COVID-19 Information

The UC Campus is currently under COVID Alert Level 1.

Please stay at home if you are unwell – if you have cold or flu symptoms, call your GP or Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice.

At Alert Level 1 there are no restrictions on our daily routines, but New Zealand borders remain closed and we all need to be focussed on preparedness and planning in case COVID-19 reappears in our community.

  • Location Tracking. Fast and effective contact tracing helps prevent any further spread of COVID-19. Keep note of where you have been, both on and off campus, and use the COVID Tracer app to scan the QR codes at entrances of all UC buildings, and out in the community.
  • Face Coverings. Continue good habits with face coverings, even at Alert Level 1 when it’s no longer compulsory. Read more>
  • Focus on hygiene. UC has a robust cleaning schedule in place in all areas of campus. However it’s important we all remain vigilant, with frequent hand washing and good personal hygiene practices.
  • Stay at home if unwell. If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your GP or Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice.

At UC we strive to create a campus culture of belonging, understanding, inclusiveness and caring. Any signs of discrimination surrounding a virus that doesn’t discriminate on race or religion will not be tolerated. Please be compassionate and kind, we are all in this together.

If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your line manager or email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz.

Domestic travel

While staff are encouraged to prioritise alternative means for conducting university business within Aotearoa New Zealand [e.g. Zoom]. domestic travel can now resume, with line manager approval.

  • SLT approval not required
  • No need to demonstrate that travel is for essential purposes

Trans-Tasman and International travel

Irrespective of any changes to government advisories, Trans-Tasman and international travel restrictions remain in place.

Trans-Tasman and international travel for University of Canterbury business may only proceed if deemed essential, and only with SLT approval.

The Risk Advisory Committee will keep current restrictions under continuous review and advise if there are any changes.

At Alert level 1 we use Germshield once a week on high use touch points. Lecture theatre fogging will occur during term break. Extra day cleaning teams will continue to service and sanitise toilets in high use area during the day.

Cleaning Schedule: 1 (Lecture Theatres/Seminar Rooms/Computer Study Areas)
Cleaning Schedules at Alert Level 1

PPE: Disposable Gloves and Masks (optional)

Daily:

  • Spot vacuum all carpets.
  • Empty the rubbish bins.
  • Wipe marks from desks, tables, lectern and furniture.
  • Damp mop hard floors.
  • Wiping of white boards.
  • Spot clean doors and glass as needed.
  • Remove graffiti or permanent marker on request.

Weekly:

  • Dust skirting’s and remove cobwebs.
  • Full vacuum of all floors.
  • Spot clean doors including glass panels, handles, light switches and white board ledges.

Term Break:

  • Remove wall marks.
  • Dry dusting of the entire skirting’s and horizontal surface.
  • Damp wipe all desks, tables and furniture.
  • Remove cobwebs.
  • Clean the rubbish bins both inside and outside.
  • Deep clean the lectern.

Annually:

  • Strip and polish of vinyl floors, if required.
  • Clean all ventilation/heating system grills (below 2 metre height).
  • Full clean whiteboards including its ledges and trays.
  • Removing all marks and spots from walls/furniture.
  • Carpet Cleaning, if require. (BEIMS for carpet cleaning)

Notes:

• Do not remove any writing from the whiteboards, only clean clear areas. 

 

Cleaning schedule: 2 (Staff lounges, offices, boardrooms, meeting rooms, tea rooms, dine -in areas, resource room and storage areas) 

Daily:

  • Spot vacuum the carpets.
  • Mop the hard floor surfaces, especially kitchen areas.
  • Empty the rubbish bins.
  • Empty the red paper trays provided for staff.
  • Wipe the marks from desks, tables, lectern and furniture.
  • Remove graffiti or permanent marker on request.
  • Clean the kitchen sinks and taps.
  • Spot clean the exteriors of kitchen appliances such as fridges and microwaves.
  • Change the tea towels and hand towels as required only for tea rooms.

Weekly:

  • Spot clean the wall marks.
  • Dust and clean skirting’s and sills.
  • Spot clean doors including glass panels, handles, light switches and white boards.
  • Vacuum /dusting of chairs as required.
  • Spot clean internal glass partitions and panels.

Term Break:

  • Wiping & dusting of walls, ledges and corners of rooms.
  • Deep clean the internal glass panels and partitions.
  • Deep clean the whiteboards.
  • Cleaning of vents and heating system grills.
  • Clean the rubbish bins both inside and outside.
  • Remove cobwebs and clean high dust.

Annually:

  • Strip and polish of vinyl floors, if required.
  • Carpet Cleaning, if required. (BEIMS for carpet cleaning)

Notes:

  • Cleaners do no empty any personal rubbish from offices including ice cream container bins.
  • Cleaners do not wash any dishes or kitchen utensils.
  • Cleaners do not clean inside of any electrical appliances like fridge and microwaves.
  • Tea towels and had towels are provided for tea rooms or kitchen spaces only.

 

Cleaning Schedule: 3 (Toilets, changing rooms and Showers) 

Daily:

  • Clean and sanitise the toilets, urinals and hand basins including taps.
  • Empty the rubbish bins.
  • Sweep and mop the floors.
  • Replenish toilet paper, hand soap, roller towel and paper towels to ensure adequate supplies until next service.
  • Wipe toilet paper, had soap, roller towel dispensers, vanity units and sanitary bins.
  • Scrub and mop the showers.
  • Spot clean the mirrors.
  • Clean electrical hand dryers and empty the drip trays.

Weekly:

  • Spot clean doors, handles, toilet partitions.
  • Scrub the shower walls and clear the drains.
  • Clean the toilet brush and holder.
  • Clean cisterns and pipes.
  • Deep clean the mirrors.

Term break:

  • Remove cobwebs and clean high dust.
  • Wiping & dusting of walls, ledges and corners of rooms.
  • Clean the rubbish bins both inside and outside.
  • Clean vents and heating system grills.
  • Clean internal glass partitions and panels.
  • Deep clean urinals and drains.
  • Change the shower curtains.

Annually:

• Strip and polish of vinyl floors, if required.

Notes:

• Showers in high use areas require a full scrub and drain cleaning on daily basis.

 

Cleaning Schedule: 4 (Reception areas, corridors, foyers, waiting rooms, lifts, stairs and entrances) 

Daily:

  • Empty the rubbish bins.
  • Spot vacuum the carpet areas.
  • Sweep and mop the hard floors.
  • Spot clean the glass, desks, tables and furniture.
  • Clean the drinking water fountains.
  • Check the stairs and vacuum/mop if required.
  • Sweep immediate external entrances, entrance doormats and steps as required.

Weekly:

  • Wipe hand rails or fittings of stairs.
  • Spot clean wall marks.
  • Clean entrance doors and glasses on both the sides.
  • Damp wipe handrails, keypads and walls in lifts.

Term break:

  • Remove cobwebs and clean high dust.
  • Floor buffing if required.
  • Damp wipe all furniture and skirting’s.
  • Clean heaters and vents.

Annually:

  • Carpet Cleaning, if required.
  • Strip and polish of vinyl floors, if required.

Notes:

• Check with your Supervisor for specification if any.

 

Cleaning Schedule 5 - (Rec Centre)

Gym area/Fitness centre, Bio mechanics lab, strength and conditioning lab (K1):

  • Spot vacuum and mop every day.
  • Spot clean the glass daily and deep clean once a week.
  • Clean drinking water fountain on daily basis.
  • Remove cobwebs and high dusting during term break.
  • Dust and wipe the walls, ledges, skirting’s, vents and heating system grills on term break.

Notes:

  • Cleaners are not responsible to clean the gym equipment.
  • Clean underneath the cardio equipment on request.

Basketball courts:

  • Static mop and wash the floor with scrubbing machine on daily basis.
  • Clean the music room on weekly basis.
  • Dust and wipe the walls, ledges, skirting’s, vents and heating system grills on the term break
  • Deep clean the white boards including ledges and trays during the term break.

Upper Gym area/cardio space, Squash courts, Climbing room, Spin room:

  • Sop vacuum on daily basis.
  • Empty the rubbish bins on daily basis and deep clean the bins during term break.
  • Spot clean the mirrors on daily basis and deep clean once a fortnight.
  • Clean drinking water fountain on daily basis.
  • Moping twice a week.
  • Clean stairs, dusting the ledges, skirting’s and hand rails, once a week.
  • Climbing room requires vacuum and mopping on daily basis.
  • Deep clean the white boards including ledges and trays during the term break.
  • Dust and wipe the walls, ledges, skirting’s, vents and heating system grills on the term break.

Notes:

  • Cleaners are not responsible to clean the gym equipment.
  • Carpet cleaning and high dusting on request during end of the year. (BEIMS)
  • Clean underneath the cardio equipment on request.

 

(Staff lounges, offices, boardrooms, meeting rooms, tea rooms, dine -in areas, resource room and storage areas) – Pease refer to Cleaning schedule 2.

(Reception areas, corridors, foyers, waiting rooms, lifts, stairs and entrances) – Please refer to Cleaning schedule 4.

(Toilets, changing rooms and showers) – Please refer to Cleaning schedule 3.

 

Cleaning schedule 6 - (Child Centre)

Play /Sleep Area:

  • Full vacuum on daily basis.
  • Mop the floor and wipe the skirting’s.
  • Sanitise the tables, furniture, door handles and wipe the windows.
  • Remove play dough from the carpet/ floor.
  • Remove cobwebs and clean high dust during the term break.
  • Floor buffing once a month.
  • Carpet cleaning on annual basis (BEIMS).

Notes:

• Cleaners do not clean any play equipment.

Kitchen space:

  • Empty rubbish bins and clean the bins on weekly basis.
  • Deep clean the kitchen surfaces, sinks and taps.
  • Clean the exteriors of kitchen appliances such as fridges and microwaves on daily basis.
  • Change the tea towels and hand towels as required.
  • Dust and wipe the walls, ledges and corners of rooms.
  • Remove cobwebs and clean high dust during the term break.
  • Floor buffing once a month or on request.
  • Carpet cleaning on annual basis (BEIMS).

Notes:

  • Cleaners do not wash dishes or kitchen utensils.
  • Cleaners do not clean inside of any electrical appliances like fridge and microwaves.
  • Tea towels and had towels are provided for tea rooms or kitchen spaces only.

 

Office space/ staff rooms: Please refer to Cleaning schedule 2.

Toilets and showers: Please refer to Cleaning schedule 3.

Cleaning schedule 7 - (Health centre)

 

Consultation / Doctors rooms:

  • Vacuum the carpet areas on daily basis.
  • Empty rubbish bins and clean the bins on weekly basis.
  • Clean and sanitise the hand basins daily.
  • Replenish the supplies including the paper towels and hand soaps.
  • Clean the doctor tables, mirrors and patient chairs.
  • Clean skirting’s

Laboratory:

  • Vacuum the carpet / mop the floor.
  • Empty the general rubbish bins and clean the bins on weekly basis.
  • Clean the lab benches and sinks.
  • Replenish the supplies including the paper towels and hand soaps.

Notes:

• Cleaners must not empty any laboratory waste.

 

Cleaning schedule 8 (PC1 & PC2 Labs)

  • Vacuum and mop the floors as scheduled in each area.
  • Clean the hand basin.

Notes:

  • Cleaners working in these labs must be trained & inducted.
  • Cleaners do not empty any rubbish from labs.
  • Cleaning equipment used in either PC1 or PC2 labs must be stored separately for use in their respective areas only.

 

Cleaning schedule 9 (Research Labs /Technology Labs /workshops/Stores)

  • Spot vacuum carpets and mop floors as scheduled in each area.
  • Clean office desks, hand basins and taps.
  • Sweep external entrances and steps if required.

Notes:

  • Cleaners do not clean any work shop or lab benches.
  • Cleaners do not empty glass or any chemical waste.
  • Cleaners only empty general rubbish bins supplied by cleaning services, any foreign bins located within the labs should be clear by department itself

Registration form – students at higher risk of severe illness

The Student At-Risk Register has been reactivated. The At-Risk Register is for students with health concerns who are at  higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and/or living with people with health concerns that increases their vulnerability to COVID-19.  

  • If you registered in 2020, you will need to register again with your 2021 course details.
  • If you are already on the register but the information is not correct please update
  • If you are not registered and you have a health concern (or living with/caring for someone with health concerns) that meets the criteria please register here

If you are a staff member  in self-isolation or going into self-isolation for any of the following reasons, please complete the form below, so UC can support you during this time. This may include people who:

  • Have a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Had close contact with a suspected OR confirmed COVID-19 case
  • Are awaiting COVID-19 test results
  • Recently arrived from overseas, come out of MIQ (managed isolation) or have arrived from an area of Aotearoa New Zealand under COVID Alert Level 3 or higher.
  • Are immune system compromised
  • Are unwell or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19


If you are a UC staff member in self-isolationRegister here> 

It is important to note that the Ministry of Health manages all contact tracing, and UC assists only if asked. Information provided in these forms is kept private, and is used for UC support purposes.

Transport
If there is a need to transport anyone with COVID-19 symptoms for testing from UC premises, you can use the dedicated UC van. Ring Security on 0800 823 637 to arrange.  Please also make sure they have completed a self-isolation registration form (above).

If you are at home and would like support from UC, please contact UCprotect@canterbury.ac.nz or phone 0800 827 748 or 03 366 3999.

The UC Health Centre suspended in person bookings for a period in 2020, following the arrival of the COVID-19 virus in Aotearoa New Zealand, in order to ensure the safety of their patients and staff.

Currently, patients may be seen in person or be given a phone or video consultation. It is also possible to request repeat prescriptions from your usual doctor through our ‘Managemyhealth’ portal

Health Centre bookings can be made by calling 03 369 4444.

We remain vigilant and will not see you unless you have already arranged an appointment.

PLEASE do not come to the clinic without having booked an appointment.

Regardless of the reason for your appointment you will be asked, when booking and on arrival, questions pertaining to COVID-19. You must answer honestly so that we can most safely attend to your needs.

We may be able to assist many of you by giving advice on the phone or writing prescriptions that can be sent to the uni or other pharmacist.  If for any reason the uni pharmacy needs to close, the pharmacist will deliver medication to the UC Health Centre, where it can be collected during specific hours.

If you have respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever), your appointment may be held somewhere other than the Health Centre building, so please listen carefully to instructions.

It is really important that you answer honestly our questions about cough, sore throat, fever and more. This information will help us to better prepare for your appointment and keep you and our staff safe.

Future Learning & Development provides support for Learn and Echo for individual courses.

Please visit the e-Learning Support for Staff on AKO |LEARN for help. If you need additional assistance, file a request via Assyst and the team will be in contact.

In the event of a lockdown, Future Learning & Development will liaise with the Colleges and Schools to provide teaching support for staff in:

  • Online engagement
  • Online facilitation
  • Online assessment

Queries can be sent to  academic.developers@canterbury.ac.nz

The Postgraduate Research Office has a Learn page for communication with current Doctoral and Master’s thesis students (> 90 points).

An FAQ section on the AKO | LEARN site provides answers to common questions related to COVID-19. Some of the key information is also reflected here for all staff to view.

Prospective Research Students

I am an international student intending to commence my postgraduate research degree at UC soon. How might COVID-19 affect this?

For international students hoping to commence postgraduate research at UC, please note that the New Zealand borders are currently closed, except to citizens and permanent residents. For incoming international students, this means that you will not be able to travel to NZ at this time. Your PhD start date may need to be delayed until the borders have reopened.

In some cases, the Dean of Postgraduate Research will approve a PhD student commencing their studies from overseas. This depends on a number of factors (e.g., whether adequate supervision and resources can be provided, and whether you are able to progress your work from your current location). Your proposed supervisor must make an official request to the Dean of Postgraduate Research before this will be considered. Please discuss this possibility with your proposed supervisor in the first instance.

For up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, immigration, and travel to Aotearoa New Zealand, click here>

I am a New Zealand citizen or resident intending to commence my postgraduate research degree at UC soon. How might COVID-19 affect this?

COVID-19 does not affect the enrolment or commencement of postgraduate research degrees for New Zealand citizens or residents. However, prospective students should discuss their proposed research topic with their supervisor to determine if any adjustments in focus or scope may been needed during this extraordinary time.

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Due dates, submissions and examinations

When I am ready to submit my thesis, how will the one-month extension work? Is this something I need to apply for or will it occur automatically?

If you commenced your thesis study prior to April 2020, you will be eligible for the one month COVID thesis extension.

Students in this cohort will automatically receive a zero-fee one month extension, if they submit their thesis after their official submission deadline. No formal applications are required. However, we encourage students to do their best to submit on time. If a student requires more than one month, they will need to apply through the usual processes of obtaining a formal extension. Click here for more information>

I am submitting my thesis soon – have the processes for submission changed? 

There have been no changes to the thesis submission process. Please note there may be some delays - for example, overseas examiners might need extra time to review a thesis, depending on their personal and work circumstances.

Please contact staff in the Postgraduate Research Office (postgraduate-office@canterbury.ac.nz) if you have any questions. 

How will oral examinations take place with travel restrictions due to COVID?

Oral examinations will be held via video conferencing (UC recommends Zoom).

Relevant parties involved (e.g., PhD candidate, oral chair, supervisor, and oral examiner) will participate via video conferencing from wherever they are currently located.

Your oral chair will contact you to schedule the oral exam. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact the Postgraduate Research Office (postgraduate-office@canterbury.ac.nz).

Financial hardship

We are aware that some postgraduate students are experiencing financial difficulties at present. If you are experiencing financial hardship that will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible for financial support. 

Students requesting financial support can contact the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team in the first instance to discuss their situation. The UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team will review your situation and provide advice on the application process. As a general guide, students are eligible to apply for financial support if they can demonstrate that their capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship. However, as financial support is limited, being eligible does not mean you will be approved for support. Financial support is also not intended as a form of income support and will not be provided to pay for ongoing expenses.

Please note that each application is assessed on a case by case basis and has criteria attached to them. Finally, we understand this is a time of uncertainty. Please do make an appointment with the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team if you are facing financial hardship.

Health and Wellbeing

What health and wellbeing support is available?

Your health and well-being are extremely important to us. If you would like to talk with someone, please contact the Student Care Team to make an appointment using their online booking system. The Postgraduate Research Office is also always willing and available to assist you, so please do not hesitate to email or call. 

The UC Student Care Team website also have lists of existing online resources that you might find useful. One particular link is to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ webpage – it has a whole section on Apps, e-therapy and guided self-help

Border exemptions for International students

If you are a current UC student and eligible for return to New Zealand under the border exemption category, please see the border exemption webpage

What can I study as an offshore student?

  • New to UC students (2021) can study online with UC’s Start Online, Finish on-campus pathway; this pathway lets you start your degree now and transition on to campus once the New Zealand borders open to international students. Discover all online courses and programmes here.
  • Current UC students continuing their studies offshore – please liaise with your college advisor and iro@canterbury.ac.nz to discuss your options.

What support services are available for online learning?
UC has many services in place to support you in your online learning. This includes academic support, e-learning tools, and a range of student care services.

  • Student Care Advisors - provide practical advice for your well being and success as a UC student - studentcare@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Academic Skills Centre / Pokapu Pukenga Ako - free advisory service and resource hub to help you improve your writing and study strategies. The UC Academic Skills Centre (ASC) offers distance students support for 1-1 appointments, some quick queries are answered here. You can contact ASC by phone: +64 (03) 369 3900 or Toll Free 0800 827 748, and ask for the Academic Skills Centre or email academicskills@canterbury.ac.nz to make an appointment.
  • UC Library supports your learning and provides access to research database. UC Library provides some key online services including Ask Live chat box, specialist subject librarians, and access to the online research database. 
  • Equity and Diversity Services - provide a range of supports for students with disabilities - eds@canterbury.ac.nz
  • College Student Advisors - please liaise with your college advisor
  • UCSA Student Advocate - provide advice on your situation, future options and provide support on navigating the university system help@ucsa.org.nz 

See all support services here

Where do I find information about online enrolment and orientation?

  • Information on enrolling online, uploading documents and using AKO | LEARN can all be found here.
  • There are also resources to help you with your study to AKO | LEARN. If you are experiencing particular difficulties adjusting to learning in the online environment, it’s important to reach out to your course coordinators and let them know. 

Visa information

Do I need a valid student visa to begin my studies online?
You do not need a valid student visa to begin your studies online outside of New Zealand, but you will need one before you travel to UC. It is still important to ensure you would be eligible for a student visa to be able to travel to New Zealand and continue your studies when the New Zealand border is reopened to student visa holders.

You can check the Immigration New Zealand website for updates.

Student Visa suspension for new students
The New Zealand borders do continue to remain closed to all non-citizens and non-residents. From 10 August 2020, the Government suspended the ability for those offshore to apply for a temporary visa, including student visas. This suspension has been extended until May 2021.

Immigration New Zealand advises not to apply for a student visa at this time (because it will not be processed). When the border situation changes we will be in touch with you. Please visit Immigration NZ for more updates.

If you are a current UC student and eligible for return to New Zealand under the border exemption category, please see the UC border exemption webpage.  

What if my travel to New Zealand is delayed?
If you are an international student impacted by COVID-19 please contact our International Team iro@canterbury.ac.nz so we can keep you fully informed.

If you are a current UC student and eligible for return to New Zealand under the border exemption category for bachelors and postgraduate students, please see the UC border exemption webpage

Doctoral students can contact the Dean of Postgraduate Research (deanpgresearch@canterbury.ac.nz) and their supervisors. Other postgraduates should contact the relevant College.

Financial Assistance
We know that being a student can be financially challenging, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the issue for some. There are many financial hardship support mechanisms provided by UC and the UCSA. More information about financial support for international students can be found here.

 

International Student Arrival Week

Throughout the year, we have the privilege of welcoming new and returning international students into the UC whanau (family).

  • Book your appointment for International Enrolment in Person here.
  • New Student Induction – UC offers an arrival week programme for all international students arriving to study at UC for the first time. The programme will help you get settled to start your semester, introducing you to specific learning-related information at UC here as well as a great opportunity to meet fellow students, services on campus and student leaders.


Study-related

Q: What extra help is available to help me study this semester?

  • Student Care Advisors - provide practical advice for your well being and success as a UC student - studentcare@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Academic Skills Centre / Pokapu Pukenga Ako - free advisory service and resource hub to help you improve your writing and study strategies - academicskills@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Equity and Diversity Services - provide a range of supports for students with disabilities - eds@canterbury.ac.nz
  • College Student Advisors - please liaise with your college advisor
  • UCSA Student Advocate - provide advice on your situation, future options and provide support on navigating the university system help@ucsa.org.nz There are also numerous resources to help you with your study in LEARN


General Support

Q: Who can I talk to if I have questions about my study and life in New Zealand in general?

Your health and well-being are extremely important at this time. The Student Care Team is your international support team and is available for consultations. If you would like to talk with someone, please make an appointment using their online booking system. The UC Student Care Team website also has lists of existing online resources that you might find useful. One particular link is to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ webpage – it has a whole section on Apps, e-therapy and guided self-help

UC also has a dedicated email address for all COVID-19 related issues and enquiries. If you have a question that has arisen because of COVID-19, please email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz in the first instance. 

Finally, the International Relationships Office – iro@canterbury.ac.nz are here to help you navigate your transition into your new world. We encourage you to go directly to the specialist support services available, however if you feel a little lost – just reach out and we can help guide you.


Financial Support

Financial Hardship

There are many financial hardship support mechanisms provided by UC and the UCSA. This support is design to help with immediate, short-term emergencies/unexpected costs, and they can not be used for tuition fees. Applicants will need to provide evidence to support their hardship applications. In general, one needs to have less than $1000 in the bank to qualify as having hardship.

Education New Zealand (ENZ) has established an International Student Hardship Fund in response to the COVID-19. This means that the University can apply to ENZ for support if all available resources are exhausted. Individual students can not apply to the grant directly.

Please note that all international students are required to provide proof of funds to Immigration New Zealand when applying for a student visa. If you have been granted a student visa for a year and have provided financial documents to Immigration to prove your financial capability, you will need to explain the reasons for seeking hardship support at this point.

Examples of hardship:

  • You are on a tight budget and have an unexpected dental bill to pay
  • You rely on regular money transfer from home & COVID-19 disrupted the immediate transfer schedule

What is not regarded as hardship:

  • Perceived loss of income due to not being able to get a job
  • Failing courses and having to pay fees to repeat them

If you are unsure about whether your circumstances fit with the description above, please contact the UCSA Welfare & Advocacy Team in the first instance. We appreciate that all international students would feel impacted by COVID-19 in their unique ways. However, it is important to remember that these funds are established to protect and care for the most vulnerable and most affected students.

Q: I’m financially struggling - what can I do?

If you are experiencing financial hardship that will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible for financial support. Please contact the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team in the first instance to discuss your situation. UCSA Advocates will assess your circumstances and may make a further referral to Student Care if your situation fits the criteria for International Student Welfare Fund.  

The New Zealand Ministry of Education provides information here. Please don’t be too proud to ask for help. These are difficult times and these organisations are here to help you.

Q: I’ve lost my job due to COVID-19. Is there anything to supplement my lost income?

Students (including International students) who are legally entitled to work and are employed by a New Zealand employer can be covered by the wage subsidy. The subsidy covers employees who are working part-time, or on a casual or contract basis. Please note that as the subsidy is paid to employers, the subsidy does not cover international or domestic students who were not in employment before COVID-19. A useful link to the details of the policy is available here.   


Health and Insurance

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The following information is from the Ministry of Health.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are one or more of the following:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38°C)
  • shortness of breath.
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose 
  • temporary loss of smell 

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms take up to 14 days to show after a person has been infected. A person can pass on the virus to others before they know they have it - from up to two days before symptoms develop.

If you have these symptoms, please telephone Healthline (free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately.

Q: How do I get a test for COVID-19?

If you are concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, please immediately contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or call your doctor in New Zealand.

According to the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), healthline is necessary to be tested at a Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC). If you do not have a referral, you will not be tested at a CBAC, so you must first ring Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor.

No on-demand or drop-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out at Christchurch Hospital.

Q: How much will a COVID-19 test cost?

A consultation that results in a referral for COVID-19 testing, the test itself and any follow up if the test result is positive, is covered under public health funding.

If you are under the care of  UC Health and if the test comes back negative, then you are responsible to pay for any ongoing care (but the initial consultation and the test still remains free) – whether your insurance covers this is up to the insurance to determine. UC Health will invoice you their normal fee.

If the initial consultation does not warrant a COVID-19 test, then UC Health will bulk bill Studentsafe (or the student will pay if they have another insurer).

 Q: Insurance – things to know about COVID-19 related claims

Pandemics are usually excluded from insurance policies. The University preferred provider (Studentsafe/Allianz) has issued a statement previously stating that policies purchased after 30 January this year are purchased with awareness of COVID-19, hence the insurance company won’t pay any claim that is caused by, or in any way connected with this event for policies purchased after this date.  It is recommended, however, that you do submit a claim for medical and medical repatriation costs if your insurance policy was purchased prior to 30 January 2020. 

The exclusion clause is imposed by the insurer and is outside the University’s control. However, as COVID-19 is a notifiable disease, it is expected that the key medical costs associated with the disease would be covered through the public healthcare. For more information, please see the Ministry of Health website.


Visas

Q: I want to drop down to two courses this semester - will this affect my visa?

In the first instance, please contact the Student Care Team (studentcare@canterbury.ac.nz) to discuss your circumstances.

Immigration New Zealand requires a minimum of three courses (minimum of 45-course points per semester) to qualify for a student visa. At this stage, Immigration has not changed this requirement for student visa holders. 

For information regarding Immigration New Zealand’s response concerning COVID-19 please see Student visa COVID-19 information.

We also suggest you discuss changes to your courses with your course coordinators. 

Q: How can I extend my student visa?

Current students that need to extend their visa and are residing in Christchurch may apply through UC. Please check out our webpage here. You can request assistance by emailing: student-visa@canterbury.ac.nz


Travel-Related

Q: When can my family come to join/visit me in NZ?

We appreciate your desire to be reunited with your family. However, travelling involves health risks to your family members, yourself, and potentially the New Zealand public. There are also practical limitations such as the travel restrictions imposed by governments. 

Immigration New Zealand has issued statements relating to visa application and travel. You can see updated information here. 

Q: How should I arrange travel home?

We appreciate the uncertainty that you may be feeling at this time. 

The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether it is by air or sea. Find out the latest about travel here.

If you are considering travelling home, please contact your embassy or consulate general’s office and register your details with them. This means that you will receive the most updated travel and border restriction information from your home government. This also means that if your government has organised flights for its citizens to return home, you will be notified. 

Please be aware that once you return home, you will need to wait until any border restriction are lifted in order to return to New Zealand. 

UC are working closely with Universities New Zealand and the Ministry of Education to welcome a small number of international students back to Aotearoa New Zealand, and the UC campus, in 2021.

“The University of Canterbury’s top priority is the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders, and we’re proud of the work of UC academics and researchers, including Michael Plank, Alex James and Arin Basu, in highlighting the best practice in the fight against COVID-19. UC students overseas have had their study severely impacted, and we’re delighted that a small number will soon be able to return to Aotearoa to complete their studies.”
Tracey Wilson, Director of International Relations, University of Canterbury.

International postgraduate students returning to UC

In late 2020, a small number of international postgraduate students were approved to return to the UC campus following the initial government exemption, which will see up to 250 international postgraduate students return to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021 to continue their research studies.

For more on the border exemption for international postgraduate students, including their COVID-19 and Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) requirements, click here> 

International undergraduate students returning to UC

In early 2021, following the success of the initial border exemption process, the New Zealand government announced a second exemption that would allow up to 1,000 undergraduate students to return to Aotearoa New Zealand, in stages, to continue their tertiary study.

New Zealand’s education sector are working closely to identify the students eligible for the new exemption. We will be in touch with those who we believe will fit into our allocations, once final details have been confirmed.

For more on the border exemption for international undergraduate students, including their COVID-19 and Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) requirements, click here>

Working from home for staff (equipment, office supplies, IT, health and safety)

In order to ensure the University continues to operate effectively it is crucial that we are all ready for a potential lockdown and a subsequent move to working from home, on very short notice (+/-24hrs).

IT Assistance
All key information can be found on the ITS Website - https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/its/ - Staff TAB

If you need any advice or help refer to the ITS Website, if your request is urgent please call the ITS Service Desk on ext 95000.

Working from Home Set-Up and Health and Safety
Please refer to the University’s Protocol: Working from Home for Managers/Heads and Staff specifically in relation to COVID-19 

Ensure you are registered for Remote access:

Most work undertaken at home will be on a computer. Please complete the Online Ergonomic Self-AssessmentIf specific ergonomic equipment is required, the University will do its best to provide it, however this is subject to availability and practicality depending upon the alert level we are in.

In order to support you effectively whilst working from home, and in particular supporting our essential online teaching and learning programmes, please contact your manager to ensure your work set-up is well placed to support you. It is important to first try to source items from within the University. Our experience during the previous lockdown was that it is best to be prepared - think headsets, desks, multiple monitors, monitor stands, etc. We would expect staff to take chairs from their desks and return it when the alert level drops.

If you have IT assets at home, please register the asset IDs with your Manager.

Purchases and Office supplies
When working from home we should follow the normal purchase procedures.  This involves raising a requisition through your Buyer and using a Purchase Order. New suppliers will be required to complete a supplier set up form. Most purchases will follow this route. 

Note: The University does not purchase print devices for home use. If volume printing is required, please contact ucprint@canterbury.ac.nz.

In the event of an emergency purchase being required, confirm the purchase with your Manager first, then contact Procurement who have the relationships with our suppliers and may be able to organise special terms. P Cards can only be used in an emergency if there is no existing supplier relationship that can provide the necessary item or service. Check Unimarket for existing suppliers or contact Procurement on procurement@canterbury.ac.nz.

The University is a large organisation and has the support of the Government.  There is no risk to suppliers not being paid.  Generally, our terms are payment 20th of the month following the month of receipt of invoice. Do not agree to payment in advance without consulting Procurement (procurement@canterbury.ac.nz).

A reminder about purchasing and good governance.

UC Provided Staff Mobiles (data)
If you have a UC mobile phone and you are getting data warnings, don't panic.  The IT team have worked with our provider to ensure that our pool is large enough to manage these increases during this time.

Last updated: Apr 20, 2021 09:46