COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information
Dr Victoria Price & Dr Jane Scott from the UC Health Centre share more practical and simple tips that can help you alleviate stress at this time. Find more wellbeing information at UC's wellbeing hub.
At UC we strive to create a campus (even a virtual one) culture of belonging, understanding, inclusiveness and caring. Any signs of discrimination surrounding a virus that doesn’t discriminate on race or religion will not be tolerated. Email email@example.com
Aotearoa New Zealand are at Alert Level 2 until 11.59pm Wednesday 16 September, with some additional restrictions for Auckland around events and gatherings.
Our focus is on minimising risks to our students, staff and UC whanau, while continuing to provide great learning opportunities online and on campus.
What this means for UC is outlined below and we will continue to keep you updated as more information is made available. See further information on what UC is doing to manage COVID-19 here.
UC campus and student accommodation will remain open.
Teaching and learning
Should we revert to Alert Level 3 or 4, lectures will be online only. We will be in touch with more information should this happen.
Libraries and common spaces will remain open with the following restrictions
Health and wellbeing
The key principles for Alert Level 2 are to:
You will be updated on any changes as a result of any Government announcements in the Insider’s Guide | Tupono newsletter on Sunday 6 September (evening) and what this will mean for teaching and learning in Term 4.
Visit UC’s COVID webpage for information about cleaning on campus, risk registers, wearing face coverings and financial support.
We have done this before, and we will get through this together.
Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui | Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.
Additional cleaning of UC premises has commenced again at Alert Level 2. All touch points, surfaces and toilet areas are being sanitised daily and Germshield continues to be used. Lecture rooms and common areas are being regularly fogged (deep clean) and extra day cleaning teams have been employed to service and sanitise toilet areas during the day in high use areas.
Cleaning Schedule: 1 (Toilets, changing rooms and Showers)
? Toilets, urinals and hand wash basins will be cleaned and sanitised every day using hospital grade sanitiser.
? Floors will be mopped using a disinfectant on daily basis.
? Replenish toilet paper, hand soap and roller towels to ensure adequate supplies until next service.
? Sanitise the toilet paper, had soap, roller towel dispensers, vanity units and sanitary bins.
? Scrub and sanitise the showers on daily basis.
? Toilets in the operational areas will be cleaned and sanitised during the day at regular intervals and also the supplies replenished as required.
? All the high touch points like door handles, taps etc. will be sanitised as high priority.
Cleaning schedule: 2 (Kitchens/ tea rooms/ Heat& Eat areas)
? Kitchens and tea rooms to be cleaned and sanitised on daily.
? Hard floor surfaces mopped using a disinfectant.
? Rubbish cleared daily.
? All the high touch points to be sanitised with a hospital grade sanitiser daily.
? All the student Heat & Eat areas will be cleaned every day in the mornings and also will be cleaned and sanitised at regular intervals throughout the day.
? Tea towels and hand towels replaced daily.
Note- Please wash your hands only in the washroom areas before using the kitchen to maintain the hygiene in the kitchen premises.
Cleaning Schedule: 3 (Computer labs)
? All the floors Vacuumed daily using a vacuum with the HEPA filter.
? All the surfaces will be sanitised daily using a hospital grade sanitiser.
? High touch points like door handles, door panels and light switches, etc. will be sanitised daily.
Note – Cleaners will be sanitising keyboards and mice only in shared computer labs each morning during alert level 2.
Cleaning Schedule: 4 (Meeting rooms/ board rooms, staff lounges, Tutorial rooms)
? Meeting room, tutorial room tables and surfaces will be sanitised every day.
? All the carpeted floors Vacuumed using a vacuum with the HEPA filter and hard floors will be mopped using a disinfectant on daily basis.
? Rubbish cleared daily.
? High touch points like door handles will be sanitised daily.
Cleaning Schedule: 5 (Reception areas, corridors, foyers, waiting rooms, lifts, stairs and entrances)
? Rubbish cleared daily.
? All the carpeted floors Vacuumed using a vacuum with the HEPA filter and hard floors will be mopped using a disinfectant on daily basis.
? All the reception area surfaces, touch points, tables will be sanitised daily.
? Stairs will be mopped and the handrails will be sanitised daily.
? Lift buttons and high touch points in the lifts will be sanitised every day.
? All the entrance door handles and any other high touch points in the corridors will be sanitised every day using hospital grade sanitiser.
Cleaning schedule: 6 (Offices)
? All the carpeted floors Vacuumed using a vacuum with the HEPA filter weekly.
? Rubbish will be cleared as per the schedule clean.
? Personal desks will be sanitised using a hospital grade sanitiser during the scheduled clean if the users have cleared the desks for cleaners.
? All the high touch points like door handles, switch boards etc. will be sanitised during the scheduled clean.
Cleaning schedule: 7 (PC1, PC2 Labs& Workshops)
? Cleaners will only maintain the floors.
? All the floor areas will be mopped using a disinfectant daily.
? Lab owners are responsible for the maintenance of hygiene and sanitisation of work benches and touch points.
? Cleaners do not empty Lab rubbish bins. Lab technicians to arrange that.
Registration form – students at higher risk of severe illness
The Student At-Risk Register has been reactivated. The At-Risk Register is for students with health concerns who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and/or living with people with health concerns that increases their vulnerability to COVID-19.
- If you have previously registered and the information is correct there is no action as we still have your details.
- If you are already on the register but the information is not correct please update
- If you are not registered and you have a health concern (or living with/caring for someone with health concerns) that meets the criteria please register here
If you are in self-isolation or going into self-isolation for any of the following reasons, please complete the relevant form below, so UC can support you during this time:
- Have a confirmed case of COVID-19
- Had close contact with a suspected OR confirmed COVID-19 case
- Recently arrived from overseas
- Immune system compromised
If there is a need to transport anyone with COVID-19 symptoms for testing from UC premises, you can use the dedicated UC Van. Ring Security to arrange: 0800 823 637. Please also make sure they have filled out a self-isolation registration form (above).
If you are at home and would like support from UC, please contact UCprotect@canterbury.ac.nz or phone 0800 827 748 or 03 366 3999.
How to apply for Financial Difficulties support
We understand that the COVID-19 situation is an unusually difficult time for everyone. If you are experiencing financial difficulties that will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible for financial support.
Students requesting financial support can contact the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team in the first instance to discuss their situation. The UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team will review your situation and provide advice on the application process. As a general guide, students are eligible to apply for financial support if they can demonstrate that their capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship. However, as financial support is limited, being eligible does not mean you will be approved for support. Financial support is also not intended as a form of income support and will not be provided to pay for ongoing expenses. Please note that each application is assessed on a case by case basis and has criteria attached to them.
Finally, we understand this is a time of uncertainty and we are here for you to talk to. We are offering consultations online, so please do make an appointment with the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team if you are facing financial difficulties.
Special Consideration Process
Students who are experiencing particular challenges as a result of COVID-19 may apply for Special Consideration here
Wage Subsidy (domestic and international students)
Students (including International students) who are legally entitled to work and are employed by a New Zealand employer can be covered by the wage subsidy. The subsidy covers employees who are working part-time, or on a causal or contract basis. Please note that as the subsidy is paid to employers, the subsidy does not cover international or domestic students who were not in employment prior to COVID-19. A useful link to the details of the policy is:
Find out more information about government income relief support for students.
Finally, you might also find this link helpful https://www.studylink.govt.nz/in-study/urgent-costs/index.html
Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui | Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.
- Staff support - https://intranet.canterbury.ac.nz/hr/staff-support/
- Student support - http://www.maogg90.com/support/asc/support/ & 24/7 Support https://thelowdown.co.nz/ & https://www.allright.org.nz/
- StudyLink - https://www.studylink.govt.nz/
- EAP services - https://www.eapservices.co.nz/
- ITS website - http://www.maogg90.com/its/
- HR FAQ’s page - https://intranet.canterbury.ac.nz/coronavirus/
- Staff wellbeing page (also found via HR FAQs page) - https://intranet.canterbury.ac.nz/coronavirus/wellbeing/index.shtml
- Rec & Sport Centre YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/UCSport
- Government Covid-19 website, the most up-to-date, useful information for NZ - https://covid19.govt.nz/
- If after discussing with your line manager, it is agreed that additional equipment would be helpful for your work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org & we will triage your requirements.
- If you have ideas how the IMT Welfare Team can keep us all connected & make this time a little brighter for us all – email email@example.com
Q: What extra help is available to help me study on-line this semester?
UC has a range of support services to help you with your studies:
- Student Care Advisors - provide practical advice for your well being and success as a UC student - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Academic Skills Centre / Pokapu Pukenga Ako - free advisory service and resource hub to help you improve your writing and study strategies - email@example.com
- Equity and Diversity Services - provide a range of supports for students with disabilities - firstname.lastname@example.org
- College Student Advisors - please liaise with your college advisor
- UCSA Student Advocate - provide advice on your situation, future options and provide support on navigating the university system email@example.com
- There are also numerous resources to help you with your study in LEARN
If you are experiencing particular difficulties adjusting to learning in the online environment, it’s important to reach out to your course coordinators and let them know. UC has also produced a quick guide to help all students become more familiar with learning online.
Q: I feel anxious about the new way of learning - What should I do?
Transitioning to an online learning format is unexpected for most students, and you are definitely not alone. Here are some tips that might help you manage the new learning environment:
- Stay connected with tutors and lecturers.
- Set a good daily routine. This will help organise your day.
- Use a wall calendar to map out assessment schedules, or set events in your phone calendar to help remind you when you have due dates.
- Set aside personal time each day; do something you enjoy or simply take it easy and chill.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day.
- Stay active - take a short walk, zumba in your room, or yoga…whatever suits you. There are many free exercise activities available online, including those from UC Rec & Sport.
- Replenish your body and keep a balanced diet.
- Have a good sleep routine.
- Reach out - We acknowledge that we are all in this situation but the impact is not the same for everyone. Let us know how we could help you through this time.
Q: Who can I talk to if I have questions about my study and life in New Zealand in general?
Your health and well-being are extremely important at this time. The Student Care Team is your international support team and remains open and working remotely. If you would like to talk with someone, please make an appointment using their online booking system. The UC Student Care Team website also has lists of existing online resources that you might find useful. One particular link is to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ webpage – it has a whole section on Apps, e-therapy and guided self-help.
UC also has a dedicated email address for all COVID-19 related issues and enquiries. If you have a question that has arisen because of COVID-19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
There are a number of financial hardship support mechanisms provided by UC and the UCSA. These support are design to help with immediate, short-term emergencies/unexpected costs, and they can not be used for tuition fees. Applicants will need to provide evidence to support their hardship applications. In general, one needs to have less than $1000 in the bank to qualify as having hardship.
Education New Zealand (ENZ) has established an International Student Hardship Fund in response to the COVID-19. This means that the University can apply to ENZ for support if all available resources are exhausted. Individual students can not apply to the grant directly.
Please note that all international students are required to provide proof of funds to Immigration New Zealand when applying for a student visa. If you have been granted a student visa for a year and have provided financial documents to Immigration to prove your financial capability, you will need to explain the reasons for seeking hardship support at this point in time.
Examples of hardship:
- You are on a tight budget and have an unexpected dental bill to pay
- You rely on regular money transfer from home & COVID-19 disrupted the immediate transfer schedule
What is not regarded as hardship:
- Perceived loss of income due to not being able to get a job
- Failing courses and having to pay fees to repeat them
If you are unsure about whether your circumstances fit with the description above, please contact UCSA Welfare & Advocacy Team in the first instance. We appreciate that all international students would feel impacted by COVID-19 in their unique ways. However, it is important to remember that these funds are established to protect and care for the most vulnerable and most affected students.
Q: I’m financially struggling - what can I do?
If you are experiencing financial hardship that will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible for financial support. Please contact the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team in the first instance to discuss your situation. UCSA Advocates will assess your circumstances and may make further referral to Student Care if your situation fits the criteria for International Student Welfare Fund.
The New Zealand Ministry of Education provides information here. Please don’t be too proud to ask for help. These are difficult times and these organisations are here to help you.
Q: I’ve lost my job due to COVID-19. Is there anything to supplement my lost income?
Students (including International students) who are legally entitled to work and are employed by a New Zealand employer can be covered by the wage subsidy. The subsidy covers employees who are working part-time, or on a causal or contract basis. Please note that as the subsidy is paid to employers, the subsidy does not cover international or domestic students who were not in employment prior to COVID-19. A useful link to the details of the policy is available here.
Health and Insurance
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The following information is from the Ministry of Health.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are one or more of the following:
- a cough
- a high temperature (at least 38°C)
- shortness of breath.
- sore throat
- sneezing and runny nose
- temporary loss of smell
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms take up to 14 days to show after a person has been infected. A person can pass on the virus to others before they know they have it - from up to two days before symptoms develop.
If you have these symptoms, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately.
Q: How do I get a test for COVID-19?
If you are concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, please immediately contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or call your doctor in New Zealand.
According to the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), a referral from your doctor or from Healthline is necessary to be tested at a Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC). If you do not have a referral, you will not be tested at a CBAC, so you must first ring Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor.
No on-demand or drop-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out at Christchurch Hospital.
Q: How much will a COVID-19 test cost?
A consultation that results in a referral for COVID-19 testing, the test itself and any follow up if the test result is positive, is covered under public health funding.
If you are under the care of UC Health and if the test comes back negative, then you are responsible to pay for any ongoing care (but the initial consultation and the test still remains free) – whether your insurance covers this is up to the insurance to determine. UC Health will invoice you their normal fee.
If the initial consultation does not warrant a COVID-19 test, then UC Health will bulk bill Studentsafe (or the student will pay if they have another insurer).
Q: Insurance – things to know about COVID-19 related claims
Pandemics are usually excluded from insurance policies. The University preferred provider (Studentsafe/Allianz) has issued a statement previously stating that policies purchased after 30 January this year are purchased with awareness of COVID-19, hence the insurance company won’t pay any claim that is caused by, or in any way connected with this event for policies purchased after this date. It is recommended, however, that you do submit a claim for medical and medical repatriation costs if your insurance policy was purchased prior to 30 January 2020.
The exclusion clause is imposed by the insurer and is outside the University’s control. However, as COVID-19 is a notifiable disease, it is expected that the key medical costs associated with the disease would be covered through the public healthcare. For more information, please see the Ministry of Health website.
Q: I want to drop down to two courses this semester - will this affect my visa?
In the first instance, please contact the Student Care Team (email@example.com) to discuss your personal circumstances. Immigration New Zealand requires a minimum of three courses to qualify for a student visa. At this stage Immigration has not changed this requirement for student visa holders.
For information regarding Immigration New Zealand’s response in relation to COVID-19 please see Student visa COVID-19 information.Please be aware that the response time might be affected due to the lockdown.
We also suggest you discuss changes to your courses with your course coordinators.
Q: I have applied for my student visa in New Zealand but haven’t received a decision yet.
Holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who were in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 25 September 2020. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed from INZ to all visa holders.
If your visa has been extended you should have received a confirmation email from Immigration New Zealand. They would have used the most recent email address that you provided. You can confirm your visa expiry date by checking the Visa Verification Service on the INZ website.
Q: When can my family come to join/visit me in NZ?
We appreciate your desire to be reunited with your family. However, travelling involves health risks to your family members, yourself, and potentially the New Zealand public. There are also practical limitations such as the travel restrictions imposed by governments.
Immigration New Zealand has issued statements relating to visa application and travel. You can see updated information here.
Q: How should I arrange travel home?
We appreciate the uncertainty that you may be feeling at this time.
The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether it is by air or sea. Find out the latest about travel here https://safetravel.govt.nz/about-our-advisories
If you are considering traveling home, please contact your embassy or consulate general’s office and register your details with them. This means that you will receive the most updated travel and border restriction information from your home government. This also means that if your government has organised flights for its citizens to return home, you will be notified.
Please be aware that once you return home, you will need to wait until the border restriction is lifted in both countries in order to return to New Zealand.
The above information is true and accurate as of 24/4/2020, 3:30PM.
We acknowledge that this is not an exhaustive list of responses to the questions that you have. We are working to respond to all questions and concerns as soon as we can
All key information can be found on the ITS Website - http://www.maogg90.com/its/ - Staff TAB
If you need any advice or help refer to the ITS Website, if your request is urgent please call the ITS Service Desk on ext 95000.
Assistance with work from home set-up
Your health, safety and wellbeing is the University’s primary focus. In order to support you effectively whilst working from home, and in particular supporting our essential online teaching and learning programmes, please connect with your manager to ensure your work set-up is well placed to support you. Our experience during the previous lockdown was that its best to be prepared - think headsets, stand up desks, mulitple monitors, monitor stands, chairs, printers etc.
The Incident Management Team have a process to handle requests from staff that may need additional equipment to sustain working from home in the coming weeks. If, after discussing with your line manager it is agreed that additional equipment would be helpful, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will triage your requirements. During lockdown desks and other larger items of furniture cannot be provided. We are not resourced enough to collect items from offices so if there is a critical item that is required while we are in Level 3 please modify (scale back) and submit the Request for One-off Teaching and Research Activity on Campus form. Desktop computers must not be removed from campus.
We may be unable to provide requested equipment to home depending upon the nature of work in relation to supporting teaching and learning, the size of the equipment requested and the accessibility of the equipment being requested and the health and safety requirements associated with getting it to you.
- Information Sheet: Working from home (PDF)
- Online Ergonomic Self-Assessment
- Protocol: Working from Home for Managers/Heads and Staff specifically in relation to COVID-19
Workspace and Health and Safety (from Protocol: Working from Home)
Work from home must be in a space appropriate to the nature of the work and meet health and safety requirements given the home working environment is subject to the same health and safety legislation as the University campus.
Staff should ensure they take breaks, both from the computer and to have meals.
Given the current circumstances with COVID-19 and recommendation around physical distancing, staff are strongly advised not to meet face to face with colleagues in their homes or other off campus venues.
Most work undertaken at home will be on a computer. Please complete the Online Ergonomic Self-Assessment. If specific ergonomic equipment is required, the University will do its best to provide it, however this is subject to availability and practicality in the lockdown situation we are in.
Staff should ensure they are mindful about their mental health when working from home. Establishing a workspace, a daily work routine, setting boundaries and phone or video chatting with colleagues can help. Mental health resources and tips can be found at UC & Me.
If a staff member has an accident or “near miss” they should follow the normal health and safety reporting procedures to Report an Event.
For the avoidance of doubt, staff are prohibited from taking hazardous substances (solvents, chemicals, biological agents, samples, etc) from the workplace to home or another work location.
Even working from home we should follow the normal purchase procedures as much as possible. This involves raising a requisition through your Buyer and using a Purchase Order. New suppliers will be required to complete a supplier set up form. Most purchases will follow this route.
SMALL items of office supplies may be purchased by individual staff and a reimbursement claim submitted with receipts. Please confirm purchases with your manager first.
In the event of an emergency purchase being required, confirm the purchase with your Manager, then contact Procurement who have the relationships with our suppliers and may be able to organise special terms. P Cards can only be used in an emergency if there is no existing supplier relationship that can provide the necessary item or service. Check Unimarket for existing suppliers or contact Procurement.
The University is a large organisation and has the support of the Government. There is no risk to suppliers not being paid. Generally, our terms are payment 20th of the month following the month of receipt of invoice. Do not agree to payment in advance without consulting Procurement.
A reminder about purchasing and good governance.
How do I register for Remote Access?
- Must register for Remote access – watch the video
- When at home use off campus staff and visitor
- You desktop computer power must remain on in order to user Remote Access to your desktop.
If you have IT assets at home, please register the asset IDs with your Manager.
If you need any advice or help refer to the ITS Website, if urgent then please call the ITS Service Desk on x95000.
UC Provided Staff Mobiles (data)
If you have a UC mobile phone and you are getting data warnings, don't panic. The IT team have worked with our provider to ensure that our pool is large enough to manage these increases during this time.
See below a video outlining extensions for enrolment and scholarships - check it out here:
The Postgraduate Research Office has a Learn page for communication with doctoral and master’s thesis students (> 90 points). In response to student queries and survey responses, we have established an FAQ section on the Learn site. The FAQs are updated as they change, and abridged versions of that information provided for staff below. If you have any questions about your research supervision and COVID-19, please do not hesitate to contact the Postgraduate Research Office or Megan McAuliffe, Dean of Postgraduate Research (email@example.com). If you have queries about access to campus please speak with your supervisor.
Prospective Research Students
I am an international student intending to commence my postgraduate research degree at UC soon. How might COVID-19 affect this?
For those students hoping to commence postgraduate studies in 2020, please note that the New Zealand government have put in place temporary COVID-19 border restrictions. For incoming international students, this means that you will not be able to travel to NZ at this time. If you do not have a current student visa, and you are not already resident in New Zealand, unfortunately you will be unable to enrol at present. We will update this information as the situation changes.
If you have a current student visa but are not resident in New Zealand, then a remote start may be possible. You should discuss this with your proposed supervisor in the first instance. If your proposed supervisor and Head of Department/School are supportive of a remote start, then you should contact the Dean of Postgraduate Research for further information and approval.
For up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, immigration, and travel to NZ please see: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19 . In the meantime, we suggest you do not make travels plans at present.
I am a NZ citizen or resident intending to commence my postgraduate research degree at UC soon. How might COVID-19 affect this?
Currently, COVID-19 does not affect the enrolment or commencement of postgraduate research degrees for NZ citizens or residents. In most instances this can be completed online. However, prospective students should discuss their proposed research topic with their supervisor to determine if any adjustments in focus or scope may been needed during this extraordinary time.
Current Postgraduate Research Students
Due dates, submissions and examinations
One of my milestones reports (e.g., supervisor agreements, confirmation reports, progress reports) is due soon and I'm concerned I'll miss the deadline. What can I do?
We encourage students to do their absolute best to submit milestone reports on time. That said, we know this is a challenging time and there might be a few delays due to COVID-19 and the lockdown. If students are concerned they will miss a deadline, they are encouraged to speak with their supervisor/s first. The Dean will approve extensions of up to one month due to COVID-19 but, if longer is required, a formal application is necessary.
When I am ready to submit my thesis, how will the one-month extension work? Is this something I need to apply for once a system is established or will it occur automatically?
This process will be automatic, no formal applications are required. However, we encourage students to do their best to submit on time. If a student requires more than one month, then they will need to apply through the usual processes, see: http://www.maogg90.com/postgraduate/forms/.
I am submitting my thesis soon - have the processes for submission changed?
There have been no changes to the thesis submission process. All staff from the Postgraduate Research Office staff are working from home. Please note there may be some delays - for example, examiners might need extra time to review a thesis, depending on their personal and work circumstances. Please contact staff in the Postgraduate Research Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
My PhD oral examination is coming up soon - will it still proceed?
Yes. All oral examinations will now be held via video conferencing (UC recommends Zoom) and all parties involved (i.e., PhD candidate, oral chair, supervisor, and oral examiner) will participate via video conferencing from wherever they are currently located. Your oral chair will be contact you to schedule the oral exam. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact the Postgraduate Research Office: email@example.com.
We are aware that some postgraduate students are experiencing financial difficulties at present. If you are experiencing financial hardship that will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible for financial support. Students requesting financial support can contact the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team in the first instance to discuss their situation. The UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team will review your situation and provide advice on the application process. As a general guide, students are eligible to apply for financial support if they can demonstrate that their capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship. However, as financial support is limited, being eligible does not mean you will be approved for support. Financial support is also not intended as a form of income support and will not be provided to pay for ongoing expenses. Please note that each application is assessed on a case by case basis and has criteria attached to them. Finally, we understand this is a time of uncertainty. Please do make an appointment with the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team if you are facing financial hardship.
I work as a TA at UC on a casual contract and I use this to pay my expenses (I’m not on a scholarship). Will there be any information about assistance from UC?
If you're employed on fixed-term agreements supported by externally funded research contracts you will continue to be paid as normal through the lockdown period. In many cases the research will be able to carry on through the lockdown period, in the same or modified format. In other cases you may be asked to undertake a revised schedule of work from home through your manager, or you may be available for redeployment in critical areas in other parts of the university or community.
If you are employed by your department and not on an externally funded research contract, then you will need to speak with your Head of Department. You may be employed to do other work during the lockdown, but this will differ from department to department. If you have specific concerns please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a scholarship - what happens to it during the COVID-19 University shutdown?
Students will continue to receive their normal scholarship stipend during the shutdown. Students are encouraged to continue working from home as best they can and to keep lines of communication open with their supervisors.
Can I get an extension on my scholarship because of the shutdown? How do I apply?
Students receiving UC funded doctoral scholarships (e.g., UC Doctoral Scholarship or UC Connect Scholarship) may be eligible for a scholarship extension of up to two months if they have been adversely affected by the shutdown. Students must make a case as to why they feel their work cannot progress during the shutdown. Significant disruptions due to health and well-being, care responsibilities, lack of access due to materials/data/laboratories all constitute appropriate reasons to apply for a scholarship extension. To apply, please contact the Scholarships Office on email@example.com. All applications will considered as received and on a case-by-case basis. A deadline of 3 months has been set for students to make a scholarship extension application.
For students receiving an externally funded scholarship (e.g., Marsden, HRC), could supervisors please contact Research and Innovation.
International students and visas
My visa is expiring soon, what do I do?
Travellers with a temporary (work, student, visitor, interim and limited) visa expiring before 1 April 2020 who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa. An interim visa will be issued.
Holders of a student or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who are in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 25 September 2020. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders. Students were advised to check personal email address or student visa email address for these updates. When students have received their new e-visa or interim visa they should email a copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org to update student records. Any queries to email@example.com
If you have any questions you can contact: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/coronavirus-update-inz-response
Health and Wellbeing
What health and wellbeing support is available?
Your health and well-being are extremely important at this time. The Student Care Team remains open and is working remotely. If you would like to talk with someone, please make an appointment using their online booking system. Also, UC has a dedicated email address for all COVID-19 related issues and enquiries. If you have a question that has arisen because of COVID-19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. The Postgraduate Research Office is also always willing and available to assist you, so please do not hesitate to email or call. Your health and wellbeing are our top priority.
The UC Student Care Team website also have lists of existing online resources that you might find useful. One particular link is to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ webpage – it has a whole section on Apps, e-therapy and guided self-help.
Also, as noted in an earlier question, if you are experiencing financial hardship that will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible for financial support. See the earlier section on financial hardship, and please contact the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team in the first instance to discuss your situation.
It is reasonable to assume postgrads who are not physically affected (i.e., access to labs, computers etc) by the quarantine will be as productive as before?
These are extraordinary times and many people are experiencing disruption. Some people will bounce back quickly whilst others will take longer to process the situation and get back into a rhythm. We also know everyone's life circumstances are different - some of you have childcare duties, you may have a partner who needs more support, or flatmates to negotiate with. Take time for yourself and take care of your well-being as well as your research work. Students are encouraged to keep in regular contact with their supervisors – let them know how you are going, what is going well and what might be challenging. If you are concerned about any other COVID-19 related matter then please email email@example.com.
What should we do if we are not getting much support from supervisors?
We have heard some wonderful stories of supervisors assisting their postgraduate students during this time. We hope all your supervisors are doing their best to support you but also remember that they are navigating the work/home life juggle too. Reach out to them, let them know you are ready to work, and see what can be done whilst you are waiting for a formal supervisory meeting. If problems continue and you need some advice, please contact the Dean and she will assist (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Other common questions
Will Ethics Committees be available to approve modifications to studies over the shutdown period?
The Ethics Committees are still processing and reviewing applications. If you have questions about your ethics application/s, or need to put forward an amendment, contact the Ethics Co-ordinator, Rebecca Robinson (email@example.com) or by phone, +64 3 369 4588 ext: 94588. If you have any questions about ethics process, please check the Ethics website as a first step.
How do I get Remote Access to computer software/systems on campus from home?
As a first step, you’ll need to register for remote access – information about this can be found at: http://www.maogg90.com/its/knowledge-base/register-for-remote-access/
Ensure you follow the instructions and add your UC device number and mobile number for authentication.
If you are still experiencing issues, you’ll need to log a request in Assyst https://assist.canterbury.ac.nz/selfservice/ or call the service desk on 95000 or 0508824843 and they will assist.
Further information can be found at:
I need statistical consulting help - how can I access UC's free stats consulting service?
Statistical consulting will continue; however, the team will be using Zoom to carry out stats help during the shutdown. If you'd like to access this free service or learn more about the stats consulting service, please visit their website.
Who do I contact to help me with my studies?
The UC Academic Skills Centre (ASC) offers distance students support for 1-1 appointments, some quick queries are answered here: http://www.maogg90.com/support/asc/support/
You can contact ASC by phone: +64 (03) 369 3900 or Toll Free 0800 827 748, and ask for the Academic Skills Centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Extended hours are in place to provide greater flexibility for overseas students due to time differences. This service is provided to all students impacted by travel restrictions. Students can also access online resources via the following links:
UCSKILLS on LEARN: https://learn.canterbury.ac.nz/course/view.php?id=1154
Student Visa Information for students who require a new student visa
In response to the New Zealand Government escalating our Covid-19 alert system to Level 4, UC is suspending its Provider Direct Visa Application Service until further notice.
Please note Student Services will still be available to help you with any documents you may need from UC to support your visa application. While our office may be closing, our team will still be working remotely to support students. You can request assistance at: email@example.com
Here is the link to use for Immigration NZ: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/
For a Student visa application: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/full-fee-paying-student-visa
You can request assistance by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where do I find information about online enrolment and using LEARN?
Information on enrolling online, uploading documents and using LEARN can all be found here
What impact will COVID-19 have on my Studentsafe Inbound University policy?
This is a very complex and evolving situation and it is recommended that you contact Studentsafe directly if you are uncertain about how this applies to you or you wish to submit a claim email@example.com
What if my travel to New Zealand is delayed?
If you are an interntational student impacted by COVID-19 please contact our International Team firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep you fully informed. Doctoral students can contact the Dean of Postgraduate Research (email@example.com) and their supervisors. Other postgraduates should contact the relevant College.
Ra Tomene | Open Day cancelled
One of the most difficult decisions we have made following this afternoon’s announcement is the cancellation of Ra Tomene | Open Day for 2020, which had been postponed twice due to COVID-19.
Alert Level 2 restricts gatherings of more than 100 people, and given the large numbers of people involved, it is no longer feasible to hold the event this year.
In its place, we will be reinstating our Online Open Day content, including links to virtual tours of our halls of residence, and establishing booking forms for campus tours on 19 September and the week of 21 September. For more information visit http://www.maogg90.com/events/tours-and-events/open-days/
What happened with graduation?
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha (UC) graduation ceremonies scheduled for 7 and 9 April didn’t go ahead. This decision was been made with the health and wellbeing of our graduands, staff and the wider Aotearoa community as a priority. Qualifications were formally conferred in absentia on the 7 or 9 April and certificates posted after this date. This wasn’t an easy decision. We understand that these events are the culmination of much hard work and that this has been disappointing for our graduands, whanau and friends. UC will hold graduation celebrations later in the year.
Updated information for graduands
You will receive a digital copy of your testamur (certificate) and transcript via My Equals once you have graduated. At this time, due to the nationwide lockdown and non-essential printing not allowed, we cannot send your hard copy testamur but this will be posted to you when the University reopens.
Please note that often My Equals is diverted to spam mail, so please ensure you check there if it is not in your inbox. Please send any questions regarding My Equals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
University Travel: New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 on Monday, 8 June at 11:59pm. Under Alert Level 1, there are no government imposed restrictions on domestic travel but our borders remain closed.
In mid-May when we moved from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, we advised that UC business travel could only proceed with SLT approval and staff should be asked to reconsider the need to travel and whether or not the purpose for the travel could be achieved by other means, e.g. Zoom. Despite the move to Alert Level 1, the advice remains the same for UC travel for at least the remainder of 2020. It may only proceed if deemed essential and with SLT approval.
If the travel is deemed essential, and is signed off by an SLT member then bookings must be made through our travel management company, Orbit, and it is crucial that travellers maintain a diary of all movements while travelling for location tracking purposes. It is our collective responsibility to ensure we do all we can to minimise the risk of community spread should a positive COVID-19 case still be identified in New Zealand. While the signs that the virus has been eliminated in NZ are positive, there is still risk posed, for example, by those arriving from overseas over the next few weeks and months.
UC historically has the second highest number of travel days across the NZ tertiary sector. The current travel restrictions, while imposed on us all and not particularly palatable, provide an opportunity to not only positively impact budget constraints by reducing UC travel discretionary costs but also to address one of our Strategy goals to be environmentally sustainable by reducing our carbon footprint.
Do Not Travel Overseas At This Time
Immigration New Zealand now advise that all New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and travel restrictions.
All UC international travel is suspended. The health and wellbeing of staff and students is our priority, and this guidance aims to minimise the risk to our staff, students and the wider community.
Recommendations for UC students currently on exchange
The situation regarding COVID-19 has escalated globally, many universities worldwide are now closing or moving classes online.
Given the rapidly escalating global situation and the increasing amount of travel restrictions worldwide, and intensive consultation with our partners, it is with great regret that UC has made the very difficult decision to suspend our exchange programmes and recall all UC outbound exchange students, effective immediately. Students on exchange have been provided with information to help them return home quickly and safely.
Travellers with a temporary (work, student, visitor, interim and limited) visa expiring before 1 April 2020 who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa. An interim visa will be issued.
Travellers with a temporary visa due to expire between 1 April and 9 July 2020 will have their visas extended to late September. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders. https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/coronavirus-update-inz-response
Please note that it will be difficult to enter New Zealand right now if you are not a citizen or permanent resident
The New Zealand Government has closed our borders to almost all travellers from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020.
New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) can still come to New Zealand. Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand can also return to New Zealand.
Last updated: Sep 7, 2020 14:28