Updated Coronavirus Health Advice from the University of Newcastle, 7 February 2020

For latest information please go to https://www.newcastle.edu.au/covid-19

As the global response to coronavirus continues, our University has been working around the clock to make sure we minimise the impact of this outbreak on our staff and students.

We have no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus at our University and we continue to implement the NSW Health advice and Australian Government Travel Advice to keep our people safe and well.

We will continue with our regular University operations for Trimester 1 (which has started) and Semester 1 (starts on 24 February). In addition, we know that a significant proportion of our international students who were planning to study with us in these periods have been or will be unable to reach Australia to start their studies on time. To make sure they’re not disadvantaged by the travel restrictions, we’ve introduced flexible arrangements for Trimester 1 and Semester 1 for affected students and we’ve today communicated this to them.


Flexible Trimester

We are offering eligible affected students enrolled in Trimester 1 a flexible trimester option. This allows eligible students (those unable to reach Australia due to the restrictions) to study remotely and if they do not pass their course they will be able to enrol again without academic or financial penalty.


Flexible Semester

We are offering eligible affected students enrolled in Semester 1 a flexible semester option. This will enable impacted students to start their term after the mid-semester break in April - later than the scheduled start date for Semester 1 - and still be able to progress their studies, in time to start Semester 2 if required.  We are also working to put course materials and course work online so that affected students will be able to access them remotely. Then, when those students are able to come to Australia they will be given extra tuition at our University and allowed extra time for assessments and to study for examinations. 


These measures take considerable planning and my thanks go to our staff across the University who are working through the complex logistics of these arrangements. I know we don’t yet have all of the details finalised and work will continue in our engagement with course coordinators and faculty members, but we are working through this as quickly as possible. Ensuring we stay true to our values of equity has been the foundation of this response.


If you have any questions about these arrangements, please talk to your below faculty representative

  • Chris Scarlet for the Faculty of Science
  • Alexandra Day for the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
  • Elaine Terry for the Faculty of Health and Medicine
  • Michael Robertson for the  Faculty of Education and Arts
  • Daniel Nyberg for the Faculty of Business and Law


If you need any assistance regarding coronavirus and your health or that of your staff, please email healthandsafety@newcastle.edu.au


Further updates will be published at www.newcastle.edu.au/alerts


Previous advice 30 January 2020:

  1. People who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province. 
  2. People who have been in contact with confirmed novel Coronavirus must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure.
  3. People may leave their home to attend medical care.   If you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms, please call your local Emergency Department for advice.


Any student who has been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days should immediately notify Professor Liz Burd via email at Liz.Burd@newcastle.edu.au and to remain in their home until the 14 day period has passed. The University will be in contact with anyone impacted to provide support and advice as necessary.

This advice is highly precautionary, however to support our students, staff and community we are implementing this updated recommendation effective from today. Please note that unless a student member meets one of the conditions above, they will be accepted to continue with activities as normal.

More information and contacts

Further updates will be published at www.newcastle.edu.au/alerts
We have also uploaded a series of FAQs to AskUON. These will also be updated as required.
Should you have further questions or require advice:

Students: If you are affected by the situation relating to Coronavirus, please email specialcircumstance@newcastle.edu.au.
The dedicated response team will be able to assist you in managing your study commitments during this time.


Professor Alex Zelinsky AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
The University of Newcastle