Tertiary and international education at Red

Tertiary and international education at Red

Tertiary education will operate with public health measures in place. Action is needed to protect at-risk people and our health system from an unsustainable number of COVID-19 related hospitalisations.

Vaccination requirements

There is no Government vaccination requirement for tertiary education premises at any setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

If providers wish to continue with their own vaccine policies or restrictions, they will need ensure these are consistent with an updated workplace health and safety risk assessment and in consideration of your normal responsibilities.

You can find more information at Undertake risk assessments for tertiary education.

Any vaccination requirement put in place by a provider will, however, not apply to school students accessing secondary-tertiary provision (unless this involves workplace-based learning where that workplace is subject to a workforce vaccination requirement, either imposed by government or by the tertiary provider or business themselves).

Certain basic needs services are also exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Other vaccination requirements may apply to certain businesses and services onsite at tertiary education providers.

Additional requirements on tertiary education premises

Tertiary education premises include spaces where the following activities take place under the control or supervision of a tertiary education provider:

  • Teaching and learning (including workshops, classes, labs, tutorials, meetings, noho marae, exams, and assessments, as well as orientation and induction activities required in teaching and learning programmes)
  • Research and related activities (including activities in studios, theatres, and other spaces that creative and humanities disciplines use)
  • Student support and advisory services
  • Administrative and operations activities
  • Libraries and indoor hubs are also part of tertiary education premises.

Physical distancing

On tertiary education premises at Red, capacity limits must be based on 1-metre distancing, though there is no broad upper limit.

Face masks

Face masks must be used indoors at tertiary education premises that are open to the public, and during formal teaching and learning activities.

There are some exceptions to the face mask requirement:

  • Staff who are presenting, and who maintain 2-metre physical distancing from others when doing so, are exempt (though tertiary education providers may impose their own requirements).
  • Those who have a physical or mental illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face mask unsuitable are also exempt.

Student accommodation

These requirements (i.e. capacity limits based on 1-metre distancing and use of face masks) do not apply to tertiary student accommodation (however, tertiary accommodation providers may consider imposing their own measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 – see Student accommodation).

Tertiary education providers will still need to comply with relevant health and safety laws, and are expected to undertake risk assessments and consider additional public health measures as appropriate.

Remote learning

Where possible, providers are encouraged to make learning options available for those who are unable or unwilling to attend classes being held onsite. 

Workplace-based learning, including apprenticeships, practicums, internships and work placements

Workplace-based learning (including support and assessments) is to be managed subject to the policies, practices and public health control requirements that apply to that workplace, including vaccination requirements. Workforce vaccination requirements, including those imposed by the government and by a tertiary provider or business themselves, also apply to secondary school students undertaking formal workplace-based learning, for example, via the Gateway programme. See also secondary-tertiary provision at tertiary sites below.

For students intending to enrol in courses or programmes involving workplace-based learning in workplace settings requiring vaccination, tertiary education providers need to ensure that students are aware that vaccination is required for completion.

Secondary-tertiary provision at tertiary sites

School students accessing their secondary learning in a tertiary setting are generally exempt from any My Vaccine Pass requirements that the tertiary provider may choose to put in place. Tertiary education providers should take precautions to protect all their students and staff, as appropriate for each setting. This may include alignment with school guidance.

COVID-19 Protection Framework advice for schools and kura

Other measures could include keeping class sizes small and requiring physical distancing. 

However, where a secondary student undertakes workplace-based learning as part of their course at the tertiary provider, if workforce vaccination requirements apply for that workforce, then these vaccination requirements take precedence. This includes vaccination mandates imposed by government (e.g., for healthcare workers) and by a tertiary provider or business themselves (based on a workplace health and safety risk assessment). This applies both where the workplace-based element occurs onsite at a tertiary provider or at a business (not onsite at a tertiary provider). In these instances, the secondary student must be vaccinated to participate in that specific programme (or part of the programme that is work-based).

School students should be made aware of different requirements operating across delivery sites.

Staff working onsite

At Red, workplaces can be open. For some workers, it may be appropriate to work from home. Tertiary education providers should consider the option of having staff working from home as part of their health and safety risk assessment.

Onsite businesses and services (e.g., retail, hospitality, gyms, health and counselling services, student support)

Businesses and services on tertiary education sites should operate subject to COVID-19 Protection Framework guidelines and rules for the relevant sector (e.g., retail, hospitality, gyms, close-proximity businesses). In onsite businesses, vaccinations may be required for staff, either as part of a government vaccination mandate (e.g. for health care workers) or as part of that business’ own workplace health and safety policies. Some businesses may also require customers to display a MVP as a condition of entry.

Guidelines for these businesses and services are available on COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) — business.govt.nz.

Onsite settings where vaccine passes cannot be required for access

My Vaccine Passes cannot be required for access to certain locations, including many health and disability services, all licensed early childhood education services and registered schools, dairies, and pharmacies. See the Unite Against COVID website for the full list of vaccine pass prohibited locations.

Unite Against COVID — covid19.govt.nz

Events (e.g., graduation, conferences) and gatherings

For guidance on holding events (e.g., graduation, conferences) or gatherings (e.g., social sports), refer to the COVID-19 Protection Framework guidance on events and gatherings at the different traffic light settings.

Details are available on the Events and gatherings guidelines — business.govt.nz.

Record keeping

Tertiary education providers are no longer required to enable people to record their visit (for example through displaying COVID Tracer QR codes). 

However, providers should retain capability to swiftly reinstall COVID Tracer QR codes in case these are required again in future. There is no longer a requirement to offer alternative forms of recordkeeping (for example paper-based).

Student and staff travel

Travel follows the general COVID-19 Protection Framework rules.

Travel - Unite Against COVID-19 — covid19.govt.nz

Student accommodation

There is no Government requirement for residents or staff in tertiary student accommodation to be vaccinated. We suggest that providers undertake a thorough risk assessment of their accommodation and develop clear systems and practices for staff and resident wellbeing and safety at each setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. 

Providers’ assessments may need to be reviewed and updated as New Zealand progresses through the current COVID-19 outbreak to ensure it remains aligned with current public health guidance.

The public health justification for requiring vaccination is when the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 at work is higher than it is in the community. Tertiary student accommodation providers may also consider other risk factors that are relevant and justifiable in respect of their workplace.

It is important that providers work with their staff, students and their representatives when identifying health and safety risks and how these will be managed.

The tertiary and international Code of Practice requires student accommodation providers to have emergency management plans in place, including plans for supporting residents when it becomes unsafe for them to remain in student accommodation.

Tertiary and international Code of Practice — nzqa.govt.nz