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

Most recent updates

  • 28 Jan 2022 | Support available for students with COVID-19

    With COVID-19 continuing to cause disruption globally, we appreciate that this may be causing significant stress in the personal and academic lives of our students. Please know that we have your best interests at heart and your safety remains our top priority.  

    Below is some information that will help clarify what to expect if you are impacted by COVID-19. 

    • If you contract COVID-19, please notify your learning facilitator immediately, especially if you have recently been on campus.  If you have an assessment due within two weeks of being diagnosed with COVID-19, you will automatically receive a one-week extension. You do not need to complete an Extenuated Circumstances Form (ECF) for this purpose, the extension is automatic.  
    • If you become severely unwell or need to care for someone with COVID-19 for a prolonged period, we have support options available. Students in these scenarios should contact their learning facilitator. Please note, these will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students can also review our policies and forms page for our policy regarding extenuating circumstances: https://www.torrens.edu.au/policies-and-forms 
    • There will be a supply of masks and hand sanitisers available on campus, and we continue to explore further options to keep you safe. We ask that you maintain a 1.5-metre distance between yourself and others wherever possible.   

    As always, we will continue to operate our campuses in accordance with health guidelines and COVID-safe recommendations provided by state and federal governments.  If you have lost work because you caught COVID-19 or are a close contact, you may be eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. There are specific eligibility and application requirements for each state and territory in Australia, which you can access on the Services Australia website.

  • 15 Dec 2021 | IMPORTANT: Update about international students returning to Australia

    It has been announced that from 15 December 2021, international students can travel to Australia without seeking a travel exemption to participating states or territories.

    To be permitted to enter Australia international students will need to satisfy the eligibility requirements outlined in the official statement released by the Prime Minister of Australia, 
    which can be accessed here.  

    Importantly, students entering Australia will also be subject to the quarantine arrangements of the state/territory they are travelling to. For more information on current state/territory-based requirements, please click here. For the latest information on travel restrictions, please click here.  
     
    We are very excited to start welcoming our international students back into the country.

     In the meantime, please be sure to check the 
    Department of Home Affairs website for official updates from the Australian government.

  • 1 Nov 2021 | Creating certainty for students, staff and extended community
    A statement from Linda Brown, President, and Professor Alwyn Louw, Vice-Chancellor. 1 November 2021.
     
    Over the past month, we have been in consultation with staff and students to understand how we manage COVID-19 moving forward and determine an approach to vaccination.

     

    Torrens Global Education executive has endorsed a position that provides certainty for our students, staff and extended community, and a position deeply informed by staff and student consultation, and vigorous risk assessment:

    Torrens Global Education will continue to comply with all State and Government guidance, and not mandate the vaccination as a condition of entry to our campuses for both Staff and Students, except when there are specific instructions (e.g. public health orders) from official entities.

    This means that in 2022 staff and students should expect all campuses to be fully open for learning and working, in line with government guidelines and restrictions.

    Vaccination will not be a condition of entry, except in cases where vaccination is mandated locally.

    For instance, if states mandate vaccination for specific activities, such as current requirements in NSW and VIC, this will be a condition of entry.

    Several key points stand out in our approach:

    1. 91% of our staff and 75% of our students are either fully vaccinated, or in the process of being fully vaccinated. The vast majority of our community are protected, and this will continue to grow
    2. 1,293 staff and 3,046 students participated in the survey. This is an excellent sample size
    3. We know major businesses have adopted one of two approaches – mandatory vaccination or following state mandates. We have chosen to follow state mandates, to reflect our unique footprint across states, and to take into account New Zealand and China
    4. 87.9% of people aged 16 and over in Australia have now had their first Vaccination Dose. 76.2% have had their second dose. In New Zealand, 80% of the eligible population have had their first dose
    5. There is an expectation of mandatory vaccination for international students as they return to Australia and New Zealand due to current travel requirements

    We believe the approach should provide confidence, clarity, and consistency – quite simply, it’s been our approach all along; we follow local guidelines and restrictions.  This approach has meant we have been able to focus our business locally; for example, when Melbourne and Sydney were in lockdown, we could keep our Brisbane and Adelaide campuses open and face-to-face. This principle continues. It also reflects our commitment to choice and flexibility – and in line with this, we will continue to invest and advance our online education offerings so students can choose how, when and where they learn. We will continue to strongly encourage all staff, students, and our extended community to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

    One of our core values is to Be Well, so we take the health and wellbeing of our students and staff seriously. We will always take clear measures to manage the health and safety of our campuses. Stringent COVID-safe health and hygiene protocols will be followed across all locations to reduce risk of transmission.   

  • 20 Aug 2021 | Online learning to continue in Melbourne for T3

    As we find ourselves continuing to navigate restrictions in Melbourne, we are looking ahead to the remainder of the academic year.

    We also want to provide students with certainty about what the rest of the year holds in terms of your studies.

    At this stage, it is looking unlikely the situation in Melbourne will stabilise in time for us to safely return to campus for face-to-face classes in T3.

    As always, ensuring the health and safety of our students, staff and extended community is our top priority.

    With this in mind, we have made the decision that classes will continue to be delivered online for the full duration of T3, until the end of the year.

    What does this mean for you and your studies?

    • Classes will continue to be delivered online for all of Trimester 3 (13 September-5 December)

    • As soon as restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so, we will open campuses for practical classes and applied sessions, drop-in activities and for students to make use of shared facilities.

    • We will continue this approach of online learning to ensure consistency in learning, and to provide students with certainty about the coming months. Please be assured that as soon as restrictions are lifted and it is safe to reopen campuses, students will have access to campus facilities.

    In addition to online learning continuing throughout Trimester 3, we’d like to remind you that the current lockdown in Metropolitan Melbourne will be extended until 11.59 pm on Thursday, 2 September. The full announcement is available here along with details of further restrictions and requirements that were also announced.

  • 6 Aug 2021 | Online learning to continue in Sydney for T3

    As we find ourselves continuing to navigate restrictions in Sydney, we are looking ahead to the remainder of the academic year.

    We also want to provide students with certainty about what the rest of the year holds in terms of your studies.

    At this stage, it is looking unlikely the situation in Sydney will stabilise in time for us to safely return to campus for face-to-face classes in T3.

    As always, ensuring the health and safety of our students, staff and extended community is our top priority.

    With this in mind, we have made the decision that classes will continue to be delivered online for the full duration of T3, until the end of the year.

    What does this mean for you and your studies?

    • Classes will continue to be delivered online for all of Trimester 3 (13 September-5 December)

    • As soon as restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so, we will open campuses for practical classes and applied sessions, drop-in activities and for students to make use of shared facilities.

    • We will continue this approach of online learning to ensure consistency in learning, and to provide students with certainty about the coming months. Please be assured that as soon as restrictions are lifted and it is safe to reopen campuses, students will have access to campus facilities.

    We know that for many students campus life is an important part of your higher education journey. Campus Directors and your SRC, together with the Head of Student Wellbeing and Diversity, are working together to ensure that you stay connected as a community and are there to support students throughout Trimester 3.

  • 27 May 2021 | Victoria: Additional COVIDSafe measures announced
    On 27 May 2021 the Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino announced a full circuit-breaker lockdown for seven days to contain further spread of COVID-19 in the community. The lockdown will begin at 11.59pm 27 May and applies to the entire state of Victoria. The full details of the restrictions are available here.

    Flinders St and Fitzroy campuses will be closed from 5pm on 27 May until the lockdown is lifted.

    What does the shutdown mean for your studies?

    • During this lockdown period there will be no face-to-face classes, including practicals.
    • From tomorrow, 27 May 2021, classes will be held. We will re-assess the situation weekly and give you an update each Thursday.
    • If you have face-to-face classes scheduled from 28 May to 3 June, your lecturer will reach out to you with details about how to access this class online. The same applies to any clinic classes or workshops.
    • There will be no access to any campus facilities for the next seven days as per government guidelines.

    Please be assured that you won’t miss out or fall behind. Our teaching and support staff are here to support you.

    What support is available to you?

    If you have any questions about a specific class, please reach out to your lecturer. All support services will continue to be available online. If you have any questions, you may contact the Contact Centre for further information on 1300 575 803. Fitzroy students may also contact 03 9415 3333. If you need extra support during this time, please remember you can access our online counselling services.

    Help slow the spread – please regularly check the list of exposure sites

    The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is regularly updating the list of COVID-19 exposure sites. Please stay informed and follow all health advice.

    If you have contracted COVID-19, or if you have been asked to isolate – please let us know.

    In our concerted efforts to control the spread and protect our community, it is important that you let us know if you have been directed to isolate – even if you have not been on campus. Please get in touch with your lecturer and let us know.

    What happens next?

    We will monitor the situation closely and provide further updates as it evolves.

    Please regularly check news media and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest information about the restrictions which are being introduced in Victoria.

  • 12 May 2021 | Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders

    https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/student-500/temporary-relaxation-of-working-hours-for-student-visa-holders

    To support the supply of certain services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will take a flexible approach to student visa holders, including those working beyond their usual work limitations, but only in the sectors below.

    You can work for more than 40 hours a fortnight if you are employed:

    • by an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID, before 8 September 2020
    • by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider
    • enrolled in a health care related course and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials
    • in the agriculture sector
    • in the tourism and hospitality sector

    These are temporary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be reviewed by the Government. Continue to check our website for updates on these arrangements.

    Information for students

    You must continue to balance your study and work commitments even though there is more flexibility in work hours in certain sectors. Students who work more than 40 hours per fortnight in the above sectors, must:

    • maintain their course enrolment
    • ensure satisfactory course attendance, and;
    • ensure satisfactory course progress.

    Student visa holders who cancel their enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, may be in breach of their visa conditions.

    If you are working or have an offer of employment in one of the sectors above, and you have finished your course, you may be eligible for a COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa. You can only apply for this visa 90 days before your student visa is due to expire.

    You do not need to contact us if you wish to work more than 40 hours per fortnight in one of the sectors listed above.

  • 29 March 2021 | Queensland - Greater Brisbane Lockdown

    On 29 March, the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a three-day lockdown to help control the spread of COVID-19 in the Greater Brisbane area. As a result of this lockdown, both Brisbane campuses (Bowen Terrace and Gotha St) were closed from 3pm, Monday 29 March.

    The campuses are scheduled to reopen at 8am on Tuesday 6 April. This takes into account the Easter holiday break. We will monitor the situation and provide further updates on Thursday 1 April.

    This lockdown is a reminder that the situation around COVID-19 continues to be fluid and that we must be responsive and flexible to ensure your ongoing health and safety, and that of our students. For more information about the lockdown and restrictions, please refer to the Queensland Health COVID-19 site.

    If you need extra support during this time, please remember you can access our Employee Assistance Program 24/7.

Health Advice

Reducing the transmission of COVID-19

All staff, students and visitors must follow COVID-safe protocols on any of our sites.

  • QR Code: all persons visiting our campuses must sign in via the QR code. This includes all students.
  • Stay at home: if you are unwell, stay at home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend you get tested. If you have come into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please isolate, get tested and follow local health guidelines.
  • Keep your distance: where possible, please keep at least 1.5 metres apart.
  • Wash your hands: wash your hands regularly with soap and water,or use hand sanitiser.
  • Wipe it down: wipe down surfaces before and after use with sanitiser wipes or spray and paper towel. This includes personal areas like desks, as well as any shared surfaces such as meeting rooms and kitchen benches.

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:

Frequently asked questions

  • Is vaccination mandatory for staff and students at Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School?

    Torrens Global Education (which includes Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School) has not mandated vaccination as a condition of entry to our campuses for either staff or students, except when there are specific instructions to do so from health authorities, such as public health orders mandating vaccination in specific circumstances or locations.

    We continue to strongly encourage all staff, students and our extended community to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, stringent COVID-safe health and hygiene protocols will be followed across all locations to reduce risk of transmission.

    As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue operating in accordance with government health directives and comply with all relevant public health orders. 

  • In states where vaccination is mandatory due to government regulations, can I still come to campus if I have a medical exemption?
    Yes, if vaccination is a requirement to enter campus in your state, you can still come to campus if you have a medical exemption; however, you must show proof of this exemption at the time of check-in.
  • What if I am not double vaccinated but need to speak to Student Services?
    You can contact Student Services by phone 1300 575 803 or email studentservices@torrens.edu.au. In states where vaccination is not a government requirement, you may still come onto campus to speak to Student Services if you are not double vaccinated. Torrens Global Education continues to encourage vaccination to keep our staff, students and extended community safe.
  • What if I do not feel safe to come to campus?
    Whilst we understand our staff and students will have many different feelings about coming to campus, should your program require you to complete practical sessions in order to complete your degree, you will need to follow the public health orders relevant to your state.
  • Why has the decision been made not to mandate vaccination for staff or students at Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School, beyond the mandates directed by health authorities?

    Several factors were considered while completing the risk assessment regarding our safe reopening of campuses across Australia and New Zealand:

    • Already there is a very high percentage of our staff and students either fully vaccinated or in the process of getting vaccinated.
    • By November 2021, 91% of our staff and 75% of our students are already vaccinated against COVID-19, therefore the vast majority of our community are protected. We expect this number will continue to increase over the coming months
  • What other measures are in place to ensure health and safety on campus?

    The health and safety of our staff, students and extended community are our top priority. There are a number COVID-safe strategies in place to reduce the risk of an outbreak in a Torrens Global Education workplace or study location. These include:

    • Hygiene and Cleaning: we have set up hygiene stations in facilities, we will continue to provide extra cleaning, with a particular focus on the cleaning of hard surfaces and common high use areas. 
    • QR Code: everyone visiting our Campuses must sign in via the QR code.

    Plus, actively promoting the following health measures:

      

    • Stay at home: if you are unwell, stay at home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend you get tested.
    • Face Masks: If you are not able to physically distance, we encourage you to wear a face mask. If face masks are required by state authorities, you must wear a mask unless you have an exemption

    • Keep your distance: keep at least 1.5 metres apart and follow local social distancing advice.

    • Wash your hands: wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.

    • Wipe it down: wipe down surfaces before and after use with sanitizer wipes or spray and paper towel, including personal areas like desks.

    • Training: we recommend you visit www.health.gov.au, register and the complete the module Infection Control Training – COVID-19 at the bottom of the page for additional awareness.

  • Do I need to inform the university if I test positive for COVID?

    Your privacy is of utmost importance to us and therefore you will only be required to tell the university in the following situations:

    • If you have been on campus whilst infectious
    • If you have missed an exam or compulsory practical session

    • If you have been in close contact with a fellow student or staff member

    • If you need a leave of absence as a result of your medical practitioner determining you are too unwell to continue studies at that time

    If you do test positive to COVID-19, please get in touch with your lecturer or campus director.

  • What do I do if I’ve missed an exam due to testing positive for COVID?
    Please contact your lecturer to inform them as soon as you  are able to .  A special consideration form will be provided so that you can sit your exam  at a later date  or arrange for a new date to make up the practical session.  A medical certificate will be required as part of this documentation process.
  • What happens if there is a positive COVID case on campus?
    Torrens Global Education will manage cases of COVID-19 in line with government health advice. If we are notified or become aware of confirmed cases of the virus on campuses or in the workplace, we will be guided by health authorities, carrying out all necessary measures to minimise transmission, including closure when required and appropriate cleaning.
  • NSW specific information

    NSW public health orders mandate that students on placement in health care settings must be vaccinated with first dose of a vaccine by 30 September and with a second dose required by 30 November 2021.

    For the latest information on vaccine requirements and other health guidelines in NSW,  click here.

  • VIC specific information

     There are additional requirements placed on Victorian staff and student by the public health orders.

    Students can participate in onsite learning and assessment in Victoria if they are:

    • fully vaccinated
    • medically exempt from vaccination
    • required to participate in hands-on, skills-based learning/assessments which cannot be conducted remotely.

    In addition, the following requirements are in place in Victoria:

    • onsite check in is required using QR codes and adding your COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service Victoria app
    • maintain physical distancing between staff and students, wherever possible.
    • masks are recommended inside.

    Please note masks are mandatory for students and clients attending The Practice Wellbeing Centre, unless a valid exemption applies.

    For the latest information on vaccine requirements and other health guidelines in VIC, click here

  • QLD specific information

    Vaccination is not currently a requirement for students to attend campus in Queensland. However, double vaccination is required for students on placement or working in health care settings. 

    Masks must be worn indoors while on campus.

    For the latest information on vaccine requirements and other health guidelines in QLD,  click here.

  • SA specific information

    Evidence of double vaccination is required for students on placement or working in health care settings in South Australia. Vaccination is not currently a requirement for students or staff on campus in South Australia.

    SA is under level 1 restrictions which require:

    • 3/4 density (for seated activities)
    • No communal consumption facilities
    • Masks for high risk settings
    • Masks for personal care services (except for the person receiving the service, if necessary for the provision of the personal care service)
    • Masks for passenger transport services.

    Higher education facilities may operate. SA Health has recently advised that it is safe for students and staff to attend university, TAFE and other VET institutions, and encouraged them to feel comfortable returning to attend in-person when possible.

    For the latest information on vaccine requirements and other health guidelines in SA,  click here.

Latest information from faculties and verticals

  • 24/3/2020 Update
    We have moved to online delivery of education at our Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) in Leura and the plan has been communicated directly to our Leura students.

    In order to keep our students informed, a set of FAQs has also been developed specifically for our BMIHMS students in Leura to. The FAQs are on our BMIHMS website and can be accessed here for further details.
  • 17/3/2020 Update
    Across all of our faculties and verticals, the decision has been made to deliver teaching 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 remainder of Trimester 1.

    We are committed to ensuring a learning experience online which is just as engaging and effective as face-to-face learning for our students. Our aim is for minimal disruption to the learning experience of our students.

    To help prepare for a full transition into remote delivery of classes, all face-to-face classes are cancelled this Thursday March 19 and Friday March 20. However, students can still come in 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.

    We will keep you informed of any updates or developments and please remember to keep updated on developments via this page. You can continue to access information about classes through your Student AppStudent Hub, and by speaking to your lecturers.
  • 6/3/2020 Update
    Trimester One is underway across our campuses, online, and our partner providers. You can access information about classes through your Student AppStudent Hub, and by speaking to your lecturers. We will keep you informed of any updates or developments.

Travel Info & Advice

It has been announced that eligible visa holders, including international students, will be able to travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption from 1 December 2021.

To be permitted to enter Australia international students will need to satisfy the eligibility requirements outlined in the official statement released by the Prime Minister of Australia, which can be accessed here. Importantly, students entering Australia will also be subject to the quarantine arrangements of the state/territory they are travelling to.

We are very excited to start welcoming our international students back into the country and will be in touch with more information shortly. In the meantime, please be sure to check the Department of Home Affairs website for official updates from the Australian government.

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

Our staff, students and public can access services at our various Wellbeing centres if seeking advice and counselling. The Practice Wellbeing Centres are student-led clinics operating in Brisbane (Gotha Street Campus), Sydney (Pyrmont Campus), Melbourne (Fitzroy Campus).

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, pleasecontact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact us using the details below: 
Email: feedback@torrens.edu.au
Phone: 1300 320 327

Ask about our courses

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