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COVID-19 vaccination requirements on campus

14 January 2022

In late December Ara made the decision to implement a requirement that all learners, Ara staff and visitors, to all Ara Institute of Canterbury sites, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a Ministry of Health approved vaccine exemption by 14 February 2022.

We want to make the compliance process as smooth and as easy as possible, and we are currently finalising the details of implementation. Once these are confirmed we will share them with you. This information will be provided in sufficient time for you to meet any compliance requirements before the policy comes into effect on the 14th February 2022.

We want to reinforce that this is not a no jab/no study policy.  It is our genuine intention to work with every unvaccinated learner to identify ways that they can continue to maintain access to education as far as is reasonably possible.

If you are unvaccinated and require support, we encourage you to contact us and provide your details. To do so, or if you have any other questions, you can contact us on 0800 24 24 76 or info@ara.ac.nz We appreciate your patience as we complete the process for implementing the vaccination policy. Any enquiries lodged with us will be responded to as soon as the process is finalised.


22 December 2021

Ara Institute of Canterbury has made the following decision regarding COVID-19 vaccination for anyone attending our campuses or undertaking face-to-face activities on our sites or campuses. This includes staff, students, contractors, visitors and members of the public. Specifically:

Ara will implement a requirement that all learners, Ara colleagues and visitors, to all Ara Institute of Canterbury sites, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a Ministry of Health approved vaccine exemption by 14 February 2022. For those people receiving Pfizer vaccines, this will mean they must have had their first vaccination by 24 January 2022.

We have developed these frequently asked questions (FAQs) in response to potential questions. These will be updated as more questions and answers arise.

We are currently working through the practicalities of managing implementation and as soon as details are confirmed we will share that information through our Ara channels.

In the interim you can contact us from 10 January 2022 with any questions on 0800 24 24 76 or info@ara.ac.nz.

FAQs

What is the Ara COVID 19 vaccination policy?

Ara Institute of Canterbury has made the following decision regarding COVID-19 vaccination for anyone attending our campuses or undertaking face-to-face activities on our sites or campuses. This includes staff, students, contractors, visitors and members of the public. Specifically:

Ara will implement a requirement that all learners, Ara colleagues and visitors, to all Ara Institute of Canterbury sites, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a Ministry of Health approved vaccine exemption by 14 February 2022. For those people receiving Pfizer vaccines, this will mean they must have had their first vaccination by 24 January 2022.

Why has this decision been made?

Ara made the decision following completion of a health, safety and risk assessment and a consultation process where most of those who provided feedback supported the decision.  The key reason behind this requirement is to ensure that Ara is providing a safe environment for everyone on campus. Vaccination is the best way to achieve this.

How will this decision be implemented and enforced?

We are still finalising the practicalities of managing implementation of this requirement and as soon as details are confirmed we will share that information with you so you can prepare for any requirements. 

Have we engaged with our Treaty partner?

Yes, we have engaged with local Ngāi Tahu hapū representatives.

What proof will I need to show?

You will need to show your My Vaccine Pass or a Ministry of Health approved vaccine exemption.

What date does this requirement come into operation?

Ara requires learners and colleagues to have their first vaccination by 24 January 2022 and be fully vaccinated by 14 February 2022.  

What does fully vaccinated mean?  

This means that you need to have had a full course of any of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by a government health authority or approval authority. A full course of some of the approved vaccines is one dose only.

You can have a combination of different vaccines if that combination is an approved course in the country you received them. Each of the vaccines must be on the list of approved vaccines.

The booster is not a requirement for “full vaccination” at this stage, but the status of this may change and we will keep you updated with requirements.

Will medical exemptions be accepted?

Yes, a Ministry of Health approved vaccine exemption will be accepted.

How can I get support to assist me with this change?

You can contact us from 10 January 2022 with any questions on 0800 24 24 76 or info@ara.ac.nz.

You can also talk to your manager, tutor or programme leader to access additional support.

I do not want to be forced to be vaccinated. This decision impacts my freedom of choice.

We acknowledge that vaccination is a personal choice. However, anyone who is not fully vaccinated or does not have a Ministry of Health approved vaccine exemption will be unable to enter Ara campuses or facilities. This includes but is not limited to teaching and learning spaces (such as workshops, classes, labs, tutorials, meetings, exams and assessments), libraries, student services, student accommodation, gyms, offices and research and related activity settings.

If I have a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours can I come on campus?

Not at this time. A negative test will not change your vaccination status. You will need to be fully vaccinated or have a Ministry of Health approved vaccine exemption. Ara will continue to be guided by Ministry of Health scientific information and Public Health Orders. Ara is considering the feasibility of using rapid antigen testing as a way of supporting unvaccinated colleagues and learners to continue their engagement. Further guidance on this will be available in the new year.

I have already commenced study at Ara but do not want to be vaccinated. Can I complete my studies?

It is our genuine intention to work with learners who are unable or do not intend to be vaccinated, to establish a pathway forward. We will try to identify options that work for the individual and their whānau and ways that we can continue to maintain their access to education as far as is possible.

We recommend that you talk to your tutor or student advisor about your decision and any options. Make sure that you take good advice before making any final decisions. 

I have not enrolled and want to study at Ara, but I am not vaccinated.

You will need to be fully vaccinated to enrol for study at Ara. You can contact us from 10 January 2022 with any questions – 0800 24 24 76 or info@ara.ac.nz.

Will unvaccinated people be able to access health services?

Ara recognises that some people accessing services and/or education at Ara sites are legislatively exempt from vaccination requirements and cannot be excluded on the basis of their vaccination status. They include:  

  • Secondary school students engaging in their programmes at Ara;
  • Clients accessing medical services (Health Centre, Osteopathic Clinic);
  • Clients accessing early learning centre services;
  • Children under the age of 12 years and 3 months; and
  • Those people who are medically exempted by the Ministry of Health.

I am a caregiver with children enrolled at the Early Learning Centre. Can I drop children at the Early Learning Centre on campus?

Ara recognises that some people accessing services and/or education at Ara sites are legislatively exempt from vaccination requirements and cannot be excluded on the basis of their vaccination status. They include:  

  • Secondary school students engaging in their programmes at Ara;
  • Clients accessing medical services (Health Centre, Osteopathic Clinic);
  • Clients accessing early learning centre services;
  • Children under the age of 12 years and 3 months; and
  • Those people who are medically exempted by the Ministry of Health.

If I withdraw from Ara and then change my mind and get vaccinated, can I re-engage?

Yes. If enrolment for your chosen course or programme of study is still available.  We recommend that you talk to your tutor or student advisor about any changes to your circumstances.

Where can I find information on the vaccine?

Getting vaccinated is a personal choice and it is important you make an informed choice. We encourage you to get advice from a trusted source like the Ministry of Health, the Government’s COVID-19 website (https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines/) or talk to your doctor.

Who can I talk to in Ara to get more information on this?

You can contact us from 10 January 2022 with any questions on 0800 24 24 76 or info@ara.ac.nz.

You can also talk to your manager, tutor or programme leader to access additional support.

I am a secondary school student engaged in learning courses at Ara and I am not vaccinated. Can I still complete the course?

There are specific instances where students will not be required to be vaccinated, as set out in the COVID-19 Public Health Orders.  The policy states that it will not apply to secondary school students who are completing their studies at Ara sites.  This applies to:

  • Secondary students participating in a secondary-tertiary programme held at tertiary education premises (“Dual Enrolments”).
  • Secondary students participating in a school learning programme of which part is held on tertiary education premises (“STAR Enrolments”).

Are other tertiary institutes enforcing vaccination?

All institutes are considering mandatory vaccination, and many have already implemented this requirement.


Kia ora Ara students

COVID-19 vaccination requirements to study at Ara

As at 3 December 2021

The following information is subject to change and will be regularly updated.

As you make your study decisions, it’s important you read this information on COVID-19 vaccinations and what it might mean to you.

To study some programmes at Ara, you now need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. As this is also being considered for all programmes in all New Zealand polytechnics (including at Ara) you need to be prepared for changes:

Vaccination requirements at Ara at this time – for both new and returning students

Programmes where you now MUST be vaccinated against COVID-19 to study at Ara and/or complete your placements in a setting covered by the ‘Vaccinations Order’:

Students in these scenarios must have their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before the close of 1 January 2022. This is required as part of the Government ‘Vaccinations Order’ (COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021):

  • Early Childcare Education
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Medical Imaging
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Osteopathy (Musculosketal Health)
  • Social Work

Programmes where you may need to be vaccinated to study at Ara:

Students on these programmes have close contact with others as part of their course-work. Under the New Zealand COVID-19 Protection Framework (the ‘traffic lights’), vaccination is required for those who provide services that require close contact. This could affect your study in:

  • Beauty Therapy
  • Hairdressing and Barbering
  • Hospitality, Cookery and Bakery
  • Massage Therapy
  • Sport, Nutrition and Health Promotion

Ara is currently reviewing these programmes to determine if students enrolled in them will need to be vaccinated. Please continue to check this page for updates.

Vaccination may also be required for students who have work-based learning such as placements, apprenticeships, internships, etc as part of their study. For example, if the business you are based at requires their employees to be vaccinated, then you will need to be vaccinated too. 

Visiting parts of our Ara campuses:

There are parts of our Ara campuses where you will need to be vaccinated to visit as part of complying with Government requirements. These places currently include, (but there may be more soon):

  • Ara gym facilities
  • Ara cafes

Making your study decision:

Please email the Ara Contact Centre team on info@ara.ac.nz in the first instance if you have questions about how your vaccination status will affect your study decision – now and in the future. Even if you don’t need to be vaccinated yet, this might change either before you start, or partway through your course.

Making your vaccination decision:

Ara strongly encourages all staff and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of helping to protect the health and safety of ourselves, whānau, friends and our communities.

Getting vaccinated is a personal choice and it is important you make an informed choice. We encourage you to get advice from a trusted source like the Ministry of Health, the Government’s Covid-19 website or talk to your doctor.

You do not have to share your vaccination status with us. However, if we ask you and you don’t provide that information, we’ll assume you’re not vaccinated. This could impact on your study if vaccination is required. 

Getting ready to study at Ara in 2022:

We know it isn’t easy to keep up with vaccination rules and regulations while things are changing. We are here to help you work through what you need to know so you can make a study decision that’s right for you.

If you’re partway through a programme where you now need to be vaccinated, you will have been (or soon will be) contacted to discuss what you need to do before returning in 2022.

For further information, please email info@ara.ac.nz in the first instance. Or you can phone us on 0800 24 24 76 – thank you for your patience if there is a delay in answering your call. Returning students can also make contact with their tutors.

Important: If you choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 we cannot guarantee you will be able to complete your programme of study.