RMIT Statement

RMIT Statement

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, RMIT remains committed to supporting our students and staff at home and overseas.

For FAQs, news and information for the RMIT community, visit:

 

Latest update - 8.30pm, Sunday 2 August

The health, safety and wellbeing of the RMIT community is our absolute priority and we are continuing to take advice and guidance from the relevant authorities.

We ask our community to please follow the clear, expert advice available, so we can all play our part in containing the transmission of COVID-19.

For information about confirmed cases of COVID-19 on RMIT campuses view our latest alert.

 

Stage 4 restrictions

The Victorian Premier has announced Stage 4 restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne effective from Sunday 2 August until Sunday 13 September to stem the spread of COVID-19.

In line with the new Stage 4 restrictions, RMIT will pause face-to-face practical-based activities effective Tuesday 4 August

Scheduled classes on Monday 3 August will proceed as planned.

Where students need to collect any materials to move to remote practical-based activities or learning, there will be limited access to campus on Tuesday 4 August to collect these items. Please check Canvas for further information. If this applies to your course or program you will receive more detail about how this process will work.

RMIT is expecting further government advice on Monday 3 August about what Stage 4 restrictions mean for research activity on campus and will provide an update to researchers and HDR students on Monday afternoon. 

As the University receives further government advice about the restrictions for face to face learning, we will prioritise the rescheduling of essential activities first to support student progression.

RMIT staff due back on campus this week will receive further information directly from their schools or managers. .

For the vast majority of our students and staff who are currently learning and working remotely, there are no changes as a result of the latest restrictions and you should continue to learn and work remotely.   

Students can find more information on the Transitioning back to campus updates page.

 

Learning, Teaching and Research

On 22 March, RMIT made the decision to suspend all face-to-face activity across its Australian campuses and transition to remote delivery.

While some essential practical-based learning activities were transitioned back to campus (see latest information about current restrictions above), RMIT’s position remains that all classes that can be delivered remotely will continue to be delivered online in Semester 2 2020. For now, this includes all lectures and tutorials.

While lectures will remain online for the duration of 2020, as Government advice evolves we may return other learning, teaching and research activities, including selected tutorials, to campus.

We will review our position regularly and ensure any return to campus is carefully planned and prepared.

In line with government restrictions, the current advice for most of our students and staff remains the same: if you can study or work remotely, you should continue to do so.

As we continue to manage through the significant and evolving situation, we are committed to doing everything we can to support our students and staff and minimise study and research disruptions while ensuring a sustainable future for the University.

We are proud of our community’s continued response to COVID-19 and willingness to innovate and adapt during this difficult time. Despite the challenges we face, we remain focused on continuing our leading research and providing quality learning experiences for our students.

 

Health and Wellbeing

While we navigate this situation, we remain unconditionally focused on the wellbeing of our people. A range of support services are available to the RMIT community, and we encourage those who need it to reach out to the relevant contacts on our student and staff channels (login required). 

As we manage our restricted return to campus in line with the latest government advice, the health, safety and wellbeing of our community remains our top priority and is at the centre of all decision-making. 

RMIT’s COVIDSafe Plan outlines the measures required to safely support the resumption of on-campus activities and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

We are extremely proud of our diverse, vibrant and passionate community of students staff and will continue to do everything we can to support everyone through these changes to the way we study and work.

We recommend the RMIT community continues following authoritative government and health sources to remain informed.

 

Student Support

Student Hardship Assistance and Relief Funds were expanded to provide up to $10 million in immediate, additional support for international and domestic students impacted by COVID-19. While applications for these funds have now closed, RMIT students impacted by COVID-19 can continue to access a range of food, housing and general support services offered by RMIT, as well as Government support. Go to the RMIT student website for more information and application instructions.  

The University has been supporting the repatriation of students who require assistance to return home from overseas, refunding pre-paid parking, waiving all existing Library fees and fines and supporting students with food service via the RMIT Chaplaincy.

 

Cost Measures

We have been taking a careful and considered approach to address the financial challenges associated with COVID-19 and are continuing to seek ways to reduce our costs and align our operations to the environment we face.

All travel remains restricted, consultancies have been reviewed and budgeted major projects have been rescoped, paused or stopped to drive important savings.

While we are, of course, reviewing our non-strategic assets in light of the challenges associated with COVID-19, the vast majority of assets we hold are essential for learning, teaching and research.

We previously asked senior leaders to support the ongoing sustainability of RMIT by reducing their fixed salary by 10% to the end of 2020 or reducing their working hours. Senior leaders were also informed they will not be eligible for pay reviews or any additional salaried benefits this year. This operational decision came after the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive (VCE) agreed to reduce their overall remuneration by 20%.

We have also provided options to our wider staff should they wish to make a contribution to RMIT’s cost measures, such as a temporary reduction in their working hours or purchasing additional leave.  Following consultation and feedback from our people, a voluntary redundancy program is now open.

We acknowledge this is an extremely challenging and uncertain time for our community and must reiterate that these decisions are not being taken lightly.

 

Community Updates

We will continue to communicate with students, staff and partners as new information becomes available.

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.