Roadmap to a COVID Safe return to campus

The University is committed to a safe, phased return to campus with a focus on priority areas in line with government and health advice.

Our roadmap to a COVID Safe return to campus provides guidance as we return to on-site operations for key activity areas.

For now, we are delivering the majority of teaching and learning, research and support services via a virtual campus model, with limited activities operating on site in line with University and government requirements. Many of our on-site activities fall in the education and training or professional, scientific and technical services categories of operations, while others are covered elsewhere in the sector guidance.

Our return to campus and COVID Safe plans detail the actions we are taking to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and community. They align with the steps in the Victorian Government’s roadmap to reopening and are regularly reviewed as the situation changes.

Teaching and learning

The roadmap for teaching and learning is based on the prioritisation of essential face-to-face teaching activities until COVID Normal, noting the prioritisation of final-year cohorts for face-to-face return.

  • First Step

    Online with the exception of permitted student placement activities related to clinical health and biomedical science. All placement students to have a valid student placement permit.

    Online assessment only (with limited options for students requiring space onsite to undertake online assessment).

  • Second Step

    Online with the exception of permitted student placement activities related to clinical health and biomedical science. All placement students to have a valid student placement permit.

    On-site activities also permitted for final-year students who do not have alternative options to complete their study by end January 2021.

    Limited return of face-to-face teaching for students requiring access to campus who will otherwise not be able to graduate by end January 2021.

    All other teaching to be undertaken online.

    Online assessment only (with limited options for students requiring space onsite to undertake online assessment).

  • Third Step

    Face-to-face activity limited to specialist interactive teaching activities that cannot be delivered online (for example, placement, practical, performance, fieldwork) for other cohorts. Expansion of clinical placement categories. Ongoing online delivery for all other subject elements.

    All other teaching will be online.

    Online assessment only (with limited options for students requiring space onsite to undertake online assessment) with on-campus assessment options for campus-based subjects.

    Provide alternative student workspace under restricted conditions (if permissible).

  • Last Step – current

    Face-to-face activity with prioritisation of subjects or subject-based activities that cannot be delivered online and to support priority cohorts. Expansion of clinical placement categories. Ongoing online delivery for all other subject elements.

    Online teaching delivery allowed onsite – staff onsite, students online.

    Online assessment only (with limited options for students requiring space onsite to undertake online assessment) with on-campus assessment options for campus-based subjects.

    Provide alternative student workspace under restricted conditions (if permissible).

  • COVID Normal

    Phased return of face-to-face activity in line with available capacities, noting that lectures and large group teaching will remain online to meet physical distancing requirements.

    Ongoing online delivery for all students unable to attend campus.

    All placements permitted.

    Assessments will remain online for Semester 1 and Summer Term 2021, except for practical and specialist subjects being delivered on campus and requiring assessments to be undertaken in person, on campus.

Graduate research

Graduate research activities are aligned with research activities – noting that for coursework students undertaking a research subject or minor thesis, approval of the subject to return to campus is a pre-requisite for on-site attendance.

  • First Step

    Aligned with permitted research activities.

  • Second Step

    On-site activities also permitted for final-year graduate research and coursework students undertaking a research subject who do not have alternative options to complete their study by end January 2021.

  • Third Step

    Activity levels for graduate research students requiring on-campus access that meet government definitions of permitted activities for research.

    Requires divisional approval.

    Includes limited alternative workspace for graduate research students who meet criteria for need. Alternative workspace likely to be limited to centralised locations.

    Attendance to be managed within approved density constraints.

  • Last Step  – current

    Activity levels for graduate research students limited to activities requiring on-campus access. Requires divisional approval.

    Includes limited alternative workspace for graduate research students who meet criteria for need. Alternative workspace likely to be limited to centralised locations.

    Attendance to be managed within approved density constraints.

  • COVID Normal

    Phased return to on-site research activity for graduate research students to maximum extent possible with regard to physical distancing and hygiene requirements.

    Includes rotational structure for on-site research activity for dry lab/workspace activities in line with density requirements.

Research

The roadmap for research is based on the prioritisation of research that requires access to campus equipment, space and/or facilities until COVID Normal.

  • First Step

    Permitted research activity limited to:

    • Activity that relates to medical or other research that requires on-site attendance, care for animals, agriculture or horticulture.
  • Second Step

    Permitted research activity limited to:

    • Activity that relates to medical or other research that requires on-site attendance, care for animals, agriculture or horticulture
    • Critical scientific facilities – for critical scientific experiments, labs, collections
    • Clinical health and biomedical science.
  • Third Step

    Research activity levels limited to activities requiring on-campus access. Requires divisional approval.

    Includes limited alternative workspace for staff and graduate research students who meet criteria for need.

    Limited clinical trials/face-to-face research, subject to divisional approval and in accordance with research eligibility criteria.

    Attendance to be managed within approved density constraints.

  • Last Step – current

    Research activity levels limited to activities requiring on-campus access. Requires divisional approval.

    Includes alternative workspace for staff and graduate research students who meet criteria for need.

    Limited clinical trials/face-to-face research, subject to divisional approval and in accordance with research eligibility criteria.

    Attendance to be managed within approved density constraints.

  • COVID Normal

    Phased return of research activity on campus to maximum extent possible with regard to physical distancing and hygiene requirements.

    Includes rotational structure for on-site research activity for dry lab/workspace activities in line with density requirements.

Libraries

Library activity has been broadly aligned with sector reopening, noting that the University has retained some additional restrictions at the Third Step and Last Step in line with the particular risk profile of library spaces.

Melbourne metropolitan area restrictions apply regardless of library location.

  • First Step

    Heavily restricted. Delivery service only for libraries.

  • Second Step

    Delivery service only.

    Limited informal study seating for Southbank (outside) and Wilson Hall only to support additional practice-based learning from 12 October.

  • Third Step

    Libraries are closed.

    Limited alternate informal study seating in selected locations – Wilson Hall and Southbank Hub extended hours zone.

    Virtual delivery of information and request services; collection retrieval and postal service; limited scan and send digital delivery of Archives and Special Collections materials.

    Possible limited access to Archives and Special Collections for approved graduate researchers – assessed case by case; by appointment; duration controlled.

    Video and Media Production – Learning Environments delivery of online content for Semester 1, 2021 teaching and learning.

  • Last Step – current

    Libraries are closed.

    Limited alternate informal study spaces in selected locations – Wilson Hall and Southbank Hub extended hours zone.

    Limited opening times for approved graduate researchers – duration controlled. Gradually commence limited physical collection browsing and access for approved researchers and graduate researchers.

    Limited access to Archive and Special Collections materials for approved graduate researchers and UoM researchers – assessed case by case; by appointment; duration controlled.

    Continue with retrieval and postal services, and limited scan and send digital delivery services.

    Video and Media Production – Learning Environments delivery of online content for Semester 1, 2021 teaching and learning.

  • COVID Normal

    Additional library services and increased availability of informal study spaces in line with further easing of restrictions; staged opening of library sites with physical access/browsing of physical collections.

    Baillieu Library Reading Room open by appointment to access Archives and Special Collections.

    Continue with retrieval and postal services until 'O week'; limited digital scan and send delivery services for Archive and Special Collections materials; printing services available.

    Click and collect service for print materials, subject to demand from graduate researchers and students on campus.

    Video and Media Production – Learning Environments delivery of online content for Semester 1, 2021 teaching and learning.

Informal study space

Informal study space broadly follows students’ on-campus learning, noting that until COVID Normal this is anticipated to be spaces that are directly aligned with approved on-site teaching and learning activity.

  • First Step

    Closed.

  • Second Step

    Bookable informal study space aligned with specific instances of on-campus teaching delivery.

  • Third Step

    Limited bookable informal study space provided only to students with on-campus learning requirements needing on-site space. Duration controlled. May be via alternative informal spaces.

  • Last Step – current

    Limited bookable informal study space provided only to students with on-campus learning requirements needing on-site space. Duration controlled. May be via alternative informal spaces.

  • COVID Normal

    Phased increase in bookable informal study space to maximum density. May be via libraries or alternative informal spaces. Duration controlled. Leverage outdoor informal study spaces.

Campus activation

This information is intended to guide consideration of campus-based activities and activations. This would include student-focused and student-led on-site initiatives, as well as other general on-site campus activations.

  • First Step

    Online only/closed.

  • Second Step

    Online only/closed.

  • Third Step

    Online. Limited potential for some activations in line with University priorities and permitted activities under relevant industry guidelines (for example Hospitality).

    To be assessed on a case-by-case basis and approved by Pandemic Response Group.

  • Last Step – current

    Online with the potential for some limited activations in line with University priorities and permitted activities under relevant industry guidelines (for example Hospitality).

    To be assessed on a case-by-case basis and approved by Pandemic Response Group.

  • COVID Normal

    Phased return to safe and managed on-site activation in line with University priorities for campus experience and relevant approval processes.

Professional staff

The roadmap for professional staff broadly aligns with a return of priority staff to support approved on-site research and teaching and learning activities, with a broader return to campus in the COVID Normal phase.

  • First Step

    Permitted workers only are eligible to attend for work on site.

    This does not cover situations where campus provides an alternative workspace.

  • Second Step

    Permitted workers only are eligible to attend for work on site.

    This does not cover situations where campus provides an alternative workspace.

    Groups of up to 5 workers permitted to return on site for certain low-risk outdoor work, including:

    • outdoor photography for purposes other than currently permitted purposes
    • outdoor workers previously permitted to work alone.
  • Third Step

    All staff to work from home unless on-site attendance is critical to support teaching and learning, research or campus operations definitions outlined above.

    Limited provision of alternative workspaces for those with unsuitable work from home arrangements and subject to density constraints. Alternative workspace to be accommodated in existing operational and/or dedicated spaces.

  • Last Step – current

    All staff to work from home unless on-site attendance is critical to support teaching and learning, research or campus operations definitions outlined above.

    Limited provision of alternative workspaces for those with unsuitable work from home arrangements and subject to density constraints. Alternative workspace to be accommodated in existing operational and/or dedicated spaces.

  • COVID Normal

    Phased return in line with density requirements and prioritisation of use of space on on-campus for activities that cannot be done from home in the first instance.

    Phased reopening of closed buildings to support professional staff on-campus work.

Alternative workspace

Alternative workspace applies to staff and graduate research students and will be operated in-line with operational and density constraints.

  • First Step

    Closed.

  • Second Step

    Closed.

  • Third Step

    Limited alternative workspace available to staff and graduate research students where there is a demonstrated need. Locations will be centralised. Individuals should discuss circumstances with manager/supervisor or academic supervisor. Information about application process, criteria and logistics available via Staff Hub (login required).

  • Last Step – current

    Limited alternative workspace available to staff and graduate research students where there is a demonstrated need. Locations will be centralised.

  • COVID Normal

    Phased return to on-site work.

Other activities and services

Roadmap detail for student accommodation, SecondBite, U-Vet, childcare, MU Sport, galleries and museums, food and retail services, events and travel.

  • First Step
    • Student accomodation: Operational. Ongoing monitoring of COVID Safe plans. Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions guidance adhered to.
    • SecondBite: Operational. Eligible students to be provided with a permission letter.
    • U-Vet: Restricted to urgent care only. Permitted student placement activities.
    • Childcare: Available for permitted workers only.
    • MU Sport: Closed.
    • Galleries and museums: Closed.
    • Food and retail: Closed. Take-away service only.
    • Events: Online only.
    • Travel: Travel for permitted activities only. Regional travel also subject to any host organisation's requirements. Interstate travel also subject to border restrictions. No international travel.
  • Second Step
    • Student accomodation: Operational. Ongoing monitoring of COVID Safe plans. Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions guidance adhered to.
    • SecondBite: Operational. Eligible students to be provided with a permission letter.
    • U-Vet: Restricted to urgent care only. Permitted student placement activities.
    • Childcare: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • MU Sport: Closed.
    • Galleries and museums: Closed.
    • Food and retail: Closed. Take-away service only.
    • Events: Online only.
    • Travel: Travel for permitted activities only. Regional travel also subject to any host organisation's requirements. Interstate travel also subject to border restrictions. No international travel.
  • Third Step
    • Student accomodation: Operational. Ongoing monitoring of COVID Safe plans. Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions guidance adhered to. Consider options to increase density.
    • SecondBite: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • U-Vet: Restricted to urgent care only. Permitted student placement activities.
    • Childcare: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • MU Sport: Heavily restricted. Activities to be aligned with industry guidance.
    • Galleries and museums: Indoor venues and events where people are likely to congregate – closed. Outdoor venues – able to open with COVID Safe Plan, subject to patron and density caps.
    • Food and retail: Open with COVID Safe Plan, subject to patron and density caps.
    • Events: Events remain online. Learning Environments able to provide studio-based filming for priority online/virtual events. By request only, to be assessed case-by-case basis and approved by Pandemic Response Group.
    • Travel: In line with government advice. Intrastate travel allowed for work, graduate research or clinical placements. Regional travel also subject to any host organisation's requirements. Interstate travel also subject to border restrictions. No international travel.
  • Last Step – current
    • Student accomodation: Operational. Ongoing monitoring of COVID Safe plans. Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions guidance adhered to. Consider options to increase density.
    • SecondBite: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • U-Vet: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • Childcare: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • MU Sport: Restricted. Activities to be aligned with industry guidance.
    • Galleries and museums: Heavily restricted. Patron quota likely.
    • Food and retail: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • Events: Events remain online. Learning Environments able to provide studio-based filming for priority online/virtual events. By request only, to be assessed case-by-case basis and approved by Pandemic Response Group.
    • Travel: In line with government advice. Regional travel also subject to any host organisation's requirements. Interstate travel also subject to border restrictions. No international travel.
  • COVID Normal
    • Student accomodation: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • SecondBite: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • U-Vet: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • Childcare: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • MU Sport: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • Galleries and museums: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • Food and retail: Open with a COVID Safe Plan.
    • Events: Events remain primarily online with Learning Environments providing studio-based filming as part of online/virtual events. Lectures and large-group teaching will remain online due to physical distancing requirements. Public lectures and orations will also remain online.
      Phased return to in-person events in line with government requirements. All in-person events need to be assessed and approved by Pandemic Response Group in line with government requirements, health advice and University priorities (eg. teaching and learning, research). Assessment criteria is being developed.
    • Travel: In line with government travel advice and restrictions.

COVID Safe plans

To ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and community we have COVID Safe plans in place across the University, including individual campuses, faculties, schools, buildings and operations.

These plans detail the actions we are taking to mitigate the introduction and spread of COVID‑19, including ensuring we:

  • continue to deliver most teaching and learning activities online
  • enable staff to work from home wherever possible
  • follow stringent approval, record keeping, and health declaration and training processes for students, staff and contractors attending University locations
  • practise physical distancing and limit movement between sites for people attending University locations
  • provide guidance to ensure people do not attend University locations if they are unwell, including getting tested for COVID-19 and what to do from there
  • provide enhanced infection control and cleaning measures across all open facilities
  • report any positive COVID-19 cases to the Department of Health and Human Services and on our website
  • activate additional deep cleaning, disinfection, site closures and contact tracing as needed in response to a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • follow the Victorian Government's six principles of COVIDSafe workplaces