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COVID-19 information for students

Whakamahukitanga mo te Mate Kurahauao – Mō ngā tauira

Information for the week commencing 8 March 2021

Following the Government’s announcement today that Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 and the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 1 from 6am Sunday, 7 March there will be a transition day on Monday, 8 March to allow the University to reset our teaching arrangements.

As communicated on Friday 5 March, this means that pool lecture and teaching spaces will be closed on Monday 8 March to allow for the changes and most teaching will be online.

Please Note: Health Science First Year labs will take place on Monday. Please check Blackboard for details of these.

Paper co-ordinators will be communicating arrangements for Monday with you via Blackboard/Moodle as soon as possible. Please continue to check Blackboard/Moodle.

From Tuesday, 9 March teaching conditions will revert to Alert Level 1 conditions.

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University operations at different Alert Levels

The University has produced some general guidelines for University operations under different Alert Levels:

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How to find your stream

Some of our bigger classes are taught in “streams” – a large class broken into smaller ones for lectures. When paper co‑ordinators send out instructions for how to access your lectures this week, different streams may have different instructions.

You can find your stream in your timetable in eVision.

Student Health

Student Health is currently experiencing an increase in call volumes, and will answer any calls as soon as possible.

If you require a COVID‑19 test, please email student-health@otago.ac.nz to book an appointment rather than call.

If you need a non‑COVID‑related appointment, please continue to phone. Your call will be answered as soon as possible.

Zoom / Blackboard / Moodle

Our online classes are delivered in a variety of ways. Below are some links to our most common systems.

Your paper co‑ordinator will let you know what system they use, and how to access it.

You can also access IT help through Student IT.

How to find your paper co‑ordinator

If you need to contact the person co‑ordinating one of your papers, for help or clarification, you can find their contact details on the paper pages of our website:

Find your paper

Information for those not yet course approved, or changing their course

It’s common for some students to still be completing their enrolment or changing their papers at this point in the semester.

This week, however, this means that some won’t be able to access resources such as Blackboard or eVision, and won’t be contacted by their paper co‑ordinator with new times and locations for lectures.

If this applies to you, please find your paper co‑ordinator by visiting the paper pages on our website:

Find your paper

You can contact your paper co‑ordinator directly. Let them know you are planning on taking their course, and ask them to please keep you informed this week.

Support services

Otago has lots of support available for students. If you are a college resident, the staff there are a great first stop. Check out our full range at the link below:

Support services

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Learning at Otago in 2021

The University of Otago is pleased to announce its expanded delivery options for coursework programmes for the 2021 academic year.

While Otago’s primary teaching mode is via face-to-face learning on-campus, in 2021, there will be three delivery options for eligible students:

  1. On campus
  2. Distance – existing programmes and papers designed to be delivered by distance learning
  3. Online – a limited number of papers and programmes that would normally only be delivered on-campus will be temporarily delivered online in order to accommodate students that are unable to attend classes in person due to COVID‑19

The deadline for semester 1 online study has now passed. Late requests will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. Applications for semester 2 study are still being accepted.

Find out more about the online learning options in 2021

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Deadlines and information for students who are returning to university through a managed isolation facility

Students completing the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) programme

Students must arrive on campus, and be ready for attendance, no later than 9am Friday 26 March 2021, to meet assessment requirements for the programme.

Students completing one of the Health Sciences undergraduate professional programmes

Please contact the programme co-ordinator for your specific programme.

Students from other programmes who will be late onto campus in semester 1 due to a confirmed MIQ booking

Please contact AskOtago, who will assist you.

Students from other programmes who have not yet made an MIQ booking

Given MIQ is full until at least June 2021, students in this situation will not be able to study until semester 2 unless their papers are on the list of approved online papers.

Graduate research students

Processes for repatriating graduate research students is being managed through the Graduate Research School in conjunction with the International Office and Universities New Zealand for allocation of repatriation places.

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Contact tracing

University Wi‑Fi

To support contact tracing capability, we strongly encourage all students and staff with suitable devices to maintain a connection to the Wi‑Fi network while on campus.

Find out how to connect to Wi‑Fi:

All students and staff who are using a data-capable mobile device or laptop which is turned on and connected to the University Wi‑Fi, or a University computer hardwired to the network, will be able to be contact traced if required, via collected location data.

Any data collected is subject to the Privacy Statement appended below.

User sign‑in data from computers which are hard-wired to the University network will also be used for location / contact tracing as required.

NZ COVID Tracer app

QR codes have now been installed across our campuses that can be used with the New Zealand Government COVID Tracer app for contact tracing.

NZ COVID Tracer app

COVID‑19 Contact Tracing – Privacy Statement

COVID‑19 Contact Tracing Information means information collected in electronic and paper-based COVID‑19 building access registers, and derived from the University’s IT network, timetabling and electronic card access systems, which identifies physical proximity between individuals on campus capable of increasing the risk of transmission of COVID‑19.

As with all personal information collected by the University, COVID‑19 Contact Tracing Information will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 and the University’s Policy on Access to, and Use of, Personal Information.

COVID‑19 Conract Tracing Information is collected and accessed by the University for the purpose of contact tracing aimed at decreasing the risk of transmission of COVID‑19, and may be supplied to the Medical Officer of Health and/or appropriate government agencies for those purposes.

COVID‑19 Contact Tracing Information will be securely stored and permanently deleted once no longer reasonably required for contact tracing purposes.

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Keeping well

Medical certificates for Special Consideration

Medical certificates are not required if seeking Special Consideration for internal assessment, and are only required for Special Consideration in Final Examinations if impairment is due to illness or injury.

COVID‑19

If you are concerned that you might have COVID‑19, call the COVID‑19 Healthline, Student Health, or your own GP for advice about getting tested.

Testing is free for everyone.

Important phone numbers

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Student services

These services are available for you to access online:

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Pūtea Tautoko student support fund

Applications are open

Applications remain open for the University’s Pūtea Tautoko student support fund.

Apply through your eVision portal – a link to the application form should appear in the Finance section on the main page.

You will be asked to supply information about your financial circumstances, declare your current sources of income and financial assistance, and explain how COVID‑19 is impacting on your ability to continue to study at Otago.

You will also need to nominate a referee who can attest to your situation.

About the Pūtea Tautoko student support fund

A fund for students facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID‑19 global outbreak has been launched by the University, with applications now open.

The fund is open to all University of Otago students, whether you are a New Zealand or international student, full-time or part-time, undergraduate, or postgraduate.

The University has committed NZ$1.5 million as an initial investment to support Otago students, and is asking alumni, staff, and friends to contribute to increase the amount available.

Named Pūtea Tautoko, which translates as financial support, the fund is a way for the University community to support its students facing the greatest need in extraordinary times.

Pūtea Tautoko is the largest hardship initiative in the University’s history.

The fund is launched with the support of the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA).

Applications will be considered by several panels, all including student representation. The panels will robustly assess hardship, using tools we already have to assess applications for existing hardship funds, and for our needs-based scholarships.

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New international students

Information for new international students on semester 1, 2021

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Visit otago.ac.nz/coronavirus for ongoing updates.