Study and enrolment

Brisbane, Canberra, North Sydney and Strathfield campuses

There are both online and on campus classes scheduled for the remainder of the year for the Brisbane, Canberra, North Sydney and Strathfield campuses.

Strict physical distancing will be enforced, especially in areas like libraries and computer labs. These are areas for research and for activities such as online learning. They are not communal meeting points or areas of social activity.

Campus facilities, including libraries, remain open for these campuses.

Ballarat and Melbourne campuses

With the exception of practical classes and placements, all classes will be delivered online until further notice. Ballarat and Melbourne students are permitted to attend campus for scheduled practical classes and where they cannot study at home.

If you are unable to attend practical classes, please see ‘Do I still have to attend on-campus classes/labs/practicals?’ below.

Strict physical distancing will be enforced, especially in areas like libraries and computer labs. These are areas for research and for activities such as online learning. They are not communal meeting points or areas of social activity.

Some campus facilities, including libraries and the AskACU Centre, will be open on both campuses from 9am on Monday 9 November.

There are still public health orders in effect in Victoria, and these FAQs will be updated as these public health orders are updated.

If you are a student in Melbourne or Ballarat and you need to attend practical classes or placements, you no longer require a letter that will enable you to be on campus and travel between your home and the campus.

 

Yes. If you are not able to travel to attend practical classes because you are unwell, or there are specific circumstances that impact your ability to attend classes, you must apply for special consideration (SC) and provide supporting documentation. 

Victorian campuses

The State Government has announced that all residents of Victoria are required to wear a face covering when leaving their house, unless an exception applies. People caught not wearing a mask may receive a $200 fine.

ACU students living in Victoria must adhere to the public health orders and should acquire and wear their own masks, including while on campus.

The university will also have a stock of disposable masks available for students participating in essential curriculum-related on-campus activities, such as practical classes, on the Melbourne and Ballarat Campuses. You can collect these at your practical classes.

Unfortunately, if you don’t wear a face mask you will not be able to attend the on-campus activity. This advice will be in place until further notice.

You can read helpful guidance around face masks, including exceptions, types of masks and mask care, on the State Government of Victoria website.

Campuses other than Victoria

There are currently no public health requirements to wear masks at ACU campuses other than in Victoria.

PPE may be required in the ACU Health Clinics. ACU is following State Government recommendations in these areas.

Students attending practical classes in NSW, ACT or Qld are encouraged to bring their own face mask to wear during these classes should they wish to do so.

Victorian campuses

Yes, ACU is required to ensure students wear face coverings if they are working on campus, unless an exception applies. 

Further information, including about exceptions and short mask breaks, is available at the Victorian Department of Health website

Campuses other than Victoria

There are currently no public health requirements to wear masks at ACU campuses other than in Victoria.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required in the ACU Health Clinics. ACU is following state government recommendations in these areas. 

Students attending practical classes in NSW, ACT or Qld are encouraged to bring their own face mask to wear during these classes should they wish to do so.

ACU campuses – and our libraries – are open.

Access is restricted to students through your ID card with strict physical distancing enforced. Information on opening hours is available via the Library website. Please use our libraries only for research and online education – they are not communal meeting points or centres of social activity.

Our virtual library is operating as usual with online resources available 24/7 and you can contact us via chat (24/7) or email.

Graduations

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are ongoing, with some state border closures, continuing restrictions on movement and fluctuating limits on public gatherings. It is not possible to hold ceremonies under these circumstances and, most critically, it is not safe to hold these events. Our priority is the health and safety of our ACU community, not to mention the wellbeing of your families and the broader communities around our campuses. 
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to give you the opportunity to attend a ceremony in the future.

The impact of the pandemic and its unknown duration means that social distancing and other restrictions are likely to continue in 2021. Over 8,000 graduates have been affected in 2020, and these numbers will continue to grow each semester. These expansive numbers cannot be rolled over to future graduation rounds indefinitely.
Cancellation of our ceremonies has not prevented you from graduating from ACU. Your award (degree) has been conferred and your graduation documents have been issued to you as a digital document on My eQuals as well as in hard-copy format by registered mail.
If you deferred attending your ceremony until 2020, the graduation information in these FAQs – including the cancellation of ceremonies in 2020 – also applies to you. Your award was conferred in 2019 and your graduation documents were issued to you in 2019.

All 2020 ACU graduates have been advised via email about alternative arrangements, including on-campus graduation photography events and a virtual graduation celebration to be held on Saturday 28 November. Access further information and book a photography session on the Graduation 2020 page.

The Graduations Office will update you by email about the virtual event on 28 November.

These additional services are available during the on-campus photography sessions. You can also purchase framing and merchandise online from our graduations services provider.

Studying online

The census dates remain as published in the approved Academic Calendar

Please see the FAQs in the ‘Study challenges’ section below. 

ACU continues to provide students with resources and support to help with online learning. Your learning resources and activities will run through LEO, and these may use other tools such as Adobe Connect, Zoom and MS Teams.

It's important to check in regularly for new resources and announcements and to keep communicating with your teachers and classmates. Make the most of every opportunity to engage through discussion boards and collaborative activities with your teachers and classmates. You might want to set up a schedule in your calendar and with your classmates, so that you follow lectures and study together at set times.

For help using tools online, contact AskACU.

Most units will have some online components – your timetable includes the details that are specific to your units. Remember all learning, except for some practical classes, is online until further notice in Ballarat and Melbourne.

For units of study with labs, studios and other practical course components, on-campus or online or remote arrangements have been put in place. The university may still need to suspend classes if public health orders change. But if this needs to happen, we will communicate with you as soon as a decision is made.

For the remainder of 2020, most classes will be online and practical classes will be on campus. 

In 2021, ACU is planning for COVID-normal and a blended approach to learning. This will include a mix of on-campus, multi-mode and online learning environments. 

Check your timetable to see if you have practical classes scheduled. Continue to monitor your ACU student email and relevant LEO sites for updates.  

If you are not able to travel to attend compulsory classes (eg practical or laboratory classes) on campus because you are unwell, or there are specific circumstances that impact your ability to attend, you must apply for special consideration (SC) and provide supporting documentation. We recommend contacting your lecturer in charge first to discuss this before submitting your application.

If you do not wish to attend practical classes, please see ‘What if I need to withdraw from a unit?’ for more information.

Details about assessments and any assessment changes will be communicated to you by your Lecturer in charge, and these may be included in an update to the unit outline.

Details about your assessments will be available on LEO and/or communicated to you via your lecturer in charge. If relevant, an examination schedule will be emailed to you or, once exams are scheduled, you can check the Exam Timetables page.

We understand that the move to online learning may pose some additional challenges for students with disabilities, and adjustment may be required. Regardless of whether students have registered for disability support and have an active Education Inclusion Plan (EIP), the different nature of the online learning method may raise some concerns with our students.

If you have concerns, in the first instance, you should contact your lecturer in charge to discuss your needs, either in relation to your EIP adjustments or otherwise.

Your lecturer in charge will provide information regarding the format of your classes. This may include live streaming or a webinar at the scheduled class time or pre-recorded content. Pre-recorded lectures may form part of your learning resources package. We strongly encourage you to explore all the resources provided to you.

Library online services are operating as usual, with online resources available 24/7 whether you are on or off campus.

Our on-campus libraries currently remain open, and access is restricted to students with a student ID card. View the library opening hours for each campus. Please use libraries for research and online education only – they are not communal meeting points or centres of social activity.

If you attend a library on campus, remember to observe strict physical distancing and good hygiene, as recommended by the Australian Government Department of Health.

If you are off campus, you can contact staff by text and 24/7 online live chat. The library staff have also increased the monitoring of the Ask Your Librarian email service to ensure swift responses to your queries.

If you have never used the library services from home, now is a good time to check them out and make sure you can sign in. Read more about off-campus access.

Yes, students will need to use their ACU student ID cards in order to access the library on campus.

If you don’t currently have an ID card, you can order your ID card online. When ordering your card, please select your local Self Service Kiosk or ‘online’ from the drop-down menu. Your card will be ready to be collected from the Self Service Kiosk for students within 24 hours; please check the location of the kiosk before collection. Learn more about how to order your card in the AskACU knowledge library.

Technology and support

The following FAQ only provides answers to general technology and support questions. If you have a more complex question, please contact AskACU directly for assistance.

All ACU campuses remain open and the WiFi network, libraries, computer labs, and research and study spaces will be available to students who need to use them. Physical distancing and health precaution measures will be observed.

You’ll be able to access all online learning materials via your smart phone or tablet devices (if available). If you cannot access these materials, please contact AskACU. Alternatively, university computer labs will remain open and available to staff and students who need to use them.

Our AskACU staff are available to help with basic technical assistance. For more complicated queries, the team will direct you to the appropriate IT Support staff for further assistance.

To contact the AskACU team:

  • Call 1300 275 228
  • SMS 0427 522 268
  • Enquire online AskACU

You can also access online chat between 9am and 5pm, and search the resources and step-by-step guides available 24/7 in the AskACU knowledge base.

For opening hours, visit AskACU.

With any technology-related issues, we recommend you contact AskACU in the first instance. If you can, please provide a screenshot of the issue you are experiencing so staff can assist you more effectively.

To contact the AskACU team:

  • Call 1300 275 228
  • SMS 0427 522 268
  • Enquire online AskACU

You can also access online chat between 9am and 5pm, and search the resources and step-by-step guides available 24/7 in the AskACU knowledge base.

For opening hours, visit AskACU

We understand tech issues can be frustrating, especially if these happen after hours. In this instance, please take a screenshot of the issue you are experiencing and email it to AskACU via your student email account. AskACU will attend to your issue as soon as possible.

All classes will be delivered either via Adobe Connect, Zoom or Microsoft Teams (MS Teams). You can access these tools either through a downloaded app or your web browser. Your Lecturer in charge will provide a link for you to join the online class.

Your lecturers will let you know which software to use for your specific units. More detailed information can also be found in LEO

Adobe Connect is an online application used for video conferencing, webinars, and as a live classroom teaching tool. Staff and students can communicate synchronously using voice and video, utilising features such as screen sharing, text chat, interactive whiteboards, application sharing, instant polling, and breakout rooms.

For more on using Adobe Connect and related technical support, access how to use Adobe Connect.

Zoom is an online meeting platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops and phones. Zoom is easy to use, but please take some time to test all features such as video, audio and microphone.

Students are not required to have a Zoom account and can join classes using the links sent from the teacher. For the best experience, however, we do recommend every user download the Zoom application on their preferred Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, or Android device.

Download the Zoom app

Microsoft Teams is a hub for team collaboration and can be used for video conferencing, team chat and calls. You can access this platform in multiple ways:

  • from your browser
  • with a Teams app on your computer (Windows and Mac)
  • from an app on your mobile device (Apple or Android).

To access a class, you can join through the calendar in your Teams app or using the links sent from the teacher.

LEO is ACU’s Learning Environment Online (LEO) where you will find most of your unit information, learning activities, readings, quizzes and assessments. Wherever you are, if you have internet access, you should be able to access LEO.

Read more about how to access LEO

For LEO-related technical support, please visit the support FAQs on LEO.

If your lectures are recorded using Echo360, there will be a link inside your LEO unit to the list of recordings.

Learn more about Echo360.

As more of you study remotely, it’s a good idea to upload or update your photo in Office 365. This will mean that when you attend video conferences or use ACU collaboration tools, your classmates can recognise you more easily.

To find out how to do this, check out this AskACU article for students.

No, a VPN is not needed for students at all. It is only needed for staff to access resources on the ACU network (eg network drives).

None of the online tools used to support learning and teaching require a VPN to run. These include:

  • Zoom
  • Echo360
  • Adobe Connect
  • Microsoft Teams

Placements

ACU will only permit students to attend placement opportunities that are appropriate according to state/territory health and public order regulations. COVID-19 is not covered by Australian insurance policies. If a student does contract COVID-19 they are covered and supported by Medicare and the Australian healthcare system. 

It is the student’s responsibility to be responsible and practise social distancing, regular hand sanitising, and cough and sneeze etiquette at all times. If you are in Victoria, it is mandatory that you also wear a mask.

 

We are committed to ensuring you fulfil the necessary requirements to graduate and register for professional practice, if this is a requirement of your degree. 

The Vice-Chancellor and Executive Deans are in discussions in all states/territories and at all levels of government to secure as many placements as possible during this time. Many placements are still occurring, so please monitor your ACU student email account for updates specific to your program.

For units of study with labs, studios and other practical course components, either arrangements have been put in place, or these will be suspended to later in the semester and will be delivered in an intensive mode.

For units of study that require a community engagement placement, students can currently continue with their placement where it is still available and safe to do so. If your community engagement placement is no longer available and you are not able to find an alternate placement opportunity, please contact your lecturer in charge for alternate options.

Students in Victoria should not make their own community engagement activity arrangements with providers due to the current lockdown and COVID risk. Students should either complete an ACU Engagement approved placement, an online placement that can be done safely from home, or an alternate task provided by their lecturer in charge. Read further information about these options on the ACU Engagement webpage.

For further support with community engagement placements, email ACU Engagement at ACUengagement@acu.edu.au

If your placement facility/host organisation cancels your placement as a result of COVID-19, you will receive an email from the Placement Operations team notifying you of this. Academic staff and the Placement Operations team will be working collaboratively on alternative placement options. Individual plans will be communicated to any affected students by your Placement Officer.

With community engagement placements, if the ACU Engagement team or your host organisation notifies you that your placement is no longer available, you should contact your lecturer in charge for alternate options.

For further support with community engagement placements, email ACU Engagement at ACUengagement@acu.edu.au

Study challenges

If the conditions you are experiencing are short-term and are related to an assessment task, you may be eligible to apply for an extension, special consideration or a deferred examination. These cover a wide range of circumstances that may have affected your progress.

Applications for extensions or special consideration should be submitted in line with the Assessment Policy, Assessment Procedures and Special Consideration Procedures.

Request an extension to deadline for the submission of an assessment task

You should follow the normal processes and submit any request for an extension using the Application for Extension of Time for Submission of an Assessment Task (EX) form.

Students in the ACT, NSW and Qld will be required to submit a medical certificate as normal.

Given the current stresses on the Victorian healthcare system, students in Victoria are not required to submit a medical certificate as evidence to support a request for an extension. You may instead submit a Student Declaration.

If you are requesting an extension as a result of having been diagnosed with COVID-19, or for having been required to self-isolate following testing or being contacted by the health department as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should also submit a COVID-19 report form.

Request special consideration

Students should follow the normal processes and submit any request for an extension using the Application for Special Consideration (SC) form.

Students in the ACT, NSW and Qld will be required to submit a professional authority form and/or medical certificate as normal.

Given the current stresses on the Victorian healthcare system, students in Victoria are not required to submit a medical certificate as evidence to support a request for special consideration. You may instead submit a Student Declaration.

If you are requesting an extension as a result of having been diagnosed with COVID-19, or for having been required to self-isolate following testing or being contacted by the health department as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should also submit a COVID-19 report form.

These provisions apply until the end of Semester 2 and to Professional Terms 5-8 only. The normal provisions will apply from Summer Term.

The interim administrative grade of Result Pending (RP) will continue. The introduction of the grade was approved by Academic Board, and it is now included in the Academic Regulations.

We recommend that this grade continue to be applied where a student is unable to complete a piece of assessment within the dates of the study period, and the application of the grade has been approved by the lecturer in charge or course coordinator. This grade will be replaced with a final result (mark/grade) once you have completed and submitted the relevant piece of assessment.

For professional experience units, or units containing professional experience, the existing ‘IP’ grade will continue to be used by schools where placement requirements have not been completed within the study period.

The final mark range criterion for supplementary assessments remains as 40-49 for Semester 2 and Professional Terms 5-8 only. All other criteria for supplementary assessment still apply.

The final mark range criterion will revert to 45-49 from Summer Term onwards.

Withdrawal from units after census but prior to results release

For Semester 2, 2020 and Professional Terms 5-8, you may apply to withdraw from units after the census date. This should be done via the Re-credit of Unit/s and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances (RE) process. Additional criteria remain to include the impact of COVID-19 on study in Semester 2. You will need to provide the required supporting documentation.

If you are a student in the ACT, NSW and Qld, you will be required to submit a professional authority form and/or medical certificate as normal.

Given the current stresses on the Victorian healthcare system, students in Victoria are not required to submit a medical certificate or professional authority as evidence. You may instead submit a Student Declaration.

If successful in your application, you will be withdrawn from the unit without academic or financial penalty and a result of Withdrawn Without Academic Penalty (WW) will be applied. You will be required to repeat the unit in a future study period.

This provision applies until the end of Semester 2 and to Professional Terms 5-8 only. The normal provision will apply from Summer Term.

Withdrawal without academic penalty after results release

For Semester 2, 2020, you may also apply to the Academic Registrar to withdraw without academic penalty after the release of results. 

You’ll be able to submit your request using the Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty After Results Release Form on or after your results are released. You will have 20 working days to apply for this after the date of result release.

If granted, the result for the unit will be changed to Withdrawn Without Academic Penalty (WW) and will not contribute to your GPA. You will still be required to pay the fees for the unit and will be required to repeat the unit in a future study period.

This provision will apply until the end of Semester 2. The normal provisions will apply from Summer Term.

Withdrawal from units without financial penalty after results release

If you wish to apply to withdraw from a unit without financial penalty, you must follow the standard Re-credit of Unit/s and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances (RE) process.

If successful, you will be withdrawn from the unit without academic or financial penalty and a result of Withdrawn Without Academic Penalty (WW) will be applied. You will be required to repeat the unit in a future study period.

If you are enrolled in a practical experience unit or a unit containing practical experience where ACU is unable to currently provide a placement (or approved alternative activity), you can remain enrolled in that unit and we will attempt to provide you with a placement at a later date. This may be outside semester dates.

If we’re not able to provide you with a placement, you will be able to apply to withdraw from the affected unit without academic or financial penalty. To do so, complete the Re-credit of Unit/s and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances (RE) Form.

Stay connected and engaged

At our Melbourne campus, all on-campus events have unfortunately been cancelled – but you can still participate in online events and activities, from online workouts to career workshops and events. 

At all our other campuses, there continues to be a mix of on-campus and online events.

Visit the Student Portal news and events feed to learn more about what’s on for you. 

We encourage you to follow your campus student association on Facebook, as well as the ACU National Student Association (ACUNSA) or the ACU Postgraduate Association (ACUPGA). And you can explore and join all our student clubs and associations at ACU Life.

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