For one tiny rural school in north Waikato, the leap to online delivery has had some surprising results. Their students are responding by producing knowledge instead of consuming it.
COVID-19 frequently asked questions
The evolving COVID-19 situation is changing the way we teach and learn at Wintec.
To support our students’ learning, we are still open even though our campuses are closed. Together we are working with our students to deliver your education – online.
For students, this can be a different way of learning, and it has its challenges. Please find answers to your most frequently asked questions on this page, which we will continue to update as we hear more from you.
If you have a question that is not answered here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Alert Level 2 the majority of Wintec programmes will continue to be taught remotely and online. Some Wintec classes, in particular, those with practical components, will begin to be taught on campus from Monday 18 May. Students who have courses on campus will be notified by their centres and/or tutors. If you have any questions about how your classes and learning will continue for Semester 1, please call us on 0800 2 WINTEC (0800 294 6832) and press 0.
- To keep everyone safe and due to physical distancing requirements, class layouts and capacity, along with timetables will be adjusted.
- This alert level allows some more flexibility to incorporate tutorials and drop-in sessions on campus if needed.
- Workplace-based learning will be conducted within the specific rules applicable to the relevant industry.
- Increased cleaning regimes are in place, and we will have hand sanitiser readily available in all areas.
- There is no requirement to wear gloves or masks, it is your choice whether you wear them.
Access to Wintec buildings and services during Alert Level 2
The hubs at both campuses will remain closed until we can fully set these areas up so we can manage safe distancing and hygiene going forward. This also means our food vendors will not be in operation this week.
- Our Student Information and Enrolment Centre will remain closed to physical visits next week and will continue working online.
- Wintec Library will continue to operate online.
- Wintec Health Services on the City campus remains open by appointment only. Please phone first on 07-834-8869 to make an appointment.
- Kidz@Wintec our early childhood centre will open on Monday 18 May.
It’s important we all follow the ‘golden rules’ of Alert Level 2
- Play it safe. COVID-19 is still out there.
- If you are sick, or have cold or flu-like symptoms, stay at home. Don’t come in if you are unwell or at-risk.
- If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get tested.
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow, regularly disinfect surfaces
- Maintain distance from other people - at least 1 metre apart. In education the specific physical distancing rules are 1 metre.
- Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.
- When you do come back to the campus, ensure you have your Wintec ID card for Cardax access.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Keep well informed from reliable sources. Find out more about Alert Level 2 here. As we know more about Alert Level 2, we will continue to update you on what your learning will look like.
Why stay enrolled?
As tertiary education providers work to adapt their course delivery to New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, some students may consider withdrawing from study due to uncertainty around how their courses will continue, significant changes to their programme or other circumstances of hardship.
We encourage students to remain enrolled with their tertiary provider because:
- You will continue to receive student allowance or living costs, even if your provider is currently unable to deliver your course during Alert Level Four.
- You can continue to access student support services offered remotely such as remote counselling services and financial hardship assistance.
- Staying enrolled is the best way for you to stay on track with your studies and complete your programme or qualification. Withdrawing from enrolment will likely extend the amount of time it takes to complete your studies, meaning you may need to take on more student loan debt if you’re borrowing for fees or living costs.
- Withdrawing from study now may also affect your eligibility for a student allowance or living costs in the future.
- If you withdraw from study, you may not eligible for potential future support.
What if my tertiary provider cannot continue to deliver my programme?
I am unable to study in this situation and I want to withdraw. What happens with my fees?
Course fee refunds can vary depending on when you withdraw. Click here to read the Wintec Fees and Refund Policy, Principles and Procedures.
If you are thinking about withdrawing, please talk to your tutor or contact a Student Representative here to see if there is any support we can give you. If you do feel you have no option but to withdraw, please follow the normal process of filling out a Change to Enrolment and Withdrawal Form.
I'm struggling financially. Where can I get help?
The Government has increased the amount of support available for domestic students through StudyLink.
So if you’re enrolled in full-time study and under the age of 55, you will be able borrow up to $2,000 to help with your course-related costs this year (increased from $1,000).
If you can’t access your course online, you’ll continue to receive your student loan payments as normal throughout the four-week lockdown period, and for up to four weeks afterwards. This flexibility is already available for student allowance payments.If you want to limit the amount you borrow or don’t want to continue to receive your living cost payment during this time, you can change your payment amount in MyStudyLink.
Remember, if your parents have a change in their income, you may become eligible for Student Allowance, or the amount you can get may change. There’s more information here.
Studylink may be able to help you if you have emergency costs.
If you need extra financial help during this time, you can find information about and apply for emergency assistance on the StudyLink website.
You can also access the Wintec Hardship fund. Please fill out the Hardship Grant Application Form and we will be in contact.
I’m feeling overwhelmed - where can I get support?
The Mental Health Foundation has a number of tools to help with your mental wellbeing. You can also check out these pages for support:
You can find out what government support is available to you if you are struggling to get essential services and basic needs here.
What other external resources are available to me?
The following resources contain up-to-date information relating to COVID-19:
- For answers to questions about student allowance and living costs payments refer to StudyLink.
- For health advice, refer to the Ministry of Health.
- For official Government information about COVID-19, including health advice and travel restrictions refer to Unite Against COVID-19.
- For more student advice, refer to the Ministry of Education.
My tutor is holding "live'' Zoom classes and I was unable to attend. Will a recording of this class be available to me?
Majority of our Zoom classes are being recorded. Please check-in and email your tutor on how to find the session you missed.
Do we still have to submit hard copies of our assessments?
No. Uploading them on-line to Moodle should be sufficient in most cases. Some classes might require hard copies when we return to campus. Make sure you keep electronic copies of your uploads in case you need to print off later.
Will marking and assessment concessions be more flexible?
We recognise that this is a stressful time for everyone and will be taking students situations into consideration. Keep communicating with your tutors if you are struggling or you feel your performance is impaired and follow normal processes. We are certainly taking a gentle approach in these uncertain times.
Will our assessments be changing?
It is likely that some assessments will need to change, especially those that were to be carried out face to face. These should be communicated clearly by your tutors. Any issues or concerns should be sent to tutors and/or team managers.
What if my laptop is not working and I can’t upload my assessment?
Your first option is to contact your tutor by email, so you then have a record of your 'conversation'. If you can't contact your tutor or are concerned, then include the Team Manager for your programme in the email. You might be able to take a picture of your assessment (or drafts) and email it through to show that you have completed it on time. Tutors have been told to be flexible during this time and understand that some students will be having issues with submitting/completing assessments due to technical difficulties.
What if I need specialist equipment to complete an assessment, but I don't have it?
You shouldn’t have assessments at the moment that require specialist equipment. Get in touch with your tutor to query this. If it is a table or diagram that you need to use, your tutor should provide a copy of this on Moodle. If you still have concerns then contact the Team Manager for the programme.
Will I be able to access one on one support with my tutor?
This should be possible. Contact your tutor via email and request a specific time to meet with them on-line via zoom. Remember that they will be busy with other students too, so be ready with specific questions and perhaps even email some questions through so that they can prepare before they meet with you.
Can we schedule set times for Skype calls with our tutors?
This should be possible. Contact your tutor via email and request a specific time to meet with them on-line. Remember that they will be busy with other students too, so be ready with specific questions and perhaps even email some questions through so that they can prepare before they meet with you.
I don't have a laptop/computer at home - can Wintec help?
Unfortunately, we do not have any way of getting a loan laptop/or computer to you. Please contact your tutor and request an alternative way to get information, eg on your phone. You can also email your student name, ID number, centre, programme/module to email@example.com or call us on 0800 2 Wintec.
Can we get specialist software put on our personal computers (at no cost)?
Some software is being moved into the cloud so that staff and students can get access to it. Contact your tutor to find out what the situation is with the software you require.
Can we get access to specialist software/equipment during this time?
Some software is being moved into the cloud so that staff and students can get access to it. Contact your tutor to find out what the situation is with the software you require. There is no access to specialist equipment as the Wintec campus is under lockdown. We will be working to change course delivery so that any specialist equipment is not required until we return to campus.
I need access to Microsoft 365 for my online learning, can Wintec give this to me at a discount?
Placements and practical learning
Will my placement be deferred or cancelled?
At this stage it will be deferred. There are external requirements for these placements for some programmes and we will be working closely with those regulatory bodies during this time.
Will my placement be replaced by another form of assessment?
Unlikely at this stage. We are looking at deferring placements until after the lock down period. We will be reviewing this if there are any changes to the lockdown period and where there are regulatory, or professional bodies we will also be working closely with them.
If my placement is deferred, what does this mean for my ability to complete my programme on time? How will this affect my fees?
We will be working closely with students in this situation with a view to them completing on time. If there is a change to the situation this might need to be reviewed and we will be following guidelines of regulatory bodies where required. There should be no impact on fees either way.
How can I complete my practical learning and assessments if I am learning from home?
Staff are looking at alternatives to face to face assessments including practicals. Where possible we are focusing on the theory components of courses and then the focus will return to practicals when we return to campus. Again this can change and some changes to practical assessments may be required but will be communicated to you by your tutors.
Will group assessments and presentations be moved if we cannot meet?
Confirm this with your tutor. We are taking these kind of issues into consideration. It may be that you can still complete some of these task online, but your tutor will be working hard to make sure that students are not disadvantaged. If you need an extension for any assessments then discuss this with your tutor. If you still need clarity then talk to the team manager for that programme.
Wintec Support Services
General enquiries can be directed through firstname.lastname@example.org or the chatline found on the library front page. The Chat line is staffed Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Check out the Library website for the APA guide, eResources, training videos, interactive tutorials and more. Liaison Librarians can be contacted for referencing and research skills - contact them through the chat or email address
Here's what to do if you have books, or are missing your library fix:
- Hold onto your library items as you can't return them
- You will not be fined for overdue items
- Physical items will auto-renew
- There will be no recalls for items already out
- There are no physical distance services
- There are interlibrary loans
If you're registered with the Wintec Health Services, we are here to support you. While we are operating under Alert Level 4, you must phone or email first to request an appointment, get medical advice or a repeat prescription (these are sent to a pharmacy of your choice). Our City campus health centre is operating from 8:30am-3:30pm Monday to Friday. You can contact us on 07 834 8869 or email. Rotokauri clinic is closed. At the moment, we are not offering health screening, but we can provide eligible, registered patients with a funded flu vaccination.
You can also access the Wintec Hardship fund. Please fill out the Hardship Grant Application Form and we will be in contact.
Student Learning Services/Te Kete Kōnae Learning Advisors
If you need academic or study skills support, Student Learning Services (SLS) or Te Kete Kōnae (TKK) can provide this online. Check out the Academic Learning Toolkit on your Moodle page, or talk to your tutor about setting up a study group or connecting with a peer tutor. Alternately, we provide targeted support for students who are either:
- In the first year of their current programme
- A priority student due to previous low grades and/or having to repeat a module or semester
- Referred by tutor or support staff
SLS and TKK tutors will continue embedded support in courses, Ako Cafe, in-class or out of class Zoom workshops or online appointments. Email SLS@wintec.ac.nz for more information or have a chat with your tutor if you feel like you need specialised support. We can then work together to set something up to help.
Our Student Advisors and Kaiāwhina are here to offer non-academic support. We can help with applying for the Wintec Hardship Grant Application, support with Studylink, finding accommodation, wellbeing and anything else you may need at this time. You can email email@example.com or TKK@wintec.ac.nz for help and guidance.
Due to recent government restrictions, all face to face appointments and workshops have been postponed however, careers support is still readily available online. We have careers resources including CV and cover letter templates and workshops online in the My Academic Learning Toolkit. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need assistance updating your CV or for any other careers support. Email Careers@wintec.ac.nz.
Will learning from home affect my attendance record?
No. Your teachers will continue to mark your attendance based on your attendance in Zoom classes and your learning on Moodle, so if you attend Zoom classes and do your work on Moodle, your teachers will mark you present.
If I have a deferred placement, how will that affect my visa?
Assuming you are in New Zealand, currently, holders of work, student, or visitor visa with an expiry date of 1 April 2020 or earlier and who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa, an interim visa will be issued. Holders of work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who are in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 25 September 2020. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders. The best source of up to date information at this time is Immigration New Zealand. They update information regularly and have a section for Student visa COVID-19 information here.
Are International students eligible for any rental or living expense support?
Waikato Trades Academy (WTA)
I am doing a WTA course. Is this still going ahead?
How do I access my WTA course?
To access your online learning site (Moodle) and course information, click here.
You will need to follow the link and log in using your 'Username' and 'Password' details.
Once you have logged in you will see the course or courses that you are enrolled in on your dashboard. This also includes a course named 'Keteparaha - Toolbox of Resources'. This course contains helpful information and resources about learning online, meeting the team, and how to get support. Please take the time to have a look at this. We have also attached a Student Moodle User Guide with some basic instructions on how to navigate your way around Moodle.
If you select your course, it will open your programme’s Moodle site. Within this site, there will be a tab named ‘COVID-19’. This is where all the work that you need to be completing during the COVID-19 lockdown will be found. Our expectation is that you will log in to Moodle on your normal designated Trades Academy days and this is when your tutors will be available to you for any questions or additional support. You should continue to work on your schoolwork, as assigned through your school, the remaining days of the week.
I don’t know my WTA login or password.
If you need your login and/or password, head to the "student password portal" and follow the instructions to find your username and reset your password. Alternatively, phone 0800 4 Wintec (0800 4 946832) and we can help you out. We are open from 8am–5pm Monday to Friday.
I have questions about my WTA course.
If you have any questions please contact your tutor, their contact details are available for you on the main page of your Moodle programme site. If you are having issues logging into Moodle for the first time, you can contact your student advisor.
Student advisor contact details are below:
Jackie Uerata, Kopu Campus: firstname.lastname@example.org
Koro Amai, Rotokauri Campus: email@example.com
Kristen Smith, Rotokauri Campus: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Lye, Rotokauri and City Campuses: email@example.com
Yvonne Maru, Otorohanga Campus: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealand Aotearoa musician, Hollie Smith is combining virtual teaching to Wintec music students and live-streaming performances to the world.
New Zealand’s favourite netball team is back and they are sharpening their game at Wintec.