Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting campus

It is important that we all continue to take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves and others safe as COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community. Please note the below if you plan to attend campus: 

  • Stay home if you feel unwell in any way: seek medical advice, if needed, or get tested for COVID-19 (even if you have mild symptoms)
  • Bring with you a valid Student ID card and have your vaccination evidence or exemption documentation: you’ll need your student ID card to verify you are a current student and to access buildings, including the Library. You’ll also need to have your vaccination evidence with you and be able to show this when asked
  • Scan the QR code:check in before entering buildings
  • Wear a face mask: in all indoor settings, including the Library, and on public transport
  • Wash your hands: on arrival and regularly throughout the day
  • Maintain 1.5 metres distance from others: please follow signage and floor markings on campus
  • Don’t use shared utensils or leave rubbish: Bring and take home your own utensils (including cutlery, crockery and stationery) and clean up after yourself (e.g. throw disposable coffee cups in the bin). Please do not share food, beverages or stationery with others

Limit your time on campus to what is necessary and avoid physical contact (e.g. hugging, shaking hands) with others.

You must comply with the public health order which mandates that everyone must wear a face mask indoors (except in offices, when eating and drinking or other exemptions). This includes wearing a face mask in:

  • Classrooms, on-campus clinics and laboratories
  • Residential building common areas
  • Campus libraries
  • University shuttle bus waiting bays and on shuttle buses

Further information is available on the NSW Government website.

Wearing a mask is mandatory in these settings under public health orders unless you are otherwise exempt. Students, staff and visitors who do not comply with public health orders regarding the wearing of a face mask will be asked to put a face mask on, and may be directed to leave the premises. If you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you may wish to seek the advice of your health practitioner or disability care provider before attending campus.

Please refer to the government information on face masks for details on types of masks available, how to wear and remove your mask correctly and other related resources.

Please be aware of the latest NSW Government restrictions, which are currently in place. You can come on campus if you are double vaccinated or have a medical exemption and be able to show proof if asked.

It is mandatory for staff, students and visitors to any University campus to check in and check out using the Service NSW QR codes, for each building you attend on campus. It is critical for NSW Health to be able to contact trace quickly, if needed.

QR codes are posted at the entrance to every building across our campuses. If you do not have a device that is able to scan a QR code, you must visit Campus Safety and Security to check in and check out for each building you attend, or, if there is no Campus Safety and Security office on your campus, contact the Coronavirus Support Hotline on 02 9852 5399.

If you are not able to scan a QR code, you are required to attend Campus Safety and Security in person to check in and check out of each building you visit. If there is no Campus Safety and Security office on your campus, please contact the Coronavirus Support Hotline on 02 9852 5399.

The latest information on physical distancing and practising good hygiene is available on the NSW Government’s COVID-19 webpage. Please also visit the NSW Government’s What you Can and Can’t Do Under the Rules website for further information. We have made substantial changes to the spaces on our campuses that are accessible and will enforce physical distancing restrictions. Please ensure you follow all signage instructions and physical distancing markers while on campus.

Physical distancing, hygiene and health

If you feel unwell in any way, you should stay at home and if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms – even if they are minor – you should seek advice from your health practitioner.

Please call the University’s Coronavirus Support Hotline on +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or email coronavirussupport@westernsydney.edu.au, even if you're uncertain about your diagnosis, so that the University can provide you with further support.

It is also a good idea to ensure you are aware of the latest case locations in NSW. If you live in or have visited any areas of concern, please ensure you follow the advice provided by NSW Health.

Self-isolation means you must stay at home for 14 days. According to the NSW Government you must self-isolate if you:

  • have been tested for COVID-19 and haven’t yet received your result
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • are suspected of having COVID-19
  • had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, including visiting a case location
  • are a household member of a close contact who has yet to receive their initial negative test result
  • have returned from overseas and are exempt from hotel quarantine

Please let us know if you have been asked to self-isolate due to COVID-19 so that we can support you. Contact the University’s Coronavirus Support Hotline by phoning +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm AEST, or via email at coronavirussupport@westernsydney.edu.au.

Students may apply for Special Consideration during the 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 an individual at greater risk (as defined by the Australian Government Department of Health) 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 Student Wellbeing for more information and to access our services, including free and confidential online counselling.

The NSW Government has advised that COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors and in settings where you can’t physically distance, so it is important you carry a face mask with you at all times.

Wearing a mask helps to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community. If you are unknowingly infected, wearing a mask will reduce the chance that you pass COVID-19 on to others. For more information, visit the NSW Health FAQs on wearing face masks.

Both single-use and reusable cloth masks help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn about the types of masks, where to buy them, how to make them and how to wear, remove and dispose of them correctly on the NSW Government website.

Information on how to put on your mask, how to wear it and how to remove it safely, can be found on the NSW Government’s webpage on face masks or in the NSW Health FAQs.

Some workers are required to have a COVID-19 vaccination in order to continue their employment. While not mandatory in all settings, the NSW Government strongly encourages all those who can safely receive the vaccine, in consultation with their GP, to do so at the first available opportunity. To find out more and book a vaccination, visit the NSW Government website.

Online study

The University is undertaking a four-phased return to campus approach to keep our community safe. In the coming months, teaching and research activities that had to be paused due to the lockdown will re-start on campus. During Summer term teaching will be a combination of online and on campus delivery. If you have a query about the delivery mode of your subject please contact your Unit Coordinator.

After 1 February, we expect a full return to normal campus life in time to welcome back students returning for the start of the Autumn session.

Western cares about all of our students and we are here to help and support you in any way we can. Please visit the Student Support webpage if you need any assistance.

We are committed to providing a high-quality educational experience, and the University community is working together to ensure you are supported in your studies. The quality of your learning is just as high when you’re studying online, as it is when you join us on campus.

Our academic staff are experienced in online curriculum development and delivery and we have leveraged this expertise to continue to deliver world class education through our online learning environment.

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.

From 25 October, all campus libraries will be open from 12 noon until 5pm. On weekends, hours will vary across our campuses, so please check the Library Opening Hours webpage before heading to campus. 

You will be required to show your Student ID, check in via QR code, wear a mask inside the libraries, maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres and abide by the capacity limits in study rooms. A security guard will be checking QR code and vaccination compliance and that only students and staff are entering the building. COVID Marshalls will be doing spot checks during opening hours. 

Please visit the Library News webpage for the latest information.

Delivering high-quality online education is an investment we need to make for students who are studying online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not a less expensive form of education; it is a different way of delivering high-quality education. The quality of your learning is just as high when you’re studying online, as it is when you join us on campus.

As we progress our carefully managed return to campus plan, we will focus on creating as many opportunities for on-campus learning experiences for our students as possible.

Courses will be delivered as a mix of face-to-face and high quality online teaching. Online learning activities and engaging resources will be provided to deliver content, while students will be able to test their comprehension of that content in face-to-face tutorials, workshops and practical classes on campus.

Students will be encouraged to attend classes on campus where they are offered. For those who are unable to come on-campus, digital delivery will continue to be offered based on demand.

We are here to support you in any way we can. As well as the many support services available, the University has established a Student Assistance Fund, providing vital resources for students in need, including grocery vouchers and some financial support. If you need support, please contact the Coronavirus Support Hotline on (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or email coronavirussupport@westernsydney.edu.au.

Students, staff and visitors are required to have a parking permit to park on campus, or purchase a pay and display ticket upon arrival. If you have any questions, please visit the parking webpage or email parking@westernsydney.edu.au.

Yes. You are still required to pay or defer your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).
At Western, we know just how vital student services and amenities are for you to make the most of uni life outside the classroom. Irrespective of your mode of study, there are still a wide range of services and facilities available to you. We’ve also invested significantly in supporting you, through the Student Assistance Fund, Western Success student advisors and via online engagement and exam platforms, so you can continue your learning during this challenging time.

Now more than ever, it’s important that you can still connect with us, collaborate creatively with your peers, and, most importantly, look out for each other during this unsettling time. This is why your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) continues to be so important.

Course advice and placements

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.

Please visit the Health and Education website for frequently asked questions relating to clinical placements, including safety, risk assessments, Public Orders, personal protective equipment modules, flu vaccination, and screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

Assessments and exams

The GPA Neutral Scheme, introduced last year to support students whose studies have been impacted by the pandemic, will continue for this year’s Summer and Q1 sessions. This includes students opting for a non-graded pass when they receive their final results, which will exclude that grade from their grade point average (GPA).

Further to this, fail grades where a student has attempted all assessments for the unit – excluding FNS (Fail Non-Submission) grade, PF (Practicum Fail) grade or a Fail due to Misconduct – will be converted to a Withdrawn without Academic Penalty “W” grade so the failed unit does not affect their GPA.

Please note - students completing their final units in SCC S3 or Summer who apply for the GPA Neutral Scheme are NOT eligible to graduate in April and will be moved to September.

Please refer to the Results FAQ webpage for more information, including exceptions and how to apply for an ungraded pass.

To account for the transition to online learning, our assessment and examination practices for the current teaching sessions have been adjusted.

Many examinations are now assessments, such as take-home assignments. Please check your vUWS sites for updates from your Unit Coordinators or Academic Course Advisors.

All remaining examinations will be delivered via vUWS under examination conditions. Please note remote exam supervision – known as ‘proctoring’ – may be in place to confirm your identity during your exam. FAQs for students on exam proctoring is available on our website.

If you are sitting an exam this session, you have been emailed your exam timetable, including the time and delivery of your exam. Your timetable will indicate the type of online exam that you will be sitting. More information about online exams can be found on the Online FAQs website.

In the current teaching session, if you wish to withdraw from a unit you can do so at any time before the end of session. On your academic transcript it will be recorded that you withdrew without academic penalty and your GPA will not be affected. (Please note that financial penalties for the unit will still apply, unless you meet the requirements to qualify for a refund or remittance of debt.)

If you complete the current teaching session, and attempt all of your mandatory assessments, you will have a number of options. Once you receive your final grades, you may choose to:

  • Keep the passing grade that you have been awarded, with no change. Your passing grade will be recorded on your academic transcript, and will count towards your Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Convert your passing grade to a non-graded pass. Your academic transcript will show that you have successfully completed the unit, but the grade will not count towards your GPA.
  • In the scenario that you attempt all of your assessments and fail, the fail grade can be converted to a ‘withdrawal without academic penalty’ and will not count towards your GPA.

Please note that if you do not attempt all assessments, your fail grade will not be automatically converted to a withdrawal without academic penalty. You will need to make an application to withdraw without academic penalty and meet the relevant criteria for this grade to be amended.

If you have any specific academic challenges or concerns, please reach out to your Unit Coordinators or Academic Course Advisors.

Special arrangements have been put in place to support our students that may be impacted or have family directly impacted by civil and political unrest in their home country  and who may have difficulty in supplying documentation to support a special consideration application.

In these cases, please provide documentation if you have it, otherwise you can attach a statement of impact to your Special Consideration application that should include:

  1. Date/s the impact was first identified.
  2. Duration of the impact
  3. Nature of the impact
  4. How it affected their ability to complete and/or submit an assessment on time.

If you need to request an extension for an assessment you should contact your Unit Coordinator in the first instance.

If you have been personally impacted by the situation in Afghanistan, please contact one of the services listed below regarding supporting documentation: 

Support and financial assistance

Western Sydney University is supporting all our students through the COVID-19 global pandemic. We know it has created many challenges for our students in terms of study, work and social connection.

The University community is working together to ensure all our students can complete their studies and we are supporting them as best we can during this difficult time.

We have a comprehensive range of support services for all our students, including counselling, welfare and wellbeing services, learning and teaching support, and IT assistance, all of which can be accessed online or via phone.

For all students who were employed in impacted sectors including food and beverage, hospitality and retail, the University is also providing employment support. We are assisting with identifying transferrable skills; upskilling through the provision of online resources and training; and proactively matching students to vacancies in other industries that suit their skill sets.

Students experiencing extreme financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 situation may also be eligible for further support from a Student Assistance Fund we have established. This includes food packages and vouchers and help with emergency accommodation.

Remember, we’re here to help.

To find out more, contact the Coronavirus Support Hotline by phoning (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or by emailing coronavirussupport@westernsydney.edu.au.

Students experiencing extreme financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 situation may be eligible for further support from the Student Assistance Fund we have established. This includes food packages and vouchers and help with emergency accommodation.

The University is committed to supporting our students as much as we can. Alongside the many support services available, including counselling, welfare and disability support, the University has established a Student Assistance Fund which provides support, including grocery vouchers and some financial support.

Senior staff are donating up to 20% of their salaries to the fund, and the University’s Board of Trustees are contributing their stipends this year to the initiative. Academic and professional staff are also contributing on a voluntary basis.

The fund will be used to provide grocery vouchers, limited financial assistance and other immediate relief and resources for domestic and international onshore students who can show that their basic living needs and their continued study may be at risk due to current financial hardship.

The Student Assistance Fund can help with basic living expenses for students who are facing serious financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are eligible if they can show that their basic living needs and their continued study may be at risk due to current financial hardship.

For more information on the financial support available and other services, contact the Coronavirus Support Line by phoning (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or by emailing coronavirussupport@westernsydney.edu.au.

If you are a domestic student, you can also visit the Domestic Students COVID-19 Financial Assistance Support Application page for further details and to submit an application. Onshore International students can visit the Onshore International Students COVID-19 Financial Assistance Support Application page to do the same.

A range of financial government support is available for eligible students. Please refer to the Payments and Services During Coronavirus page on the Services Australia website to view eligibility criteria and find out what assistance is currently available.

You can visit the wellbeing and support services webpage or contact us via the Coronavirus Support Hotline, on (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or email coronavirussupport@westernsydney.edu.au.

Many of Western’s resources and workshops are online. Take a look at the Workshops, Programs and Online Resources webpage for advice on academic literacy and grammar, mathematics and statistics, careers and more.

You can access videos tailored to provide practical and professional advice on ways to manage things like anxiety, time management and exam memory blanks.

Register for The Desk (available to all Western students) to build skills for success, resilience and wellbeing with online resources aimed to help you stay calm, feel good and get things done.

The Study, Money and Life Skills modules found in vUWS will help you with important skills, including exam preparations, and management of your finances.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a significant increase in malicious cyber activity across Australia. This includes cyber-crimes such as scam or phishing attempts. Phishing is a commonly used cyber-crime method which uses email, telephone calls, text messages and posing as a legitimate business or person to try to lure you into providing your username and password, or other personally identifiable information for malicious purposes.

It is vital that you are taking steps to protect your personal information. There are a number of guides available on the Cyber Security webpage that can help you stay safe.

Discrimination support

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 9am to 5pm AEST, or email coronavirussupport@westernsydney.edu.au.

Students can also contact Student Welfare Services at any time.

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.

If you need to attend campus for essential purposes, please note the following steps must be completed:

  • Please discuss with your Supervisor whether it is essential for you to be on campus and ensure the appropriate steps are taken for you to gain permission to be on campus
  • Please check your student emails for the latest advice on attending campus. Please follow the latest NSW Government advice regarding restrictions and mask-wearing requirements
  • Do not come to campus if you are unwell, have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or have been directed by NSW Health or a medical practitioner to isolate
  • If it is essential for you to be on campus, you must complete a Campus Access Form. Access to campus will only be granted for up to three days. You will also need to advise on the form which LGA you reside in, and if you are part of an area where you will be asked to specify the date of your latest COVID test. When asked by Campus Safety and Security, you will need to provide evidence or proof of your test when you attend campus 
  • It is mandatory for all staff and students to check in using the Service NSW QR codes, for each building you attend on campus. QR codes are posted at the entrance to every building across our campuses. If you do not have a device that is able to scan a QR code, you must visit Campus Safety and Security to check in, or, if there is no Campus Safety and Security office on your campus, contact the University Coronavirus Support Hotline on 9852 5399.
  • Ensure you have completed the mandatory training module ‘Reducing the Transmission of COVID-19 at Work’ (available through vUWS).
  • Protect yourself and others by observing physical distancing measures and practicing good hygiene at all times while on campus
Sydney City Campus students

Western Sydney University partners with Sydney Institute of Business and Technology (SIBT) to deliver our courses in Sydney City. If you’re a student at Sydney City you can phone +61 (2) 8236 8037 or email any queries to admin@city.westernsydney.edu.au.