Collarts Responds To COVID-19

Aug 04, 2020

KEY UPDATES FROM COLLARTS

  • All of our courses will be delivered online during COVID-19;
  • Stage 4 Restrictions are in place from 6pm on Sunday 2 August for metropolitan Melbourne, and Stage 3 Restrictions will be in place from 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August for Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire.
  • Due to Stage 4 Restrictions, Collarts will have to temporarily restrict access to our Wellington Street campus. Click here to read the full outline.
  • Collarts' August Open Day and Trimester 3 Orientation will be delivered online;
  • The government is planning a temporary removal of their 25% loan fee for FEE-HELP recipients, meaning you may see a 25% reduction in your overall Trimester 2 study costs;
  • Courses classified as 'Remote Learning' will resume normal face to face learning when it is safe to do so; 
  • Courses classified as 'Online Learning' will allow a student to choose to study their whole degree online, or choose a blended model of face to face and online subjects;
  • There will be no disadvantage to Year 12s who plan on studying with us in 2021; 
  • We are offering COVID-19 Study Grants in Trimester 2. Find out more here;
  • We are planning a very slow and staggered return to campus, and have provided a list of subjects that may return to campus in future;
  • Campuses are open for limited student use;
  • Same great course, same great community;
  • Intake for 2021 is happening now. You can apply now

 

TUESDAY 4 AUGUST

 

 

Dear Collarts students and community, as you are no doubt aware, Melbourne has now entered Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions. This has an impact on Collarts and our activities for the next 6 weeks. Rest assured that classes will continue online and remotely unaffected.


We will, however, have to temporarily restrict access to our Wellington Street campus from Wednesday this week. You will only be able to attend the campus to collect or return equipment. There will be no studio bookings or room bookings for the rest of Trimester 2. You won’t be able to spend time on campus beyond the time taken to drop off or quickly pick up equipment.

The list below outlines how this equipment borrowing process will work:

  1. Wellington Street will be accessible from 9am-5pm on Monday to Friday only
  2. Students must make an advanced booking to collect or return equipment. You can make a booking by emailing bookings@collarts.edu.au
  3. When you make a booking you will receive a travel permit to come to campus
  4. Remember you must wear a mask onsite at all times and do not attend if you are feeling unwell
  5. Only 1 person will be allowed to collect or return equipment at a time
  6. Additional COVID Work Safe guidelines may be implemented pending additional information from our regulatory bodies.
  7. It is a difficult time for all of us residing in Melbourne and it comes right at the busy time in our Trimester. Don’t forget that if you feel you need some assistance you can always reach out to support@collarts.edu.au

We are hopeful that this 6 week period will set us up for a much closer to ‘normal’ rest of the year and as always, I will keep you up to date with any information that we have to share with you.

Good luck for your upcoming exams and final assessments. Remember to stay engaged and work hard. You will see the rewards in the long run.

— BEN O’HARA,
MANAGING DIRECTOR & dEAN  OF COLLARTS

 


WEDNESDAY 8 JULY

Dear Collarts students and community, as I’m sure you are all aware, Melbourne is moving back into Stage 3 Restrictions from 11:59pm tonight and will stay at those restrictions for at least 6 weeks.

To ensure the safety of our Collarts community, we will continue delivering our face-to-face classes remotely in Trimester 2. We were hoping to bring back some of those Priority 1 classes soon but it appears that is not possible.

The current arrangements (outlined below) will remain in place until at least the start of Trimester 3. We will have an opportunity to reassess the situation over the break. If possible, our Trimester 3 plan is to aim to bring those Priority 1 and 2 classes back to campus and support remote learning for students who are still not prepared to return to campus. We will make an announcement on this closer to the commencement of Trimester 3.

For now the Wellington Street campus remains open for student bookings, library, quiet study space and computer lab access under social distancing rules. Other campuses continue to be available by appointment. We also have equipment available for loans from the Wellington Street campus.

Arrangements relating to assessment, extensions, special consideration and fail grades that were in place in Trimester 1 remain in place for Trimester 2.

I would like to remind you that we are starting Trimester 3 a couple of days early. This is to ensure that students are able to take advantage of the removal of the government's 25% loan fee for those students who access FEE-HELP. Other alterations that we have recently made include the moving of our upcoming Open Day and Orientation to take place online.

We haven’t made any of these decisions lightly and we continue to take every precaution to focus on the health and safety of our students and staff.

As I have said in previous messages, I encourage you stay enrolled and connected over this time. We know that engagement in education at this time is really important for your wellbeing and mental health. Stay focused on your future—when this is over, you will all emerge with incredible skills and experience to share with the world.

You should also not hesitate to reach out to our Wellbeing Support Team and your own networks of support. You can email support@collarts.edu.au for help. Urgent appointments can be made via phone call on 1300 818 777.

— BEN O’HARA,
MANAGING DIRECTOR & DEAN OF COLLARTS

THURSDAY 15 MAY

COLLARTS SHARES FUTURE ACTION PLAN 

Dear Collarts students and community, I am writing to provide an update on the COVID 19 situation and our plans for Trimester 2 commencing May 25th.

To ensure the safety of our Collarts community, we are planning for a very slow and staggered return to campus.

For that reason, Collarts will continue delivering the majority of our face-to-face classes remotely in Trimester 2. We have identified a list of classes that may return to campus if we consider the situation safe to do so, but all other classes will remain online for the whole trimester. You can find the complete list of subjects that may return to campus here.

We do not currently have dates for when this may happen, as we are still monitoring the situation. We will communicate with all students and give them plenty of notice if they are enrolled in one of these classes, and we decide to bring them back on campus.

Priority has been given to classes that are particularly practical, and these will be rolled out in redesigned formats that incorporate social distancing and safety protocols. If these specific classes return to campus, they will continue to be offered in a blended mode for students who do not feel comfortable returning to campus at that time.

We haven’t made these decisions lightly and we continue to take every precaution to focus on the health and safety of our students and staff.

I encourage you to stay enrolled and connected over this time. We know that engagement in education at this time is really important for your wellbeing and mental health. Stay focused on your future—when this is over, you will all emerge with incredible skills and experience to share with the world.

I also want to remind you about the government 25% fee-help loan fee reduction for Trimester 2, and of our $1500 and $300 COVID-19 Study Grants which are only available in Trimester 2. We are still taking applications for the Grants here.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

THURSDAY 7 MAY

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COLLARTS ANNOUNCES COVID-19 STUDY GRANTS

To support new and continuing students for Trimester 2, Collarts has established two COVID-19 Collarts Study Grants. These grants are to support students commencing in T2 who are experiencing academic, financial or personal difficulties due to COVID-19.

There are two key grants available:

 COVID-19 MAJOR HARDSHIP STUDY GRANT 

This grant will be open to future students who have experienced or are currently experiencing major hardship as a result of COVID-19. This could include loss of income, loss of secure housing and/or an inability to access government support.

COVID-19 STUDY RESOURCES GRANT 

This grant is open to future students who would benefit from being able to purchase additional study resources to assist learning from home. This could relate to home study, internet costs, equipment costs, or to cover additional mental health support.

All new and continuing students are encouraged to apply, but they will need to be enrolled in T2 to complete the application.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

MONDAY 27 APRIL

COLLARTS SHARES NEWS FROM FEE-HELP

Dear current and future Collarts students, I am writing to you regarding Trimester 2, 2020 enrolment and tuition fees.

We have been working with the government and our education industry group, IHEA, and I am pleased to let you know that the government is planning a temporary removal of their 25% loan fee for FEE-HELP recipients. This still needs to pass through Parliament, however, we are assured that it will do so.

This means that for Trimester 2, 2020 the FEE-HELP loan fee will not apply if passed, effectively meaning that if you use FEE-HELP you will see a 25% reduction in your overall Trimester 2 study costs. If you use FEE-HELP to pay your course fees, there is nothing that you need to do to take advantage of this, apart from enrolling in Trimester 2 units.

For those students who are eligible for FEE-HELP but choose to pay their fees via upfront payment (Non FEE-HELP), you may wish to take advantage of the loan fee removal and move to FEE-HELP for Trimester 2, 2020 as that may give you access to extra funds at this difficult time. To check if you are eligible to access FEE-HELP, please visit the Study Assist website or if you are a current student, email support@collarts.edu.au

We are continuing to work with the government to determine the situation for Trimester 3. I will write to you in the coming weeks to clarify that position.

I also want to let you know that details of our student COVID-19 support package are still being developed and will be sent to you soon.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

 

FRIDAY 17 APRIL

COLLARTS REASSURES YEAR 12 STUDENTS

I just wanted to take a quick opportunity to address how we are approaching Year 12 students who want to study with us in 2021. We understand that there's plenty of apprehension and uncertainty about how the exam period is going to run and how ATARs will roll out for 2021. 

In short, we want to encourage you to continue to apply to come to Collarts. We don't actually require an ATAR. Here, our entry is done on audition, interview, portfolio submission, and other methods.

We still require you to pass Year 12, but the ATAR is not the principle method of entry at Collarts. All of our auditions and interviews can be done online, and in fact, we've been doing this online for a long time. So there's no disadvantage to students by participating in an online interview or audition. 

There is more information coming up at our Open Day, which will be happening online. You can see more about our Open Day here. I would also encourage you to get in touch with our Future Student Team; they will be able to answer any questions you may have.

So in short, I just want to reassure everyone is wanting to study with us in 2021 that there's no need to change your plans—we'll work with you to ensure you have every possible chance to join us. We wish you well for the rest of the school year. 

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

 


FRIDAY 3 APRIL

COLLARTS OFFERS REMOTE AND ONLINE LEARNING FOR TRIMESTER 2, 2020

Collarts has made the decision that all of our courses in Trimester 2 will continue to be offered online and remotely.

Collarts is embracing new ways for teaching and engaging with students online and I am amazed by how adaptable and positive all of you have been to these changes.

To help everyone understand our approach to learning over this time, we have decided to clearly identify courses which are temporarily being taught online, and courses which will remain available online (in addition to face to face) after COVID-19 has passed and we resume normal business.

    • Courses that are being taught temporarily online during COVID-19 will be classified as ‘Remote Learning’. This means that these classes will resume normal face to face learning when it is safe to do so. If we are able to return to campuses during Trimester 2 we will, but we will ensure that it does not affect students in their studies. This applies to courses: Comedy, Fashion & Sustainability, Entertainment Journalism, Music Performance, and Screen & Media.

    • Courses that will be offered completely online for their whole duration (in addition to face to face) will be classified as ‘Online Learning’. This means that a student may choose to study their whole degree online, or choose a blended model of face to face and online subjects. We are currently working to make a range of our existing courses fully available online for interstate and overseas students, and for local students who find that it suits their lifestyle better. This applies to courses: Interior Design (HE and VET), Animation & VFX, Entertainment Management, Audio Engineering, Music Production, Digital and Social Media, and Fashion Marketing. 

Collarts recognises that it’s a stressful and difficult time for you all.  We are currently working on a support package for students that will be announced in the coming weeks. I remind you that staying engaged in your studies and connected to your peers is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.

We are all here to help you. As we get closer to the major assessment time in the trimester, please remember that our excellent academic and wellbeing support services continue to be available and are ready to offer you Zoom and phone consultations. You can book appointments by emailing support@collarts.edu.au. You can also talk to your course heads, coordinators, teaching staff and student services staff. 

Our Wellington Street campus remains open from 9am–10pm Monday to Friday and 9am–7pm on weekends. Brunswick Street and Cromwell Street continue to be available by appointment only and the George Street campus is temporarily closed. We continue to observe physical distancing guidelines and, limit the number of students allowed in a room at any one time. When booking a room please check the limitations for that room.

I want to take a moment to encourage you all to think about the skills and approaches to learning that you are all engaging with right now. The entire world has moved online in the past 3 weeks and you have been a huge part of that shift.  Employers of the future will look for people who are able to work in these new conditions, to collaborate online and completely engage in an online word. What you do with your time in this defining moment in history will have a huge impact on your future.

Collarts is an innovative place and I’m proud of our staff and students’ ability to quickly adapt to this new environment. We will continue to make improvements and updates. I encourage you to stick with your studies as we get closer to the major assessment time in this trimester.

Collarts continues to monitor the situation and will contact you again if anything changes.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

FRIDAY 27 MARCH

COLLARTS UPDATES CAMPUS HOURS & SERVICES

I am writing to provide further updates on the Collarts response to the COVID-19 situation. There are a few that I want to share at this time:

  • From 10pm on Friday 27th of March we will be reducing the campus opening hours at Brunswick Street and Cromwell Street campuses. They will only be available by appointment. This means students will need to book rooms at least 24 hours in advance if they want to book a room or access any of the resources at these campuses.
  • Our Wellington Street campus remains open from 9am – 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 7pm on weekends.
  • Our George Street campus remains closed.
  • We will continue to limit the number of students allowed in a room at any one time. When booking a room please check the new limitations for that room.
  • Over the next week or so we will be communicating with students more about how to make the most of remote learning, where they will see lots of tips and information and ways that they can get support. Some of it will be specific to courses and some will be more general.
  • Collarts academic and wellbeing support services continue to be available to students and are ready to offer you zoom and phone consultations. We encourage students to book appointments. 

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the amazing work that our staff have done to get your classes up and running for remote learning mode. The work that they have done has been remarkable and inspiring to see, and so I want to take this opportunity to thank them all.

I also want to thank our reception and campus student support staff who are still keeping our campuses open and lending out gear so that students can complete their work. We are down to a very small number of on-campus staff with almost everyone working from home now. Those that have stayed on are doing a superb job and a huge service to us all.

We continue to monitor the situation and will update you if anything changes.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

MONDAY 23 MARCH

COLLARTS UPDATES COVID-19 PROTOCOL

I just wanted to explain that we are still considered an essential service, and although we've transitioned all of our classes to an online delivery mode, we continue to have some of our campuses open for students to access should they wish.

What we are doing, however, is very much limiting the number of students in a room at any one time and the number of people on a campus at any one time. So, students will need to be mindful of this when they're making a room booking, and check with the reception staff as to how many people are allowed in a room.

That's really it for today. We continue to monitor the situation daily, and I will provide you with another update as soon as we have one.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH

ANOTHER IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE FROM THE DEAN

I've written to all of our students informing them that from Monday 23rd March, all of our classes will be run online. We've asked our students not to come into campus, unless they are asked specifically to do so by their lecturer.

For now — and the situation is changing regularly — face-to-face classes will continue until the end of this week, but we've asked all our students to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from each other.

We also understand that our students are feeling anxious and concerned about their assessments and classes and so on for the rest of this trimester. I'd like to assure all of our students that we're working very hard to make sure that we are able to maintain the quality education they are used to and that no student will be disadvantaged in their studies. 

At this stage, we're keeping the campuses open. Students can maintain access to the library, room bookings, studio bookings, and so on, but like I said, classes won't be running on campus.

Finally, a reminder that if you're feeling unwell, or any students are feeling unwell even if they've got a small room booking, they shouldn't come into campus. We'll continue to monitor the situation daily and it is changing regularly, and I will provide an update if anything more develops.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH

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COLLARTS SHARES COVID-19 FAQS

With COVID-19 impacting society at large, there's a lot of uneasiness hanging in the air. That's why Collarts Dean Ben O'Hara and Professor Tim Moss (Associate Dean, eLearning & Innovation) jumped on our Facebook to answer questions about how Collarts is adapting to the situation as it evolves.

Here are the questions you asked and we answered, as well as other Frequently Asked Questions you may have during this difficult time. 


WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH

COVID-19 STUDENT UPDATE FROM DEAN BEN O'HARA

We understand that there are ongoing concerns about the unfolding situation. At this point in time we have decided to take the following actions:

  • From Monday 23rd of March all classes will be running in online mode.  Please do not come to campus for your classes unless specifically advised by your lecturer.
  • You will be hearing from your Department Heads and Teachers soon as to how that will work for each class.
  • For now (and the situation is changing regularly), face-to-face classes will still run for the remainder of this week. I ask you all to maintain a 1.5 meter distance from each other in classroom and other settings.
  • I understand that you may be worried about content and assessments. I would like to assure you that we are working through ways that we will still be able to deliver and assess every subject and maintain the quality of education that you are all used to. You won’t be disadvantaged in your studies.
  • At this stage we are keeping campuses open and students can maintain access to the library,  room bookings, studios and computer labs, but classes will not be running on campus. We will continue to assess this daily.
  • Again, I remind you that if you are feeling unwell you should not be coming into our campuses and we all need to continue to maintain good hygiene practices.

 We continue to monitor the situation and will update you if anything changes.

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

TUESDAY 17 MARCH

LIVE AMA WITH BEN O'HARA & PROF. TIM MOSS

Dean Ben O'Hara and Professor Tim Moss (Associate Dean, eLearning & Innovation) responds to all questions regarding how Collarts life is adapting to the daily COVID-19 changes on a live AMA Facebook post. 


MONDAY 16 MARCH

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN ABOUT COVID-19

Following the latest Government and Health officials advice, Collarts is open for classes. The public health message is clear that schools and universities are not closing at this time, however rest assured that we have thorough and detailed plans for the continuity of classes in the event of a shutdown.

Like many other institutions, we will be teaching online for a period. This should be as simple as students clicking a link in their email to watch a lecture and take part in a class discussion. There are some classes that are intensely practical, and these may need some adjustment for the period, but we do not want students to miss out on the experiences we offer, so other arrangements will be put in place. 

Over the next week we will continue to work towards transitioning classes to online.  If students decide that they are able to access their class materials online and therefore don’t need to come to classes, they may choose not to.  This is their choice and we will not be penalising students for non-attendance at this time.

Room bookings and after hour operations will continue as normal, however we ask students to limit these books to only include Collarts students and staff.  We are limiting the number of external visitors to our campuses.

We are lucky at Collarts to have a team of teachers who genuinely care about our students and their education and they are working hard to give our students the best possible experience should we be forced to close our campuses for a period. 

If staff or students are feeling unwell, they should stay at home, and should all continue to maintain good hygiene practices.  

I reiterate that our campuses are open, and Collarts continues to operate as usual. We remain aligned with the expert advice of the health authorities and will make further adjustments as necessary. 

We will keep the Collarts community updated with further information as it becomes available. 

— BEN O’HARA,
DEAN OF COLLARTS

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