Coronavirus (COVID-19): Torrens University Australia & Think Education advice

Last page update: 27/3/2020

Across Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School, we are now focused on a blended online mode of delivering education and learning in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our community. This coronavirus resource page will provide the latest updates and information about the global pandemic and our response, guided by government advice. We hope the information we provide here will give our community of students, staff, families and stakeholders guidance and reassurance, helping to ensure your continues safety and well-being.

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Most recent updates from Torrens University & THINK Education

24 March 2020 | Frequently Asked Questions for our Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School students in Leura
In response to coronavirus (COVID -19) and the importance of keeping all our students informed, a set of FAQs has also been developed specifically for our Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) students in Leura.

These FAQs can be accessed here on our BMIHMS website.
23 March 2020 | We are now online and focusing on our online modes of delivery
This week is an incredibly important week for us at Torrens University as we are now teaching fully online and remotely, with a focus on our online modes of delivery.

As our Vice-Chancellor points out in his latest blog today, we have pivoted our approach to ensure continuity of delivery to our students. Our programmes and online learning platforms are rich, robust and synchronous and we will continue to create virtual communities along this journey.
20 March 2020 | Introducing restrictions to our research activities
In line with advice from health authorities, we are introducing research activity restrictions. Please click here to read the document which explains the restrictions.
17 March 2020 | Torrens University and THINK Education campus closures and transition to online and remote study
The decision has been made that all our teaching will be delivered online and remotely, effective Monday March 23, 2020. This means that from Monday March 23, 2020, all our Torrens University and Think Education campuses will be closed and there will be no face-to-face classes across all programs. This is effective for the rest of Trimester 1.

This decision reflects our increasing concerns about the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation as it poses us all in the global community with unprecedented challenges. However, we are committed to ensuring an equivalent experience for our students and our aim is for minimal disruption to the learning experience of our students.

To help prepare for a full transition into remote delivery, all face-to-face classes are cancelled this Thursday March 19 and Friday March 20. However, students can still come to campuses on these two days to connect with staff and to ensure they are planned and ready for the remainder of the trimester.

On Monday, March 23, our campuses will be closed and online studying will fully commence on this date.

For a full update and details on this transition to online and remote study please see advice to our students from our Vice-Chancellor here.
17 March 2020 | Temporary closure of our Wellbeing Centres in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney
Following the Australian government guidelines about social distancing in response to COVID-19, we have made the decision to temporarily close our Wellbeing Centres in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

This will mean that we will continue to run the allocated clinic sessions as scheduled as classroom-based sessions, paper cases, simulations etc. this week. This will be determined as appropriate by modality.

Any clinical assessment activities must take into consideration recommended safe social distancing protocols and infection control measures should be reinforced and applied during the class. These classes will be allocated to an alternate classroom space or clinic space where sufficient room is available for the recommended social distancing. Students will be advised of the room changes as they are made.

We will review the decision on Friday and provide further information based on advice from the Australian government.

If students have any questions about this, please contact your Campus Director. We encourage you to continue to stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 news on this page.
16 March 2020 | An important message from our Vice-Chancellor
The health, safety, and well-being of our students, staff and community, on and off campus is our number one priority. We want you to be informed and reassured in this time of uncertainty.

Although we don’t have all the answers, we want to ensure you receive the most critical information and we want to reassure you that we will provide the support and resources to protect you, and our community.

Please read this important update from our Vice-Chancellor to our students: Click here
13 March 2020 | Upcoming Melbourne and Brisbane graduation ceremonies postponed
Placing the safety and wellbeing of our students, families, staff and community first has led to our decision to postpone graduation ceremonies scheduled for April 6 and April 7 in Melbourne, and July 6 and July 7 in Brisbane.

We do regret coming to this decision but we plan to host the ceremonies later this year.

We will be sending out testamurs to our graduate’s addresses. Alternatively, graduates can arrange for collection from campus if this is preferred.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the graduations office via email graduation@laureate.net.au.
6 March 2020 | Graduation ceremony advisory for students
As the excitement of graduation ceremonies in Sydney draws close, we want to ensure that we can truly celebrate and at the same time prioritise the wellbeing of everyone attending.

At our Graduation ceremony, we will be taking precautions that reflect this goal. This includes eliminating the handshake with the Chancellor on stage during the ceremony and the distribution of hand sanitisers at the Sydney International Convention Centre.

Sydney’s First Aid Responders will handle any suspected cases of coronavirus on site in accordance with current official guidance from the Ministry of Health and St John Ambulance (NSW).
7 February 2020 | Coronavirus Update to Students
We are closely monitoring the situation to support our students based on information from the Australian Government Department of Health. People most at risk of contracting the virus are those who have recently been in mainland China or in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of coronavirus.

Currently, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus in our community of students and staff across Torrens University, THINK Education, and Media Design School. Travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements apply to anyone entering Australia from mainland China after 1 February, 2020.

Our Program Directors will provide the necessary accommodations for students who cannot attend class or complete their assessments. Students who voluntarily isolate themselves for 14 days will not be disadvantaged. Please do not hesitate to contact your lecturers for assistance. If you have any questions, contact Student Services at any time by calling 1300 575 803 or emailing studentservices@torrens.edu.au.

For more information, visit Australian Government Department of Health or contact the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.
3 February 2020 | General Coronavirus Update – Suzhou Campus
While we are currently due to open our Suzhou Campus on the 17th of February, we will be monitoring advisories from government authorities to ensure it is safe to do so. Your safety is paramount so please look after yourself and those close to you by following all the advice you receive from your health authorities. We encourage our staff and students to practice the highest standards of hygiene. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Associate Dean of Hospitality, Simon Pawson.

Frequently asked questions

Our priority is to ensure that students are able to continue their learning.

All teaching will be delivered online and remotely, effective Monday March 23.

This decision is across all programs and is effective for the rest of the current study periods. This means that campuses will be closed and there will no face-to-face classes. This decision also means you will be studying and submitting your assessments online – with the support of your lecturers and our staff. Importantly, we will ensure an equivalent experience for you and our aim is for minimal disruption to your learning experience.
We are closely monitoring and reviewing the situation, following government health advice to keep our campuses safe and will keep you updated with developments.

Updated information will be provided to students via this website. Please check it regularly for updates.

The website includes advice from the Australian Department of Health and from the health departments in each of the areas where we operate:

Government health authorities have recommendations on how to reduce the transmission of illnesses, including coronavirus. These messages are essential to reiterate to colleagues, students, partners, vendors, and other visitors:

  • Maintain correct social distance of 1.5 metres.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitiser.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of used tissues in the bin and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough.
  • If you or anyone you know is feeling unwell, as always, please see a doctor and don’t come to university.
  • If you feel unwell and have recently travelled or have had close contact with a confirmed case in the 14 days before the becoming unwell, seek medical attention. Please phone your doctor in advance so precautionary measures can be taken ahead of your arrival.
As advice is changing frequently, please refer to the smartraveller and homeaffairs websites listed below:

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

Smartraveller is monitoring closely the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its implications for overseas travel. Many countries are now reporting cases. Many are introducing new entry restrictions. These are changing often and quickly. Overseas travel is becoming more complex. You need to ensure you’re informed and prepared, not just about your destination, but about the countries you might need to transit through to get there, and home.

The governments of Australia and New Zealand have now changed their travel restrictions so that all travelers to Australia and New Zealand will now be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
Patients may have fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and other symptoms. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.

Please check advice from the Australian Department of Health and from the health departments in each of the areas where we operate:

If you develop a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of travel to an affected area, seek medical attention:

  • Call your GP for advice 
  • NSW - call NSW Government 1300 066 055 
  • QLD - call Queensland Government 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) 
  • SA - call Government of South Australia 1300 232 272 
  • VIC - call Victoria State Government 1300 651 160  
  • NZ - Ministry of Health Hotline: 0800 611 116 
  • For our Leura residential campus – students are required to contact the Duty Manager
No, there is no fee for getting tested for coronavirus. State and territory health authorities are testing anyone who shows symptoms of the virus. 
Wearing a face mask is a personal choice. People wearing masks may be taking preventative measures for themselves or protecting themselves from air pollution – they aren’t necessarily sick. Masks can be purchased from most local pharmacies and some hardware stores.
Government Health sites have clear statements on their factsheets detailing casual and close contact that will allow you to determine your best course of action.

  • Close Contact is defined as “someone who has been face to face for at least 15 minutes, or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, as someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 when that person was infectious”.
  • Casual Contact is defined as “someone who has been face to face for less than 15 minutes, or been in the same closed space for less than 2 hours, as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 when that person was infectious”.

Please check advice from the Australian Department of Health and from the health departments in each of the areas where we operate:

We are committed to offering a range of study options to students affected by the coronavirus outbreak. We want students to be able to start or continue their studies with us as soon as it’s possible and safe to do so.

A range of options are available including:

  • late enrolment
  • online and flexible delivery prior to your return to campus (for some units)
  • reduced study load
  • deferral for commencing students to start in a later session
  • a break from study for continuing students.

Our dedicated website has up to date information and you can also contact us directly:  

Contact email for enquiries: feedback@laureate.edu.au

Phone: 1300 575 803
No. We will continue to teach all of our students in flexible ways online or remotely that ensures the continuity of your learning. Many students are already studying online and we are now extending this delivery to all students.
Campuses are now closed to students and staff and online studying commenced in Australia on Monday 23 March and will commence in MDS on 20 April.
Online studying commenced in Australia on Monday 23 March and will commence in MDS on 20 April.

We are a fully integrated online environment. Our teachers have experience in online teaching, our student satisfaction is high online, and we are experts at managing education across 14 campuses. So, we do not believe the quality of education or levels of support will be diminished in any way. This is why we expect that you will be able to continue with the same programs of study and to complete your assessments with the same equivalency.
For classes with combined theory and practical components, we will continue to deliver the theory classes and reschedule the practical classes when the campuses reopen. Where the practical component comprises the majority of the experience, including supervised student clinics, these will resume when the campuses reopen.

All decisions are centred on ensuring we maintain the same high quality of course and subject learning outcomes and meeting graduate professional standards.

We are currently working on a plan for all students who have a practical subject impacted and that cannot be replaced by an online component. There are many different scenarios depending on which subject it is and at what stage of your studies you are, so we ask for your patience while we find appropriate solutions. Your Program Director or Head of Nursing will advise as soon as possible. Please reach out with any immediate concerns.
Students will be able to come onto Australian campuses on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March to make contact with your lecturers (of classes scheduled on those days) to discuss your study plans.

NB: As a residential campus, the Leura Campus has different circumstances. Please see related questions regarding Leura campus.
This link will provide you with detailed questions and answers specific to Blue Mountains hospitality students at the Leura campus.
Torrens and Think packaged provider Medibank have advised the following:

If a student is unwell and require to seek medical assistance, they have cover for services that fall under outpatient without any waiting periods.

Services such as

• Emergency Ambulance is fully covered

• Outpatient GP visit is covered up to 100% of MBS

• Pathology testing is covered up to 85% of MBS.

• Accident and emergency department charges in a Public or Private hospital is covered.

• Prescription only pharmacy items, subject to co-payments, is covered up to policy limit.

If a student has a more serious condition and are admitted to hospital as inpatient within the first 12 months of the policy, further information about the treatment will be required as part of the Pre-existing medical condition assessment before policy coverage can be confirmed.
Work integrated learning (WIL) is an important part of your studies in equipping you for your future profession and career. Consequently, we work closely with our placement providers to ensure you have a safe and appropriate experience while on placement and want to reassure you that this commitment extends to all aspects of work health and safety (WHS) including the current COVID-19 situation. The Australian Department of Health provides guidance as to how to reduce transmission of this or other viruses and we ask that you take care and responsibility for your own and others wellbeing by adopting best practice in this regard. We will continue to work closely with our placement partners to ensure they are operating in accordance with this advice.

We acknowledge that there may have been significant impact on your work/industry placement due to government enforced business closures and as such normal academic policies and processes apply in these extenuating circumstances. This means that if your ability to complete placement as scheduled is impacted, you should complete an ‘Application for assessment special consideration’ form (Torrens form here and THINK form here). This includes your own personal circumstances or if your WIL provider workplace becomes unable to meet your placement obligations.

Please Note: Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School students, contact your Success Coach.

Please do remember, the health and safety of our Torrens University, Think Education and MDS community of students and staff is paramount and we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow advice from the Australian and New Zealand government, education and health authorities. You are reminded to regularly check for updates on this website which can also be accessed from the student hub.
We are currently finalizing the detail for subjects that have examination and/or practical assessment requirements and will share information on the arrangements soon.
With classes being delivered online or remotely, this will not affect your Student visa requirements. Because of COVID-19, authorities have provided assurance that exceptions are made to the usual attendance requirements. This means that you can remain in Australia and continue your studies.
We understand your concerns, however we can assure you that if you choose to continue studying your course here in Australia, you will be offered an equivalent online learning experience and your study path will not be compromised.

If you do choose to return to your home country, we can provide you with the opportunity to continue studying online, however, your visa requirements may be compromised. Please reach out to your education or migration agent directly for more information about your visa conditions and how these may be impacted if you do return home.
As per our Enrolment Policy, students requesting a Leave of Absence (deferral) or a Withdrawal after the census date will incur a financial liability for their tuition fees. Please refer to the Enrolment Policy for full details.
As we all transition to fully online education we recognise that you may need certain things to ensure a smooth transition.

If you are in need of a laptop, we are excited to announce that we have arranged for students to be able to get discounts on laptop computers through Counterparts Express.

To register, please visit this link: laureate.counterparts.com

When registering, use Laureate Australia as the Company name, leave the Tax Number field blank. You can also use your personal email address.

Once you have registered, you will receive an email with a link to login and set up a password. Once logged in, there are a number of deals on laptops and other accessories.

If you need support, there is a “Live Chat” on the right hand side of the screen.

*NOTE – Order delivery will be made within Australia. If you are currently outside of Australia and require delivery to your home country, please use the live chat functionality to discuss options with the Counterparts team.

If you don’t have your own computer but have access to a computer/tablet at another safe place you can visit (friends/family) you can create a document on that and upload to a cloud storage provider such as OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive and then use the created document with your phone to upload the document to Blackboard.

Many internet providers are also offering deals or even free wifi so we suggest you reach out to your current provider to see what they have on offer.

If you have no access to any form of computer or tablet, it is possible to hand write your assignment and take photos of each page and upload them to Blackboard.

The Blackboard Learning with Technology site has a wealth of resources as well as a video module which will talk you through how to access how to access from a smartphone using the Blackboard App. After hours Blackboard support is also available through the Student Hub.
All classes are commencing online from Monday 23rd March. You won’t miss anything as you will be able to access your classes and course materials remotely.
Yes, we will be providing online orientation sessions for all students. Please check the Torrens University Australia website for up to date event information, or contact your Campus Director for the details.
You will be able to continue your studies online. Please contact your Program Director for more information.
In regards to your course fees, we do not differentiate the price between our online and face to face courses. This is because our online course delivery is of an equivalent standard to our face-to-face delivery. You will have access to the same level of support hours and access to learning resources and benefits, including Success Coaches, as you would if you were studying on campus. We feel confident that you will receive an equivalent experience to face-to-face learning.
Information about self-isolation can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Please tell us where you are so we can assist and advise you through this period.

Contact email for enquiries: feedback@laureate.edu.au

Phone: 1300 575 803
As part of the response from the Australian Government, affected students will be supported so that the impact on their student visa is minimised. This means increased online study will be temporarily allowed and/or compelling and compassionate circumstances will be considered. Your confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will remain active and you won’t need an updated COE

For students who have not yet started and have made the decision to defer to the next study period, your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will remain active, which means you are able to return in the next intake. You can check your visa status through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

We will work with you to find the best study option and adjust your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) if required.
We strive to create a positive experience for all members of our community that is based on a safe, respectful, harmonious and tolerant environment.

Whilst there is much uncertainty about the coronavirus outbreak, we must come together to support each other. We urge everyone to be kind, empathetic and caring as this is not a time for discrimination or racism. Please uphold the values of our community.

If you have been negatively impacted, Student Counselling on the Student Hub has relevant contact details, including Emergency Services (000).
We are closely monitoring the situation to support our students based on information from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Updated information will be provided to students and staff via email and this website.

The website includes advice from the Australian Department of Health and from the health departments in each of the areas where we operate:

We know that this is a very challenging time and are here to help all members of our community. If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling, Student Counselling on the Student Hub has relevant contact details.
During the close down the library will continue to offer our usual online services. You will continue to have access to our extensive collection of online ebooks, journals, databases and more.

We will have extended operating hours for our Library and Learning Services chat service, to assist with any queries you may have about using the library.
The quickest, easiest way to contact Learning Services during the campus close down is though our online chat service available on the Library web site, the student hub and Blackboard. This service will provide access to the Library, Academic Skills and Blackboard help and information.

You can also attend an online Study Success Workshop – the workshop schedule is under Workshops on the Student Hub.
Check your draft by Access Studiosity through your subject on Blackboard who will provide feedback on the structure, grammar, language and referencing.

You can also attend an online Study Success Workshop – the workshop schedule is under Workshops on the Student Hub.
Please get in touch through our Library and Learning Services chat service. Outside of staffed hours you can leave a message which we will respond the following business day.
For assistance with Blackboard access (both during and outside of business hours) please go to the Blackboard (Learning Support) Page.

Latest information from Torrens University & Think Education faculties and verticals

Health Advice

Currently, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus at any of our campuses; however, it is important that we all remain vigilant.

Reducing the transmission of COVID-19

Government health authorities recommend following the below measures to reduce the transmission of diseases and viruses, including coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissues in the nearest bin and wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough.
  • If you or anyone you know is feeling unwell, please arrange to see a doctor and do not attend university.
  • If you feel unwell and have recently travelled or have had close contact with a confirmed case in the 14 days before the becoming unwell, seek immediate medical attention. Make sure you notify your doctor in advance so precautionary measures can be taken ahead of your arrival.
It is essential that all staff, students, partners, vendors, and visitors to our campuses are aware of and follow the above recommendations.

Useful links and resources

The federal Department of Health has set up a Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert providing the latest information about the coronavirus outbreak. A 24-hour COVID-19 Health Information Line is available at 1800 020 080. For general health information visit the Australian Government Department of Health website or contact the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.  The World Health Organisation outlines basic protective measures against the new virus.

State specific information

For information and updates from the health departments of the states and regions we operate in, see the below websites:

Local health authority contacts are as follows: 

Torrens University by location update

Travel Info & Advice

If you have recently travelled and feel unwell or have had close contact with a confirmed case in the 14 days before becoming unwell, please seek medical attention. When you do, please notify the doctor in advance so precautionary measures can be taken ahead of your arrival. If you are making plans to travel, please be mindful of the Australian Government’s advisories aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is regularly updating its advice to travellers, including those who have recently returned to Australia. For more information on travel restrictions, please consult the Australian government provided resource, Smartraveller, or visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Prospective international students and studying online

Torrens University Australia has been identified by the Australian Government as having a robust system of delivering courses online. All of our courses have been designed so that students can commence study online, with the option to transfer to on-campus study as soon as any travel bans in their respective countries have been lifted.

Offshore international students who commence study online may also be eligible for a scholarship valued at up to 30% of their tuition fees. Click here for more information about our international scholarships. Students who are interested in studying with us can access our full list of course offerings here.

Mental Health & Wellbeing Support

The safety and well-being of our staff and students is very important to us. We will support our staff with services and information which we hope will assist at this time of heightened alert. This includes providing as much useful information as possible.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program is a free and confidential counselling service also available to all our employees. Anyone can call to make an appointment for someone in their area, or receive counselling over the phone. To speak to someone or to make an appointment, call 1800 818 728. This service is completely confidential, so the company does not know who attends or what is discussed. Please feel free to make an appointment.

Our Wellbeing Centres

Following the Australian government’s guidelines, our Wellbeing Centres in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney have been temporarily closed. The health, wellbeing and safety of our students, staff and community continues to be very important.

Our student counselling services are still available to all of our students. Please see link to counselling resources here.

Advice from the government and WHO

The Australian government is regularly updating its websites with advice and general information on travel, family care, self-isolation, employment, products to avoid, and more. The World Health Organisation is regularly updating its websites with general information and advice on getting workplace ready.

Contact Us for more information

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us using the details below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Email: feedback@laureate.edu.au 
Phone: 1300 320 327