Update on the start of semester and the coronavirus

7 February 2020

Dear students  

This message is to update you with information about the options that ANU is planning to put in place for students affected by the novel coronavirus related travel restrictions.   

Semester 1 to commence 24 February 2020 as planned 

We will be beginning Semester 1 on 24 February as planned. Our campus is safe and ready for the start of the academic year.  For all our domestic and international students who are in Australia and able to attend classes we are looking forward to starting Orientation from Monday 17 February and the start of Semester 1 from Monday 24 February.   

I want to reassure you all that your safety is our highest priority. We are actively working with health authorities and have consistently followed their advice to keep our community safe. That means anybody who needs to be isolated is in isolation. And anyone you see on campus has already met all the necessary health requirements.  

As a University, we are determined to respond with compassion and come together to support each other. I am equally determined that any anxiety related to coronavirus does not give rise to any form of marginalisation, discomfort or discrimination against any individual or groups within our community. As our Vice-Chancellor has said before, viruses don't discriminate and neither do we. 

For students impacted by travel restrictions - see below 

For those of you affected by the travel restrictions, we are making every effort to put in place very flexible arrangements for you so that you can participate in campus life and learn remotely until you can join us. The information below is for you. 

Flexible study  

If you are not able to travel to Canberra to join us on campus for Semester 1 2020 by the 31st March, you will have several options including: 

  • Continuing to study with ANU: We really want to see you continue or commence your studies at ANU. We are working on you being able to enrol part-time or full-time and participate remotely in a range of courses relevant to your degree.  We're currently selecting and preparing the most suitable courses so that you can study remotely and integrate back into campus-based learning if you arrive in Canberra prior to the end of semester. We will provide you with information about these courses next Wednesday.
  • Studying at another institution: You may be able to enrol in online or face to face study at another University either in Australia or in China and credit that course back to your studies here at ANU.   
  • Deferring: You will be able to defer your studies for up to one year without academic or financial penalty. We will welcome you to campus when you're ready to commence or return. 
  • Enrolling in a free, co-curricular offering from ANU: We are planning to provide to all ANU students who are affected by the travel restrictions the opportunity to participate in a co-curricular program that you can participate in from China. The program is designed to support academic writing development and includes content on life in Australia and wellbeing while studying.   
  • Catching up: We will have a number of options such as winter and summer intensive courses that will enable you to catch up when you get back to campus.  

Flexible Enrolment 

To provide flexibility and support for students who will be studying remotely in Semester 1 2020, the following flexible enrolment arrangements will be available: 

  • We encourage you to select and enrol in the courses that you want to study remotely in Semester 1 2020 when we provide you with information next week about the recommended courses. 
  • You will be able to withdraw from any course that you are enrolled in during Semester 1 2020 until the day before the final assessment without academic penalty.  
  • When you arrive in Canberra, we will work with you individually to ensure you are supported to integrate back into your studies on campus for the courses you are enrolled in.  We encourage you to come to Australia as soon as you are able. 

Flexible Scholarships and Dispensation  

In response to the travel restrictions, ANU can offer a scholarship or special dispensation to affected students to be compensated for some of the challenges that they have endured. 

  • Commencing Student Hardship Scholarship:  If you are a commencing student, we recognise that you will be heavily impacted by the travel restrictions because you are not yet familiar with ANU. If you are a commencing student affected by the travel restrictions, and not able to arrive in Australia and attend classes by 31 March 2020, you will receive a hardship scholarship and we will waive your fees for any remote study you enrol in during Semester 1. 
  • Special Dispensation for Affected Continuing Students: If you are a continuing student affected by the coronavirus travel restrictions, and not able to arrive in Australia and attend classes by 31 March 2020, you will receive special dispensation if you fail any course you are enrolled in for Semester 1.  This means when you enrol in the same course again, your course fees will be waived.   

Further Information 

We are busy preparing as much information as possible to provide to all students affected by the travel restrictions. This additional information will be provided to you next Wednesday, 12 February 2020. 

Professor Grady Venville 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)