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Covid-19 vaccination requirements for study

We want to keep you all up-to-date with Covid-19 vaccination requirements for your study here at Otago Polytechnic. This page provides you with information we have access to right now. As further information becomes available, we’ll communicate it via email and update it here.

We encourage all of you to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, no matter what programme you are studying. Learn more about the Covid-19 vaccination (including facts and FAQs) here.

Vaccination status

You do not have to share your vaccination status with us. However, if we ask you and you don’t, we’ll assume you’re not vaccinated. Choosing not to get vaccinated, or choosing not to disclose your vaccination status to us if required, could have implications for your ability to complete your programme of study. 

How will it affect what I’m studying?

If you’re taking part in a programme with work experience, placements, fieldwork or internships, vaccination is especially recommended, as it may affect your ability to complete your programme.

This is due to the following:

  • The New Zealand Government has already mandated Covid-19 vaccinations for many sectors, including high risk health and disability workers, primary and secondary education workers, and those in early learning services.

  • Recently, a new mandate has also been announced for workplaces that require vaccination certificates – this includes hospitality, hairdressing and beauty, gyms, social services, and events. The Government has also signalled that other sectors may be included in the future.

  • In addition to these industries, all businesses have obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to take all reasonable steps to eliminate, or otherwise control, the risk of Covid-19 transmission in the workplace.

  • To meet those obligations, many organisations who provide work experience, placements, and internship opportunities to our students are requiring their staff, including any students working with them in any capacity, to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination. We call these organisations “Workplace Providers”. It is expected that more Workplace Providers will also require Covid-19 vaccination as time goes on.
  • Our position is that Otago Polytechnic will respect and comply with any vaccination requirements set out by the Government and these Workplace Providers, and we expect our students to do the same. This means that if you are unvaccinated, or if you choose not to provide evidence of your vaccination status if asked by us or the Workplace Provider, you may not be allowed to enter onto the premises of the Workplace Provider.

  • The flow-on effect will be that your work placements and internships are impacted.

  • These are a learning requirement for many programmes, and therefore your unvaccinated status (or being unwilling to provide evidence of your vaccination status) is likely to impact you being able to successfully complete your programme. 

  • If you are currently studying a programme that requires mandatory vaccination, then you will have been (or will be shortly) contacted by us with information about how and when you need to provide information about your vaccination status.

  • If you believe you are in a programme of study covered above but have not had any contact from us about your vaccination status, please contact your Lecturer in the first instance.

If you are unsure about how your vaccination status might impact your study, please contact your Lecturer, our Student Success team or Te Punaka Ōwheo (Māori Learner Support team). 

What if I’m intending to apply and/or study in 2022?

Our advice is the same.

The mandate for the mentioned industries will be in place for 2022, and many workplaces will likely continue to require staff (and involved students) to be vaccinated.

If your chosen programme has a placement, fieldwork, internship or work experience component, we recommend that you maintain the vaccination cover recommended or required by Government. This will reduce the likelihood of your work placements and internships being interrupted and therefore affecting your ability to complete your programme. 

How do I get information and support?

We appreciate that many of you will be finding this situation difficult, and that you may need support or advice.

Please ensure you seek information about the Covid-19 vaccine from trusted sources (e.g. your GP, or the Government’s Covid-19 website).

If you need support, please ensure you access it from Student Success or Te Punaka Ōwheo.

Email Student Support Dunedin 

Email Student Support Central Otago 

Email Student Support Auckland 

Email Te Punaka Ōwheo