New Zealand’s Largest University Requires Students to Be Fully Vaccinated by January 4

Vaccine

The largest university in New Zealand, the University of Auckland, has announced that students, staff, and visitors will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from January 4, 2022, in order to be able to access campus or participate in face-to-face activities.

Those who manage to receive a valid exemption for medical reasons will not be subject to the requirement, Erudera.com reports.

In a press release, the university clarified that in-person university-managed activities include teaching and learning spaces, student services, student accommodation, libraries, gyms, counseling and health services, offices and research, as well as related activity settings.

University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Dawn Freshwater said that the decision is based on the health and well-being of the university community as well as in line with the government’s decisions. She emphasized that the vaccine is the best way to keep everyone safe while students and staff return to a normal university experience.

“We know that some people feel that this may impinge on their freedom of choice, however it’s important to note that the policy does not force anyone to get vaccinated. That decision remains entirely a matter of personal choice, and the University respects the right to choose,” she said.

At the same time, Vice-Chancellor stressed that those who choose not to get vaccinated must be aware of the consequences and limitations in terms of university activities.

“Our priority throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has been to protect the health, safety and well-being of our University community. While this policy may limit some rights, it reaffirms what we consider to be the University’s primary responsibility, which is to keep our campuses and people safe,” Freshwater added.

Students who do not agree to get vaccinated can still continue to study and complete their studies, yet the university will not provide all courses online, and there will be limitations on courses open for enrollments.

“There may be limitations on your eligibility to participate in work-based learning or practicum activities that may impact your ability to complete your programme,” the university notes.

As per students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 overseas, the university states that it will depend on the type of the vaccine and where they got it to decide whether their proof of vaccination will be approved, adding that it is expecting another guidance from the government over the matter.

The decision on the vaccine requirement will be reviewed on a regular basis and will be revisited in June 2022.

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