Frequently Asked Questions
The University is not currently mandating the use of masks in most circumstances. However, you can wear a mask any time on any campus if you choose. Here’s an outline about using face masks at the University:
Our campuses are open, however on campus amenities are limited. Most of our University operations, including teaching and learning activities and study and support services, will continue to be delivered online in the second half of the year. A small number of essential practical and research activities will return to campus between June and November. Remember, if you are feeling unwell in any way, please do not come to campus.
Students are permitted to come onto campus to use the Library and our on-campus Study Halls if they need access to Wi-Fi or a quiet, individual study space, however strict physical distancing restrictions and personal hygiene practices will need to be enforced at all times.
The latest information on physical distancing and restrictions on public gatherings by state/territory is available from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Please also visit the NSW Government’s What you Can and Can’t Do Under the Rules (opens in a new window) website.
If you do leave your home, you must always keep 1.5 metres away from other people. It is important to continue good personal hygiene.
We have made substantial changes to the spaces on our campuses that are accessible and will be enforcing physical distancing restrictions.
If you have been to Victoria in the last 14 days, you must follow the border restrictions and advice from the NSW Government, which includes self-isolating for 14 days after entering NSW.
Before you can return to campus the following steps will need to be taken:
- Identify your date of arrival into NSW.
- Contact the University’s Coronavirus Support Hotline on (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or via email to email@example.com.
- Arrange for a COVID-19 test to take place on or after your tenth day in isolation.
- You will be required to obtain a negative result before being permitted to leave isolation after 14 days and before returning to campus.
- If you return to Victoria for any reason, you must commence the 14-day isolation period again following your return to NSW.
For the latest advice on COVID-19 clusters in NSW, visit the NSW Government website. If you have attended any of the listed locations within the advised timeframes, please follow the directives from NSW Health.
Travel requirements and restrictions are different for each State and Territory across Australia. Information regarding entry into each State and Territory can be found through the links on the NSW Government website.
Physical distancing, hygiene and health
If you feel unwell in any way, you should stay at home and if you have COVID-19 symptoms 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, even if you're uncertain about your diagnosis, so that the University can provide you with further support.
In addition, NSW Health has identified a number of areas with an increased risk of community transmission of COVID-19, including parts of Western Sydney. If you are in an identified area for increased testing and surveillance and you are experiencing even minor symptoms (such as a sore throat or cough), you are encouraged to seek advice from your health practitioner and you may be advised to get tested for COVID-19.
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:
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 email@example.com.
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 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 Student Wellbeing for more information and to access our services, including free and confidential online counselling.
The main value of wearing a mask is to protect other people. Masks prevent sick people from infecting others.
If you are unknowingly infected, wearing a mask will reduce the chance that you pass the COVID-19 on to others.
NSW Health recommends wearing a face mask where it is hard to maintain physical distancing, such as on public transport, in supermarkets and shops, in places of worship, in indoor venues with a higher risk of transmission, and if working in cafes, restaurants pubs and clubs and other venues with a higher risk of transmission. For more information, visit the NSW Health FAQs.
Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.
NSW Health advises that people who have symptoms and might be infected with COVID-19 are required to stay in isolation at home and should wear a surgical face mask when in the same room as another person and when seeking medical advice to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to anyone else.
Health care workers who are caring for patients with suspected COVID-19 should use appropriate personal protective equipment to protect themselves against COVID-19. For more information on these, visit the NSW Health FAQs.
Single-use masks (commonly called surgical masks) and reusable cloth masks both help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, if used correctly. For further information, visit the NSW Government’s advice on face masks.
Most classes in Spring/2H session will be delivered online. Some essential practical and research activities will return to campus during the session. You will be contacted by a staff member from your School if your class is returning to campus.
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 will be 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 successfully move all possible teaching and learning activities online. We will continue to deliver world class education through our online learning environment.
We will continue to support students as we work through this difficult period everyone is facing.
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.
The Library is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, to provide students with a quiet space to study, access computers or the Wi-Fi network. Before heading to campus, please check the Library website for the any changes to the opening times. Self-service machines can be used to borrow and renew items. During open hours, a live Digital Service Desk is available to speak to or video chat with Library staff working remotely.
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.
As well as the libraries, additional Study Halls are available from 9am to 9:30pm, 7 days a week, to provide additional distributed spaces for students to study and access Wi-Fi. These are available on Bankstown, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Kingswood, Parramatta South and Liverpool campuses. Please check Study Hall locations and note room details before visiting.
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.
Delivering high-quality online education is an investment we need to make while you are required to study online because of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online education at the moment is happening all over the world. This is not a less expensive form of education, it is a different way of delivering high-quality education. The quality of your learning will be just as high when you’re studying online, as it is when you join us on campus.
It takes a great deal to move from being an on-campus university to being an online university at short notice. We are making sure we have all of the technology that is necessary and you have access to the resources you need. We are making a number of changes to meet the needs of online education.
We are here to support you in any way we can. As well as the many support services available, the University is establishing a Student Assistance Fund, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Australian Government requested that higher education providers assist displaced workers in developing new skills, or retraining for new careers, in areas that address national workforce need. The University has responded to this call by offering 12 intensive short courses, which will commence from May 2020. Current students are not eligible to apply for these courses, as they are open to new, commencing students only.
To see our full list of discounted short courses, visit our short courses page.
If you have prepaid for a yearly or half-yearly parking permit and require a refund, please destroy your permit by cutting it in half and email a photo of the destroyed permit, along with your name and student ID to email@example.com.
Please allow up to six weeks to receive a refund.
Please note, parking on campus continues to remain temporarily free.
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. So, while we might be physically apart at the moment, we’ve made sure that many of our on-campus services are still available for you, wherever you are, online. 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 University will continue the GPA Neutral Scheme for Spring, 2H, Quarter 4, Block 4 and Term 3 sessions. This means when you receive your final result for your unit, you can choose to opt-in for a non-graded pass – meaning your grade point average (GPA) will not take into account the original grade you’ve received. You can apply for a non-graded pass using the Review of Grade e-form after your results are released. You can find out more, along with answers to our frequently asked questions, on the Results FAQs webpage.
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Students can also contact Student Welfare Services at any time.
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 any reason, except to visit the Library or Study Halls, please note the following steps must be completed.
- Ensure you have completed the mandatory training module ‘Reducing the Transmission of COVID-19 at Work’ (available through vUWS). This is mandatory.
- Complete the Access to Campus form and email this to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Notify Campus Safety and Security upon your arrival and departure.
- 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 email@example.com.