FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We have compiled some questions specific to the current COVID-19 situation for all current students studying at the Sydney City Campus.

Topics include:

  • Enrolment
  • CoEs and visas
  • Online Study
  • Finance
  • Well-being

If you have additional questions, please contact the Sydney City Campus Student Administration:

Email:   admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au

Phone: +61 (2) 8236 8037.

For one-on-one academic support, counselling services or general advice, please book an appointment with  Student Support.

ENROLMENT

I think I have enrolled correctly, but am having trouble accessing my studies on-line, who should I contact?

All international students can access one-on-one support from a Student Learning Advisor within the Sydney City campus Student Support Services team, for appointments click here.

You can also check the Am I Enrolled Properly page for advice.

If you need further support, please reach out to Sydney City Campus Student Administration on admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au or +61 (2) 8236 8037.

If I start studying online, but then get sick, what should I do about my online enrolment?

Your health is our priority and we will provide support. The University has several mechanisms in place that can offer support in this scenario. This may include special consideration, break in studies or assistance finding emergency accommodation. Please contact the Student Support Services team for appointments click here.

If you need assistance over the phone, please call 61 (2) 8236 8037.

I am concerned about how online study may impact my academic performance this session. What happens if I fail a unit?

If you fail a unit, you can apply for a Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty (WWAP) with evidence of your circumstances. If your application is approved the financial liability may be removed from this session.

If you receive a fail grade after attempting all your assessments within a unit, it will be converted to a withdrawal without academic penalty and won’t count towards your GPA. If you wish to withdraw from a unit before the end of session, you can do so at any time without academic penalty.

I want to reduce my study load. What happens if I drop a unit, do I get a refund of the tuition fee?

International students are required to maintain a study load that enables them to complete their degree within the dates of their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), 100% of a standard full-time load. A full-time load constitutes 30 credit points per session and 20 credit points per quarter.

Reducing Study Load (RSL), dropping below 30 credit points in a session or 20 credit points in a quarter, may impact your study plan and could increase the chance you may need to extend your study time and therefore your visa.

If you wish to reduce your study load to less 30 credit points in Session 1 (or Quarter 2) of a standard full-time load, you must complete the Application to Reduce Study Load form and secure approval. Student Services can assist you with this. A reduced load can be approved for academic or compassionate and compelling grounds.

If you wish to withdraw from a unit before the end of session, you can do so at any time without academic penalty.

I would like to withdraw from my course, what is the process?

  • If this is your first study session, contact International Admissions at admissions@city.westernsydney.edu.au
  • If you are a continuing student, you must contact Student Support Services at studentservices@city.westernsydney.edu.au
  • Use the Discontinuation or Break from Studies form, SECTION 2C. Please provide a personal statement and any other supporting documentation that will support your application.
  • Your enrolment will end, and this will be reported on your CoE, showing that you are no longer studying. This will not have an immediate effect on your visa but please do seek advice directly from Immigration within 4 weeks.
  • If you are returning home, please contact Immigration and ask about requesting a voluntary student visa cancellation. More information about requesting a visa cancellation is available here on the Department of Home Affairs website.
  • If you have any unused tuition fees you can apply for a refund using the Request for Refund form.
  • A copy of the Refund Agreement was attached to your Offer/Acceptance pack, please review it before applying for a refund.
  • ShapeVisa consequences of resignation: if you return home but do not apply for a voluntary visa cancellation you should still contact Immigration and ask about the visa impact of your cessation of enrolment and CoE cancellation.

I would like to defer my studies, what should I do and when do I need to make this decision?

If this is the first session of your course and you wish to defer the commencement of your course to the next study session:

  • You can request deferral by contacting Student Administration at admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au
  • You will be given a new deferred offer for your course.
  • You accept the deferred offer and will be given a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) with the new start and end date. Tuition fees you have paid already will be credited to your new course commencement.
  • Visa implications: as your new end date is likely to be beyond the current visa end date you will need to apply for a new visa before the current visa expires. Contact Immigration as soon as you have your new CoEs for advice about when to apply for a new student visa.
  • If you have not commenced your course and want to defer, you will be reconsidered for the scholarship by the International Admission Team.

If you are a continuing student (this is your second or subsequent session) and you wish to suspend your enrolment until the next study session because you do not want to study exclusively online:

  • When the leave is approved your CoE will be updated to show that you are on approved leave.
  • Tuition fees you have paid for the current session will be credited towards your future enrolment.
  • When you return from leave, contact Welfare Services again and ask them to report the resumption of your studies on your CoE. Welfare Services will also advise you about future CoEs and visa extension.

I’m a new student and now want to defer my studies, what happens to the tuition fees I've paid?

If you submitted a defer request prior to census date, we will defer your offer to the next intake. The tuition fees you have paid for the current session will be credited towards your future enrolment.

If you submit a defer request after census date, financial penalty may apply. Please contact admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au for more information.

I have completed at least one session of study at the University, and wish to take a break in my studies, what happens to the fees I’ve paid?

If you submitted a deferral request prior to census date, we will defer your offer to the next intake. The tuition fees you have paid for the current session will be credited towards your future enrolment.

If you submit a defer request after census date onward, there will be no academic penalty, but financial penalty may apply. Please contact admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au for more information.

I’m an international student currently studying in Sydney and would like to return to my home country. Can I do so and continue my studies?

As of Monday 30 March 2020, the University has moved all relevant units online and we are supporting students who wish to undertake these units from their home country. Before you make the decision to return home, we advise you to check travel advice and speak with a student advisor and Program Convenor for guidance on specific issues related to completing your subjects remotely. To complete your studies, you will need access to the internet and a computer with audio/video plus a microphone. For some units there may also be required software.

I’m a study abroad/exchange student - will my online study still count toward my degree?

You will receive an academic transcript for your online study at Western Sydney University that you can provide to your home institution for credit.


CoEs and VISAS

Will completing studies from offshore affect my Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and Visa?

Your enrolment status and CoE will not change, you will remain an internal student, both at course and unit level. Your CoEs will not be changed.

You will be able to return home on your student visa and return to Sydney when face-to-face teaching recommences. There is no impact on your student visa.

My student visa is expiring before 31 July 2020. What can I do?

Contact your Program Convenor and ask for academic advice for the study pattern for the rest of your studies from Session 2 and Quarter 3. Provide the academic advice to Student Administration by email admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au and request a new CoE for the remainder of your course as outlined by the academic advice. Please ensure you mention “CoE Extension” in the subject line. Student Administration will issue a CoE and you can apply for a new student visa.


ONLINE STUDY

Has Western Sydney University implemented a change-over from face-to face-classes to classes being delivered online? Which study sessions are affected?

The University has moved to online delivery for the remainder of Session 1 and Quarter 2. This includes practical classes and labs.  As we anticipate that the current situation may continue, we are working to transform the curriculum for online delivery for Session 2 and Quarter 3.

Are Western Sydney University campuses still open?

Yes. Even though classes are online our campus remains open.

The Sydney City Campus Library on level 8 has reduced opening hours from 10am to 6pm. Level 4 is still open to study. Other Western campuses are also open and a number of Study Hall spaces are available so that you can continue to access safe study spaces and the University’s Wi- Fi network on other campuses including:

  • Kingswood
  • Liverpool
  • Parramatta South
  • Campbelltown
  • Hawkesbury
  • Bankstown

The University’s Coronavirus webpage has more information about the location of the study spaces on campus.

All international students can access one-on-one support from a student learning advisor within the Sydney City campus Student Support Services team, to make an appointment click here.

All student service channels, including counselling and welfare services are available online and over the phone currently.

You can also contact +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm AEDT, or email coronavirusadvice@westernsydney.edu.au and we will direct your enquiry to the appropriate area.

Western Sydney University also has an After-Hours Student Assistance Line specifically for International students. If you have a problem after hours, please call 1800 735 807.

Will all exams be done online?

The University is moving to take-home exams and online exams - some with online proctoring. No exams will be taken on campus. You should check your vUWS sites regularly as this is how we will communicate with you about how your units will be delivered, including assignments and exams. You can also consult with your Program Convenor for course specific information.

How do I complete assessment like group presentations etc. if I study online?

Your Unit Convenor will help you with any assessment changes that are needed online. You will receive more information from your Unit Convenor via your vUWS site. You should check your vUWS sites regularly as this is how we will communicate with you about how your units will be delivered, including group presentations and assignments. You can also consult with your Program Convenor for course specific information.

How can I access academic support if I study online?

Your Unit Convenor’s details can be found on page two of the Learning Guide which is available on the vUWS home page. You can access the Library’s StudySmart support online through vUWS or the Library website. For one-on-one academic support please email studentservices@city.westernsydney.edu.au or make an appointment for maths or academic study support via https://scc-student-support-team.appointlet.com

I was not expecting to be able to study online, and I am not sure I have installed everything I need correctly, who can I contact to help me?

If you have any IT-related queries you can contact iHelp at the Sydney City Campus on +612 9964 6518, email ihelp@city.westernsydney.edu.au from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.

You can also seek support via Western Now, via phone (+61 2 9852 5111), email itservicedesk@westernsydney.edu.au or use the Live Chat function on Western Now https://wsu.service-now.com/it from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and between 9am and 5pm on weekends.

You can also consult with your Program Convenor for course specific information.

What procedures will I need to complete in applying to study online from offshore?

Your timetable will include an online option. There is no additional process required; however, we recommend you connect with your unit Program Convenor and Unit Convenor for guidance on specific issues related to completing your subjects remotely.

What is different about the Session 1 and Quarter 2 final grades?

All assessments and examinations will continue to be graded. When you receive your final result for your unit, you can leave the unit you’ve passed with the grade as is and this will count towards your Grade Point Average (GPA). The other option you’ll have for the current teaching session is to opt for a non-graded pass – this means that your GPA will not take into account the original grade you’ve received. Further information on how to take up this option will be provided before results are released. 

If you receive a fail grade after attempting all your assessments within a unit, it will be converted to a withdrawal without academic penalty and won’t count towards your GPA. If you wish to withdraw from a unit before the end of session, you can do so at any time without academic penalty. Again, this means that your GPA will not be affected.


FINANCE

What financial support is currently available?

We are working to make more support available to students. This includes a 10% tuition fee reduction for all international students undertaking Undergraduate or Postgraduate Coursework degrees in Session 1 (or Quarter 2)

Western Sydney University is committed to supporting our students to ensure they can continue learning during the current pandemic, and has allocated a fixed pool of funding to allow us to provide financial support to assist with basic living expenses for Onshore International students who are facing serious financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Onshore International students are eligible to apply for COVID-19 Financial Hardship Support if they can show that their basic living needs and their continued study may be at risk due to current financial hardship.

This financial support is primarily in the form of food and grocery support whereby eligible and approved students will receive vouchers that can be used at a major grocery chain. There is also a capped pool of funds available for a limited number of hardship financial payments for students experiencing extreme financial hardship.

This financial support is not income support and will not be provided to pay for ongoing expenses. This is designed as temporary support only. For more information visit the Onshore International Students COVID-19 Financial Hardship Support Application page.

Can a student who is onshore or offshore apply for reduced study load if they are able to demonstrate they are encountering financial hardship?

Yes, the University can provide support to students who encounter financial hardship. Client Services staff can provide advice concerning fee payments to enable students to maintain their enrolment. You should seek assistance as soon as possible. Contact Client Services by email at enrolments@westernsydney.edu.au for advice on payment options.


WELLBEING

I’m self-isolated now, how will my School support me remotely?

The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is an unsettling time and our social relationships and mental wellbeing can be impacted. You are not alone, and support is available - we have a tight-knit University community who are ready to rally around you.

If you are self-isolating at the present time, make an immediate contact with Sydney City Campus Administration team at admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au so we can offer you our support.

Get involved in a range of online student activities and events including student groups and peer support initiatives to ensure you stay connected with your fellow students. If you would like more information about online activities email activities@city.westernsydney.edu.au. Student Support Services offer a free and confidential counselling service. Our student counsellor can provide practical advice and support to help you cope with isolation, to make an appointment click here.

If I need to be isolated, can my School provide accommodation support as well as assistance with getting foods and groceries etc.?

If a student advises that they are unable to self-isolate in their private accommodation, the on-campus accommodation provider may accommodate the student in a supported environment at no cost during the 14-day period of isolation. Students in isolation may receive personal supplies and meals/meal vouchers. The University is providing support and pastoral care to students during the self-isolation period. If you need help please contact Student Support Services at Studentservices@city.westernsydney.edu.au

I am concerned that I may not be able to keep up with rental payments, can the University assist me with finding alternative accommodation?

We will do everything we can to find accommodation for students who lose their jobs and cannot keep up rental payments.

The New South Wales Government has introduced a sixty-day moratorium on the eviction of rental tenants as a result of financial distress. Details for International Students are available at the Fair Trading website.

If you are at risk of losing your rental accommodation, we will support you. Please contact 61 (2) 8236 8037 Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm AEDT, or email studentservices@city.westernsydney.edu.au

Western Sydney University also has an After-Hours Student Assistance Line specifically for International students. If you have a problem after hours, please call 1800 735 807.

We also encourage you to stay up to date with the latest updates from the Australian Government through its official Coronavirus Australia app. You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join the WhatsApp channel on iOS  or Android.

I have accommodation but due to financial hardship, I am struggling to afford food and other services. Can the University provide support?

Financial assistance is available for student in your situation. To apply for financial support visit the University’s Onshore International Students COVID-19 Financial Hardship Support Application page.

I’m feeling scared and isolated, I have not yet made any friends in Australia. Do you have any support for me?

Get involved in a range of online student activities and events including student groups and peer support initiatives to ensure you stay connected with your fellow students. If you would like more information about online activities email activities@city.westernsydney.edu.au.

Student Support Services offer a free and confidential counselling service. Our student counsellor can provide practical advice and support to help you cope with isolation, to make an appointment click here.

I have some general questions about life in Sydney, that are not study related, can Student Support help me?

Yes, Student Support Services are here to assist you with any issues that may be impacting your studies, whether they are study related or not. Settling into a new place is challenging and usually fun. COVID19 presents newcomers with unique challengers and we are here to help you settle into life in Sydney. To make an appointment with a student learning advisor, click here.

Western Sydney University also has an After-Hours Student Assistance Line specifically for International students. If you have a problem after hours, please call 1800 735 807.

Is it safe to use public transport? Do face masks protect against Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Please monitor the University’s Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage which provides regular updates on the government’s physical distancing requirements and quick links to federal and state government information and resources. Please visit the World Health Organisation’s website for further advice about when and how to use masks.

If I’m not feeling well, is there anyone at the University I should inform?

If you feel unwell in any way, you should stay at home and not attend University. If you feel unwell with Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, such as a fever and cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath, please stay at home or go home if you’re on campus and arrange to see your doctor for urgent assessment. You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive.

Please call the University’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on (02) 9852 5399, even if you're uncertain about your diagnosis, so that the University can provide you with further support.

It is important to remember that while coronavirus is of concern, the Department of Health advises that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not COVID-19. Regardless, it is best to stay at home if you’re unwell and seek medical advice to confirm a diagnosis.

How can I access advice about my Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

While Allianz’s offices located on Western Sydney University campuses have temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, they will continue to provide assistance with your Overseas Student Health Cover online and by phone. If your overseas health cover is provided by another provider, please contact them direct.

To find a doctor, make a claim or update your personal policy or information, visit the Allianz Assistant Health website. To change or extend your policy, or for general enquiries, please call 13 67 42 or email oshc@allianz-assistance.com.au. To speak with a doctor, the Telehealth Service called Allianz Global Assistance continues to operate.

If you are not covered by Allianz and have Overseas Student Health Cover with another provider, please contact them for information on how to access your OSHC.