Frequently Asked Questions

Our COVID-19 Response

Last updated Tuesday 6 October, 2020


Hauora


I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious about COVID-19, what mental health support is available for me?

There are some great tips available about managing your mental wellbeing on the Ministry of Health website. If you would like to talk to anyone about how you are feeling, you can free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.

We also have our Student Support team that can put you in touch with other trained counsellors. Please call us on 0800 355 553 from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, so we can pass you on to the right people to help you.


What support can Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offer me?

We are here to help you succeed with your education. If you would like to discuss any impacts that the current COVID-19 situation may have on your programme of study, please feel welcome to contact us so we can kōrero with you, or point you in the right direction. You can contact us on 0800 355 553, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have a particular study or personal need to discuss, please contact your local Student Support Advisor through Te Matakā.


Classroom-based programme delivery


What is happening with programme delivery?

Classes can be delivered as normal when we’re in Alert Level 1, and overnight stays as part of noho can resume.

Our continued priority is the safety and well-being of our tauira, kaimahi and their whānau:

  • Signing in: When coming on site to our campuses, we encourage tauira to sign into our Te Wānanga o Aotearoa contact tracing kiosks upon entry and exit. This can be done by scanning our QR code via the NZ COVID Tracer app.
  • Play your part: To ensure we’re doing what we can to protect ourselves, our whānau and our friends against COVID-19, we all need to play our part by following the level appropriate guidelines for social distancing, regular hand sanitising, and being vigilant with contact tracing.
  • How we will keep you up to date on any changes: We encourage tauira to please check their emails regularly for updates, and keep in contact with their kaiako/tutor, for more specific information and support services available. Important updates can also be found on our Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Facebook page.

Will I be partially refunded for my tuition fees due to the change in delivery of teaching?

No, partial refunds of tuition fees will not be provided to tauira (due to the change in the mode of delivery).

Tuition fees are set for the entire programme (irrespective of the delivery mode). Unlike some other institutions, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa does not apportion tuition fees by programme components, which might be charged separately as course related costs. It is for this reason that Te Wānanga o Aotearoa does not charge course related costs. Measures have been taken (including the extension of Early Withdrawal Period) to provide the opportunity for tauira to meaningfully engage and determine whether online delivery meets their needs, and if not, to early withdraw without cost to the tauira.


What support is available for me if I’m not confident with online learning?

We’re here to help. Online learning is a new experience for many, if you’d like support at any time of your learning journey, we have Student Support Advisors and our Tatau Pounamu Contact Centre team available to help you too.

We can walk you through any questions you have, or put you in touch with the right person that can help you. This is new territory for many of us, don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you have a question or require support with online learning, you can ask a question or phone 0800 355 553 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.


What happens if I have limited or no access to internet or an appropriate learning device?

If you need help with this, we have some options available. Please contact us on 0800 355 553 between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, so we can understand what your situation is and whether you would be suitable for a loan device or connection package to assist you with your studies with us.


What will happen with noho and one-day wānanga?

Noho and one-day wānanga can be held in Level 1 and overnight stays can resume. Your kaiako will be in contact with you, to advise what this will look like for your particular noho or one-day wānanga.


What do I do if I feel like I cannot complete my programme at the moment?

We understand that with the current COVID-19 situation, it can be an uncertain time for people. We encourage you to contact your kaiako or tutor to discuss any concerns you have about your programme workload. We’d like to support you to be able to complete your programme wherever possible. If you’re unsure how to contact your kaiako or tutor you can ask our student support team a question or call them on 0800 355 553 so we can put you in touch.


Home-based learning programmes


What do home-based learning programmes look like with the change in alert levels?

For tauira in our home-based learning programmes, your kaitiaki will continue to contact you to support you to be successful in your learning journey with us. Please continue to communicate with them via email and mobile phone and they will contact you, as required.


Withdrawals


I’m uncertain about staying enrolled. Why should I stay enrolled?

We’d love to support you through your education journey, to see you succeed. The Ministry of Education also encourages tauira to remain enrolled so they can continue to receive student allowance or living costs (if these are already being received).

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments please refer to the StudyLink website.


With my current commitments, I’d like to withdraw. How can I withdraw?

We’d love to support you to complete your programme, however if you are considering withdrawing we encourage you to talk to your kaiako or tutor in the first instance. If you wish to withdraw after that, they will advise you on how to do this.


If I withdraw, how will this affect my student loan?

If you withdraw before the ‘early withdrawal period’ which is 10% of the course duration, you are eligible for a refund of any fees you have paid; you will not have academic results entered from a programmer that you withdraw from. Download our Terms and Conditions of Enrolment document for more information.

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments please refer to the StudyLink website.


Reinstatement of Fees Free entitlement of learners affected by COVID-19

Many learners have been adversely affected by COVID-19 either by not being able to participate fully in their studies or training, or due to illness or financial hardship. This has resulted in some learners withdrawing from their study or training or not completing courses.

There is a process to reinstate Fees Free entitlements in certain circumstances. Some or all of learners’ Fees Free entitlement may be reinstated if they are an eligible learner and:

  • they withdrew from study or training due to the impact of COVID-19; or
  • their study or training was adversely affected due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) will reinstate the entitlements of learners who withdrew from 23 March to 30 June 2020, without learners needing to appeal. Learners’ entitlements will be reinstated in the next few months.

For withdrawals outside of the period from 23 March to 30 June 2020, or where learners didn’t withdraw, but their studies were adversely affected, learners can appeal their entitlement use. The Fees Free website is currently being updated and the changes will be live in August 2020. From then on, learners will be able to appeal by entering their national student number (NSN) on the homepage and completing the entitlement appeals form, on the results page.

If a learner needs to appeal before August 2020 (e.g. they have used their Fees Free entitlement and wish to enrol in a new course), please contact TEC on 0800 601 301 or email customerservice@tec.govt.nz.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to ask a question or call 0800 355 553 between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

StudyLink


How will COVID-19 impact my student allowance, living costs or student loan?

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and the Ministry of Education encourages tauira to remain enrolled so they can continue to receive student allowance or living costs (if these are already being received).

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments please refer to the StudyLink website.


Graduation


Will graduations still be going ahead as planned?

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has made the very difficult decision to cancel all graduation ceremonies planned for April and May 2020. It is with considerable regret this decision has been made but it reflects the importance Te Wānanga o Aotearoa places on the health and safety of our kaimahi, tauira, their whānau and the wider community. Twenty-two graduation ceremonies had been planned to go ahead around the motu - from April 15 in Dunedin to May 29 in Hastings. These cancellations were very disappointing for our tauira, their whānau and our kaimahi, however it was the right decision to make as a response to COVID-19 situation.


Why were graduations cancelled, rather than postponed?

As the COVID-19 situation is a fluid one, with frequent updates, we could not book venues with any certainty.


I was due to graduate in 2020, how do I get my tohu (certificate)?

All tauira qualifications will still be officially conferred and tauira will be mailed these from their takiwā Student Registry teams. We aim to send these during June.


If I’ve moved from the location I attended the programme, can I go to my nearest campus to pick up my tohu?

For those that cannot pick up their tohu from the campus they studied at, we can arrange to send this to you, once we finalise the details of when we will have the tohu ready. We will communicate more details to our tauira at a later stage.


Will there be an opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony at a later point?

Over the coming months, we will assess what options there are for our tauira who were due to graduate this year, but couldn’t due to COVID-19 precautions. We will communicate to affected tauira once a decision has been made.

Contact us

Phone 0800 355 553 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

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