Category Archives: Updates from UC staff

Important information for students from UC staff.

POLL | Sitting tests and exams during the Mid-year Examination Period: 8 – 20 June

We understand that this is a challenging time for our students, so we are looking at ways to help make the upcoming Examination Period as smooth as possible.

Arrangements are being made for students who need a quiet space while sitting their exams or tests. A booking system may be put in place to allow us to allocate space to those who need this.

To give us an idea of your needs over the Examination Period, please express your interest in the poll below. 


Thank you for your feedback, we will be providing more information through Insider’s Guide next week. 

EMAIL | UC Campus re-opens as we move to Alert Level 2 (teaching and learning remains online for Term 2)

Kia ora koutou,

The Government announced today that Aotearoa New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 at Thursday 14 May and UC campus will be re-open for students. A Tertiary Education Commission bulletin provides important information for students, read more here>.

Whilst campus will be open, UC will continue to deliver undergraduate lectures (and taught postgraduate) lectures, tutorials, laboratories and assessments online for the remainder of Semester 1 (including exams from 8 to 20 June) – there is no change to this.

UC’s priority continues to be the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, while supporting the Government in eradicating COVID-19 from New Zealand.

Thanks to everyone who responded to the short survey we sent out last week. Your feedback has helped us to prepare for Alert Level 2 and given us a good understanding of what’s important for you to feel safe returning to campus.

Full details are available on the UC webpage Covid-19: Access to campus under Alert Level 2.

The principles of Alert Level 2 at UC

  • Campus will be open to students and staff at Alert Level 2 from Thursday 14 May. Safety measures including location tracking (to support contact tracing measures), physical distancing, hygiene and health and safety protocols will be in place.
  • Students may choose to return to campus in Semester 1 where this will be beneficial to your studies (e.g. to access workstations or research data; use warm and quiet spaces to study; access specialist equipment etc).
  • People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or those caring for/living with people in this category, are encouraged to stay home. UC will work with students and staff to ensure their individual needs are met. If you are at high risk and haven’t already done so, please fill in the return to campus survey and a staff member will follow up with you.
  • Canterbury Cards and QR codes will be used for location tracking. See further details below.
  • UC must be prepared to manage a COVID-19 outbreak on campus in line with Ministry of Health guidance.
  • If you are unwell please do not come to campus – play it safe and stay home.

Physical distancing
When onsite, students and staff should aim to maintain physical distancing of 1 metre from each other (the length of a guitar).

Whenever possible, stairways should be used instead of a lift. If lifts are used, each person should stand in the corners of the lift to allow physical distancing of at least 1 metre. Please follow instructions on signage within the lifts.

Cleaning and hygiene

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Put used tissues into the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds) and dry thoroughly.
  • Additional cleaning, germ shield application and hand sanitiser will continue to be provided, particularly in high use areas.
  • The UC central cleaning team will keep main areas clean and sanitising regularly.

Location tracking (supporting contact tracing measures)
UC is required by the Government to implement processes for location tracking so data can be logged and used for contact tracing if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus.

All students and staff will be required to scan either your Canterbury Card or a QR code with your mobile phone when entering buildings and spaces around campus.

We will use QR codes to record entry into buildings and larger spaces. Please pre-register to avoid congestion on campus – instructions are here. Posters around campus will support the use of QR codes. You are also encouraged to keep a personal log of movements as well.

Posters outlining this process will be clearly visible around campus.

If you need to get a replacement Canterbury Card, phone UC Security on 0800 823 637 to make a time to get one. Note the replacement fee will be waived.

UC Library
The number of people allowed in the Puaka-James Hight Central Library will be limited to 500 during Alert Level 2. Everyone entering the library must scan the QR code provided and use their Canterbury Card.

The 1 metre physical distancing rule will be strictly enforced in the library. Expect it to be a bit like going to the supermarket! We encourage you to continue desk-based and library research online if possible.

Library hours are expected to be: Mon – Fri 9:00am to 9:00pm, Sat -Sun 10:00am to 6:00pm. You can check Library hours here>

Study spaces and computer labs
Study spaces will be open in Karl Popper, Ernest Rutherford, Engineering Core, Rehua, Erskine, and the Undercroft; as well as Computer Labs in Erskine, and they will all be subject to the physical distancing rule.

Laboratory and field-based research will be approved if it can meet Alert Level 2 guidelines and travel restrictions. Postgraduate students and staff who require access to research facilities will be supported to return to campus, again with Alert Level 2 restrictions carefully observed.

UC RecCentre
The RecCentre will reopen on Monday 18 May, you can find full details on their Covid-19 website. Measures include physical distancing, extra hygiene and cleaning, a booking system via the app, reduced operating hours and reduced class sizes. Online classes will continue throughout Alert Level 2 via via Youtube and Facebook. Memberships will remain on hold until 21 June.

Cafes and food outlets on campus
There will be a delay in cafes and food vendors opening while they work through health and safety plans. If you intend to return to campus immediately, we recommend you bring your own food. 

UC will reimburse or credit any staff and students who held UC parking permits during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4. Thank you for your patience and support while we worked through the process. More details are available here>

Halls of residence will be welcoming students back at Alert Level 2. If you intend to return to your hall, contact them to plan for your safe and welcome return and to discuss arrangements.

We know many of our students will be excited to reunite with friends, flatmates and neighbours, however socialising in large numbers brings risks. Please play it safe.

Postgraduate students
Please keep an eye on your inbox for another email which will provide further information specifically for postgraduate students.

More information
For more information visit or if you have any questions email

Further details will be provided as more information comes to light. 

We are looking forward to seeing you safely back on campus but remember if you feel unwell do not come to the campus – play it safe and please stay home. 

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui | Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.

Ngā mihi,

Steve Gibling
Incident Controller

Taking the Pulse of Online Learning

You might notice something new on the landing page in LEARN in the coming weeks. As part of how UC checks in with students, and monitors how online learning is going over time, we are trying something new with a pulse survey.

This means you might occasionally see a question when you log into LEARN; the question might be one you’ve seen before, or it might be a new one. Feel free to answer openly and honestly whenever you feel like it, as responses are totally anonymous.

Here’s an example of what this might look like:

Image is a screenshot of the pulse survey on LEARN's landing page.

If you have any questions, please contact Learning Evaluation & Academic Development at