This message was sent to all students at 5.30pm on Friday 27 March. This message has been slightly updated for web.
I want to start this email by acknowledging the extraordinary disruption we have all experienced this semester. We know you, our students, have been heavily impacted by the response we have had to make to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful for your support and understanding. Please know that our staff have been working incredibly hard to shift to a remote operational university; and to resolve many of the questions you've been asking.
This email will cover:
- Emergency grants
- Residential Hall update
- Change to census date
- Adjustment for exams, assessment and grading scale
This semester has been tough, and many of you are experiencing increased financial pressure. To help, we're providing an additional $1million of emergency grant funding. This is in addition to the emergency grants already available through ANUSA and PARSA. These grants can cover accommodation and travel expenses, grocery vouchers, textbooks or IT equipment and medical costs.
More information is here.
Our public health experts agree that social distancing is essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19, and our assessment is we are not currently in a state which is acceptable to continue without putting the health of members of our community at risk. So, from now, we need to create more space in our residences, and ensure students minimise their interactions.
We need all students in residences to complete this form which will help us understand your circumstances. The form is available here.
Our message today is simple: If you live in one of our ANU residences and can safely move to off-campus accommodation, such as your family home, you should do so immediately. We can help you with your travel if you need it.
To support you to leave, you'll be able to cancel your accommodation contract and be refunded any rent paid in advance. You won't be required to continue paying rent if you cancel your contract. Students with a room in a residence now will have priority access to their room on campus when they return. More information is available here.
Those of you who cannot leave, due to travel restrictions, for example, can stay in your room. The residential halls and colleges will remain open for any resident who needs to live on campus. However we will be strictly enforcing hygiene and social distancing protocols without exception. Any student in breach of these measures will be removed from their residential accommodation and subject to University disciplinary proceedings. Details of these tougher protocols will be available today.
I urge all of you: take these measures seriously. The safety of our community is everyone's responsibility.
The census date will be changed from Tuesday 31 March to Friday 8 May 2020. This will give you time to get used to remote learning, knowing you can withdraw from your course(s) without academic or financial penalty.
Arrangements previously put in place for students impacted by travel restrictions into Australia from China are retained for those students.
We know your studies have been disrupted, and we thank you for working with us to adapt to these changes. One of the changes we're considering may affect the way we grade courses this semester, and how these grades will be shown on your academic transcript. We are consulting widely before making any decision. More details will be available soon.
The shift to remote learning does mean that all invigilated mid-semester and end of semester exams will be changed to online exams or other forms of assessment.
We're working with your course convenor(s) to adapt all assessments so they can be completed remotely and they'll be in touch with you to provide an update on assessment and other arrangements for the remainder of the semester. You can read more here.
Further information for honours and higher degree by research students will also be available soon as we detail the transition to remote research.
You can find more information about academic adjustments, academic support services, student wellbeing and residential hall information on our website here.
This year hasn't gone the way any of us planned, but we'll continue to work hard to ensure we minimise disruptions to your studies as best as we can. Please bear with us as we all adjust. Rest assured, we are working around the clock to deliver a great ANU experience, wherever you are this semester.