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Student support during COVID-19

In 2021, we will be an on-campus university. We are working to ensure lively, active campuses with new social hubs and activities.

COVID-safe plans are in place for all activities and we have a well-developed and extensively tested plan to manage any COVID-19 outbreaks. We are building up face-to-face learning and teaching activities for all our students.

The Semester 1 timetable will be available on 18 January.

Study, learning, wellbeing and financial supports are available for you. These are outlined below.

You might find the answer to some of your questions in the frequently asked questions below, and if not please reach out to us:

Frequently asked questions

Yes. The easing of restrictions in Tasmania mean that we can bring life back to our campuses but we need to do that safely and in line with health and government requirements.

View the Staged Reopening booklet for details on building access and opening times.

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

STEP 1: Complete the COVID-Safe return to campus module

STEP 2: Update your student ID Card

STEP 3: Visit a health screening station (locations) (PDF 91.6 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 or be manually registered as being in the space.

Physically distancing measures of 1.5 meters apart will continue and if you are feeling unwell please stay at home.

The Library has reopened a number of group study rooms for booking. Click here to find more info and book.

View the opening hours on the library website.

A full and comprehensive list of building closures, accessible space (such as computer labs and research facilities) is available in this building opening booklet.

What about social spaces?

As of Monday 6 July, on campus- cafe/retail hours are:

  • Lazenby's: 8.30am-2.30pm Mon-Fri,
  • Saltz (AMC):  7:00am-7.30pm everyday
  • Uni Shop and Hobart Post Office (Sandy Bay Campus):  9am-12pm Mon-Fri.
  • Uni Shop (Newnham): 9am-12pm Mon-Fri
  • Makers Workshop (Burnie):  9am-3pm Mon-Fri.  Café take-away only.

All other campus cafés and retail outlets are temporarily closed. Indoor social spaces on-campus (such as student lounge) are still being reviewed. All social spaces will have a COVID Safe Plan in place.

Sport and fitness

Sports fields and indoor sports facilities are open and can be booked on the UTASSport website or in person at one of our Unigym centres.

Unigym in Launceston and Hobart have reopened - view the fitness timetable on the Unigym website.

View the Staged Reopening booklet for more information.

In 2021, the University of Tasmania will be an on-campus university. Some activity has already returned to campus and we will be steadily adding more throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021.

We are working to ensure lively, active campuses with new social hubs and activities. COVID-safe plans will be in place for all activities and we have a extensively tested outbreak management plan in place.

At the same time, we are working to schedule face-to-face learning and teaching activities for all our students.

We have completed a detailed analysis on what we need to teach in a COVID-safe way. With physical distancing requirements likely to continue well into 2021, we have secured additional space where needed so we can bring teaching back to campus for all students.

What activity will return to campus next year?

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 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 will 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 1 2021 timetable and it will be available to students on 18 January.

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

Will my timetable change?

We advise to check your timetables regularly (at least once a week) and follow any instructions provided by your unit coordinator.

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

Do I enrol in 'off-campus' or 'on-campus' units?

If you applied for an 'on-campus' course, then enrol in your on-campus location because as restrictions are eased some classes will resume on campus. Only enrol in ‘off-campus’ units if are in a course that is taught entirely by distance, or you would have enrolled in distance study under normal circumstances.

Enrolment for 2021 will open throughout October and November.

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 the First Steps website for your guide to starting uni, here you will be able to access:

What is the university doing to ensure I am receiving an equivalent experience online?

We are committed to further developing and improving our online services so that we are delivering a high-quality, consistent learning experience.

To ensure that you are well supported, we have a range of study support, wellbeing, events and learning services online. Additionally, financial support services will continue to be available should you require them.

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 on the COVID Safe website.

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 and fast tracked our student financial assistance in collaboration with the Tasmania University Union (TUU), to ensure we can be as responsive as possible to student needs.
  • 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

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 Tasmania University Union (TUU), 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.

I am unable to travel to Australia, can I continue to study from overseas?

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

Entry to Australian borders is governed by the Federal Government, which provides up to date information for international travellers.

Will the university assist me to return to Australia?

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 flight or quarantine arrangements to return to Australia. We are actively seeking advice from the government and Tasmanian Government and we will continue to update students as more information becomes available.

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 get help to return home?

Temporary visa holders impacted by COVID-19 can make arrangements to return to their home country, if border restrictions in that country allow. If you need assistance to return to your country of citizenship, you can contact your home country's embassy or High Commission in Australia . You can also register your details so you receive all the relevant information for you.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs for more information for temporary visa holders returning home.

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 use of online learning.

If you have returned home, the University 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.

Can I apply for a Leave of Absence? And for how long?

If you would like to defer your study, International students can apply for a six-month Leave of Absence - you may also be eligible for  additional leave of absence, depending on your course and circumstances. This may also require extension of the maximum completion time of your course and extension of visa. You can submit your Leave of Absence application via eStudent.

Who do I call if I need to discuss my options for 2021?

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.

Other information

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 123.8 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?