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Student support during COVID-19

We are building up face-to-face learning activities on-campus, and a range of online support services are available to help all students, whether studying on or off campus.

COVID-safe plans are in place for all on-campus activities and we have an extensively-tested plan to manage any COVID-19 outbreaks.

Study, learning, wellbeing and financial supports are available for you. These are outlined below in the frequently asked questions. If you don't find answers to your questions below, please reach out to us:

  • To find out if we can help you manage self-isolation, please contact us on 1300 826 663 or by email at COVID@utas.edu.au
  • For assistance with managing the impact of COVID-19 on your studies, please call UConnect on 1300 826 663 or by email u.connect@utas.edu.au

Frequently asked questions

We're back on campus for small classes, in line with public health requirements. All students and staff need to go through a health screening station when they first come onto campus each day.

Health screening station locations

All students and candidates are required to compete three steps when coming back on campus:

STEP 1: Order your student ID Card if you don't have one (we'll post it to you)

STEP 2: Complete the COVID-Safe return to campus module

STEP 3: Visit a health screening station (locations) (PDF 54.1 KB)

STEP 4: Log on to campus Wifi - Eduroam

Library access

All of our campus libraries have reopened. On entry and exit to the libraries (or buildings containing the libraries) you must swipe with your Student or Staff ID/Access card.

We're physically distancing (1.5 metres apart) where possible. Please stay at home if you're feeling unwell.

The Library has reopened group study rooms that you can book.

View the opening hours on the library website.

What about cafes and shops on campus?

As of 22 January, 2021, on campus-café/retail hours are:

Sandy Bay

  • Lazenby's/Greens: 8am-4pm Mon-Fri
  • Pepperz: 11am-7pm, everyday
  • Uni Bar: 12 noon-5pm, Wed-Fri
  • Uni Shop and Post Office:  9am-3pm Mon-Fri.

Newnham

  • The Walk: 8:30am-3:30pm, Mon-Fri
  • Saltz (AMC):  7am-7pm everyday
  • Uni Shop: 8:30am-11:30am Mon-Fri

Cradle Coast

  • Makers Workshop (Burnie):  9:30am-4:30pm, Thu-Mon (Tue & Wed closed)

All other campus cafés and retail outlets are temporarily closed.

Sport and fitness

Sports fields and indoor sports facilities are open and can be booked on the UTAS Sport website or in person at one of our Unigyms.

Unigym in Launceston and Hobart are open – view the fitness timetable on the Unigym website.

We are working on making our campuses lively and active, with social hubs and activities, plus face-to-face classes for all students studying on campus.

COVID-safe plans are in place for all activities and we have a extensively tested outbreak management plan in place.

We have completed a detailed analysis on what we need to teach in a COVID-safe way. To ensure we meet physical distancing requirements, we have secured additional teaching spaces in central Hobart and Launceston.

What classes are on campus in 2021?

Physical distancing and other safety requirements are impacting how we can use our facilities. The 1.5m social distancing measures mean that even our largest lecture theatres and rooms can only hold a relatively small number of people at a time.

Below is a guide for on-campus learning and teaching activity for 2021:

ActivityDelivery
Lectures Predominately online
TutorialsPredominately face-to-face (with some online)                                 
Seminars/workshopsFace-to-face
Internships/placements Face-to-face
Practical/Clinical Face-to-face
Field trip Face-to-face

How do I know if I can go on campus for a class?

Your timetable will indicate whether your class is on campus or online. We are currently building the Semester 2, 2021 timetable and it will be available to students soon.

You will also be updated by your unit coordinators and in MyLO about any changes specific to your course.

Will my timetable change?

Check your timetables regularly and follow any instructions provided by your unit coordinator.

Check your UTAS email regularly and stay in touch with your unit coordinators on MyLO.

I am new to UTAS. Where do I go?

If you are joining UTAS, we have moved our orientation offerings online to help support you in the transitions to university life.

Head to Starting at the university for your guide to starting uni with us.

What if there is another outbreak?

A second outbreak has been factored into planning. COVID-safe plans will be in place for all activities and we have a well-developed and extensively tested outbreak management plan in place.

View more details about our safety measures are available on our COVID Safe webpage.

I am experiencing financial difficulty – what supports are there for me?

We know many jobs have been impacted by COVID-19 and we want to ensure our students have options. Below are a list of grants open to apply for students:

  • To support students through this difficult time, we have streamlined our Student Financial Hardship Scheme in collaboration with the Tasmanian University Student Association (TUSA), to ensure we can be as responsive as possible to student needs. See 'Financial Support' under the Community Safety page in the Student Portal for more information and to apply.
  • The Tasmania government Rent Relief package for residential households who rent in the private market.
  • The Tasmania Community is providing a range of offerings. A list of these can be found on the Student Portal.

If you find yourself struggling financially, remember you can also talk through your options with a financial counsellor.

Will the University offer discounts for course fees or accommodation?

We are committed to providing a high quality online learning and university experience. As such, while we are not offering discounted tuition or accommodation fees, we are offering the option to enter a payment plan, as well as our student financial assistance.

If you are living in UTAS accommodation you can request a flexible payment plan for your accommodation costs by speaking with your accommodation team.

Given the move to online learning, will the University now refund the Student Services and Administration Fee (SSAF)?

During this difficult time we are providing ongoing and high quality student support across a wide range of services. SSAF is crucial funding that enables us to provide those services to you. Some of these services include; financial support, accommodation support, legal services and wellbeing services. Find out more on our SSAF website.

What online IT support is there for me?

To help you transition to online learning, the following support is available:

What if I don't have access to the Internet at home?

Some phone providers are offering additional data on existing pre and post-paid mobile phone accounts during COVID-19: Telstra | Optus | Vodafone. You may be able to hotspot from your phone to your computer if you have reasonable coverage. Contact the IT Service Desk If you need assistance setting this up at home.

What online study support can I access?

  • 24/7 study help is an online 24-hour support service to give you feedback on your writing or help with a study question. Connect on MyLO via your subject units.
  • For PASS-supported units, your PASS Leader has set up a discussion board in your MyLO unit.
  • Join in Student Learning webinars
  • Career Connect is continuing to offer services online including: job application reviews, resume building, mock interviews, information sessions and workshops.
  • The Learning Lounge connects you with support staff in real-time. Drop in Monday to Friday 12pm-2pm
  • Online support services are available via Appointment Hub. You can talk on the phone or online with:
    • Career counselling
    • Disability Advisers
    • International Student Advisers
    • Personal Counsellors
    • Student Advisers
    • Student Learning Advisers
    • Student Learning Librarians

What support can I access for my wellbeing and mental health?

We understand that this might be a troubling time for you and may impact your health and general wellbeing. Confidential and free counselling is available through our counselling services. You can make an appointment through:

  1. AppointmentHub
  2. or call 1800 817 675 between 8:45am and 5:00pm Mon-Fri.
  3. Outside of business hours, please contact our University Help Line on 1300 511 709 or text on +61 488 884 168.

Free wellbeing resources

For general health the University has contacted doctors in each region to ensure their capacity and willingness to assist our students. If you are having any difficulties seeking medical advice and need support, please contact our COVID-19 helpline +61 3 6226 2600 or by email COVID@utas.edu.au

Health Apps and resources

When can I come to Tasmania?

The Australian borders are currently closed to international travel. We recommend you regularly check the Department of Home Affairs website for any updates to the travel restrictions that apply to temporary visa holders, including international students.

You should apply for your student visa now so that you are ready to travel when the restrictions are lifted.

What is the University doing to bring students to Tasmania?

We understand that students are eager to join courses on campus as soon as possible, however, at this stage the University is not able to assist with flights or quarantine arrangements to return to Australia.

Decisions on travel restrictions are made by the Australian Government and the University is required to follow these decisions. We continue to work with and follow the Government's advice and will share details of any plans for Tasmania as they are developed.

If you need supporting documentation for a travel exemption, the University can provide you with documentation detailing your course requirements. Please contact UConnect.

For up-to-date information please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Can I study if I don't have a student visa yet?

You should apply for your student visa before you commence your studies.

If you have applied for a student visa prior to the start of semester but are still awaiting the outcome of your visa application, you should enrol in on-campus classes. If you have not applied for a student visa prior to the start of semester, you should enrol in off-campus classes.

I am unable to travel to Australia. Can I study off-campus?

Most students will be able to access their studies online, however this depends on your course. Please contact U.Connect@utas.edu.au for advice specific to you.

Entry to Australian borders is governed by the Australian Government. Please check the COVID-19 health advice.

Can I take a semester off to avoid studying off-campus?

If you have already completed a study period in your course at UTAS, you can apply for a Leave of Absence through eStudent.

If you are a new student and not yet completed a study period in your course at UTAS, you can apply to defer your start to another study period. Please contact International Admissions prior to the Census Date to arrange a deferred offer.

Will studying online impact my student visa?

With significant components of our teaching and learning continuing online, you may be concerned about your visa. Please be assured that the Australian Government has announced it will be flexible with regard to student visa conditions such as attendance at class or learning online.

If you have returned home, we will support you to continue to study your 'on-campus' course in an online mode.

Studying online will not impact your current student visa but may impact future visa applications.

If you enrol in units as an on-campus student, you will still be recorded as on-campus for those units even if the unit is delivered online. If you enrol in any units as off-campus or distance units (for example in Breadth Units), please remember that student visas have a limit on the number of units which can be studied by distance.

Should I enrol 'on-campus' or 'off-campus'?

Students currently outside Australia:

If you applied for an 'on-campus' course, enrol in on-campus units (even though you cannot travel to Australia yet).

All lectures this semester are online. If you're unable to travel to Tasmania due to travel restrictions and a tutorial or class is not available online, contact your unit coordinator(s) with details about your situation and to find out the requirements for your unit(s). Find your tutorials and classes in MyTimetable

Check the Department of Home Affairs website for up to date information on international border and travel restrictions. If a unit is only available off-campus (by distance), you can enrol as off-campus. However, there are limits to the number of units that can be studied by distance.

Students currently within Australia:

Enrol in on-campus units, even if you are unable to attend campus due to Tasmanian travel restrictions. Plan to travel to Tasmania as soon as this becomes possible.

All lectures this semester are online. If you are unable to travel to Tasmania due to Tasmanian travel restrictions, contact your unit coordinator(s) with details about your situation and to find out the requirements for your unit(s).

Check the Tasmanian Government website for up to date information on Tasmanian travel restrictions.

If a unit is only available off-campus (by distance), you can enrol as off-campus. However, there are limits to the number of units that can be studied by distance.

What is the University doing to ensure high quality online learning?

We are committed to delivering a high-quality, consistent learning experience for you online, and we are always looking for ways to make it even better.

To ensure that you are well supported, you can access a range of online services. These are outlined in the FAQs on this page, and include: study support, wellbeing advice, learning services and public events.

Additionally, financial support services are available to you if you need them. Information is available in the FAQ ‘What are my financial support options?’ on this page.

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback: please contact our friendly team at U.Connect@utas.edu.au or call +61 3 6226 6111 between 8:45am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

I am experiencing financial difficulty. Who can I contact for help?

To support students through this difficult time, we have streamlined and fast tracked our student financial assistance in collaboration with the Tasmanian University Student Association (TUSA), to ensure we can be as responsive as possible to student needs.

Students on temporary visas can access one-off payments of $250 for individuals and up to $1,000 for families. To apply, please call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. Find out more on the Tasmanian Government website.

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund can help renters in the private market. If you find yourself struggling financially, you can also talk through your options with a financial counsellor.

Semester 2 fees were due on 27 July, 2020. If you have any concerns about your finances or paying your fees, please get in touch with the International Student Advisers.

Remember - you should never deal with any unofficial finance or loan providers.

Who do I call if I need to discuss my options?

Please book an appointment with an International Student Adviser if there are any issues that you feel may affect your studies. We can talk about your situation and discuss options and support that may be available.

If you need advice and assistance with enrolment please contact U.Connect@utas.edu.au.

Quick links 

Helpful graduate research resources

Can I still carry out my practical and lab work?

We understand the importance of your practical research and you will be supported to carry out this work where at all possible.

From May 18, some essential campus activities have returned to campus. HDR candidates who are required to be on campus will be individually invited by their unit supervisors and will be required to complete a re-induction module addressing social distancing and hygiene requirements and visit a health screening point, which are being set up at campus entry points.

Complete the re-induction module

Some buildings and facilities are temporarily closed – please contact your supervisor to discuss access to labs and other facilities. A full list of building closures, accessible space (such as computer labs and research facilities) and a safe working guide for those coming on campus is available in this Building Reopening booklet.

Can I continue with my research project?

Research can continue for the majority of our candidates. We encourage you to remain closely connected with your supervisory team, and to discuss any impacts on your research progress.

Depending on the nature of your research project, and the stage of your candidature progression, aspects of your research plan may be disrupted. For example, you may need to apply for modifications to your ethics approval, or you may need to defer field work or laboratory work. This may mean that you will need to adapt your research plan to ensure that you remain productive while unable to access facilities.

Tasks which you could perhaps do remotely include:

  • Continuing or finalising your literature review
  • writing and revising chapter drafts
  • developing papers for publication
  • undertaking professional development
  • analysing existing data sets

How can I contact the Graduate Research Office?

You can reach us at:

Full list of Graduate Research FAQs – COVID-19 (PDF 123.2 KB)

Is UTAS student accommodation still open?

Student accommodation remains open across the state. In some areas we may ask students to switch rooms in order to respond to emerging issues and ensure that we are able to comply with physical distancing or quarantine requirements.

I was living in UTAS accommodation and returned home, can I get my room back?

We always try our hardest to meet room preferences, however we cannot always guarantee the same room. If you vacated as a result of COVID-19, we will offer you priority for re-application for Semester 2. This means you will get a priority offer for your first preference.

I am having difficulty paying rent what should I do?

If you are living in UTAS accommodation you can request a flexible payment plan for your accommodation costs by speaking with your accommodation team.

Further, the Tasmanian Government has recently established the COVID-19 Rent Relief Scheme to support Tasmanian residents in rental accommodation who are experiencing financial hardship. You can find information about the Scheme, including eligibility requirements, at the Government’s Rental Services website.

How can I apply or re-apply for accommodation?

Applications are now open for accommodation. New residents and current residents can apply (or re-apply) in the Resident Portal found on the student living website. If you have vacated as a result of COVID-19 and you are re-applying, we will not charge you another $150 holding fee for re-application.

Who do I contact about my accommodation options?

If you applied for an 'on-campus' course, enrol in on-campus units for your location.

Only enrol ‘off-campus’ if you:

  • Applied for a distance course,
  • Want to take a specific unit online, or
  • Are a domestic student and you’re unable to attend campus due to border restrictions.

Once border restrictions ease, please contact UConnect to discuss switching to an on-campus version of a unit.