The roadmap to reopening tertiary education

The roadmap provides advice that applies to all tertiary education providers, including universities, TAFEs, registered training organisations and Learn Locals.

Restrictions will be in place according to the following schedule for all universities, TAFEs, registered training organisations and Learn Locals. COVIDSafe plans including all relevant infection controls will be required to be in place.

Restrictions will be eased on a phased 'step' approach. These will be different for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Metropolitan Melbourne

Restrictions in place under the First Step from 11.59pm on 13 September 2020. Later steps will be implemented on the dates indicated if the coronavirus (COVID-19) case thresholds are met and based on public health advice.

First Step (from 13 September) and Second Step (from 28 September if thresholds met)

Heavily restricted. Only permitted onsite for those on the permitted worker list

Third Step (from 26 October 2020 if thresholds met) and Last Step (from 23 November if thresholds met)

Restricted. Learn from home if you can, onsite learning for hands-on, skills-based learning.

COVID Normal (when all thresholds met)

Resume onsite learning, with COVIDSafe plans in place.

Continuing current restrictions

This means that for metropolitan Melbourne, current restrictions will continue until 26 October (subject to thresholds being met) for all universities, TAFEs, registered training organisations and Learn Locals.

Regional Victoria

Regional Victoria is one step ahead of metropolitan Melbourne.

Second Step (from 13 September), Third Step (from 16 September as thresholds were met) and Last Step (from 23 November if thresholds met)

Restricted. Learn from home if you can, onsite learning for hands-on, skills-based learning.

COVID Normal (when thresholds met)

Resume onsite learning, with COVIDSafe plans in place.

Continuing remote learning

This means that in regional Victoria, tertiary education should continue to be delivered remotely wherever possible, in accordance with the schedule above.

Where it cannot be delivered remotely or online, it may be done onsite, including research, and face-to-face teaching, assessment and/or work placement (where permitted in that workplace).

Those attending on site must follow public health directives, including wearing face coverings, physical distancing guidelines and other hygiene measures.

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Vocational Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students

From Monday 5 October

VCE and VCAL students can attend on site for essential assessments, including the General Achievement Test (GAT). These students will combine a remote and flexible learning program with onsite attendance where essential. This applies statewide.

From Monday 12 October

In metropolitan Melbourne, Year 11 and 12 students, and Year 10 students enrolled in a VCE or VCAL program will return to full-time onsite schooling.

In regional Victoria, all students (from Prep to Year 12) resume full-time onsite schooling by Friday 16 October. Schools can have a staged return of different year levels as appropriate during this week.

In both cases, this includes VCE and VCAL students in non-school senior secondary providers and those in VETiS programs. Further advice will be provided on the infection control requirements for these settings.

Practice exams and assessments, revision classes and extra classes for VCE and VCAL students should not occur during the Term 3 school holidays. VCE and VCAL (including Vocational Education and Training (VET) in secondary schools) students should only be on site for essential assessments in the week of 5 October, and then for on-site learning from 12 October.

The only exception to this is in very limited circumstances for essential assessment preparation (VCE or VCAL, including VET programs, undertaken as part of VCE or VCAL), where it is not reasonably practical for those assessments to be undertaken from the student’s home, and where it is essential to access specialist equipment, e.g. sprung floors for dance, or for group performance. Schools with students requiring practical VET assessments can engage in these catch-up assessments as planned either at school or with the Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

These cannot be ‘teaching’ times (as that is not permitted), but strictly a rehearsal where only supervision is provided.

Health and safety measures must be followed, as outlined in the essential assessments advice provided by the VCAA. This also applies to students at non-school secondary providers and VET programs delivered by TAFEs and RTOs to school students.