Skip to main content
University_

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Last updated Tuesday 18 February
Common questions about the coronavirus infection (Covid-19), and the effect of the Australian Government's travel restrictions on your studies.

Enrolment and study dates

No, Semester 1 classes will commence on campus from Monday 24 February as planned for most courses. Only some business postgraduate courses have a delayed start date of 9 March. All courses will finish at the same time at the end of Semester 1 as scheduled.

Yes, Welcome Week activities will still go ahead from 17 to 21 February as planned.

We know there will be some students who will not arrive for Welcome Week due to the travel ban. We are working on plans to welcome you when you are able to join us on campus.

Yes, if you are not affected you are expected to attend classes on campus as normal from week one of semester.

Yes, if 14 days or more have passed since you last visited or transited through mainland China and you are exhibiting no symptoms, you are able to attend class as normal.

HDR programs will continue as normal. However, the travel restrictions may impact plans for fieldwork or similar trips in mainland China,  please consult the University’s travel advice on the Intranet and speak with your supervisor about alternative arrangements.

If you think you will be unable to travel to Australia in time for your graduation ceremony due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, please contact the Student Centre to discuss your options.

Special study arrangements

Yes, there will be remote learning arrangements, which includes online supported options for many courses, for students unable to attend classes on campus before Monday 30 March.

Arrangements will vary from course to course and may depend on whether you are a new student or continuing student. Not all courses can be taught online, however, and in those cases students will be advised to defer or suspend their studies.

Please check the website for details on the courses and units of study that can support impacted students.  We will continue to update this page as arrangements are confirmed.

Learning resources will include streamed and recorded lectures using Echo360, using Zoom for online tutorials, and sharing materials in Canvas. Students will be able to use a new VPN service free of charge which is approved for use in China and accessed via UniKey.

Please check you Faculty/ School's page for details on the courses and units of study that can support impacted students.  

Arrangements will vary from course to course and may depend on whether you are a new student or continuing student. Not all courses can be taught online, however, and in those cases students are advised to defer or suspend their studies.

No, in most cases these are units that are already offered online or are being offered as an accessible option for students who are unable to be on campus to attend in person. Unless advised otherwise by your faculty, you will attend your lectures and tutorials as normal from 24 February.

Please consult the website for information about adjustments that have been made to some courses.

Most students will be able to access the majority of their core teaching and learning tools without a VPN, and we encourage you to try this first. Use the new VPN solution if you encounter any issues.

Students in China will need to download and install the VPN solution using the instructions for either Windows or MacOS. This VPN solution is optimised to improve the student experience from within mainland China. If you are not attempting to connect to University resources from within China please do not use this service. The initial download may take some time, but once the VPN client is downloaded and set up, your connection to University resources will be much faster.

All course materials will be made available on the Canvas site and there will be opportunities for remote students to participate in class via online tutorials.

You will need to finalise your unit choices by Friday 6 March. All units are subject to the enrolment deadline, regardless of whether they are delivered in-person or through remote learning. You will still be able to withdraw from a unit or defer or suspend your studies until census date on Tuesday 31 March.

For exams held on-campus during the first four weeks of semester, affected student should apply for special consideration so that a replacement exam can be scheduled after 30 March 2020.

There will be no academic penalty for students who are unable to attend class before 30 March due to the Australian Government travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements. There will be opportunities for remote students to participate in class via online tutorials.

Business masters courses with delayed start to Semester

The majority of courses will commence on time (Week 1 beginning 24 Feb).

Only some business postgraduate courses have a delayed start date of 9 March. All courses, including the impacted postgraduate business masters programs, will finish at the same time at the end of Semester 1, as scheduled.

Semester 1 will remain 13 weeks in duration and will finish as planned at the end of the exam period. A mid-semester exam week will be scheduled in Week 6 (week commencing 13 April), replacing student vacation week. Week 13 will also replace a student vacation week and will be a normal week of teaching focusing on revision and preparation for final exams. The final exam period will progress as scheduled (9 – 20 June). More information about exam timetables will be made available throughout semester.

Yes. The start date for these programs is the same for both domestic and international students, including those already in Australia – Monday 9 March 2020.

Yes. The Semester 1 2020 start date for commencing and continuing students is the same – Monday 9 March.

The Business School wants to provide as many opportunities for students still in China to commence or continue their studies with the classmates who are currently in Sydney. Running different semester dates would not allow this critical interaction to happen in these units.  We continue to work on alternatives for our students in China to take units at other times of the year to help them progress through their degree.

Both the University and the Business School are working on a program of activities, events, lectures and networking opportunities for students in Australia who are impacted by the delayed start to semester. We strongly advise students either here in Sydney or still in China to access their Canvas sites and undertake any required pre-reading before the first lecture. We will continue to update students about the program of activities through the website and with any unit specific advice through the Canvas site for that unit.

Suspending or deferring your studies

If you are unable to arrive in Australia to commence your studies on campus by 30 March 2020, you should defer or suspend your studies and begin at a later date such as Semester 2, or Semester 1, 2021 (depending on your course).

Commencing Students

Defer your offer

If you have not yet accepted your offer, you have the option to apply to defer to your course’s next available intake.

We will assess your eligibility for a deferral based on the availability of the course. We will accept deferral requests as per the standard process. Please find instructions on our University website and login to Sydney Student to request your deferral. If the option to defer is not available in Sydney Student, please contact admissions.mail@sydney.edu.au with your request.

If you have a packaged offer with the University of Sydney and the Centre for English Teaching (CET) or the University of Sydney Foundation Program (USFP), and would like to defer the commencement of study at University of Sydney following the completion of the CET or USFP course, please complete and submit a break of package request form.

Defer your enrolment

If you have accepted your offer but have not yet started the Sydney Student enrolment task or completed unit of study selection for Semester 1, 2020, please contact admissions.mail@sydney.edu.au with your request to defer your studies. Please include your student ID number (SID) in the subject line when responding.

If you have a packaged offer with the University of Sydney and the Centre for English Teaching (CET) or the University of Sydney Foundation Program (USFP), and would like to defer the commencement of study at University of Sydney following the completion of the CET or USFP course, please complete and submit a break of package request form.

Suspend your studies

If you have completed the Sydney Student enrolment task, but will not be in Sydney to attend your course by 30 March, you can apply to suspend your studies for Semester 1, 2020 and begin at a later date.

Depending on the structure of your course, you will be able to suspend your studies and recommence in either Semester 2, 2020 or Semester 1, 2021. You can request a suspension through Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Course details’, then ‘Suspend your studies’). Please follow the instructions to submit your request.

The suspension request will ask you to provide supporting documents. You can provide a short personal statement regarding your specific situation and the compassionate or compelling circumstances why you cannot attend your course by 30 March. If Sydney Student does not give you the option to suspend, please contact admissions.mail@sydney.edu.au with your supporting documents.

Withdraw your acceptance

If you have accepted your offer but have not yet started or completed unit of study selection for Semester 1, 2020, please contact admissions.mail@sydney.edu.au to complete the process on your behalf. Please include your student ID (SID) number in the subject line when responding.

Continuing students

Suspend your studies

If you are a continuing student and you will not be in Sydney to attend your course by 30 March you can apply to suspend your studies for Semester 1, 2020 and begin at a later date.

Depending on the structure of your course, you will be able to suspend your studies to either Semester 2, 2020 or Semester 1, 2021. You can request a suspension through Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Course details’, then ‘Suspend your studies’). Please follow the instructions to submit your request.

The suspension request will ask you to provide supporting documents. You can provide a short personal statement regarding your specific situation and the compassionate and compelling circumstances why you cannot attend your course by 30 March. If Sydney Student does not give you the option to suspend, please contact admissions.mail@sydney.edu.au with your supporting documents.

If you do not think you will be able to be on campus to join your classes by 30 March 2020 (unless special arrangements have been made for your course), you should apply to suspend or defer your studies in Semester 1, 2020.

Our Card Collection team will be able to provide you with an alternate time or method to collect your student card if you are not able to attend with the booking you’ve made.

Please contact student-card.collections@sydney.edu.au from your student email so that they may provide you with further information.

Find out more about card collection.

Travel

The Australian Government has suspended travel from all of mainland China to Australia. On 14 February the Government announced a one-week extension to this restriction.

This travel suspension applies to everyone except Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians or dependants only) until further notice.

In addition:

  • if you have recently returned from Hubei Province, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date you left Hubei Province.
  • from 1 February 2020, all travellers including Chinese citizens, Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family returning from mainland China or transiting through mainland China must isolate for 14 days from the day they left mainland China.

These measures are temporary and will continue to be reviewed by the Australian Government.

All of China, excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Currently the ban only applies to direct travel to Australia from mainland China. If 14 days or more have passed since you last visited or transited through mainland China and you are exhibiting no symptoms, you will not need to self-isolate for another 14 days and will be able to attend class as normal. Please be sure to check the Australian Government’s travel restrictions before travelling.

The last date to arrive in Australia is Monday 16 March. This is so you can complete your mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation before you are ready to join your classes by Monday 30 March.

The University is monitoring the situation closely and will provide an update to students who would be impacted by an extension to travel restrictions.

Yes, the 14-day self-isolation period is mandatory for people who arrive from mainland China. This applies to all students, regardless of whether you are domestic or international.

The University requests that you isolate yourself from campus for 14 days if you departed from China any time in the past 14 daysThis is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff.

Visas

The Department of Home Affairs has provided advice about student-visa obligations for students who are already studying (ie continuing and re-enrolling students with a ‘STUDYING’ visa status):

  • a suspension due to compassionate/compelling circumstances can be granted for cases where, due to the coronavirus travel restrictions, students cannot return to Australia in time to continue their studies (or would normally be expected to leave Australia).
  • if you are affected by the coronavirus travel restrictions you can apply for a suspension.
  • if you apply for a suspension for Semester 1 2020 due to travel restrictions, and your suspension is approved, your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) will be cancelled. This is how the Department of Home of Affairs is notified that you are on a suspension. You will need to check directly with the Department of Home Affairs what your visa status is while on a suspension.

Students who have enquires relating to the status of their visa, should email visa.cancellations@homeaffairs.gov.au . Please be advised that the Department of Home Affairs is unable to disclose personal information to any third party.

For the most up-to-date general information regarding the Australian Government’s enhanced border control measures, please visit www.homeaffairs.gov.au.

If your student visa is going to expire soon, and your faculty or school has approved your continued enrolment, you’ll need to apply for an extension of your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) and a new visa. It’s important to be aware of your visa’s expiry date and apply to extend your eCoE before your visa expires.

For information on applying for a new visa, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Apply to extend your eCoE through Sydney Student (go to 'My studies', then 'Course details').

If you’re extending your visa, remember to contact your health insurance provider to extend your Overseas Student Health Cover.

If you are no longer studying, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs or a registered migration agent for information on other visa types and options.

If your suspension is approved, you will be issued with a new electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) for your re-commencement intake. 

For deferral, please contact international.admissions@sydney.edu.au. For visa matters, please contact the Department of Home Affairs.

 

Please contact the Department of Home Affairs for advice.

An Australian government hotline has been established to assist international students with questions or concerns relating to their study and novel coronavirus:

Email: international.students@dese.gov.au

Phone: 1300 981 621 (8am to 8pm AEDST Monday to Friday)

Decisions related to eligibility for persons affected by the coronavirus will depend on how long the travel restrictions remain in place. The Department of Home Affairs will consider making concessions, on a case-by-case basis, for those applicants affected, once travel restrictions have been lifted.

Chinese nationals applying for an Australian skilled independent visa should refer to VETASSESS for information.

Health and wellbeing

The University’s first priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. We are monitoring the situation closely and following government health advice to keep our campuses safe.

We are working to ensure there are minimal disruptions to the academic year. Classes will go ahead as usual, with some special arrangements made in places to ensure affected students can continue their studies.

Remote and flexible learning arrangements are being explored to enable students to begin Semester 1 classes remotely before joining class on campus by Monday 30 March. Circumstances may change due to the Australian Government’s review of the current temporary travel ban and we will keep our staff and students updated on the University’s plans and the support options available.

If you are a staff member, please contact your manager by phone or email to arrange flexible work arrangements.

The NSW Health Department advises the risk of contracting coronavirus in Australia is low. The University is following every precaution recommended to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff.

It is unlikely you will contract coronavirus unless you:

  • have recently been to China
  • have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus.

The risk of contracting coronavirus is low, but we remind all students to exercise good hygiene habits and follow healthcare advice.

There is no need to isolate as long as the affected family member has followed government health advice about their own isolation.

If you experience symptoms of coronavirus, which include a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath:

  • isolate yourself from others immediately
  • phone (do not visit) a local general practioner (GP) or the closest hospital emergency department for instructions on what to do next:
    • call the University Health Service on 02 9351 3484
      or
    • call the Royal Prince Alfred emergency department (closest to our main campus in Camperdown) on 02 9515 6111.

No, there is no fee for getting tested for coronavirus.

No. NSW Health advises that if you do not have symptoms, there is no testing that can be done to predict whether or not you will become unwell. It is not possible to issue a ‘medical clearance certificate’ and you will not need to provide this in order to return to classes, or work.

If you’re in Australia and feeling anxious or distressed, you can talk with one of the University counsellors from Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Book an appointment by calling 02 8627 8433 or 02 8627 8437 between 9am and 5pm. Outside CAPS business hours, you can contact the University of Sydney Crisis Support Line on 1300 474 065.

If you are a staff member who requires support, our Employee Assistance Provider (Benestar) is available to all staff online or by calling 1300 360 364.

An Australian government hotline has also been established to assist international students with questions or concerns relating to their study and novel coronavirus:

You can also access mental health support:

Accommodation and self-isolation

Stay in your accommodation.

You should not attend public places including work or university. Do not see visitors. Avoid the use of public transport.

There is no need to wear a mask at home if you are well. Where possible, get others who are not required to be isolated to get food and necessities for you. If you must leave your accommodation wear a surgical mask if you have one.

Practice simple hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands thoroughly.

Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers or soap.

Aerate your room, if possible, by opening windows to allow fresh air into the room.

Responding to Australian Government decisions, we are making arrangements for any student who is staying in our accommodation to self-isolate if required.

Once you are in your University accommodation for self-isolation, follow the advice in the above paragraph.

If you have booked University accommodation, we require you to relocate to self-contained student accommodation for this period. This will allow us to provide the most appropriate facilities required for the isolation stage. 

We have determined that certain properties best cater to the containment of any potential spread of the virus.

This information is for students who have booked University accommodation.

Please pack all personal belongings you would like to take with you for the next 14 days.

The University will provide transportation to your temporary accommodation and you will be advised of details once arrangements have been confirmed.

During your stay in isolation the University will provide various support to ensure you are comfortable and can access things you need.

Should you wish to speak to someone regarding the temporary relocation please contact our student accommodation services team.

This information is for students who have booked University accommodation.

Please pack all your personal belongings.

The University will provide transportation to your booked accommodation and you will be advised of details once arrangements have been confirmed.

Contact us

Phone
Email