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Universities, TAFE and other training

Information about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and universities, TAFE, colleges and training organisations in NSW. Find out what support is available for international students and apprentices and trainees. 

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Universities and colleges

Although you can leave home to attend an educational institution, most universities and colleges have made changes to classes, assessments, exams and campus facilities to reduce the spread of disease. 

While studies at NSW universities have been moved online where possible, some units with a practical component are continuing with face-to-face to delivery. 

Contact your university or college directly to find out how they are managing COVID-19.

Most NSW universities have introduced a range of measures to ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged as a result of the health crisis. Individual universities can provide more information regarding revised arrangements in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

International students

International students that have been impacted by COVID-19 should first contact their education institution, but there are other service providers that can help as well. These include local and national non-government organisations and community services.

Emergency food hampers

The NSW Government is working with Foodbank NSW & ACT to provide thousands of emergency food hampers to international students across the State including regional locations like Armidale, Lismore and Wagga Wagga.

The $100,000 program is providing a helping hand to vulnerable students and their host communities.

Find out how to access food hampers and other support services for international students

Temporary crisis accommodation

The NSW Government is providing a $20 million package for international students who are stranded in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis accommodation will be limited to international student visa holders in genuine need, who meet all the following criteria:

  • have been evicted or are facing imminent eviction
  • have evidence of being laid off employment
  • have less than $1500 in savings and no other avenues of support.

View the eligibility criteria and apply or call the NSW Government COVID-19 hotline on 13 77 88.

Access to superannuation

International students who have been in Australia longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship are able to access their Australian superannuation.

Applications for early release of superannuation will be accepted through myGov from 20 April. Register your interest by logging in to myGov and following the 'Intention to access coronavirus support' instructions.

If you don’t already have a myGov account, you can set one up by selecting 'create an account'. More information on this is available from the Australian Taxation Office.

Further information

Students of TAFE

TAFE NSW has implemented measures that limit the impact of COVID-19 and allow students to commence controlled, campus based learning in Semester 2.

Controlled, campus based learning will work alongside other ways to learn, including connected learning, to provide students with the best possible experience and educational outcomes.

No matter how training is delivered, TAFE NSW has state-wide guidelines, and risk management practices in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all staff and students.

These guidelines allow teaching teams to respond directly to their students, taking into consideration a range of factors including the size, space and availability of learning facilities, student numbers and needs of students.

Keeping students informed

There are safety measures in place for when a student is required to come in to campus as part of their education and training, or to access on-campus services.

Each student’s teacher will provide them with the full details of their Semester 2 or term class program, and anything else they need to know about.

Staying stay safe on campus

In order for controlled, campus based learning to be as effective as possible, and to keep staff and students safe, TAFE NSW is:

  • Reminding classes about how to work together safely and successfully through the daily pre-start checklist and delivering specific instructions at the start of each class.
  • Ensure safety controls like hygiene requirements are followed.
  • Staggering break times to minimise additional exposure.

Find out more information and the latest updates at TAFE NSW

Students of other training organisations

Students of other training organisations should contact their training provider directly to find out how their classes may have changed. 

TAFE fee-free online short courses

TAFE NSW is offering fee-free online short courses available to anyone wanting to upskill during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

You can learn administration, digital, health, leadership or business skills through a TAFE short course.

Find out more and enrol at TAFE NSW.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Advice for apprentices and trainees

For apprentices and trainees that have been affected by COVID-19, including loss of employment and income, support is available through Training Services NSW.

Find out more information for apprentices and trainees at Training Services NSW.

Advice for employers of apprentices or trainees

Training Services NSW can help organisations that employ apprentices and trainees, including advice about financial assistance and managing changes to business operations.

Find more information for employers at Training Services NSW.

Advice for Registered Training Organisations with apprentices or trainees

Training Services NSW can provide comprehensive support and information to Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who have a NSW Government Smart and Skilled contract.

Training Services NSW can offer advice about training plans, delivery mode changes, Targeted Priorities Pre-Vocational Part Qualifications (TPPPQ), cap management, apprentices and trainees, school based apprentices and trainees, financial hardship and staffing changes.

Find out more information for RTOs at Training Services NSW.

Applications now open for the Bert Evans apprentice scholarships

The Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships assist apprentices who have experienced hardship in their life to successfully complete their apprenticeship.

Find out how to apply

Last updated: 3 July 2020

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