COVID-19 information for students

The University is taking advice from authorities on COVID-19. We are supporting students to manage the impact on your health, studies, finances, and wellbeing.

This page was last updated on 23 September 2020.

Current university operations

On 21 September, the New Zealand government announced that Auckland will move to alert level 2, with no extra restrictions at 11.59 pm on Wednesday 23 September. The rest of New Zealand is currently at alert level 1, which came into place at 11.59pm on Monday 21 September.

Update 21 September

On campus

Our campuses are open and in-person lectures and tutorials should continue as usual unless you are specifically told otherwise by your course coordinator or lecturer. Our dual mode of teaching (face-to-face and online) will continue until the end of the year.

Contact tracing

At alert level 1, contact tracing is not required. However, you are encouraged to continue to use the ‘NZ COVID Tracer’ app to keep track of your movements on campus. Posters with QR codes can be found at all building entry and exit points, and in learning and teaching rooms.

From Tuesday 22 September, all buildings will be open, and you can move through them without swiping ID cards. Please continue to swipe in at desks located in main entry and exit points—this will assist with contact tracing on campus.  If you have lost your student ID card, you can request one online.

The public now has full access to the University’s campuses.

Physical distancing

There are no longer any physical distancing requirements. There is no number limit on those attending lectures, tutorials, noho, or workshops. Some physical distancing signage may remain in place but does not apply in alert level 1.

Health and hygiene

If you are unwell, you must stay at home and not return to campus until you are fully recovered. If you are concerned about your health, seek medical advice—contact your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately. Any student who is required to self-isolate and undergo COVID-19 testing after receiving medical advice should let Mauri Ora know.

When on campus, please follow the hygiene practices advised by the Ministry of Health—regularly wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and cough and sneeze into your elbow.

Hand sanitiser stations around our campuses will remain and will be regularly refilled. Additional cleaning of high-contact surfaces—like door handles, handrails, push plates, taps, and tables—will continue.

If you need to stay at home, you should be able to access your courses online—contact your Faculty office if you have any questions or concerns relating to your study.

Face coverings/masks

All students and staff should continue to bring a face covering to campus and use as appropriate, such as in crowded spaces or when attending large gatherings.

Everyone is encouraged to wear a face covering/mask when using public transport.

If you are using disposable masks, place used ones into a lined bin. Make sure to wash or sanitise your hands immediately after doing so. The University Pharmacy at Kelburn has a large supply of disposable masks for sale. Masks are also available from supermarkets. The Ministry of Health has more detail about use of masks. Science educator Dr Michelle Dickinson gives a demonstration of how to make your own mask.

Library opening hours

Monday–Friday: all libraries are open, 8.30 am–8 pm, with the exception of the Commerce Library which is open 8.30 am—5 pm.

Saturday and Sunday: all libraries are open 10 am–8 pm.

Looking after yourself and others

If you are vulnerable, you should continue to study from home, or if you are concerned or anxious about coming into campus, you can also choose to study remotely. You will be able to access recorded lectures.

This University has a set of core ethical values, as well as a commitment to wellbeing, inclusivity, and diversity. We want everyone to feel safe and included on campus.

Be respectful to each other and to staff, and take the time to connect with and look out for fellow students.

Look after yourself and others by prioritising your wellbeing during this period of uncertainty. Our student wellbeing leaders and Student Wellbeing team have created a series of resources to support you.

The Ministry of Health has advice on managing your mental wellbeing, and the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience has strategies for coping with COVID-19.

It is normal to feel stressed or lonely at the moment as we all navigate uncommon and unprecedented circumstances. For support with anxiety or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 free at any time and talk to a trained counsellor, or contact Student Counselling.

Student services

Student services are available on campus. At the same time, all services continue to deliver online resources and options for the remote delivery of services from now through to the end of Trimester 2. Find more information on the student services and support page.

  • If you need support for your learning, please contact Student Learning. Students can book an appointment to talk to a Learning Adviser in person or virtually, or attend workshops virtually. See the range of events coming up to support students with their studies. Videos about skills for online learning are available on the Student Learning website.
  • If you are unable to access courses remotely because of your disability needs, please contact Disability Services for advice via email disability@vuw.ac.nz.
  • Careers and Employment have appointments and workshops available to help with career decision making, job applications, and interview preparation. Details of employer events are listed on CareerHub along with job and internship listings. The new online career centre has modules on self-awareness and career possibilities, as well as a CV checker and interview preparation tools.
  • The Bubble is back open under alert level 1.
  • The Fruit and Vegetable Co-op will resume on Thursday 1 October.
  • Find information on Pasifika Student Success at alert levels 1 and 2.
  • Contact our Rainbow and Inclusion Adviser georgia.andrews@vuw.ac.nz or our Refugee Background Assistant Adviser kodrean.eashae@vuw.ac.nz if you would like to make an appointment.
  • Disability Services are available to provide advice, support and academic liaison to ensure your disability needs are met. Appointments with a disability and inclusion adviser, and workshops on assessment solutions and adaptive technology are available in person or virtually. Email disability@vuw.ac.nz or phone 04 463 6070.

Teaching and learning

Find and manage the information, systems, and tools you need while studying.

Student Learning have put together resources to support skills for online learning.

Vic Books is offering free shipping to anyone who wants their textbooks and students notes delivered direct to their door. Simply order online or call 04 280 6200. If you have already ordered books and were planning to come in to collect them, you can contact them to arrange free delivery.

Faculty offices

Contact your Faculty office with questions about your degree courses and help with other academic matters.

Trimester 2 dates

The examination period scheduled at the end of Trimester 2 has been replaced with a one-week assessment period, with no face-to-face exams.

Revised trimester dates:

Monday 13 July: First day of Trimester 2

Monday 17–Sunday 30 August: Mid-trimester break (remains the same)

Friday 16 October: End of Trimester 2 teaching

Monday 19 October–Saturday 24 October: Assessment period for Trimester 2 (replaces the exam period)

Support for studying

If you are unable to study from home because you do not have access to a computer, specific software or a wifi connection, you can apply to the laptop loan scheme.

Access resources for managing your studies.

Student Finances

Solutions are available for students experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19.

Student finance advisers are holding in-person and online meetings with students.

Most currently enrolled students who are in financial hardship are eligible to apply for help from the Hardship Fund, including international students. The University has committed to continue to support the Fund and students who are experiencing financial need.

More information on the type of financial assistance available to support students, including the Hardship Fund, the loan laptop scheme, and the Tutor Relief Fund can be found on the Hardship Fund page.

StudyLink support

Information on support available from StudyLink can be found on the student loans and allowances page.

Withdrawing from Courses and StudyLink

Throughout Trimester 2 and 3, keep in mind that withdrawing from courses may affect your student loan support (student loan living costs, student allowance, course related costs) if StudyLink no longer recognise you as a full-time student. Full-time study is defined by StudyLink as being enrolled in at least 48 points in one trimester OR 96 points in two or more trimesters in the same loan period. If you are concerned about losing this support, contact student-finance@vuw.ac.nz before withdrawing to discuss your options first.

As StudyLink view late withdrawals as fail grades, withdrawing from courses may also affect your future student loan entitlements, this continues to apply and there has been no relaxation of the rules. StudyLink requires students to have passed more than half of their study in the past 5 years to be eligible for a student loan. If you are withdrawing due to exceptional circumstances affecting your ability to study, you can appeal to Studylink to have this paper disregarded from their calculations. More information can be found on the StudyLink website.

Remember: if you choose to withdraw from study, you need to let the University and StudyLink know straight away.

If you are withdrawing from study due to exceptional circumstances, more information can be found on the fees reconsideration page.

International students in New Zealand

International student support

The team at Wellington University International continues to support international students, in New Zealand and overseas. The team can be contacted directly by email international-support@vuw.ac.nz for information, advice, or guidance on visas, insurance, referrals, specialist scholarship support (such as the New Zealand Scholarships Programme), and other wellbeing and support needs. One-on-one appointments in person, by phone, or by Zoom can be requested through email.

International student advisers

International student advisers are here to provide information, advice, and guidance to you during your time in New Zealand while studying at the University. Their primary role is student support, rather than academic advice. The team can also provide information about visas and insurance.

We understand that living and studying in a foreign country can be challenging and talking about it can help. This is particularly important now, when you may be anxious about your family overseas and what is happening in your home country.

Visa information

Immigration NZ is processing Full Fee-paying student visas for applicants who are already in New Zealand. You can find your visa expiry date in your eVisa letter. More information for Student Visa holders.

Studentsafe University insurance and COVID-19

If you contract COVID-19 in New Zealand, and you are insured with Studentsafe University insurance, the medical cost of treatment will be covered. But if you have other types of insurance, you need to contact your insurance company to find out whether they will cover it. More information about Studentsafe University insurance.