VU's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Victoria University (VU) has been taking decisive action to help keep the VU community safe since the escalation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our key focus is always the safety, health and wellbeing of our students, staff and families.

VU’s Incident Management Team, supported by a number of coordinated groups, continue to respond quickly as the situation evolves.

VU has formed a special taskforce which is overseeing our Transition to Campus Strategy and Framework. The taskforce has created the University's COVIDSafe Plan, which presents a process for the gradual and safe transition to campus of all members of the University community, in line with the Commonwealth government’s 3-step framework for a COVIDSafe Australia.

As with other tertiary providers, VU is adhering to directions and advice from Australian and State Governments. As Government directions change, VU will continue to provide students and staff with support to meet their individual circumstances.

What we are doing:

  • Responding quickly to Government advice and directions.
  • Keeping the VU community informed of important developments through these FAQs and other forms of communication.
  • Implementing measures to mitigate an outbreak, including measures around health, hygiene, and general wellbeing of the VU community.
  • Continuing to plan for potential scenarios and impacts to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
  • Providing support where possible to any students or staff that are impacted by coronavirus. To assist us, students and staff can voluntarily complete the coronavirus voluntary reporting webform if they have been tested for coronavirus or have had direct contact with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.

What we have done:

  • Moved to digitally supported remote course delivery where practical and possible.
  • Launched the COVID-19 Student Support Fund to provide emergency financial assistance to students in need.
  • Suspended or cancelled all on-campus events, gatherings and activities.
  • Closed onsite library services and limited access to campus buildings.
  • Ceased all international and domestic work-related travel until further notice.
  • Increased onsite cleaning, hand sanitisers and promotion of good hygiene.
  • Adhered to and promoted social distancing principles.
  • Continued VU services and functions by supporting staff to work remotely, as well as other options that best suit individual staff circumstances.

If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19, please isolate immediately, get tested and remain in isolation until the results of that test are known. To report a confirmed positive COVID-19 case to VU, email [email protected] or call +61 3 9919 6398.

Students

You can access the student counselling services.

All of our regular channels of support remain open for students who need assistance:

Staff & immediate family members

You can access free confidential counselling support through VU’s Employee Assistance Program Provider Access EAP:

Safety on campus

Some areas of the University are open for essential and prioritised on-campus activities. These areas have been made COVIDSafe but also require the users to follow the University's COVIDSafe principles and practices.

Mask-wearing indoors and physical distancing (1.5m) is expected in these areas and will be monitored by Security.

During this time, please respect the job of Security as they ensure the health and safety of you and other students in our community.

VU has implemented a number of COVID Safe measures to keep the University community safe, including:

  • Increased cleaning in public spaces.
  • Distribution of hand sanitiser.
  • Displaying correct hand-hygiene posters throughout all campuses.
  • Encouraging social distancing and working from home where possible.
  • Promoting the guidelines announced by the Federal Government (where it is appropriate or practical to do so).
  • Developed a COVID Safe Induction Module for staff and students.
  • Developed a Daily COVID Screening tool on the VUSafe App, to support our Contact Tracing Protocols.

As currently required by the Victorian Government, all individuals permitted to attend campus must wear a face covering unless an exemption applies.

We have established a campus-wide response plan in the event that anyone presents with symptoms of the condition.

If anyone, student or staff, has concerns about the health status of another person at the University, they should contact Security at the number below, who will arrange first aid assistance and follow appropriate protocols.

To report concerns on campus, call +61 3 9919 6666.

For general enquiries relating to COVID-19, call +61 3 9919 6398.

Sports programs are recommencing subject to the Victorian Government's restrictions for this industry.

Read more about opening details for sport facilities and programs at VU or contact [email protected]

Join an online class

VU Thrive has gone online, offering a range of remote sport and fitness programs for adults and kids.

If anyone, student or staff, has concerns about the health status of another person at the University, they should contact Security at the number below. Security will arrange first aid assistance and follow appropriate protocols.

Security can also help with queries about unsafe facilities or on-campus environments.

To report concerns on campus, call +61 3 9919 6666.

For general enquiries relating to COVID-19, call +61 3 9919 6398.

VU will provide support where possible to any students or staff that are impacted by coronavirus.

To assist us, students and staff are able to voluntarily provide details of situations where they have had:

  • direct contact with a person who has a confirmed case of coronavirus; or
  • have had a test for coronavirus (positive, negative or no result back yet).

Reporting is voluntary. There is no obligation for students or staff to notify VU. This information will be used to assist VU to provide support to students and staff and assist VU working with the Department of Health and Human Services, if contact tracing is required.

Assist VU by voluntarily reporting your situation to [email protected] or call 9919 6398, providing details of situations where you have had direct contact with a person who has a confirmed case of coronavirus, or have been tested for coronavirus (positive, negative or no result back yet).

All Victoria University students, staff, contractors and visitors are expected to comply with the Victorian Government direction. These requirements will change over time.

Each person will be required to supply their own face covering unless a specific mask is required in a lab or other specific learning area/task. The University will provide any task/lab specific masks, including those for staff and students conducting off-campus approved activities, as required.

The face covering must cover the person’s mouth and nose. The recommendation from the Victorian Chief Health Officer is to use a cloth (reusable) facemask. The use of single use disposable masks is a second preference, with the use of a scarf or bandana not permitted. Face shields can be worn, but must be worn with a facemask, unless exemptions apply.

Facemasks do not need to be worn when outside. Whilst facemasks are not now mandated by the Victorian Government, the University requires staff and students to wear a facemask in situations where physical distancing of 1.5 metres is not possible (indoors and outdoors), unless an exemption applies. 

The return to campus is overseen by the Transition to Campus Working Group. Returning to campus is being implemented in a safe and controlled manner. To ensure the safety of the VU community and the services we provide. This integrated approach will ensure that services such as IT services can support the return without delays being experienced due to increased service calls to set up equipment or work areas.

Victoria University understands that people will have different circumstances and as such students with concerns should speak firstly with their course coordinator or can also discuss their concerns with student services or student welfare. Staff should discuss their concerns with their manager.

Students: Details of how to return to campus can be accessed by contacting your course coordinator.

Staff: details of how to apply to return to campus can be accessed by contacting your manager.

Official government information & advice

Leading authorities have compiled a range of resources to keep us informed about coronavirus (COVID-19).

VU is continuing to closely follow advice from the Australian and State Governments in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19). We encourage you to view the following government sources for the latest and most up-to-date official information about coronavirus.

Health advice

Education advice

International student advice

A dedicated Victorian Government email and hotline has been set up for international students:

The following sources also provide advice and support to international students:

Financial advice

  • Working for Victoria is an initiative to help Victorians find new work opportunities.
  • Rent relief offers assistance to eligible Victorians who are experiencing rental hardship due to COVID-19.

Official coronavirus (COVID-19) info & advice

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline

1800 675 398

Coronavirus information in languages other than English

131 450

Western Region Emergency Relief Services

The Western Region Emergency Services guide provides contact details for a wide range of support services in the west. It includes contact details for the following services:

  • housing and homelessness
  • family violence
  • emergency relief
  • extreme hardship support
  • food services
  • financial counselling
  • youth services
  • utilities.

If you live in the west of Melbourne and need to access any of these services, please refer to Western Region Emergency Relief Services – COVID-19 update.

Staff FAQ list

A full list of FAQ for staff are available on the People and Culture intranet page (login may be required if offsite). Staff are encouraged to monitor their VU email accounts for further updates.