Category Archives: Announcements

COVID-19: UC information on returning to Alert Level 1

The Prime Minister has confirmed that all regions outside of Auckland will move to Alert Level 1 from 6am on Sunday 7 March.

A move to Alert Level 1 means there are no restrictions on our daily routines, but our borders remain closed.

Teaching and learning
Under Alert Level 1, face-to-face lectures, tutorials and labs will resume without restriction. 

Events and gatherings can resume without restriction, however we recommend organisers ensure COVID contingencies are built into any future plans, so they’re prepared for all eventualities.

Important advice and guidelines:
While Alert Level 1 means we can return to business as usual, it’s important we remain prepared and ready in case COVID-19 reappears in our community.

  • Stay at home if you’re feeling unwell. This is the best thing you can do to prevent any future spread of COVID-19. If you feel sick, you can protect the rest of the UC community by staying at home. If you have cold or flu symptoms, please call your GP or Healthline for advice.
  • Location tracking is still important in Alert Level 1, so when you are on campus, please keep note of where you have been by using the COVID Tracer appto scan into every building and lecture theatre and where possible, activate the Bluetooth tracing functionality.
  • Good habits with face coverings are encouraged, even at Alert Level 1 when they’re no longer compulsory, as they help stop droplets from spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes. Find more information on face coverings here>
  • Focus on your hygiene. UC has a robust cleaning schedule in place in all areas on campus, however it’s important that our staff and students continue frequent hand washing, sneezing and coughing into your elbow, and remain vigilant with cleaning.

Posters and digital screens 
Remember to take down the Alert Level 2 posters and digital screens and replace these with Alert Level 1 designs. These will be available within the next hour here.  

More information
See UC’s COVID-19 Information page for additional information on cleaning, Health Centre guidelines, gatherings and events, links to commonly required information and more.

Click here to see the communication sent to students

Remember that COVID-19 does not discriminate, so please be compassionate and kind. We thank all of you for your support and cooperation this week. If you have any questions, please speak to your line manager or email

He waka eke noa. We are all in this together

Teaching Quality in a COVID World

Have you ever wondered how students rate the quality of teaching they experience?

UCount survey results revealed that 89% of respondents rated teaching quality positively, an increase on 2019 results.

2020 was undoubtedly a year to remember – particularly for students who had to rapidly adjust to online learning during lockdown.  For staff, delivering curriculum completely online with minimal warning was also no mean feat.

Each year Ako Marake | Evaluation and Student Insights (ESI) surveys students, gaining valuable feedback on academic and non-academic life at UC.

Using the Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching, students provide feedback on the teaching quality they experience at UC. Respondents consider course structure and relevance, whether feedback on their work improved their learning, and whether they were intellectually stimulated. These, and other measures,  provide a deeper view of teaching quality within programmes.

Despite all of the challenges presented by COVID in 2020, students rated the quality of teaching across UC higher than in 2019, with 89% of students rating teaching quality positively.

You can check out how students in your programme or department rated their learning experience,  resources, and engagement with their studies (and more!) in the ESI Learning and Teaching dashboard here. The dashboards make it easy for UC staff members to “slice and dice” cohorts of interest.

To access, you must be a UC staff member. If you are on Windows, we recommend using Google Chrome. If you are on a Mac, please use Safari.

For any questions, or if you would like ESI to come speak to your team about this dashboard and others, please email Ellie Kay and Elyse Thompson at

Hayashi Accommodation Opportunities

With many of our international students unable to travel, one of our newer purpose-built accommodation facilities, Hayashi, has a number of units still available for 2021.  Before we make contact with resources outside the campus, we would like to ascertain if you are aware of any potential programmes, opportunities, or initiatives that Hayashi may be suitable for connected with UC.

There are 16 townhouses that comprise of king single rooms, double rooms, ensuite rooms as well as 10 self-contained studios with separate access.  The townhouses are located next to Sonoda on the Dovedale campus.  With teaching resources also available at Dovedale, this option may instigate some thoughts and ideas across the campus.

If there are visiting academics, postgraduates, research centres, commercialisation partners, or staff – the option to rent the rooms on either an individual basis or as a modern 5-bedroom townhouse is open for consideration.

Please share your thoughts and ideas to Accommodation Services  at

Shaping our future – another chance to contribute your feedback

Kia ora koutou,

Thank you for your feedback on the future organisational structure of UC, which I invited you to submit.

We received some 153 items of feedback, 20 of these from groups.  I wish to thank everyone for submitting thoughtful, reflective and considered responses based on much experience.  Of the total the distribution was 53% from individual academic staff and 42% from professional staff, followed by groups of staff and the UCSA.

Further feedback from the upcoming Academic Board workshop and two staff workshops will be added to the final summary. However, at this stage staff have indicated a desire for change with 74% of the overall responses suggesting changes, 79% of the academic staff and 84% of the professors. This was in response to the question “What structural arrangements may best enable our academic mission and aspirations?”

Academic Board will now consider your feedback and the options suggested. As UC’s principal academic body, its role is to provide advice to the Council on all academic matters relating to courses of study, awards, student admission, enrolment and examination, strategy, function, and regulation of the University, so it is appropriate that the Board consider the organisational structure feedback as a group.

Two workshops are planned for staff to contribute further to the process. Feedback gathered at these workshops will be added to the overall summary.

Workshops for all staff will be held:

We will continue to update you regularly as we work through this process assessing our structure in relation to achieving our strategic vision. At this stage I think it is more important to listen and gather the views of a wide-cross section of our staff before arriving at the best outcome.  

Thank you for your continued support and valuable contributions.  

Ngā mihi,

Professor Cheryl de la Rey
Tumu Whakarae | Vice-Chancellor

COVID-19: reminder on UC travel restrictions

As you will recall, travel restrictions were put in place for all UC travellers in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Late last year, the Risk Advisory Committee (RAC) considered options for travel in 2021 and after careful deliberation of all issues, including health risks and travel insurance, the Committee determined that the current restrictions should remain in place, i.e.

Any air travel (domestic, trans-Tasman, or international) may only proceed if deemed essential and only with SLT approval.

The COVID-19 pandemic remains volatile and any travel should only be for essential purposes and if approved by an SLT member. The RAC will keep the current restrictions under continuous review and advise if there are any changes.