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COVID-19 information for students

Whakamahukitanga mo te Mate Kurahauao – Mō ngā tauira

Online final exams semester 2 2021

Updated 6 October 2021

For advice about preparing for exams:

Visit the exams section in the UNI101 Blackboard paper

Further advice

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Special consideration semester 2 2021


If you have a technical issue, unexpected disruption, or a medical condition that disrupts your exam, please see the special consideration process.

Additional support services include Disability Information and Support, Student Health, our University Chaplains, the Māori Centre, Pacific Islands Centre, and the Otago University Students Association.

Support services during examinations

For students sitting exams in colleges, if a fire alarm sounds, the college will remind you that exam conditions still apply, and in particular you should not be talking to each other. Colleges can help you by providing content for the Online Examination Incident Report form.

For internal assessment that replaces a final exam

An application for Special Consideration should be made in writing (e.g. via email) to your paper course co-ordinator, but be addressed to the Head of Department, as soon as you can. In the email, give the nature of the impairment and supply supporting evidence.

Special Consideration in Internal Assessment (PDF)

The Online Examination Incident Report form

  • Fill out this form if you have a question about an exam’s content or a problem that affects your exam performance (e.g. IT /technical problem, illness, or other exceptional circumstances)
  • You can ask a staff member to fill out this form if they help you during the exam
  • Please describe the incident and actions taken in as much detail as possible.

Online Examination Incident Report form

Exam rules and regulations

Knowing what actions are banned during online exams is vital, so please read the rules.

Online exam rules and regulations (PDF)


Contact AskOtago on:

Freephone 0800 80 80 98 (Within New Zealand)
Freephone 1800 46 82 46 (Within Australia)
Tel +64 3 479 7000

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Applications for on-campus space to sit exams

Applications are now open for spaces to sit exams on our campuses across New Zealand:

  • University of Otago, Wellington, campus
  • University of Otago, Christchurch, campus
  • Southland campus
  • Dunedin campus

The spaces will have University Wi-Fi, desks, and power sockets – and will be supervised to ensure they remain quiet. Eating, smoking, and vaping will not be permitted, but a non-spill clear plastic water bottle is allowed.

Because pandemic restrictions limit the on-campus spaces we can make available, we cannot guarantee everyone a space. Priority will be given to students with no internet connection or unstable Wi-Fi, so college residents will not be eligible. The on-campus spaces are also only for students sitting timetabled final exams, not tests.

If you are unsure whether you qualify, please check the exam timetable.

Register for an exam space on-campus

Note: You cannot register later than two calendar days before your exam (e.g. you need to register by Sunday night for a Wednesday exam).

After registering, you will receive an email at least 24 hours before each exam you asked to sit on campus saying whether your application was successful or not. Confirmation emails will include details of the room, rules, and etiquette.

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Arrangements for returning to Alert Level 2 from Auckland

Updated: 30 September 2021

Information, including key requirements, for students wishing to return to an Alert Level 2 area from Auckland are available in our daily update.

COVID‑19 update - 30 September 2021

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During Alert Level 2

Updated: 8 September 2021


Under Delta Alert Level 2 for universities, classes (i.e. lectures, tutorials and labs, etc.) can operate face-to-face. However, these must maintain 1 metre distancing between people, and a maximum of 100 people can be in the same room.

That means that some of our teaching will remain online even for students on campus, or that your lecture theatre or seminar/tutorial room will have changed.

We will maintain online teaching for those students who are unable to return to their campus.

Physical distancing

Alert Level 2 requires physical distancing of 2 metres from people you don’t know when out in public or in retail stores. Keep 1 metre physical distancing inside offices and workspaces.

Shared University workspaces, such as those which are open plan, will have limited numbers of people in some cases to maintain the appropriate distancing.

Face coverings

Staff and students should bring face coverings or masks with them when attending on-site activities at Alert Level 2. Face coverings must be worn when visiting student health services, Unipol and other retail outlets on campus.

Face coverings are strongly recommended at all other times – including teaching and learning spaces, libraries and group study spaces, and research and laboratory spaces, where practicable – but are not mandatory.

In particular, they should be worn indoors where 1 metre physical distancing is difficult or not possible (such as entering and exiting lecture theatres and in lifts).

Masks are available from Campus Watch and AskOtago on the Dunedin campus, and from AskOtago at other University campuses if you need one.

Contact tracing

Before entering any buildings on our campuses, you must connect to the University Wi-Fi for contact tracing purposes. NZ COVID Tracer app QR codes will also be available.

If you do not have a device that can connect to the University Wi-Fi, or you cannot access the NZ COVID Tracer app, you must use the manual sign-in sheet available inside the entrance/reception.


Social events are allowed under Delta Alert Level 2, but please be responsible and follow the strict guidelines. These include a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, and mandatory contact tracing of all people attending.

The host of any social event is legally responsible for making sure these rules are followed

Casual and timesheet staff

For those students who are also casual staff at the University. We are continuing to pay timesheet and casual staff, even if you have been unable to work. Please submit a timesheet as you do now for the work that would have been done during the lockdown period. This will be checked by your Head of Department or manager, and, if approved, paid.

If you have worked additional hours during the time period, please ensure these are also submitted for payment.

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Get tested

We need to assume the virus is in our community across the country, on our campuses and in our University community.

Anyone who has symptoms must get tested – the health and wellbeing of the University and our wider community depends on this.

To get tested:

Otago and Southland regions

Please phone 0800 VIRUS19 0800 847 8719 – a new centralised call service and free phone number helping streamline assessment and free testing for COVID‑19 in the Southern region (Dunedin, Invercargill, and Queenstown).

All other regions

Please phone 0800 358 5453 (within New Zealand) or +64 9 358 5453 – the dedicated COVID‑19 Healthline number.

If you are a student and you are referred to a Community-Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) for testing, please advise AskOtago on 0800 808 098 or +64 3 479 7000

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Student Health Services available during COVID‑19 Alert Level 2

Updated 7 September 2021

Student Health will be providing a full range of primary health care services and advice to all Otago students based in Dunedin.

To minimise risk to students and staff, how we deliver services has changed.  We will provide appointments via telehealth or in-person as clinically appropriate.

We encourage all students with any COVID‑19 symptoms to get tested. Testing will be available at Student Health at Alert Level 2. All COVID testing is free.

As we move through alert levels further changes may occur at short notice, we will keep you updated.


  • All patients must phone for an appointment – do not arrive without phoning first
  • Appointments may be in-person or telehealth
  • All appointments incur the usual charges (including telehealth)
  • All patients will be screened when making the appointment and on arrival at Student Health – please arrive early for your appointment
  • Student Health will be operating a red stream for patients with MoH Covid symptoms and green stream for all other appointments
  • All evening clinics will be telehealth only (5:00pm–8:30pm)
  • All students must wear a medical mask while in the Student Health building
  • QR code scan or log book must be completed on entry to the building
  • All Student Health staff will be wearing appropriate PPE for your appointment


  • Main doors are locked
  • Staff enable access as required for booked appointments
  • Please maintain physical distancing while waiting to access Student Health
  • Operating hours: 8:30am–8:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. 9:45am-8:30pm Wednesday
  • Number of patients within the facility will be based on 2 metre distancing rule

Services provided

Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • Full range of services via telehealth and in-person
  • Phone reception to book a same day Mental Health Support appointment

GP / Nursing

COVID-19 symptoms
  • Phone Student Health / Healthline for advice. Stay at home while waiting for advice
  • Let someone know that you are unwell – College staff or flatmate
  • The Ministry of Health strongly advises getting tested for COVID‑19 if you have any symptoms such as headache, sore throat, cough, congestion, fever, muscle aches, runny nose, sneezing and /or loss of smell
  • To arrange a test for those students in Dunedin with COVID-19 related concerns, phone Student Health or 0800 VIRUS 19 0800 847 8719 (within New Zealand) or contact your GP
  • If outside of Dunedin phone COVID-19 Healthline 0800 358 5453 or your local GP
  • Please phone Student Health
STI checks
  • Please phone Student Health

Important phone numbers

General advice

  • Follow Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines for Alert Level 2
  • Get tested if you have MoH COVID‑19 symptoms
  • Wear a mask
  • Physical distancing
  • Keep a record of where you have been (QR scan or log book)
  • Respiratory Hygiene – stay home if you are unwell and follow advice above. Wash your hands frequently, observe cough etiquette.

All plans subject to change based on latest Ministry of Health advice and guidelines

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Student services

These services are available for you to access online:

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Dunedin campus libraries under Alert Level 2

The Central, Health Science, Robertson and Science Libraries will re-open on Friday and the Law and Hocken Libraries on Monday. The Library opening hours are detailed on the Library website.

The Library continues to be available online providing access to collections and help.

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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.

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