Update on COVID-19 and student travel

10 March 2020

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has issued updated guidance on travel restrictions and exclusion periods in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak in affected countries, including mainland China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea.

We encourage providers to consider flexible arrangements for students who have been directly impacted by travel restrictions or isolation periods. Examples include flexible course delivery, such as through online delivery of courses or additional sessions to make up for days missed by students who are prevented from attending classes in Australia.

Providers may also need to adopt a flexible approach to student attendance. Directly affected students may need to exclude themselves from their place of study for a period. A period of isolation like this may be considered as consistent with a period of illness with respect to student attendance under Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 requirements.

ASQA acknowledges that due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19, providers may not be in a position to fully comply with the requirements of Standards under the National Code 2018.

Providers should document all flexible arrangements made on a student-by-student basis. This is particularly important for arrangements that would usually be considered non-compliant with the ESOS Act.

ASQA acknowledges the current challenges take many forms for different providers and will work with providers on a case-by-case basis to minimise the impact this situation has on both providers and those students affected by travel restrictions or isolation periods.

Providers can contact us on ASQA’s Info Line on 1300 701 801.

For more information about the latest travel restrictions visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

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