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COVID-19 Update - Moving out of Level 4: What it means for UCOL students

By UCOL on Tuesday, 21 April 2020

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Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, and the Ministry of Education guidelines for tertiary institutions on what we can do safely, we will be taking the following approach as the country comes out of alert level 4 into level 3.

In order to ensure student safety, and minimal disruptions, our plan for UCOL is that everything will remain mostly as it was under alert level 4, with most classes continuing to be delivered at a distance. The exception will be where there are clear priority cases for students who need to complete practical learning, or an assessment/exam in order to finish their qualification this semester. We are identifying these programmes and will see what is possible, while still working within the rules for physical distancing, contact tracing, hygiene requirements etc.  If it is safe to do, and it can be resourced, students in these programmes will be contacted and be provided with details about coming to campus, starting Tuesday, 28 April 2020.  This will be for specific activities only. Currently this does not include clinical placements for our health science students.

This approach will ensure that both our students and staff are safe.
In summary:

  • All teaching and other activities will still be done remotely wherever possible, just like at alert level 4.
  • UCOL is planning for a very small number of programmes, where students are close to completing their qualification, to come to campus to do what is necessary, in a way that meets all the guidelines. This will start from Tuesday, 28 April 2020.
  • Any class, workshops, etc., that do open will be limited to 10 people or less. Each group is considered a ‘bubble’ and will not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10.
  • Physical distancing requirements must be met in all situations. We will meet the 1m physical distancing requirements for Tertiary Education Organisations (see the Ministry of Education's update from 20 April for more info).
  • Distance learning provisions will continue to be available for other students as planned. 
  • Large classes or gatherings (of more than 10 people) are not allowed.
  • Workplace-based learning is subject to the policies and practices being applied to that type of workplace.
  • Vulnerable people (or those caring for/living with vulnerable people) should not carry out any on-site work or learning at UCOL.
  • If you are in a class that will be coming on to campus during alert level 3 as outlined above, your lecturer or Programme Leader will contact you.

At this point it looks like there will be no teaching activity on our Wairarapa and Horowhenua campuses during the Alert Level 3 period.

Programme Leaders and Heads of School are currently confirming programmes that are in the position where students would complete their qualification at the end of this semester, and who need to come to campus to make this completion possible. These few programmes are most likely in the Trades and Applied Technologies Faculty, on our Manawatū and Whanganui campuses.

Fundamentally UCOL campuses will remain closed for all other staff and students, unless, by exception, they have the approval of the Incident Controller. All entry into and off campus will be by permission only and managed by Security. More details will follow as plans are put in place this week, and we will keep you updated either through emails like these, or via your lecturer.

The Ministry of Education's Tertiary Students Bulletin has more information about studying in Alert Level 3, including applying for support from StudyLink and accessing counselling.

Remember, you campus Student Success team is here to help you with wellness and hardship issues. Info about your campus Student Success services are available here under Student Support.

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