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Scholarship payments, reducing your study load, noncompliant classes – 24 March 2020

Hannah Buchan, UMSU President
24 March, 2020

Here are some important updates from the University which have come in response to our efforts to lobby for immediate action on these issues.

We identified that some students were concerned that their scholarship payments, which normally are disbursed directly after census date, would be delayed due to the pushback of semester long subject census date to 30 April. The University has committed to paying these scholarships on the originally scheduled date of 17 April.

Another issue we raised was the impact on students enrolled in non-standard subjects with a census date from March 20 onwards. The University has committed to revising census dates proportionately to the changes made to the standard subject census date. That is – pushing them back by a month.

Details will be listed on the student COVID-19 pages when available.

Finally, for those international students concerned at needing to reduce your study load this semester, you can now do this and maintain your visa by providing a personal statement instead of the usual supporting documentation. You can submit a request here.  

You need to remember that reducing your study load now might extend the time it takes to graduate. That means you’ll need a new Certificate of Enrolment (CoE) – and you should make sure you request a new CoE before the current due date expires. However, there may be ways to avoid extending your course – and you can discuss a plan for your remaining subjects and catching up by completing winter and/or summer subjects with the University’s course advising team.

There are still some outstanding issues we are urging the University to address as a priority.

We know from your contacts with UMSU that some teaching staff continue to run classes and teaching activities between Wednesday and Friday this week which is not consistent with the Vice Chancellor’s announcement last night that all “teaching, learning, assessment and examinations”  this week would cease until 30 March. We have requested clarification on where these rogue teaching activities should be reported to. We will keep you posted.

We also continue to agitate for action on issues we have been raising for over a week now:

  1. Consideration of a discount or other reduction or offset to fees in lieu of the online nature of the offerings this semester; and
  2. Requests for modification of grading for subjects in Semester 1 to a pass/fail basis to protect your WAM from the difficulties presented by all of the disruptions this semester.

We will keep you posted, and won’t stop lobbying until all of these matters and any arising issues are addressed.

In the meantime, if you have concerns, please contact the Advocacy Service.