Frequently Asked Questions
Be prepared – you may be required to wear a mask anytime, on any campus. 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. Any member of the Western community is welcome to wear a mask in any setting on campus should they feel more comfortable doing so.
Where 1.5 metres physical distancing can’t be maintained.
Please be sure to read the Return to Campus Factsheet before heading to campus.
In 2021, the focus is 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 many face-to-face tutorials, workshops and practical classes will be held on campus.
Students are encouraged to attend classes on campus where they are offered. If you are unable to come on-campus, digital delivery will continue to be offered based on demand.
We are offering a wide range of events and activities for students to participate in – including seminars, research events and conferences – both face-to-face and online.
While our libraries and study halls have remained open through the pandemic, these services and amenities have gradually extended their services and opening hours, and other on campus services and amenities are also gradually reopening.
If you are returning to campus, please ensure you read the Return to Campus Factsheet to ensure you are aware of your responsibilities while on campus.
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.
Please ensure you read the Return to Campus Factsheet to ensure you are aware of your responsibilities 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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 both 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.
Here at the University, any member of the Western community is welcome to wear a mask in any setting on campus should they feel more comfortable doing so.
Please remember that face masks are mandatory in on-campus clinics, clinical classes and labs.
Wearing a face mask is also strongly recommended where you can’t maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing – for example at events, in eateries and in some classes and labs. Wearing a mask is mandatory on public transport and in public transport waiting bays, including on Western shuttle buses. Public health directives also apply in some circumstances. Please check the latest requirements before travelling.
Many of our students have now returned to our campuses for activities such as tutorials, workshops and practicals in Autumn, 1H and Term 1 sessions.
Some classes have the option to attend a class in person or via Zoom, or even to catch up on the class later, giving greater flexibility for those who prefer or need to continue studying online.
Students can find out how class activity will be delivered by checking their timetable. For any questions regarding the delivery mode of a class, please contact the Unit Co-ordinator. Closer to session, more detail on the choices available will be explained in your learning guides.
The Autumn and 1H timetables have been published as read-only, so students can check how classes will be delivered (i.e. online, face to face, or a mix of both).
If you are not enrolled in one of these sessions, please visit the Tutorial Registration webpage to find out when your timetable will be published.
If you identify as someone at greater risk for COVID-19 and you have any concerns about coming onto campus, please let us know via the Coronavirus Support Hotline on (+61) 2 9852 5399 or email email@example.com and we will assist you by providing a risk assessment or referral to a Western support service.
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.
As we progress our carefully managed return to campus plan, we are pleased to offer more opportunities for students to attend campuses. It has been great to see many of our students returning to our campuses for activities such as tutorials, workshops and practicals for Autumn, 1H and Term 1 sessions.
Some classes have the option to attend a class in person or via Zoom, or even to catch up on the class later, giving greater flexibility for those who prefer or need to continue studying online.
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.
Our libraries and study halls have remained open through the pandemic. These services and amenities have gradually extended their services and opening hours, and other on campus services and amenities are also gradually reopening.
The Library is open for physical access to current Western Sydney University and The College students and staff. Please visit the Library webpage to see the hours of your nearest library.
Library Study Hall access are also noted on the individual campus library pages.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Check in to campus by scanning the QR code posted on the building entrance.
- Protect yourself and others by observing physical distancing measures and practicing good hygiene at all times while on campus.
- Face masks are strongly recommended where it is not possible to maintain 1.5 metre physical distancing.
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.