SAE Creative Media Institute is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID 19) situation and will continue to act on the advice given by the New Zealand government and health authorities. Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our community. Please find a list of frequently asked questions regarding studying at SAE and the impacts of COVID-19.




Has there been any cases of COVID-19 amongst SAE Auckland students or staff?

No. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at our campus.

Should I notify SAE Auckland if I have tested positive to a COVID-19 test?

Yes. Please immediately notify SAE Auckland Campus Director Dr Suzette Major on or (027)669-3119.

Will I be notified if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 on my campus?

Yes. If there is a confirmed case of a student or staff member with COVID-19, the SAE student and teaching community will be informed as a priority.

Can I access the SAE studios or book equipment through each Traffic Light?

Under the RED traffic light, our SAE studios remain open and students are able to book equipment to use on or off-site if they are fully vaccinated or exempt from vaccination. Non-vaccinated staff, students or visitors are unable to visit campus under RED.

Under the ORANGE and GREEN traffic light, all staff, students and visitors are able to access our studios and book equipment, as per the ORANGE and GREEN safety protocols.

Will classes be run online during each Traffic Light setting?

Yes. Online classes are a feature of SAE Auckland’s teaching and some online classes will exist across all Traffic Light settings.

Under RED, only fully vaccinated staff, students and visitors are able to be on campus. Non-vaccinated students must learn via online classes.

When will my classes occur?

All classes, whether online or on campus, will typically occur at exactly the same time as usual. If there are any changes to your timetable, you will be notified in advance. Check your timetable published in Axis, or chat with your Course Coordinator if you are unsure.

What if I don’t have computer or internet access?

The IT survey we undertook last year has shown almost all students have a computer and/or internet access. However we appreciate that some students may need to borrow an SAE Auckland computer in order to access online classes, or need financial help to access their online classes. If this is required, please contact Student Support to discuss options.

How do I get into an online class?

Online classes will occur primarily over Zoom or Google meets. The link to the zoom room or google meet space will be put on your course Slack page. You do not need to install the app on your computer or phone, however you are welcome to. If you are click on the link in the Slack page, you’ll be automatically directed to the online class where your teacher will be waiting.

Do I have to attend the online classes?

Yes. Attendance is expected and recorded, just as we would in face to face classes.

What if I’m unwell (not with COVID-19) and unable to attend class? Do I need to provide a med cert?

If you are too unwell to attend your online class, please let us know by emailing the absence email. We appreciate that access to medical facilities is challenging right now, so obtaining a medical certificate may be difficult. If you have any concerns regarding your health and ability to attend, please contact us immediately.

Is Student Support still available?

Yes. Whether on campus or online, Student Support is always available during usual working hours. You can also reach them online via their zoom room. Information regarding their zoom room link is available in the Student Support Slack channel.

Can I access counselling services to help me through this?

Yes. We are still operating a Student Assistance Programme, where you can meet with a counsellor. Those meetings can occur over zoom/skype, email, phone, text or face to face. This is a free and confidential service for SAE students. If this would be helpful, please reach out to Student Support who can line up a session for you with a professional counsellor.

Is IT Support still available?

Yes. You can reach out to Brad at any time during normal working hours for IT support relating to your SAE studies. Brad can be contacted on Slack or email

Our course is very hands-on and practical. How will that work in an online environment?

The team has done a superb job of developing material for your online classes, however we recognise that the flow of information and activities is different in a flexible online delivery. Naturally, practical production work will be framed differently than usual, and particularly collaborative work. Your Course Coordinator will explain our online learning community approach and ways in which we will meet learning outcomes. Any production work that cannot be meaningfully delivered or assessed will be delayed until we return to the physical campus in due course.


Will content or assessments change?

We are still teaching to the same learning outcomes and in this way the content is not changing. We might just do things in a slightly different order within projects so that any hands-on production work is push out to occur once we are back on campus. Your assessment will largely look the same. You will still upload assignment material to Moodle.

What if my course or assessment requires software that I don’t have?

Whenever extensive lockdowns occur, our global SAE community aims to negotiate access to software that might be helpful. You’ll be informed of any such deals through your Slack channels. If you do not have the software needed to undertake some work, chat with your Course Coordinator to talk through options.

What about our Professional Practice courses (CC500, CC600, CC700)?

These courses continue in exactly the same way that they did while on campus. As a reminder, the teaching hours associated with CC500, CC600 and CC700 are embedded into your other projects so that the professional skills are developed in situ rather than as purely theoretical constructs.

What about my Work Integrated Learning (WIL) hours?

The Level 6 and Level 7 students who are undertaking work placements will still need to complete their required hours (40 hours per year, 80 hours in total) by the end of the year. However, we recognise that these hours can be difficult to undertake during lockdown, so if needed we may offer some of these hours on site, through an SAE organised event. If you have any particular concerns, please reach out to our Industry Advisor Dave Johnston on

How will cross-discipline collaboration continue to work?

Collaborating is essential to the creative industries, so a key skill we teach at SAE. Collaborating with others can easily occur both on campus as well as within the online space – indeed developing online collaborative skills is particularly valuable in the current age. So wherever possible, we will still be engaging in cross-discipline collaboration. Your Course Coordinator will advise you about how this will work for particular courses.

Where do I get information about what’s happening in my course?

Slack. If you haven’t already, please sign in and regularly check Slack. 


Where can I go for up to date information and new developments regarding the campus and my studies?

This situation is unprecedented and evolving. SAE will continue to follow the advice of health authorities and medical experts and share information as it is received. We are posting updates regularly via email, Slack, Facebook and this website. We recommend you check your SAE student email on a daily basis for relevant updates. Rest assured you will be notified via your student email or text should an urgent or important message need to be communicated to you.

Can I withdraw or defer to a future trimester?

SAE Auckland, as well as the government agencies including TEC, NZQA and Studylink, all advise that you should remain enrolled and engaged with your studies. If you are having any difficulties with your studies, you should chat with us first before even considering withdrawing or deferring your studies. Before making any decisions, it’s worth checking our Fee Refund policy and chatting with Studylink as there may be implications for Fees Free, Studylink support or accessing future courses. We are more than happy to talk to you about your individual circumstances and provide advice. 

Will I continue to get Studylink loans or allowance while undertaking online study?

If you are still meeting the requirements of the course, that is attending the classes and submitting your assignments, then yes. For more information about Studylink, click here.

I am an International Student and am concerned about completion of my studies. Who should I speak with?

We understand this is a particularly challenging time for international students. We are working with students individually to explore options to support your studies to ensure you can successfully complete your qualification Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our International Student Support person – Alex Harter on at any time. 

I’m financially struggling as a result of COVID-19. Is there anything SAE can do to help?

SAE Auckland recognises that students may face technology access issues and/or general hardship due to COVID-19. Wherever possible, we will assist students so they can keep studying at SAE. This includes providing funds for data in order to help students access online classes.

If you are facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19 and in particular require assistance to access online learning from home, please contact Student Support to discuss your circumstances.

I have a question that hasn't been answered, who do I speak with?

Whether we are on campus, or working online, our staff are available and more than willing to help. You can reach out to any staff via Slack, email or phone during normal working hours. If you have any particularly concerns, please feel free to speak with our Campus Director, Dr Suzette Major on slack: @s.major or email:

What Traffic Light setting is SAE Auckland currently operating under?

From 4 December 2021, SAE Auckland is operating under the Orange traffic light setting. 

SAE Auckland Safety Protocols Under Orange Traffic Light