Update: the University's response to coronavirus

The University is continuing to work closely with health authorities to ensure the health and wellbeing of our students, staff, and our community.

Enrolment for affected students

The government’s travel ban for foreign nationals coming here from China remains in place. Trimester 1 begins on 2 March and we know that many students travelling from China are concerned about not making it in time. The University will be as flexible as possible around enrolment and start dates for students affected by the travel restrictions.

All new and returning students from China were sent a form yesterday asking about study plans. This form is also available here. Please complete and submit the form as soon as possible so that we can offer you individual support.

If you have any concerns, please email international@vuw.ac.nz.

No financial penalty

There will be no financial penalty for students affected by the travel restrictions who are unable to pay their fees on time. The University will try to accommodate late enrolments into as many programmes as possible. Any students affected by the virus who need to defer their studies will be fully refunded any tuition or accommodation fees they have already paid.

Visa implications

Immigration New Zealand has provided advice for students affected by the recent travel ban here.

Returning students already on a student visa can contact student-visa@vuw.ac.nz for questions about renewing their visa.

Students with additional questions are advised to contact Immigration New Zealand directly.

For specific coronavirus-related immigration queries, contact the Immigration Contact Centre on 0508 225 288 (within New Zealand) or +64 9 952 1679 (outside New Zealand).

Domestic and permanent residents affected by the travel restrictions

We know that some domestic students and students who are permanent residents have been affected by the travel restrictions and may be unable to start on time. The University will be as flexible as possible to make sure you are able to continue with your studies.

University procedures

The University has robust and up-to-date procedures in place to manage events of this type, and our response can be scaled up as necessary. We are working with Wellington University International, our Accommodation Service, and other areas of the University to ensure full information and pastoral care is provided to new and returning students as well as staff on how to manage any flu-like illness in our community.

Student Health is coordinating the medical response across the University as well as being in close contact with external public health agencies.

Health advice

The Ministry of Health is asking New Zealand citizens or permanent residents arriving from or transiting through mainland China to register with Healthline within 24 hours of arrival, and to self-isolate for 14 days. Call 0800 358 5453 to register.

The Ministry has also updated its advice around self-isolation, bringing the advice more into line with the common sense measures we all use to avoid seasonal flu or catching a cold. The key protective message is good hygiene such as washing your hands and covering the mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing. The University has placed new posters across the three campuses and halls of residence reminding people about good hygiene.

Staff with health concerns are advised to phone their GP practice for advice, while students with concerns should be advised to ring Student Health on (04) 463 5308.  Inquiries can also be made to the Ministry of Health’s dedicated 0800 number for coronavirus-related health inquiries – 0800 358 5453.

To protect your health:

  • Follow best practices with hand washing and personal hygiene
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze
  • Stay home if you are unwell, and avoid public places


The University is following the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice and advising New Zealanders not to travel to China. Any staff planning travel will need permission.

Useful travel information can be found here.


This is an evolving scenario and updates will be provided on this website and through social media.

Useful links

Ministry of Health – updates

Ministry of Health – self-isolation tips

Immigration New Zealand – visa information