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09 February 2020


The health and safety of all our staff and students is paramount at the University of South Australia.

UniSA is working diligently with local and national health authorities to support the international effort to reduce the impact and spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and to support our community in what is a challenging time.

Communications to students and staff will be updated here regularly and links to relevant fact sheets from the Department of Health are also provided.

UniSA communications to staff and students 
(This material is organised chronologically – with the most recent information first)

Information Resources

For UniSA staff

For questions about upcoming travel, contact the UniSA Travel Team on 83026430
All other staff concerns related to Novel Coronavirus can be directed to People Talent and Culture
UniSA Medical Clinics at City West and City East can provide medical advice on 1300 172 996

For UniSA students

For all study questions including questions about exams, or, if you are feeling anxious or stressed and need support, please contact SEU@unisa.edu.au
UniSA Medical Clinics at City West and City East can provide medical advice on 1300 172 996

International Students needing more information from the Australian Government can contact international.students@dese.gov.au and 1300 981 621 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday)

February 18, 2.12 pm

All staff email from Chief Academic Services Officer, Professr Marie Wilson

UniSA Colleagues, 

I am writing to update you on our support for students impacted by the travel restrictions related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), and the implications for teaching and academic support in the weeks ahead.

Students who have already arrived in Australia or who are able to meet border entry requirements because they have not been in, or transited, China in the past 14 days, will be able to study on-campus. Orientation starts on Monday 24th February, classes start the week of Monday 2nd March, and the last day to enrol is 13th  March.

However, the travel restrictions, and reduced airline services mean that over 1000 of our students will not make it to Adelaide in time to start SP2 on campus. We want to welcome them back to campus, and until they can arrive in Adelaide, we are providing them with options to study flexibly or online.

The Schools and Divisions are working with UniSA International (UI), Student Administration (SAS) and the Student Engagement Unit (SEU) to offer students the opportunity to study flexibly using existing external (EXT) offerings or course sites, supplemented with online tutorials and mentoring. Students will then join the on-campus classes when they are able to travel to Adelaide.

For many students, UniSA Online is also an option, with the next UO study period commencing in April, and satisfying core or elective options in many programs. UO has offered to open more SP3 courses for single course enrolments if these are required.  

Both Flexible and Online delivery have been supported by ISTS identifying a Chinese portal option that will allow all our UniSA resources to be accessed by students in China.

I’d like to thank the fantastic teams across almost every area of the University that have worked together to ensure impacted students are able to complete secondary assessments, prepare for graduation, and progress their degrees. Dedicated teams have organised support for students in self-isolation, found new ways to enable pre-work for placements, redesigned study plans and found innovative ways to accommodate students who need our help, while dealing with thousands of communications across email and social media. 

Academic staff throughout the University are working on new study plans for these students and have access to student lists, copies of student communications, FAQs, and the support of professional central staff teams.

When we know all the courses that will be enrolling, travel restriction impacted students, additional information and support will be available to the course coordinators, and program and course support staff. We are all working together as one team to enable these students to succeed.

I have written to every student impacted by the travel restrictions to assure them that at UniSA:

“Your success in learning is our highest priority. You are very much a part of the University of South Australia and we can’t wait to welcome you to the campus and our community.”

The focus on students, the generosity of approach in responding to this health emergency, and the creative and collaborative efforts of so many of us, reminds us all, of the very things that make UniSA distinctively unstoppable.

In the days ahead, we will be welcoming almost 30,000 students to UniSA campuses and programs, while we continue to innovate to allow the students who have not made it to Adelaide yet to study, engage and succeed.

Thank you for your support in making this happen.

February 13, 5.51 pm

All staff email from the Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you on the University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak particularly in light of the Australian Government’s decision this evening to extend the current border restrictions by a further week from Saturday 15th February, and with weekly reviews thereafter.  

This is a difficult time for our students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly for those who haven’t yet been able to arrive on campus due to ongoing travel restrictions. We fully understand and appreciate the frustration of those whose study plans have been disrupted as infection controls and health measures are implemented, but as a University community we are very much looking forward to welcoming all of our students to our campuses as soon as possible.

As I have reported previously, the University has a dedicated response team working on issues related to COVID-19 and we remain in regular and direct contact with our students who are still in mainland China to work with each of them individually on their options for continuing engagement with their studies.  In terms of response, there are a number of online study options available and currently our academic staff are working with the affected students to provide them with the best path forward, in every case tailored to their individual circumstances.  We also maintaining ongoing contact with the Chinese Embassy and with our international university partners in China and liaising with the Federal Government to work through visa issues and other logistic considerations for our students.

Our Student Engagement Unit, and UniSA Health Clinics have put together a range of specific supports for those students who are impacted by requirements to self-isolate or who have other health related concerns.  Our clinics are also able to support any staff member who might have concerns.

I want to once again thank our students for their patience and for maintaining ongoing contact with us, and commend our academic and professional staff who are working diligently and innovatively to make alternative arrangements to support our affected students during this difficult time.

UniSA’s academic year will still commence as planned, with Orientation Week on the 24th February when we will welcome more than 9,000 commencing students from 75 countries onto our campus. 

We may be starting our academic year as planned, but of course it is under a different set of circumstances than we might otherwise have anticipated.  I am extremely proud of the collegiality, tolerance and sense of community that I have seen evidenced across our institution at this time, and I know that will continue to be on show in the coming weeks.

I will continue to update you on the situation as it unfolds.


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