Frequently Asked Questions

Western Sydney University is committed to supporting our student and staff communities. Your health and wellbeing is our priority.

Official advice is changing rapidly, so please refer back to this page regularly as we will keep you up-to-date on any changes or developments at our University.

If you have concerns or are affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), please call our dedicated line on: +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm AEDT; or email coronavirusadvice@westernsydney.edu.au.

If you are showing signs of cold and flu or suspect you might have COVID-19 do not come to campus. Follow the advice of the Australian Government Department of Health.

Information for students

The message coming from the Government and health authorities is very clear – we all need to stay at home as much as possible to help slow the spread of this pandemic.

Our University operations, including teaching and learning activities and study and support services, are now online.

Students are permitted to come onto campus to use our on-campus Study Halls if they need access to Wi-Fi or a quiet, individual study space, however strict physical distancing restrictions will be enforced at all times.

The Government has introduced strict physical distancing restrictions and rules around leaving your home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

In line with the new restrictions which came into effect on 31 March, you must stay at home unless you are going to:

  • work (if you can’t work remotely)
  • school or an educational institution
  • shop for food and essentials
  • get medical care or supplies
  • exercise

Public gatherings have been limited two people, except for members of the same household or where the gathering is essential for work or education.

If you do leave your home, you must always keep 1.5 metres away from other people. It is important to wash your hands as soon as you get home.

We have made substantial changes to the spaces on our campuses that are accessible and will be enforcing physical distancing restrictions.

All possible teaching and learning activities are now online only. Classes are no longer being held on campus. Any activities that were not able to be moved online have been cancelled or deferred until later in the semester. 

Questions about your unit should be directed to your tutor or Unit Coordinator.

The preferred method of contacting your Unit Coordinators with questions about your unit is via vUWS. This is because other students will often have the same questions, or would also benefit from the response.

If you need academic course advice, contact your Academic Course Advisor.

At this time, placements – including professional practice, professional experience, fieldwork, clinical practice, workplace experiences or internships – will continue as scheduled, unless we are otherwise notified by the placement provider.

Due to the current global health situation, placements may be subject to change. Schools are in the process of reviewing placements – as a means of minimising any potential risk to students, placement sites and communities.

We know that in some situations, our students can make an important contribution to the community by continuing to participate in their placement. To date, only a small number of placements have been affected. If yours is affected, your School will contact you directly.

Our support services, such as the Library, IT, Student Central and Wellbeing, are accessible online or over the phone. For further information about how to access support and what services are available, visit the Student Support web page.

Libraries are open 10am to 2pm for students who need a space to study or access to the Wi-Fi network. As well as the libraries, additional Study Halls are available from 9am to 5pm to provide additional distributed spaces for students to study and access Wi-Fi. These will be available on Kingswood, Liverpool, Parramatta South, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury and Milperra campuses.  

For safety reasons, we are carefully managing access to our libraries and ‘Study Halls’ and you will need your Western Student card to enter the premises. Please follow physical distancing restrictions while indoors, by keeping four square meters between yourself and others at all times. Security will be patrolling to ensure these restrictions are being implemented and followed.

Many face-to-face services within our libraries have moved to online delivery only, including the transition of Study Smart Zone services to Zoom. Contact the Online Librarian by chat or email.

In line with government health recommendations, the University has cancelled physical attendance at examinations. We are working to develop different types of assessments, including examinations that can be taken off-campus or online.

You will be contacted with more information in the coming days about how your course will be affected.

Our April Graduation ceremonies have been cancelled. Students will graduate in absentia and will have the option to attend a ceremony in the future.

Self-isolation means you must stay at home for 14 days. According to the Australia Government Department of Health, you must self-isolate if any of the following applies to you:

  • You have COVID-19.
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • You arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.

The Department of Health has up-to-date advice on how to comply with these new measures.

Students may apply for Special Consideration during teaching session if you have suffered severe and/or grave illness, misadventure, accident, or have extenuating circumstances beyond your control. For a step-by-step guide to applying, watch the How to complete an in-teaching session Special Consideration Application.

The Department of Health has advised that individuals who fall into one of the below categories are at a greater risk of serious infection from COVID-19:

  • People aged 65 years and over. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  
  • Chronic medical conditions, including lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, neurological conditions and diabetes. 
  • Impaired immune systems, such as people who have cancer or HIV, or who take high dose corticosteroids. 

If you are considered a ‘vulnerable individual,’ either by way of your age, background, or due to a medical condition, contact the University’s Office of Work Health Safety and Wellbeing for advice.

Yes, we can. Feelings of anxiety and stress are normal reactions to this unprecedented situation and we are committed to ensuring you are safe and healthy, and this includes your mental health.

Support is available. Please visit Staff and Student Wellbeing for more information and to access our services, including free and confidential online counselling.

The Australian Government has extended the fortnightly $550 Coronavirus Supplement to those who receive Abstudy, Austudy and Youth Allowance (Student).

Eligible students will also receive the $750 one-off economic stimulus payments for income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.

The Government also recently announced its COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme and a suspension on rental evictions for the next six months as a result of financial hardship. 

Visit the Services Australia website for more information.

Information for International Students

The latest information for International students, including support and enrolment, is available here.

Information for Research Students

Candidates will continue to be paid their HDR scholarships. To manage the disruption to your research supervisors will work closely with HDR candidates to minimise delays and to ensure a revised plan is in place to safeguard the production of a high-quality thesis. While there is uncertainty to the period of disruption from COVID-19, in some areas of research it may not be feasible to maintain continuity of data collection such as field work or in the labs. During a period of working from home, you are encouraged to focus on writing your thesis introduction, process and analyse data, work on manuscripts, or write a paper.

University Policies are in place to ensure any disruptions to HDR research caused by the current situation, including the need for extensions to candidature and scholarships, are addressed. The Doctorate policy indicates extensions to candidature will be granted in exceptional circumstances and disruptions from COVID-19 will meet this criteria. The Research Higher Degree and Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship Policy states extensions will be granted in circumstances that relate to the research and are beyond the control of the HDR candidate and not of a personal nature. Extensions to scholarship will also be worked through on a case by case basis.


Information for Staff

The messages coming from the government and health authorities is very clear – we all need to stay at home as much as possible to help slow the spread of this pandemic. This is why we have made the decision to direct staff to work from home, effective from 7am on Monday 30 March. This action is to protect your health and safety, as well our students.

From 7am on Monday 30 March, you will work from home, unless your supervisor advises that you are to continue to work on campus and provide an essential service (such as some teams in IT including the Service Desk, security and student inquiry areas).

Please liaise with your supervisor to understand what working from home means for your role. The following resources have been developed to further support you:

In line with the new Government restrictions which came into effect on 31 March, you must stay at home unless you are going to:

  • work (if you can’t work remotely)
  • school or an educational institution
  • shop for food and essentials
  • get medical care or supplies
  • exercise

Public gatherings have been limited two people, except for members of the same household or where the gathering is essential for work or education.

If you do leave your home, you must always keep 1.5 metres away from other people. It is important to wash your hands as soon as you get home.

The staff illness protocol is a step-by-step guide outlining what to do if a staff member feels unwell with symptoms that may be a possible COVID-19 infection (staff login required). This applies to a staff member who may be at home or at work.

The student illness protocol is a step-by-step guide outlining what to do if a student feels unwell with symptoms that may be a possible COVID-19 infection (staff login required). This applies to a student who may be at home or on campus.

In additional to the protocols for students and staff who are unwell, the University has prepared an isolation protocol (staff login required). This details what will happen if a student or staff member is unwell and unable to safely leave the campus.

The student on placement protocol is a step-by-step guide outlining what to do if a student is potentially exposed to COVID-19 while on placement (staff login required).

University emails to students and staff about COVID-19 are available to download (staff login required). Recordings of staff webinars are also available for employees. These repositories will be updated regularly with the latest communication.

The University has suspended all international University-related travel. In addition to this, we are also suspending non-essential domestic air travel at this time to help reduce the health risk.

We ask that staff and students who are currently overseas keep in close contact with the University and inform us of their plans. We will provide support.

Any affected staff members are encouraged to seek assistance by contacting the Coronavirus advice team by calling +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm AEDT, or emailing coronavirusadvice@westernsydney.edu.au.

This will be the relevant Associate Dean for each School. Schools will be as accommodating as possible.

Self-isolation means you must stay at home for 14 days. According to the Australia Government Department of Health, you must self-isolate if any of the following applies to you:

  • You have COVID-19.
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • You arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.

The Department of Health has up-to-date advice on how to comply with these new measures.

The Department of Health has advised that individuals who fall into one of the below categories are at a greater risk of serious infection from COVID-19:

  • People aged 65 years and over. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  
  • Chronic medical conditions, including lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, neurological conditions and diabetes. 
  • Impaired immune systems, such as people who have cancer or HIV, or who take high dose corticosteroids. 

If you are considered a ‘vulnerable individual,’ either by way of your age, background, or due to a medical condition, contact the University’s Office of Work Health Safety and Wellbeing for advice.

As one of the most culturally diverse universities in Australia, Western Sydney University is committed to a positive and supportive learning and working environment for all staff and students regardless of background. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm AEDT, or email coronavirusadvice@westernsydney.edu.au.

Students can also contact Student Welfare Services and staff can contact our Employee Assistance Program at any time.


Information on Events

All face-to-face University events are cancelled for the foreseeable future. Some events may continue in a virtual environment. If you have questions about a specific event, contact the event organiser directly.

If you have RSVP’d to attend a face-to-face University event, and have any questions or concerns, please contact the event organsier directly.

All face-to-face University events are cancelled for the foreseeable future. We encourage you to let any attendees or stakeholders know your event is cancelled, or consider options for holding your event in virtual environment.

Frequent updates from the University are being posted on the News and Updates web page.


Information for the community

Our University operations, including teaching and learning activities and study and support services, are now online. Our campuses are not open for public access. 

The University is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak and is regularly communicating the latest advice to students and staff. While we have no confirmed cases on our campuses, we are following the latest advice from government and health authorities. The University remains open. However, we have made substantial changes to the spaces on our campuses that are accessible and have moved all of our study and support services online.

Students or staff who have recently returned to Australia from overseas, or who have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus must follow the advice from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Please note, the Australian Government has also announced that all incoming arrivals into Australia from midnight, 15 March 2020 will need to enter mandatory self-isolation for 14 days. Refer to the latest Department of Health resources to find out more.

For more information about novel coronavirus, including symptoms, what to do if feeling unwell and how to protect yourself, please visit the NSW Health’s frequently asked questions page.

Visit the World Health Organisation’s website for advice about when and how to use masks. Of course, if you normally use a mask as a regular part of your work you should continue to do so.

Self-isolation means you must stay at home for 14 days. According to the Australia Government Department of Health, you must self-isolate if any of the following applies to you:

  • You have COVID-19.
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • You arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.

The Department of Health has up-to-date advice on how to comply with these new measures.

The advice from the Australia Government Department of Health states that people most at risk of contracting the virus are: 

  • Travellers who have recently been overseas. 
  • Those who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. 
  • People in detention facilities. 
  • People in group residential settings. 

Refer to the latest Department of Health resources to find out more.

The University has suspended all international University-related travel. In addition to this, we are also suspending non-essential domestic air travel at this time to help reduce the health risk.

We ask that staff and students who are currently overseas keep in close contact with the University and inform us of their plans. We will provide support.

If you are due to visit Western Sydney University from another country, you should monitor and follow the Australian Government’s travel restrictions and advice. If you’re cancelling your visit to the University or you have a query about a future visit, please direct this to the staff member you’re in contact with (such as a Dean, Institute Director or other senior manager).

The University’s Early Learning Centres across our campuses remain open, with the management team monitoring the situation very closely. We continue to communicate regularly with parents and act on all the latest advice from government and health authorities.