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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update #22

UCOL updates

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 from midnight 8 June 2020. We are delighted with the news of going to Alert Level 1, and proud of what New Zealand has achieved.  Thank you for the part you have played. 

All UCOL campuses remain open. As from Monday, 15 June 2020, UCOL will be ready to operate with expanded campus activity under Alert Level 1. Students are welcome to return to campus for general self-directed study from 9 June, and for classes as advised by their lecturer. Signing in is no longer required.

We will gradually return access into and out of our campuses as the week progresses, and on Monday 15 June, we aim to have all external doors on swipe card access.  From this date, campus opening hours will revert to their pre-COVID hours (see below).

We are ready and prepared for Alert Level 1 conditions. We must remain vigilant to illness over the winter season and stay home if unwell. 

Teaching and Classroom Spaces

We will re-organise our classrooms and shared spaces and remove signage that does not apply to Alert Level 1.

We will continue our phased return to UCOL for teaching, and lecturers will continue to communicate academic arrangements directly with their students.  We will continue to roll out UCOL’s long term intentions towards blended delivery, so we won’t necessarily be returning to the previous timetable.   

The semester dates remain unchanged.

Lecturers will be in contact with students about any changes to classes or requirements. Check your UCOL email, student intranet, Facebook groups (if relevant) and Moodle regularly. 

Campus Open Hours from 15 June 2020

Swipe cards are needed on some buildings.

Manawatū      0730-2200      Mon-Fri
                         0900-1700      Weekends 

Horowhenua     0800-1700  Mon-Fri
                             No weekend access

Whanganui    0800-2200      Mon-Sun

Wairarapa      0800-2200      Mon-Fri
                         0900-1700      Weekends

Tracking Where You’ve Been

Under Alert Level 1, the government recommend using the Ministry of Health COVID-19 tracker app to keep a record of where you have been.  UCOL will display QR Codes for this app at its doors from Monday, 15 June 2020. Whatever system you decide to use, the important thing is to keep a track of where you have been. 


It’s still very important to practice good hygiene, e.g. washing hands thoroughly, and using sanitiser which is available. 

Technology Access Fund for Learners

UCOL is keen to help students who are struggling with access to technology for their online learning. If you have difficulties accessing online course material because you don't have suitable computer equipment or internet connection, we would like to hear from you so we can see what we can do to assist.

Please let us know by emailing and we will have someone get in touch to discuss your circumstances and how we might help.

Updated Bus & Shuttle Service

The Horizons bus that travels from Whanganui to Palmerston North in the morning, and returns in the evening, is running.

The shuttle bus service between Palmerston North and Whanganui will resume next week but will only run from Mondays to Wednesdays through until the end of the semester.

The full service will resume on Monday 20 July, however the future of the service is dependent on student demand, which we'll monitor over the coming months.

If you need to use the Palmerston North to Whanganui shuttle service please email You'll need to provide this information: name, UCOL ID, residential address, telephone number, programme of study and days of the week travel is required.

Student support

The Student Success team will continue providing care and support for UCOL students during the Level 2.  We encourage you to talk to the Student Success team and get support. Sessions will be available on campus. Manawatū and Whanganui students can make an appointment here. Horowhenua and Wairarapa students can check the links below for staff contact details to arrange an appointment.

Read the latest Tertiary Students Bulletin from Government.

National Response: New Zealand moved from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 from 14 May

In Alert Level 2, a lot of normal life resumed, with some minor adjustments. Most businesses have started functioning, and educational institutions are open. However, as we gain more freedom, we should not forget that COVID-19 is still a risk. To keep New Zealand safe and to reduce the risk of transmission, the Government will require the following stay in place at Alert Level 2:

  • Maintain physical distancing – 2m away from strangers, 1m away from those in a workplace or classroom.
  • Socialising may occur but gatherings should have a maximum of 100 people (including those in already in a household). Distancing should continue.
  • Businesses needs to ensure physical distancing, hygiene standards and tracing systems are in place.
  • Education institutions and early childhood centres will open with controls in place.
  • Everyone is encouraged to make a record of who they meet with and locations they have been to, in case tracing is required.
  • Anyone who is unwell will need to self-isolate, get tested, and tracing their close contacts will continue.
  • Wide-scale testing will continue.

Read for more details.

Student travel

Safe travel is allowed in Level 1.  Those travelling should follow good personal hygiene, maintain a record of the travel services and who they contact.

The New Zealand borders will remain closed to reduce the spread of the virus from outside the country. Students are advised to regularly check the Immigrations NZ website and the official websites of their country’s Embassy or High Commission in New Zealand for information on Visa and Travel.

Key local and national services during COVID-19

Manawatu and Horowhenua Services    Whanganui Services    Wairarapa Services

Hardship support information for international students

Support Information for International Students

Student meetings

We had  Zoom sessions for students providing a platform for students to engage with staffs and share their concerns. Here are the meeting notes for those who couldn’t attend the meetings.

Zoom session on Friday, 24 April

Whanganui   Wairarapa   

Zoom session on 7 and 8 May

Whanganui   Wairarapa   

Future communications has been set up for staff and students to send any questions to or seek clarification regarding COVID-19. General and programme related enquires via ‘contact us’ form or ‘help’ on the website will be processed as usual. Updates will be via UCOL social media, website and email. Where urgently required we will also text students.

Information Systems & Technology

UCOL Information Systems & Technology team has shared the instructions to access the Creative Cloud Destop App for students.

Unite aganist COVID-19

The Ministry of Health has launched a dedicated website for COVID-19 that provides every information and updates on COVID-19.

COVID-19: Information for disabled people and their family and whānau

COVID-19 - New Zealand Sign Language

COVID-19 - Easy Read information

Travel advice

New Zealand government has advised all New Zealanders to not travel overseas. The temporary border closure continues to remain in place. Read the recent updates.

Key sources of information and advice are: