-19 website. You can find how to upload your My Vaccine Pass, important health measures to keep our community safe, and resources to support your studies—including our laptop loan scheme. I encourage you to take up the support available.

While on campus, students are asked to wear a face mask at all times. Face masks are an essential tool in preventing the spread of infection and reducing your likelihood of needing to isolate.

A more streamlined process for students to let the University know if you test positive for COVID-19 is being finalised and we will provide further details early next week. Students who live in University accommodation will have received information about what to do if they are COVID-positive from their Head of Hall.

COVID-19 updates—teaching and learning

Our learning and teaching currently centres on dual delivery (both in-person and online learning). We understand that many students want to attend classes in person, and we are taking all the steps we can to provide that opportunity and a vibrant campus experience, where we can and for as long as it is safe to do so. The guidelines we have developed treat the health and safety of staff and students as a top priority.

To help inform the University’s teaching and learning response, we recently conducted a survey to gather views from new and returning students about their preferences for course delivery in Trimester One 2022. There were 1,885 responses from students, 94% of whom intend to be based in Wellington while studying. The results showed that only a small proportion of the students surveyed favoured fully on-line learning (13%) with the rest preferring either face-to-face/in-person (43%) or dual delivery (44%). You can see the full results of the survey online.

Update on Pipitea

The protests at Parliament grounds continue to cause disruption to our University community and to Wellingtonians.

To provide some certainty and clarity, the decision has been made to close the Pipitea campus to all students, with the exception of PhD and thesis students. This arrangement will be in place until the mid-Trimester break, which begins on Monday 11 April 2022. The situation, which continues to be volatile, is being reviewed regularly and we will keep you updated.


Please note that if your courses are now scheduled to take place at Kelburn campus, room changes are being made and you are advised to check your updated timetable in myAllocator and myTimetable.

Our website has updates for students on the Pipitea campus closure and further information on the support available to you, including options for transport from Wellington train station to our other campuses. The website will continue to be updated to address student queries so please check back regularly.

Look after yourselves and each other.

Ngā mihi nui,
Grant

10 February 2022 Student message

COVID-19 update Thursday 10 February

Kia ora,

I hope you and your whānau are well and you are enjoying your studies or the summer break and are looking forward to the start of the university year. We too are looking forward to welcoming you all to campus. If you have not yet re-enrolled, you can do so online—online applications close on Thursday 24 February.

I am emailing to update you on how Te Herenga Waka is adapting to the ‘Red’ setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. By following the guidance of this Framework, the University can safely remain open to vaccinated students and staff.

Operations under Red—dual delivery

We are currently centring our learning and teaching delivery under ‘Red’ on dual delivery (i.e. both in-person and online learning). This is our most flexible delivery mode meaning we can adapt to whatever Omicron throws at us while keeping you moving forward in your academic studies. Staff across Te Herenga Waka are planning for what changes may be required as the Omicron situation evolves and are regularly reviewing operations to ensure we can provide the best possible experience for students, while minimising risks.

The guidelines we have developed treat the health and safety of staff and students as a top priority and allow us to carefully manage risks and adhere to Government guidance. We understand that many students want to attend classes in person, and we are taking all the steps we can to provide dual delivery and a vibrant campus experience, where we can and for as long as it is safe to do so.

As we move forward with this planning, we would like to understand your preferred way of taking part in teaching and learning. Please complete our short survey.

In some circumstances, and as we move through the Government’s phased approach to managing the Omicron variant, we may need to move some or all of our teaching and student services fully online. For example, if an academic staff member was required to isolate we may need to move their teaching fully online without any face-to-face teaching. In these circumstances, students will be contacted through an announcement on Blackboard or via email. However, let me assure you that vaccinated students will not be prevented from accessing our campuses should we move fully online and all students will still be able to complete their courses. Similarly, the Faculty of Graduate Research will help and support postgraduate students if their research is affected by the epidemic.

Support for students if circumstances change

If you are unable to participate in learning and teaching activities at home, there are study spaces available for collaborative study (green) and quiet study (blue) zones in all our campus libraries. Read about the Library’s current operations online. If required, we would make additional spaces available on campus, taking into consideration that students will need spaces where they can actively participate in classes without disrupting others around them.

The Pūtea Āwhina—Hardship Fund is available to support students experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19, including the option to borrow a laptop from the University for the duration of your programme of study. You can read more about how to apply, and other financial support available, on our website.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccinations are a key part of our overall safety strategy and our requirement that anyone who visits our campus is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 allows us to offer an in-person experience in a way that is as safe as possible. Many of you will have taken part in the student survey we ran last year, which showed that 85 percent of those who responded said they would feel safer with staff being vaccinated, and 84 percent would feel safer with other students being vaccinated.

Students planning to be on campus in Trimester 1 need to upload their COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass as soon as possible, and before coming in. Thank you to everyone who has already uploaded their pass.

You can upload your pass here. Please use your University log in details (your @myvuw.ac.nz email address) and contact our Digital Solutions team if you have any problems.

Your My Vaccine Pass will be linked to your student ID, giving campus access only to those who have provided a valid pass (with the exception of the main Hunter reception, the Easterfield Building access to the Pharmacy and the Recreation Centre). At a number of places on campus, staff may also ask to sight your My Vaccine Pass. We have taken these steps to both adhere to Government guidelines and further ensure your safety and wellbeing.

For those without a valid COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass who need to access health and/or counselling services, this may be conducted virtually via telehealth or in the portacabins in the Hunter Building carpark on the Kelburn campus. Students without a My Vaccine Pass can call Mauri Ora on 04 463 5308 to discuss their options.

Another way we can keep our community well and keep our campuses open, is by implementing public health measures, including wearing a mask at all times. You can read about these measures on our website.

I know this will be an uncertain time for many of you, and our staff are here to support you. We are working to provide as much certainty as we can in the midst of ever-changing circumstances while ensuring your safety and wellbeing.

Please do check our student newsletter, Whītiki, as we regularly provide important information and updates there.

Look after yourselves and each other.

Ngā mihi nui,

Grant

1 February 2022 Student message

COVID-19 update Tuesday 1 February

Kia ora,

As you know, under the Red setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, which currently applies to all of Aotearoa New Zealand, all students, staff and visitors on campus or who are participating in face-to-face University activities offsite must be vaccinated. In addition, the University’s own mandatory vaccination requirement took effect yesterday.

Thank you to all the students who have already uploaded their COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass. If you have not already uploaded your pass, please do this as soon as possible using the link on the website for students. If you have any difficulties uploading your COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass, please contact Digital Solutions.

Some of you may have experienced an error message when trying to upload your My Vaccine Pass previously. Please note, you need to use your University log-in to upload your pass (your @myvuw.ac.nz email address). If you access the link from your preferred email address and see an error message, click on ‘Click here to sign in with a different account to this site’ and use your University log-in details.

To ensure that the University complies with the Government guidelines under the Red setting, we will be locking all exterior building doors except to the main reception area in the Hunter Building and Easterfield Building access to the Pharmacy and the Recreation Centre. You may be asked to show your vaccine pass at these ‘unlocked’ entry points. Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) services at the Kelburn and Pipitea campuses can also be accessed, although the majority of these services are being delivered online or by phone. You can read an update on current Mauri Ora operations online.

We will also be deactivating swipe card access for those who have not uploaded their pass. In addition, we will be using electronic systems, such as computer devices and Wi-Fi access, to monitor compliance with the requirement that everyone on campus must be vaccinated.

Mask wearing is a primary way of reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Please note that we are all required to wear a face mask while in public spaces on campus.

You can find more information on our operations under the Red setting, including campus access under our COVID-19 vaccine mandate, in this section of our website.

Once again, please upload your COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass as soon as possible if you have not already done this.

Kia kaha.

Ngā mihi,
Grant

24 January 2022 Student message

COVID-19 update Monday 24 January

Kia ora koutou,

As you will know, the whole of Aotearoa New Zealand is now in the Red setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, due to community spread of the Omicron variant.

Under the Red setting:

  • All staff, students and visitors on campus or participating in face-to-face University activities offsite must be vaccinated
  • Almost all courses will be offered in dual mode
  • Capacity limits in spaces on campus are the same as under COVID-19 alert level 2 -no number limit but 1m distancing is required
  • You must follow 1m physical distancing from others
  • You must wear a face covering when indoors in public spaces on campus
  • It is mandatory to sign-in using the NZ COVID Tracer app when you are on campus
  • Student services continue to offer online services, with limited in-person options (with the exception of Mauri Ora, which is open for students in some cases). Please contact the student service by email in the first instance. This approach will be reviewed by Friday this week and changes will be updated on our website.
  • Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) will deliver the majority of appointments via telehealth. In-person appointments will be possible where necessary but may require additional screening. Appointments can only be made by calling in advance on 04-463 5308. Read more about Mauri Ora operations on their website.
  • Our halls of residence remain open and must follow their own processes for operating at this setting.

Students and staff who are going to be on campus and/or involved in face-to-face learning and teaching are required to upload a copy of your COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass. This copy will then be authenticated against the University’s system to show that you have uploaded your valid COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass.

We will email a link to upload your My Vaccine Pass as soon as possible this week.

Anyone who does not have a COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass (and those with an official vaccine exemption will have access to this pass) cannot come to any of our campuses or take part in face-to-face University activities. Vaccination is not required for those not eligible for vaccination in New Zealand, those accessing University Kids Wellington, Mauri Ora, and the University Pharmacy.

Updated guidelines on University operations under the Red setting can be found on our website.

These guidelines and other information will be continuously updated as further information is received from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education so please visit the site regularly.

Please look after yourselves and others and follow all Ministry of Health advice on keeping our community safe.

Kia kaha.

Grant

23 January 2022 Student message

Aotearoa New Zealand moves to COVID-19 red setting, 23 January 2022

Dear all,

As you will now know, Aotearoa New Zealand is moving to the COVID-19 red setting from midnight tonight, Sunday 23 January.

Moving to red is the result of confirmation that there is community spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

It is essential that you check the Ministry of Health website detailing locations of interest related to the latest COVID-19 community cases, and follow the instructions on that site if they apply to you.

Under the red setting:

  • Everyone on campus or participating in face-to-face University activities offsite must be vaccinated
  • Almost all courses will be offered in dual mode—check Blackboard for more information for course specific information
  • Capacity limits in spaces on campus are the same as under COVID-19 alert level 2
  • You must follow 1 metre physical distancing from others
  • You must wear a face covering when indoors
  • It is mandatory to sign-in using the NZ COVID Tracer app when you are on campus
  • Our halls of residence remain open and must follow their own processes for operating at this setting.

Information about the University’s response to COVID-19 can be found on our website: https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/covid-19

These guidelines and other information will be updated as further information is received from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education so please visit the site regularly.

Please look after yourselves and others and follow all Ministry of Health advice on keeping our community safe.

We will be in touch soon.

Kia kaha.

Grant

16 December 2021 Student message

Update on COVID-19 vaccine mandate, 16 December 2021

Kia ora koutou,

As announced last week, it will be mandatory for all students, staff and visitors to our campuses to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from Monday 31 January 2022.

If you are continuing your studies in 2022, you can find further information about the mandate and answers to some of the commonly asked questions on our website. We are continuing to work through the details of how the vaccine mandate will be applied and more information will be added to the website as decisions are made.

Please continue to send through questions, feedback, or concerns to students@vuw.ac.nz. Your email will be answered although the volume of emails being received means there may be some delay.

As a reminder, the University will be closed from Monday 20 December until Monday 10 January, although a small number of services and facilities will be open during this time. Read their opening hours and how to contact these teams here.

Ngā mihi

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

9 December 2021 Student message

Decision on COVID-19 vaccine mandate, 9 December 2021

Kia ora koutou,

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington will introduce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for those studying, working, and visiting its campuses and premises in 2022.

The mandate will apply from Monday 31 January, requiring all staff and all students to be fully vaccinated if they enter University campuses or take part in face-to-face University activities. It will also apply to all contractors and visitors who wish to enter University campuses.

We will review our approach to a vaccine mandate every three months or at the end of Trimester 1 in June 2022.

Read the University’s full requirements around vaccination against COVID-19 and information about who will be eligible for an exemption.

This decision is underpinned by a detailed risk assessment, as well as consultation with staff, students, unions, and University Council members.

As previously advised, a survey sent to all staff and students showed there was widespread support for a vaccine mandate with the vast majority of staff respondents saying they would be more comfortable coming to campus if they were vaccinated (93%), their colleagues were vaccinated (90%) and students were vaccinated (90%).

For students, a high number of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they would be more comfortable at the University if they were vaccinated (89%), favoured staff being vaccinated (85%), as well as favoured other students being vaccinated (84%).

Alongside our other public health measures, this decision ensures the University meets its obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Pastoral Care Code of Practice and also ensures the safety and wellbeing of our community. This is particularly important for the University as the survey revealed that 40 percent of our community are either part of, or have a family member who is part of, a vulnerable population.

We still have work to do with government agencies to finalise details of how the vaccine mandate will be applied and implemented and will keep you informed as decisions are made. I can assure you that we will be as respectful and empathetic as possible in implementing government guidelines, while also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community.

We know that many of you will have questions about how the mandate will be monitored and enforced on campus and we will provide guidance on this and other matters in the coming weeks.

For those who are yet to be vaccinated and wish to do so, Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) are continuing to run a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the Kelburn campus. The clinics are running until Friday 17 December on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9.30 am and 3 pm, and no booking is required.

We have not taken this decision lightly, but I am confident it is the best possible course of action to ensure the safety of us all.

Please send through questions, feedback, or concerns to students@vuw.ac.nz

Ngā mihi,

Grant

2 December 2021 Student message

Vice-Chancellor's message to students, 2 December 2021

Kia ora koutou,

Wellington moves to the ‘orange’ setting when the new COVID-19 protection framework takes effect at 11.59 pm tonight, Thursday 2 December.

Although we are yet to receive final information and guidance from the Ministry of Education about what this means for universities, we are providing interim information about what this means at Te Herenga Waka.

University life will remain similar to university operations under alert level 2:

  • You must scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app as you move through campus.
  • Use your student ID card to swipe in (and out) of buildings.
  • You are encouraged to maintain physical distancing of 1 metre.
  • You are encouraged to wear a face covering while on campus (these are mandatory at Mauri Ora—Student Health and Counselling and Te Amaru—Disability Services).
  • Stay home if you are unwell.

The full preliminary guidelines regarding University operations are available on our website.

Please send through questions, feedback, or concerns to students@vuw.ac.nz.

Ngā mihi,

Grant

29 November 2021 Student message

Vice-Chancellor's message to students, 29 November 2021

Kia ora koutou,

The Prime Minister has confirmed that Wellington will be at orange when the new COVID-19 protection framework takes effect in Aotearoa New Zealand at 11.59 pm on Thursday 2 December.

We have received some preliminary guidance from the Ministry of Education about what this means for universities. Over the coming days, we will be looking at the guidelines in more detail to determine if changes are required to University operations.

Overall, university operations under the ‘orange’ level of the traffic light system will be very similar to operations under the current alert level 2.

Existing contact tracing systems continue on campus (using the NZ COVID-19 tracer app), you are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings in public spaces or places where it is hard to physically distance, and you should also continue to follow the hygiene practices advised by the Ministry of Health. You can find more information about these principles on the Ministry's website.

Students are able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) on our Kelburn campus. Mauri Ora is running walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.30 am–3 pm until Friday 17 December (booking in advance isn’t necessary).

I would also like to let you know that our Auckland office will not be reopening this year and students will need to continue accessing services remotely. The office will open on 10 January after the Christmas/New Year closedown. Further guidance regarding how the campus will operate under ‘red’ (which Auckland will be in from this Friday) will be shared in due course.

Further information will be shared on this website once decisions about university operations have been finalised.

Ngā mihi,

Grant

23 September 2021 Student message

Vice-Chancellor's message to students, 23 September 2021

Kia ora koutou,

Thanks to everyone for your ongoing patience with life at alert level 2.

It has been great to see a good number of students and staff visiting the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Hub at the Kelburn campus today. The clinics will also be running tomorrow and Saturday between 9 am and 4 pm. You can book a vaccination by calling 0800 282 296 or logging into bookmyvaccine and using the booking code SC66OF8PCG. The clinic will also be accepting walk-ins. The vaccination programme is being run by Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) in partnership with Tū Ora Compass Health, and with support from VUWSA and other student representative groups—thank you to all those involved.

We have now received updated guidance from the Ministry of Education, which confirms that students and staff who are in an alert level 3 area are not permitted to return to Wellington, or any other area at alert level 2, unless they have an exemption from the Director-General of Health. I appreciate that this may be frustrating for those of you in this situation and thank you for abiding by the guidelines and playing your part in protecting our community. Please get in touch with your course coordinator, faculty staff, or our student services, if you require additional support.

Other changes include an increase in the capacity limits for large teaching and learning spaces, which can now accommodate up to 200 staff and students with physical distancing of one metre. The previous limit was 100.

You can read more information about University life at alert level 2 elsewhere on our COVID-19 information site. As a reminder, during alert level 2, the campus opening hours are the same as those for the Library. Currently our libraries are open from 8.30 am–8 pm from Monday to Friday, except for the Commerce Library, which closes at 5 pm (mezzanine floor will remain open). All libraries will remain open from 10 am–3 pm on weekends.

Find out more about library operations.

Kind regards,

Grant

21 September 2021 Student message

Vice-Chancellor's message to students, 21 September 2021

Dear all,

As you will have heard, the Government has confirmed that Auckland will move to alert level 3 at 11.59 pm tomorrow (Tuesday 21 September) while the rest of Aotearoa will remain at alert level 2. These arrangements will next be reviewed on Monday 4 October.

I would like to thank you all for your cooperation and patience with the current measures that we are required to have in place on our Wellington campuses during alert level 2.

With Auckland moving down a level, I know there will be students who are keen to return to Wellington and the University. The current guidance from the Ministry of Education (MoE) is that travel between alert level areas is highly limited and an exemption to travel is likely to be needed.

That guidance also advises students who live in halls of residence and are currently in an alert level 3 area that they should remain where they are and are strongly discouraged from returning to their student accommodation unless it is an emergency.

We are waiting for further advice from the MoE to help clarify the circumstances in which students who are in an area still at alert level 3 can return to campus and will share this with you as soon as it is available.

Meanwhile, all our campus areas remain available to students and staff but please maintain physical distancing protocols, wear a face covering, carry your student ID card at all times, and comply with contact tracing requirements.

Library opening hours

From today (Monday 20 September), libraries resume COVID-19 alert level 2 opening hours. All libraries are open from 8.30 am–8 pm from Monday to Friday, except for the Commerce Library, which closes at 5 pm (mezzanine floor will remain open). All libraries will remain open from 10 am–3 pm on weekends.

Find out more about library operations.

Given the limit of 100 staff and students in each lecture or teaching space, students can use study spaces in the Library in the Kelburn campus to join the classes online on their devices.

COVID-19 vaccinations

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week, COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be running in the Hub from 9 am to 4 pm. These clinics are run by Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling), in partnership with Tū Ora Compass Health and with support from VUWSA.

You can book your vaccination by calling 0800 282 296 or log into bookmyvaccine and use the booking code SC66OF8PCG. VUWSA are also running activities for students alongside the vaccination clinics.

You can find further information on how the University is operating and additional support for students elsewhere on our COVID-19 information site. Please get in touch with staff and our services if there’s anything we can help you with.

We will be in touch again when we have further information to share.

Kind regards,
Grant

8 September 2021 Student message

Vice-Chancellor's message to students, 8 September 2021

Dear all,

Thank you for your patience as we awaited the Delta alert level 2 guidance from the Ministry of Education.

In general terms, operating at alert level 2 reflects the confidence of public health authorities that COVID-19 is not currently circulating in the Wellington community. As a result, all businesses and services can open but legally must follow public health guidelines.

As I advised yesterday, we will resume normal University operations, including in-person teaching and delivery of student services, on Monday 13 September. You can come to campus this week of course to study or collect items you need.

We are committed to dual delivery, ensuring those of you who cannot get to campus can continue to study and use our services. This includes those of you who are in Auckland where alert level 4 continues, those of you overseas and those who are unable to come to campus for health or other personal reasons.

Learning and teaching

Under alert level 2, most courses are offered in dual mode. It is anticipated that there will be few new exceptions at this point in the teaching trimester.

Physical distancing of 1 metre is strongly recommended in learning and teaching spaces. A limit on 100 staff and students in each lecture or teaching space is strongly recommended. Our experience in previous periods under alert level 2 is that this maximum number was seldom reached. However, we will have an overflow space on the Kelburn campus that you can go to and join the class online using your device, if room capacity is exceeded or you feel uncomfortable being in a teaching space. This space will be in the Reading Room in the Kelburn Library.

Wearing a face covering is strongly recommended for staff and students in teaching and learning spaces but is not mandatory except in public-facing areas including Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling), the University Pharmacy, the University Recreation Centre and retailers on campus. You are also encouraged to wear a face covering in confined spaces where physical distancing is not possible.

We understand that some students may not be able to wear face coverings due to underlying health conditions. I urge you to be kind and support one another as we make a gradual transition back to campus life.

Entry and exit points in large learning and teaching spaces will be separate and clearly marked, and queue management systems will be in place.

There are a small number of already approved courses that have compulsory face to face components (PDF). All courses have contingency plans in place for any students who are not able to come to campus. There may also be a small number of courses that are delivered fully online. Students taking any of these courses will be notified via Blackboard and email.

You will notice a greater number of QR codes for the NZ Tracer app displayed in learning and teaching spaces, and in other places on campus, to ensure students and staff can comply with contact tracing requirements.

Research

All research on campus can be conducted on campus as it has been previously at alert level 2. However, face coverings are strongly recommended in research and laboratory spaces, and group sizes are controlled subject to health and safety assessments.

Halls of residence

We look forward to soon welcoming our residents from other alert level 2 regions. Students are not required to wear face coverings at halls of residence as these are their places of residence, but may wish to do so in shared and communal areas.

Finally, another reminder that we are increasing ventilation in teaching spaces meaning they might be cooler than you are used to. You may need to bring extra clothing to class as a result.

While a return to more normal operations is welcome, some of you will understandably feel anxious about returning to campus and some of you will also have health concerns or other issues that may impact your return. Please reach out to any of our services if there’s anything we can support you with. Your wellbeing and safety is our priority.

Kind regards,

Grant

7 September 2021 Student message

Vice-Chancellor's message to students, 7 September 2021

Dear all,

With all of Aotearoa New Zealand outside Auckland moving to alert level 2 at 11.59 pm tonight, I wanted to give you a brief update on University operations under Delta alert level 2.

Unfortunately we are still waiting for formal guidance from the Ministry of Education. This is now expected tomorrow, Wednesday, which does not give us enough time for in-person teaching to resume on Thursday (as I indicated yesterday we were endeavouring to do). Accordingly, we will resume normal University operations, including in-person teaching and delivery of student services, on Monday 13 September.

Staff and students are able to return to campus from tomorrow, however, provided physical distancing requirements can be met. This will give staff time to prepare for the resumption of normal University operations next week.

Students may wish to come to campus from tomorrow to study, use the library, or collect items that they did not take with them when we moved into alert level 4. Student services will continue to be delivered fully online until next Monday.

If you are coming to campus, please remember to bring your ID card and record your movements.

We have had some informal discussions with government officials today, which indicate the Delta alert level 2 guidance from the Ministry of Education is likely to include the following:

  • Face coverings will be strongly recommended in educational facilities but are unlikely to be mandatory except for those in public-facing roles, such as reception desks.
  • Physical distancing of 1 metre inside will be required in educational facilities—which is what we have complied with in previous periods under alert level 2. If space is limited in a room, staff and students are asked to wear a face covering.
  • We expect a limit of 100 people being in a class at any one time. Our experience in previous periods under alert level 2 is that this maximum number was seldom reached.

Furthermore, we are increasing ventilation in teaching spaces. This means that rooms may be slighter cooler than what you are used to.

I’m sure you have more questions about how we will be operating in these new circumstances. We will provide more detailed information around the resumption of in-person teaching and other operations under Delta alert level 2 tomorrow.

Thank you

Grant

6 September 2021 Student message

Vice-Chancellor's message to students, 6 September 2021

Dear all,

As you will have heard, Aotearoa New Zealand, with the exception of Auckland, will move to alert level 2 at 11.59 pm tomorrow, Tuesday 7 September. Auckland remains at alert level 4 with alert level settings to be reviewed next Monday 13 September.

The Government has advised that education providers have until Thursday morning to officially reopen, and we will endeavour to begin teaching in person on Thursday (9 September).

There are, however, some aspects of the new protocols in Delta alert level 2 that need clarification in terms of their impact on University operations. We are awaiting guidance directly from the Ministry of Education about whether and/or how the new requirement for 2 metre distancing indoors and limits of 50 on gatherings might apply to the University.

We are expecting guidance from the Ministry of Education (MoE) within the next 24 hours and will update you as soon as possible.

As we get ready to welcome you on campus later this week, here are some details about what alert level 2 will look like on campus (bearing in mind that there may be some changes depending on advice from MoE).

Teaching and learning

  • In-person lectures, tutorials and seminars for many courses can take place in-person, but dual mode teaching continues. Studying online will be particularly important in instances where physical distancing protocols cannot be met.
  • Plans will be in place to pivot to full online teaching again if we move again to alert levels 3 or 4.
  • Please familiarise yourselves with how we will operate at under level 2, noting that these could change as a result of MoE guidance.

Research

  • We are waiting for further guidance from MoE about undertaking research at alert level 2 and will provide more information soon.

On campus activity under alert level 2

  • Students (and staff) can access University buildings by using their ID cards from Wednesday providing physical distancing protocols are met. All campuses are closed to the public.
  • It is mandatory to scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app, with Bluetooth turned on, as you move through campus.
  • Maintain physical distancing—we are awaiting clarification of new requirements around this in educational and research settings.
  • Face coverings will need to be worn on campus.
  • Please stay home if you are unwell and adhere to the hygiene practices advised by the Ministry of Health when you are at work. You can find more information about these principles here.

Financial support

Help is available for students experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. Most currently enrolled students who are in financial hardship are eligible to apply to the Hardship Fund, including international students.

The Hardship Fund helps with a range of issues including but not limited to:

  • A change in your employment situation
  • Additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  • Increased living costs such as power
  • Difficulty covering weekly necessities.

Please email student-hardship@vuw.ac.nz to organise an appointment with a Student Finance Adviser or call 0800 04 04 04. You can find more information on the Hardship Fund page.

Student services

Most student services will offer in-person and online options. Please reach out to any of our services if there’s anything we can support you with. Your safety and wellbeing is our key priority.

University operations are much more complex at Delta alert level 2 and I know you may well have questions over the coming days. Please talk to your course coordinator if you have any specific questions.

We will be in touch again when we have received further information from the Ministry of Education.

Thank you and kia kaha,
Grant

Whitiki—1 September 2021

Message from the Vice-Provost (Academic)

Kia ora koutou,

A warm welcome back to the second half of the trimester. With all of Aotearoa south of the Auckland boundary now in alert level 3, I hope you’re safe and well in your bubbles.

Though we were hoping to see more of you back on campus this week, there will unfortunately be no on-campus teaching. Your safety and wellbeing is our key priority while under Alert Level 3. Students who do not have a suitable study space at home will be able to access allocated study spaces on campus. Learn more about how the University operates at different alert levels. If you have trouble accessing any space, please phone Campus Security on 0800 842 8888.

While being in alert level 4 coincided with the mid-trimester break for most students, we know that some of you, especially postgraduate students, have continued studying and working through the break. We’re aware that this period of lockdown has been more challenging for some of you and we hope you will reach out to our student services and support if there’s anything we can support you with. Our thoughts are also with all students in Auckland and Northland, at the centre of the current outbreak.

As we work towards addressing the challenges that have come up in the last couple of weeks, I’d also like to acknowledge all our students who are impacted by the current situation in Afghanistan. We are following the situation with great concern, and our thoughts are with all of you who have family and friend connections in this area. Please reach out to Kodrean Eashae, our refugee-background student adviser, if you need any support—email kodrean.eashae@vuw.ac.nz.

Please continue to check the Ministry of Health website and follow the instructions on that site if they apply to you. We look forward to a time when we can welcome everyone back on campus.

Ngā mihi,
Stuart

Professor Stuart Brock, Vice-Provost (Academic)

Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling)

Starting today, 1 September, Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) is running clinics on Wednesdays and Thursdays every week, in addition to those already scheduled for Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Vaccinations

Students are encouraged to book their vaccinations through the Book My Vaccine website.

Student Counselling will continue to offer counselling sessions by phone or video appointments between 10 am and 4 pm from Monday to Friday. Students can call (04) 463 5308 to access this service.

Pūtea Āwhina—Hardship Fund

Help is available for students experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. Most currently enrolled students who are in financial hardship are eligible to apply to the Hardship Fund, including international students.

The Hardship Fund helps with a range of issues including but not limited to:

  • A change in your employment situation
  • Additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  • Increased living costs such as power
  • Difficulty covering weekly necessities.

Please email student-hardship@vuw.ac.nz to organise an appointment with a Student Finance Adviser or call 0800 04 04 04. You can find more information on the Hardship Fund page.

Student Services Levy

Earlier this year, the University held a consultation with students to understand how the University should charge the Student Services Levy, which is used to fund services that are not covered by tuition fees. Further to this, Student and Academic Services, in partnership with VUWSA, are conducting a short survey to understand which of three options students prefer.

Please check your email inbox for the link to the survey. This survey is open until Sunday 5 September. All participants who complete the survey by 11.59 pm on Sunday will go in the draw to win one of five $100 prizes towards supporting your living expenses.

All queries can be sent via email to student-levy@vuw.ac.nz.

Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing

Sophie Standfield (she/her) is a second-year student majoring in Sociology and Political Science and minoring in New Zealand Sign Language and Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a Rainbow Tuākana with the University's Rainbow and Inclusion service, part of Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing.

Looking after ourselves

During the higher alert levels, our taha tinana (physical health) can impact our taha hinengaro (mental health) and vice versa, so try and take care of both. This could be in the form of watching content that makes you happy or listening to your favourite tunes. If you want less screen time, go for a walk and try and get some sunshine, or spend some time in the kitchen making some nourishing kai for yourself.

Getting a good amount of sleep is important, but oversleeping can also have negative side effects. If it’s something you need, making a routine can be beneficial—setting an alarm might suck, but having a regular sleep pattern can be worth it!

If your bubble is not the most affirming of places, know you can reach out. I recommend making a list of people who you can contact if you're struggling. Many organisations like InsideOUT, Qtopia, or QYouth are holding online spaces to offer connection during lockdown, and you can also plan things for when the country opens up again at lower levels.

Finally, ask yourself “does this spark joy?” You might not be in a position to remove the things that do not spark joy from your life right now, but try to notice what does make you happy and hold onto it.

Remember that you are never alone. Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing is here to provide students with support, and for Rainbow students, you can contact Rainbow and Inclusion adviser Liam Bloomfield, email liam.bloomfield@vuw.ac.nz

myView

Information and our lives with animals

PhD student Niloofar Solhjoo loves pets. Recently, a spinal injury suffered by her dog Peter has confirmed in her mind just how special companion animals are in peoples’ lives. In this myView blog post, the Iran-based student explains how her experiences of living with and caring for pets inspired her PhD research project.

Read Niloo's story on the myView site

A community focus through the pandemic

Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) student Jennie Smeaton is a Ngāti Toa community leader with a passion for helping people get through the pandemic. In this myView post she talks about the mahi her iwi are providing in response to the latest COVID-19 outbreak and how her studies play a big part in helping her make a difference.

Read Jennie's story on the myView site

Share your stories with us!

If you’d like to contribute to our student blog myView and share your experiences and stories, visit the website and read our submission guidelines, or get in touch a students@vuw.ac.nz.

University Recreation

The team at Uni Rec are delivering live lounge group exercise classes for our students to stay active during lockdown!

Sessions coming up during the rest of the week are:

  • Thursday 2 September at 12 pm—Pump with Trudi on Zoom. Join the meeting and enter the meeting ID: 784 600 9063
  • Friday 3 September at 1 pm—Yoga with Liz on Instagram. Tune in to the story live on the Uni Rec Instagram.

Check out the schedule on our Facebook page for more upcoming sessions. If the live sessions times don’t work for you, check out this Pilates session on YouTube from our amazing instructor Arlene!

For more information about University Recreation, head over to the website and take a look at what we offer.

Notices

Requesting items from the Library in alert level 3

While we are in alert level 3, you are able to request items from both the Kelburn and Law Libraries to help with your individual study and research needs. We will be offering this service Monday to Friday.

You can collect requested items from level 2 of Kelburn Library (Monday–Friday, 10 am to 5 pm), or we can courier items to you at your home, or have chapters of books scanned and emailed to you. You can learn more on the Library’s website.

Postgraduate information evening

Come along to our Postgraduate information evening and get advice about choosing programmes and career pathways, and explore your research interests. The event is at
6 pm on Thursday 23 September at Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus. If New Zealand is not at COVID-19 alert level 1, this event will be held online, and all registrants will be sent an access link.

Accessing Wellington City Council services

In case you need help with accommodation or are having trouble affording food, here is a list of Wellington City Council services you can access.

Summer Research Scholarships 2021/22

Applications for Summer Research Scholarships 2021/22 open on 6 September 2021 and close at 4.30pm, Monday 20 September 2021. These scholarships offer a unique opportunity for external organisations, academics, and students to work together in research. Students gain valuable real-world experience as well as insights into what research is all about. Students are expected to work on a research project for up to 10 weeks (400 hours) over the summer trimester, under the supervision of well-established researchers or a research team at the University. Each Summer Research Scholarship includes a minimum tax-free stipend of $6,000.

Whītiki

As a student, we want you to feel connected with your Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington community. Whītiki is a Māori word that is often used in a phrase heard at the University: 'Whītiki mai tō waka ki te wharenui nei, ki Te Tumu Herenga Waka'—'tie or bind your canoe to this meeting house, to the hitching post of canoes'. This regular newsletter provides important information and updates from the University, resources to support your studies, and stories from our student community.

27 August 2021 Student message

Email from Vice-Chancellor, 27 August 2021

Dear all,

As you will have heard, Aotearoa New Zealand will remain at alert level 4 until 11.59 pm on Tuesday 31 August, at which point all of Aotearoa south of the Auckland boundary will move to alert level 3. That includes Wellington of course. Auckland remains at alert level 4, and the Government will announce how long this will stay in place on Monday.

We understand that this is a challenging and difficult time for our students, and your wellbeing and safety is our priority. We are aware that people face a variety of different challenges during lockdown and assure you that we are here to support you in any way we can.

With Trimester 2 resuming on Monday, here are a few details about how the University will operate next week

Teaching and learning

The University is closed during alert level 4 and students are not able to come to campus. All teaching will be delivered online during alert level 4 (on Monday and Tuesday next week).

Once we move to alert level 3 on Wednesday, all teaching will continue to be online and small voluntary in-person teaching bubbles may be approved. There will be no in-person assessments at alert level 3. Contingency assessment plans to replace in-person assessment will be communicated to students in Blackboard or by email. Please contact your course coordinators with any further questions you may have.

Learn more about how the University operates at different alert levels.

On campus

At alert level 3, students who do not have a suitable study space at home will be able to come to campus to access allocated study spaces in the Hub and the Reading Room in the library on the Kelburn campus. Students will need to use the entrance to the Hub at the Tim Beaglehole Courtyard. These spaces will be open on weekdays (Monday to Friday) between 10 am and 5 pm.

Students who are part of a course-specific teaching bubble will have relevant building access added to their student ID card. Please contact your course coordinator, who will be arranging bubbles. Don’t forget to bring your student ID with you if you come to campus to attend class. If you have trouble accessing any space, please call Campus Security on 0800 842 8888.

On campus students will need to:

  • Use their student ID card to gain access
  • Use the NZ COVID Tracer app, with Bluetooth turned on, as they move through campus
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 2m from others
  • Use hand sanitiser
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing can’t be maintained, and when moving around campus and in shared office and study spaces
  • Disinfect and clean any workspace/s you might be using.

Financial support

Help is available for students experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. Most currently enrolled students who are in financial hardship are eligible to apply to the Hardship Fund, including international students.

The Hardship Fund helps with a range of issues including but not limited to:

  • A change in your employment situation
  • Additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  • Increased living costs such as power
  • Difficulty covering weekly necessities.

Please email student-hardship@vuw.ac.nz to organise an appointment with a Student Finance Adviser or call 0800 04 04 04. You can find more information on the Hardship Fund page.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Students are encouraged to book their vaccinations through the Book My Vaccine website.

Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) will continue running clinics on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays and starting 1 September, additional clinics will be organised on Wednesday and Thursdays.

Student Counselling will continue to offer counselling sessions by phone or video appointments between 10 am and 4 pm from Monday to Friday. Students can call (04) 463 5308 to access this service.

Research

At alert level 3, all research that can be conducted from home should be. Some exceptions can be made where access to specialist equipment is required.  Postgraduate research students needing access to campus for research should request permission from their Deans.

Student services

Here's a summary of all the student services you can access. More information is available on our student services and support page.

Our thoughts are with all staff and students who are in Auckland, at the centre of the current outbreak. We also acknowledge staff and students in other parts of the country outside of Auckland who are not able to return to Wellington due to COVID-related travel restrictions. We look forward to a time when we can welcome everyone back on campus.

It remains crucial that you check the Ministry of Health website detailing locations of interest and follow the instructions on that site if they apply to you. Please reach out to any of our services if there’s anything we can support you with.

Kia kaha.  
Grant

23 August 2021 Student message

Email from Vice-Chancellor, 23 August 2021

Dear all,

As you will have heard, Aotearoa New Zealand will remain at alert level 4 until at least 11.59 pm on Friday 27 August. Auckland will remain at alert level 4 until at least 11.59 pm on Tuesday 31 August.

It remains crucial that you check the Ministry of Health website detailing locations of interest and follow the instructions on that site if they apply to you.

Update on positive cases in Wellington

As you will have no doubt heard, there are two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wellington today, bringing the total number in the region to eight.

Last Friday, we advised you that one of our staff members was a close contact of two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wellington. The staff member has now also tested positive for COVID-19. However, the Regional Public Health team has advised that, based on prior negative tests, the staff member was not infectious until last Friday—when we were all at alert level 4. As a result, there are no locations of interest related to the staff member at the University. We are keeping in close touch with them and providing support.

Access to campus

The University is closed during alert level 4 and students are not currently able to come to campus.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) continues to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to students. Extra vaccination clinics will be made available in the next week. Students should keep an eye on the Book My Vaccine website for when these clinics become available.

Learn more about how Mauri Ora is operating at alert level 4.

Teaching at different alert levels

A summary of what you can expect in terms of teaching at different alert levels will be sent to students tomorrow from Vice-Provost (Academic) Professor Stuart Brock. This information will also be published on the University’s website tomorrow.

Student Volunteer Army

This is a difficult and challenging time for all of us, and it is extremely encouraging to see our Student Volunteer Army resume its work.

The Student Volunteer Army is here to help anyone who needs support across the Wellington region. If you are feeling isolated and need any support, please reach out to the volunteers.

The team is currently operating at reduced levels. You can also reach out to them if you’d like to become a member of the Army.

Financial support

If you are facing financial difficulty the University is able to help. You can apply to the Hardship Fund which helps with a range of issues including but not limited to:

  1. A change in your employment situation
  2. Additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  3. Increased living costs such as power
  4. Difficulty covering weekly necessities.

This fund considers applications and pays out twice weekly via direct credit.

Please email student-hardship@vuw.ac.nz to organise an appointment with a Student Finance Adviser or call 0800 04 04 04.

Domestic students can find out about the different government support that may be available to them on Work and Income New Zealand's COVID-19 webpages. This includes the COVID-19 wage subsidy.

Student services

Here's a summary of all the student services you can access. More information is available on our student services and support page.

We understand that the current uncertainty affects us all and, once again, I encourage you to be kind to each other and to yourselves. Don’t hesitate to reach out to staff or any of our services if there’s anything we can support you with.

Kia kaha.  
Grant

20 August 2021 Student message

Email from Vice-Chancellor, 20 August 2021

Dear all,

As you will no doubt have heard, Aotearoa New Zealand will remain at alert level 4 until 11.59 pm Tuesday 24 August, and there are now three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Wellington region.

Positive cases in Wellington

The University has also been informed that one of our staff members is a close contact of two of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wellington. The staff member has so far tested negative for COVID-19. We are supporting the staff member and will be working closely with Regional Public Health, which will manage contact tracing.

It is crucial that you check the Ministry of Health website detailing locations of interest and follow the instructions on that site if they apply to you.

This is difficult news for all of us and I encourage you to reach out for support if you need it.

Access to campus

The University is closed during alert level 4. Students are not currently able to come to campus.

Financial support

If you are facing financial difficulty the University is here to help. You can apply to the Hardship Fund which helps with a range of issues including but not limited to:

  • A change in your employment situation
  • Additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  • Increased living costs such as power
  • Difficulty covering weekly necessities.

Please email student-hardship@vuw.ac.nz to organise an appointment with a Student Finance Adviser or call 0800 04 04 04.

Learning and teaching

Vice-Provost (Academic) Professor Stuart Brock will be providing information on learning and teaching under alert level 4 and alert level 3 early next week. This will be emailed to all students.

Postgraduate research students

If your research is being disrupted by the lockdown, please discuss with your supervisor how to pivot your work in the short-term to things that you can do from your current location.

If you have any other questions, please talk to your supervisor in the first instance.

In light of the suddenness of the lockdown, the Dean of the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research has agreed that doctoral students who were planning to submit their thesis by 31 August will have a grace period and can submit up to 6 September without incurring fees for the month of September. The thirty-one Masters-by-thesis students who have thesis submission deadlines between today and 20 September 2021 can also be granted up to 6 days grace without requiring an extension.

University Pharmacy

The University Pharmacy on the Kelburn campus remains open during alert level 4, between 10 am and 3 pm, Monday to Friday for students who need to collect new and repeat medications, as well as other essential items.

Campus security will be near the entrance of the Easterfield building and will be able to let you inside the campus. Please bring your student ID card with you.

Student services

Here's a quick recap of all the student services you can access. More information is available on our student services and support page.

International Students

International students can contact the International Support Team at international-support@vuw.ac.nz. COVID-19 tests for all international students are free and all treatment related to COVID-19 will be covered by student insurance.

Please look after yourselves and others and follow all Ministry of Health advice on keeping our community safe, and don’t hesitate to reach out to staff or any of our services if there’s anything we can support you with.


Kia kaha.  
Grant

18 August 2021 Student message

Email from Vice-Chancellor, 18 August 2021

Dear all,

As you will have heard, the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Auckland region has grown and is expected to grow further in the coming days. All of New Zealand remains at alert level 4, and I urge you to take all necessary precautions to ensure that you remain safe.

Although it is mid-trimester break, we want to keep you updated about University operations.

Access to campus

The University is closed during alert level 4. Students are not currently able to come to campus to collect equipment or belongings. This will be reviewed if alert level 4 is extended beyond the current three-day period. We will keep you updated.

However, the University Pharmacy on the Kelburn campus remains open during alert level 4, between 10 am and 3 pm, Monday to Friday. Students who need to collect repeat medications can access this essential service on campus. The Pharmacy can be contacted on phone (04 472 8881) or email unichemuniversity@outlook.co.nz

Health and Counselling Services

Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) is continuing to deliver health and counselling services remotely with a small number of essential health appointments taking place in person. Read more about how Mauri Ora is operating at alert level 4.

Postgraduate research students

Postgraduate research students will need to work from home. Please contact your supervisor to discuss how to adjust your plans so that you can work effectively during lockdown.

You should also plan for the scenario that lockdown goes on beyond the current three-day period. For most of you, there will be useful work that you can do reading and/or writing.

Only research deemed ‘essential’ is allowed to continue on campus. This includes care for animals, biological specimens, samples, etc. This is being coordinated by the Schools concerned. If this affects you, your supervisor should be the one to coordinate with your School’s leadership.

Student services online

Student services are available online, and more information is available on the student services and support page.

By now, we hope you are safely located within your bubbles. Please look after yourselves and others and follow all Ministry of Health advice on keeping our community safe and don’t hesitate to reach out to staff or any of our services if there’s anything we can support you with.    

Kia kaha.  

Grant

17 August 2021 Student message

Email from Vice-Chancellor, 17 August 2021

Dear all,

As you will now know, New Zealand is moving to COVID-19 alert level 4 from 11.59 pm tonight. Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula will be at alert level 4 for seven days, and the rest of the country will be at alert level 4 for three days.

Given it is mid-trimester break, many of you may be away from Wellington. It is essential that you check the Ministry of Health website detailing locations of interest related to the latest COVID-19 community case in Auckland, and follow the instructions on that site if they apply to you.

At alert level 4, the University will be closed, and all teaching and learning activity must be delivered online. Only those deemed as part of an ‘essential service’ will be allowed on campus—this includes security and those involved in active research activity who have permission from the relevant Dean. Our halls of residence will remain open.

Unfortunately our Open Day on Friday will be cancelled. However, we have contingency plans to ensure some information is provided digitally and our recruitment team will be in touch tomorrow with further information about this.

The University’s Crisis Management Team will be meeting tomorrow morning (Wednesday 18 August) to discuss the move to alert level 4.

Please look after yourselves and others and follow all Ministry of Health advice on keeping our community safe.

We will be in touch soon.

Kia kaha.

Grant