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Studying during COVID-19

Your learning experiences in 2021 have been designed to include opportunities for student-teacher, student-student and student-industry interaction and collaboration, regardless of whether you are studying online or on-campus.

The University of Southern Queensland continues to follow the advice of the Queensland Chief Health Officer's public health direction regarding COVID-19.

Under this directive, Universities must ensure:

  • large lectures only seat one person per 4m2
  • social distancing is observed wherever possible.

Smaller education and teaching sessions, including group seminars, tutorials, and practical's and lab-based lessons, are not subject to the one-person per 4m2 rule.

 
These changes will not impact on your progression into future courses and have been made to keep you and your networks of family and friends as safe as possible. The specific details about changes that affect your courses will be provided on your course StudyDesk. Please continue to check StudyDesk regularly for updates as well as your student email (UMail).  

The University’s primary concern continues to be the health and safety of our staff and students. Please ensure you keep up to date with the latest coronavirus information for the USQ community. If you think you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, please follow the self-isolation instructions and seek medical advice by contacting your General Practitioner or the USQ Health and Wellness Team by emailing student.success@usq.edu.au or by phoning +61 7 4631 2372.

Please see the Frequently asked questions (FAQs) below for information on the latest changes, in line with updates and direction from the Australian Government about COVID-19.

Support for study

In 2021, there will be no on-campus or face-to-face lectures. If you are enrolled in an on-campus course and you have a lecture scheduled in your timetable, this activity will be conducted online.

Other on-campus activities such as seminars, workshops and tutorials that appear in your timetable may be delivered on-campus or online. Your StudyDesk will provide information about how the learning activities for your course will be delivered.

You will be required to attend on-campus activities where they are necessary to successfully complete your course. These may include practical classes, residential schools, labs or studios. In addition, some courses will provide optional and additional on-campus learning activities to give you opportunities to engage with course content, teaching staff, and your student colleagues.

Exams will be conducted online in 2021.

Practical, professional and performance-related assessment may be held on-campus.

Oral assessment may be conducted face-to-face or online.

All online assessment conducted during the formal examination period will be timetabled.

You can request an extension to the assignment deadline of up to five days by providing us with a student statement outlining the circumstances that are preventing you from submitting your assignment on time.

Requests for assignment extensions should be submitted through the Assignment Extension Request Form. We will consider your application for an assignment extension at any time up until the deadline published in your StudyDesk. However, we advise you to submit your application at least 24 hours prior to the deadline, as this will help ensure a decision on your application is made prior to the deadline.

If you’d like more information, please contact our Student Support team.

USQ Libraries are operating under COVID Safe protocols to keep you safe. You can find out more about study spaces, accessing 24 hour computer labs and online study support in addition to the Library Opening Hours for more information.

If you need a more support, please contact us.

To protect you and our staff, some of our face to face reception areas are closed. We will continue to provide all of our services virtually.

You can contact the Student Support team on chat, through email and on the phone between the hours of 8am - 8pm Monday to Thursday, on Friday from 8am - 5pm and from 12pm - 5pm on weekends.

You can visit the iconnect team at USQ Toowoomba in the Refectory, Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm or online 7 days a week - check out their online services and opening hours. The USQ Springfield iconnect team is available on-campus in the Atrium of B Block, and on-campus in the library at USQ Ipswich in H Block.

Yes the 24-hour labs remain open. Please note that some computers may be unavailable at this time due to complying with government regulations of maintaining a 1.5m distance. The following 24 hour labs are currently operational:

  • Ipswich - H208
  • Springfield - A110A and A116
  • Toowoomba - C305

Printers are currently operational in and around each campus.

You also have access to print services for course work, assignments, study notes via Print Express and printing will be mailed out to you.

Education placements

Our placement partners are continuing to support these important activities and professional placements will continue unless otherwise advised. If a scheduled placement is cancelled, USQ will let you know and we will reschedule cancelled placements to the earliest available time in 2021.

If a placement is rescheduled, USQ will apply an incomplete grade (IDM) when results are finalised at the end of Semester. The IDM grade will not impact on your HECS-HELP or fee obligations.  Importantly, all activities completed prior to the cancellation will contribute towards your final grade.

If your circumstances mean you need to withdraw from your placement, please contact us first and let us know so we can make sure the hours you have completed can count towards your course or program requirements.

Please check your StudyDesk regularly for updated information or contact our Student Support team

Education placements

We ask that at all times you please practice appropriate social distancing, in line with the Australian Government’s social distancing guidance.

If at any stage your placement is interrupted by a site closure, a decision to self-isolate or need to undertake carer’s duties, please contact the placement office by emailing Bela.Placements@usq.edu.au or by phoning +61 7 4631 2359.

As a student at USQ yours and your family's well being is the University's main priority.

The Professional Experience team together with the Professional Experience Director will work with you to create an individualised plan, which will come at a later date if you decide to self-isolate, undertake carer's duties or the site closes.

Please be assured that USQ has developed strategies to minimise the impact of an interruption should it occur, and all students will be able to progress toward their next semester as currently planned.

If at any stage your placement is interrupted by a site closure, a decision to self-isolate or need to undertake carer’s duties, please contact the placement office by emailing Bela.Placements@usq.edu.au or by phoning +61 7 4631 2359.

Yes, any full days completed will be counted.
All placement must be completed onsite and social distancing rules adhered to.

If your placement is interrupted by a site closure, the Professional Experience team together with the Professional Experience Director will collaborate with you to develop an alternative placement plan that accommodates your future personal circumstances.

The University is not able to advise students how to respond to their work and personal circumstances in relation to their placement interruption.

USQ has no plans to cancel scheduled placements for 2021, and they are proceeding as planned.

If a student’s placement is interrupted by a site closure, self-isolation or carer duties the Professional Experience team together with the Professional Experience Director will collaborate with you to develop an alternative placement plan that accommodates your future personal circumstances.

If at any stage your placement is interrupted by a site closure, a decision to self-isolate or need to undertake carer’s duties, please contact the placement office by emailing Bela.Placements@usq.edu.au or by phoning +61 7 4631 2359.

Health, Engineering and Science placements

Information for students in the Greater Brisbane region

Please visit the Placements affected in the Greater Brisbane area page for information on placements impacted by the Greater Brisbane area lock down from Friday 8 January 6.00pm - Monday 11 January 6.00pm.

All other placements

Our placement partners are continuing to support these important activities and professional placements will continue unless otherwise advised. If a scheduled placement is cancelled, USQ will let you know and we will reschedule cancelled placements to a later stage.

If a placement is rescheduled, USQ will apply an incomplete grade (IDM) when results are finalised at the end of Semester. The IDM grade will not impact on your HECS-HELP or fee obligations. Importantly, all activities completed prior to the cancellation will contribute towards your final grade.

If your circumstances mean you need to withdraw from your placement, please contact us first and let us know so we can make sure the hours you have completed can count towards your course or program requirements.

Please check your StudyDesk regularly for updated information or contact our Student Support team.

Engineering Work Experience is continuing for most students.

Your safety is our key priority, so you should continue to comply with all relevant Department of Health guidelines and those of the organisation where you are working.

Should your Host Company cancel or suspend your placement due to a resurgence in COVID-19, please contact the Placements Team and provide the following details:

  • Name, Student Number, Contact phone number and email address
  • Host company and contact details (including contact person phone number/email address)
  • The date the placement will/did cease and how many days of work experience are completed

Your course examiner has put together a work experience completion guideline document that will assist you with how best to proceed in your situation. This has been added to your work experience StudyDesk site.

Placements will continue for most students. To date, most of our partners who provide placements are continuing to support these important learning activities.

The situation with COVID-19 is continually changing all over Australia and we are aware of the impact that it may have had on your study and placement planning. We can assure you that our Human Services team are working with external agencies to source suitable placements for you in 2021.

If for any reason, one of your scheduled placements is cancelled, it will be moved to another facility organised by the Practicum Coordinator. This will not impact your grades, HECS or fee obligations, and the work you have completed to date will still contribute to your final grade in these courses.

Placements are continuing for most students and our placement partners are supporting us with the backlog of placements due to COVID-19 cancellations.

We are in the process of sourcing placements for students who are yet to complete their placement requirements from 2020. These students will be given priority as we are offered placements from our partners.

Please be aware that placement dates may not align with the advertised placement blocks as we must be flexible with the availability of our partners to accommodate student placements.

In the scenario where you are not allocated a placement until later in the year, you will be awarded an incomplete grade (IDM) at the end of the semester. This will not impact on your HECS or fee obligations, and the work you have completed to date will still contribute to your final grade in these courses.

Clinical placements will continue for most students. To date, most of our partners who provide placements are continuing to support these important learning activities.

If for any reason, one of your scheduled placements is cancelled, it will be rescheduled to later in the semester/year. In the scenario where it is later in the year, you will be awarded an incomplete grade (IDM) at the end of first semester. This will not impact on your HECS or fee obligations, and the work you have completed to date will still contribute to your final grade in these courses.

We understand that these are uncertain and difficult times for many of you. Some of this uncertainty may relate to your studies, with particular focus on the security of your clinical placements, and your ability to continue the same.

Firstly, can we reassure you that the Professional Placement Office and the School of Nursing and Midwifery are aware of the current circumstances and working hard responding to these changing circumstances as they unfold.

Loss of placement

Unfortunately, some student’s placements may be cancelled by facilities as a result of COVID-19 precautionary measures.

In the situation that your placement is cancelled, you will be advised via email immediately in addition to your course coordinator to ensure that your grades are not negatively impacted.

You can be assured that our Placements office will be working with your Associate Head (Clinical) on sourcing placements for all those impacted as soon as possible. We will endeavour to provide further information to all those impacted as soon as possible.

Clinical placements will continue for most students. To date, most of our partners who provide placements are continuing to support these important learning activities.

If for any reason, one of your scheduled placements is cancelled, it will be rescheduled to later in the semester/year. In the scenario where it is later in the year, you will be awarded an incomplete grade (IDM) at the end of first semester. This will not impact on your HECS or fee obligations, and the work you have completed to date will still contribute to your final grade in these courses.

We understand that these are uncertain and difficult times for many of you. Some of this uncertainty may relate to your studies, with particular focus on the security of your clinical placements, and your ability to continue the same.

Firstly, can we reassure you that the Professional Placement Office and the School of Nursing and Midwifery are aware of the current circumstances and working hard responding to these changing circumstances as they unfold.

Loss of placement

Unfortunately, some student’s placements may be cancelled by facilities as a result of COVID-19 precautionary measures.

In the situation that your placement is cancelled, you will be advised via email immediately in addition to your course coordinator to ensure that your grades are not negatively impacted.

You can be assured that our Placements office will be working with your Associate Head (Clinical) on sourcing placements for all those impacted as soon as possible. We will endeavour to provide further information to all those impacted as soon as possible.

USQ is working hard to prioritise your requirements for completion, especially in the area of clinical placements.

In your Final Semester of Study?

If you are in your final semester of study, organising clinical placements for you is our priority, and over the coming weeks we will be in touch with you to confirm your final placement/s. If you have any hours owing from previous clinical placements, it would be very helpful if you could forward that information now, so we can include those hours in our planning.

Placements are continuing for most students however, all placements are subject to change should there be a resurgence in COVID-19.

If for any reason, one of your scheduled placements is cancelled, it will be rescheduled later in the semester/year based on QAS availability of stations and their PPE provisions, therefore you may not be allocated to the station you were attending previously.

In the scenario where it is later in the year, you will be awarded an incomplete grade (IDM) at the end of the semester. This will not impact on your HECS or fee obligations, and the work you have completed to date should still contribute to your final grade in these courses.

The USQ Ipswich and Toowoomba Psychology clinics are fully operational and offer Telehealth and face to face therapy and assessment sessions with USQ postgraduate students with no current disruptions to placement progression.

Most other external partners who provide placements are continuing to support these important learning activities.

If for any reason, one of your scheduled placements is cancelled, it will be moved to another facility organised by the Practicum Coordinator. This will not impact your grades, HECS or fee obligations, and the work you have completed to date will still contribute to your final grade in these courses.

If for any reason, one of your scheduled placements is cancelled, it will be rescheduled to later in the semester/year.

In the scenario where it is later in the year, you will be awarded an incomplete grade (IDM) at the end of first semester. This will not impact on your HECS or fee obligations, and the work you have completed to date will still contribute to your final grade in these courses.

Loss of placement

Unfortunately some students' placements have been cancelled by facilities as a result of COVID-19 precautionary measures.

In the situation that your placement is cancelled, you will be advised via email immediately in addition to your course coordinator to ensure that your grades are not negatively impacted.  

Please get in contact with your course coordinator, Ursula Kennedy to discuss when you may be able to reschedule your placement with your host company at a later date.

Placements will continue for most students. To date, most of our partners who provide placements are continuing to support these important learning activities.

COVID-19 had a real impact on sport and exercise placements in 2020, and we may experience times in the future when placement facilities may be forced to close. If this happens, your placement will be placed 'on hold' and you will be notified when you can resume your placement. In some cases a new placement site may need to be sourced. The Placement Coordinator will keep you informed. While on placement, you must follow all health and safety regulations and COVID-19 safe plans as directed by the placement site.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the list of mandatory pre-placement requirements has been extended. All sport and exercise placement students will now need to also complete the following prior to attending placement:

  • complete Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) Evidence Form;
  • complete the COVID-19 Infection Control Training module
  • complete the COVID-19 Student Placement Declaration

Mandatory face-to-face activities

Semester 1, commences on 22 February 2021, when you are back on-campus, please keep in mind that it is everyone's personal responsibility to adhere to social distancing requirements and good hygiene practices at all times. Doing so will help ensure you and your family and friends remain healthy and will protect the health and safety of all USQ students, staff and our community.

You are encouraged to download the Government's COVIDSafe app and also the USQ SafeZone App. Please do your part to ensure the University can continue to offer classes and services on campus for the remainder of this year.

Support services and wellness

Disability support services are available online Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm.

To access disability support, contact a Student Equity Officer by booking an appointment through USQ Access, emailing student.success@usq.edu.au or by phoning +61 7 4631 2372.

The The USQ Health service is open on Toowoomba Campus Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Ipswich Campus on Wednesday 9am-5pm. Currently our Springfield service has been temporarily suspended. 

The USQ Health Service can facilitate Telehealth appointments should you be unable to attend campus.

To make an appointment please contact us on 0746312372. All students will continue to be bulk billed to Medicare or direct billed to their OSHC provider.

Springfield patients are encouraged to contact Stellar Medical, Commercial Drive, Springfield on 07 3818 2277 for pathology or vaccination appointments.

Our Wellness and Counselling team continue to offer support to students by providing appointments to students face to face, zoom and telephone as well email counselling.  Appointments are available on all three campuses.

 

Appointments can be booked through USQ Access, emailing student.success@usq.edu.au or by phoning +61 7 4631 2372.

USQ Careers and Employability are here to support you in managing your career through these difficult times.

We offer career counselling appointments, job seeking support services including resume and online interview assistance and a broad range of career related resources.

As we become aware of positions that become available, these are posted on the Jobs Board on USQ Access, so remember to check this out if you are seeking employment.

We're also online to support you from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Appointments can be booked online through USQ Access, via email to careers@usq.edu.au or by phoning +61 7 4631 2372.

The Scholarships team are available online Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm.

To get in touch please email scholarships@usq.edu.au

Campus and facilities information

Omnia Bookshop Toowoomba, Ipswich and Springfield are now open to the public:

Toowoomba Bookshop – 8.30 am to 4.00 pm
Ipswich Bookshop – 7.30 am – 3.00 pm
Springfield Bookshop – 7.30 am - 3.00 pm

Updated 16 June

Residential Colleges will have reduced capacity for Semester Two, 2020, with availability at McGregor College and Steele Rudd College only. It is important to highlight that campus life, teaching and the student experience will be considerably different to ensure your health, safety and wellbeing.

Both self-catered and catered meal packages are available, however there will be limited accessibility to common spaces. It is recommended that 14 or 21 meal packages are opted for, as you may not be able to access cooking facilities as needed. McGregor College Dining Hall will offer seated meals, with social distancing, additional safety and hygiene measures and maximum capacity restrictions, in place. The Accommodation website outlines all the necessary information regarding accommodation fees. 

Limited social events will be facilitated, and no large gatherings will occur, including college formals and the annual Intervarsity competition. Social gatherings will be reduced to meet current health guidelines, including maximum capacities for indoor shared spaces (i.e. recreation halls, common rooms). Residential Shield activities will continue to be held however alternative arrangements will be made, especially for sports involving contact (i.e. online delivery). Overnight stay-of-guests will not be permitted.

The University continues to monitor, review and implement government requirements and health advice regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure a safe environment. For the interim, appropriate measures will remain in place and residents will be updated as changes occur.

For more general information on residential colleges, please visit the USQ Accommodation website, email accommodation@usq.edu.au or phone +61 7 4631 2650.

The inter-campus shuttle bus is running as per the normal timetable.

Appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers. In accordance with social distancing guidelines.

Check out the Inter-campus shuttle bus timetable for information on changes and cancellations.

Springfield

Omnia - Springfield
Phone: (07) 3470 4249
Open: 7.30am - 3.00pm Monday to Friday 

Ipswich

Omnia - Ipswich
Phone: (07) 3812 6017
Open: 7.30am - 3.00pm Monday to Friday

Toowoomba

The Toowoomba on-campus caterers, CCP, will remain open for takeaway orders in the Refectory, and are also delivering frozen family-size meals to the Toowoomba area. Please phone 4636 0043 or 0476 047 825 for further information.

Please note that no tables or seating are available and social distancing practices must be respected whilst ordering and once you have received your order.

Campus Catering is closed permanently as of 31st December 2020, another food outlet will open in its place but nothing is confirmed in regards to this yet.
Bounce needs to be contacted in regards to their hours as they are separate to us.

 

 

Members are still able to access all campus gyms 24/7.

All Multi-Faith spaces are now operational.

(With the exception of the ablution facilities in the Islamic prayer room at the Toowoomba campus)

The Post Office remains open with social distancing guidelines implemented. 

Heritage Bank have closed their Toowoomba campus branch.

Justices of the Peace are available each Wednesday from 12.00pm-2.00pm to certify copies of original documents or witness documents. A JP can be found on:

  • USQ Toowoomba - R Block inside refectory
  • USQ Springfield - Building B atrium

No appointments are necessary; however please ensure you bring proof of identification and a pen with you.

International students

As an international student, you have access to all of our support services. We're currently working on more ways to support you and will be sending further information to all of our students soon.

Contact us with your questions

Your Student Relationship Officers are here to answer any questions you may have, via Live Chat or by emailing usq.support@usq.edu.au.

Our iconnect team are also offering Zoom sessions where you can talk to our staff online face-to-face. They'll help to answer any questions you have or connect you with the right person.

Health and wellness

The Health and Wellness Team are available to support you online through these difficult times. To make an online appointment with a team member, email student.success@usq.edu.au.

Online Student Hub

The Queensland Student Hub aims to improve the wellbeing of international students by connecting them to local welfare services including mental health counselling, English language support, visa information and accommodation services.

The hub is accessible via an app developed by Queensland edtech innovator Vygo.

There is a list of registered entities calling for international students to apply for work positions as part of adjusted work arrangements declared during COVID-19.

Home Affairs has provided the comprehensive list.

Home Affairs has also clarified that student visas will not be extended. Students will have to make a new application.

Visit the Home affairs website to find out more.

Please let us know if you need help accessing technology.
Please visit the Overseas student health cover website for information on your health cover including a Bupa Fact Sheet with answers to commonly asked questions.

International students will only be granted a leave of absence for compassionate and compelling circumstances.

International students who wish to apply for a leave of absence must complete a Leave of Absence Form - International form and provide supporting documentation in accordance with the assessment of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Procedure.

Please submit the form and your supporting documentation via email to is.support@usq.edu.au for your application to be assessed.

Any periods of leave for international students must be reported by USQ to the Department of Home Affairs.

International students who are studying in Australia on a student visa are required to maintain a full time enrolment each Academic year. This will allow you to complete your program in the time specified on your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE).

If circumstances arise that affect your ability to undertake a full time enrolment load that is required, you must complete a Reduced Study Load form online via:

  1. Log into UConnect
  2. Student Centre
  3. Online Requests tile
  4. Reduced Study Load menu item

You must include supporting documentation with your application and submit at least 5 days prior to the last day to drop for the Semester you are applying for.

Please be aware that being enrolled in less than a full-time study load without an approved Reduced Study Load can affect your eligibility for a CoE extension in the future.

Reviewed 13 January 2021

Students who drop a course on or before the semester census date, as per the important dates will not be liable for the course fees.

You can request a refund of your credit balance by completing the relevant Request for Refund form. Your completed form should be emailed to the address listed at the top of the form. Refunds are normally processed within 10 University business days.

 

If you have paid your fees upfront and drop a course on or before the census date, the course fee will be reversed and applied to your student account as a credit. Any available credit will automatically be applied to your invoice when you next enrol.

For more information, visit the Refund of fees page.

Research students

Staff from the Graduate Research School (GRS) will continue to work during this period to provide you with support and will provide information updates relevant to HDR Students as they become available.

We recommend that our HDR students stay up to date and monitor the website, and stay in touch with the GRS through the HDR student forum and the USQ Higher Degree By Research Student Zone Facebook group for updates from the GRS.

Students can also access the Graduate Research School website for information concerning their studies.

Email enquiries
Emails will continue to be monitored and all queries should be sent to grs@usq.edu.au.

You will need to complete the Return to Campus Expression of Interest form. On-campus space is still limited by COVID safe provisions, so it may take some time before you are invited back onto campus. When you are notified of that, you will need to return with any and all USQ equipment that was loaned to you when you transitioned to work from home.

All USQ Research spaces are continually adapting to meet the compliance requirements of the most recent social distancing advice from the Queensland Government. Access to laboratories and equipment is currently limited to essential personnel, with some facilities managing access requests via online booking systems. Before accessing any research facility, space or equipment, prior written approval is required form your supervisor, along with an approved risk management plan (RMP) for the work you wish to undertake. Each research facility, space or workshop will also have specialised induction requirements that you must complete before access can be granted. For more information, please contact Research Infrastructure Operations
If you are leading a research project, which is being funded externally, and are concerned of any adverse interruptions that may impact on your ability to meet your milestones as a result of COVID-19, please contact either your Centre Director or the Research Projects team – CM-RI@usq.edu.au

Researchers can continue to receive support for the development and progression of research contracts through the Contract Management – Research and Innovation team. Contact CM-RI@usq.edu.au

Support for research reporting continues as usual. Contact rpas@usq.edu.au.
Researchers can continue to get support for preparing and submitting funding applications through the Research Grants team. Contact ResearchGrantsOoR@usq.edu.au.
Your supervisory team will continue to be available via email, Zoom, and/or telephone. Please stay in regular contact with your supervisors to discuss ways to minimise the disruption to your studies.

All confirmation seminars will be in the form of online meetings conducted via Zoom. No room bookings will be made for these sessions.

Further details are available on the Working towards your confirmation of candidature page under the oral presentation tab.

Researchers can continue to apply for research ethics during this time. Please see the Ethics website for further information.
Support from eResearch Services will continue. Email is the most effective way to communicate with eResearch Services by contacting Dr Francis Gacenga, Manager (eResearch).
Due to travel restrictions and government advice the GRS is currently not in the position to support internships that are based overseas. Applications for domestic internships will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Support for you

USQ support teams are available to support you during this time.

Get in touch