COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT: 1 September 2021


Kia ora SAE students

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland will remain in Alert Level 4 for a further 2 weeks until at least Tuesday 14 September. This means that our SAE Auckland campus remains fully closed and, for the time-being, all classes will continue online.

I am very aware of the disruption that lockdown creates – not only in terms of the challenges it poses for teaching and learning, but also the impact on our mental health. We are a strong, tight-knit community and it’s hard to be away from campus and from each other. I therefore encourage you all to continue to reach out, to support each other through this difficult time and ensure everyone you know is keeping safe and well. A gentle reminder that Student Support can access free, private counselling services for you if needed. There are also a great range of resources available at: 

I would also like to take the opportunity today to announce several initiatives that we are putting in place, given the extended lockdown. I trust these will help to alleviate concerns you may have about the impact of Alert Level 4 on your SAE studies. 

  1. All current students will be granted continued access to our studios, labs and equipment beyond the end date of Tri 3 classes through to the Christmas break, specifically until Wednesday 15 December. These additional weeks will give you the chance to continue to hone your creative and technical skills using the industry standard facilities that SAE is renowned for. Bookings will be needed as per usual, and access will obviously be dependent upon Alert Level protocols applicable at the time. 

  2. We are couriering out webcams, usb mics and mice to students, as well as helping out with data costs if needed. If you need such devices or data, please contact Alex Ferrier or Alex Harter to discuss.

  3. As previously mentioned by our Academic Manager Dr Julia Reynolds, Course Coordinators may adjust assessments or due dates as we go. We are trying to be fluid, reasonable and practical in our approach throughout lockdown. However, beyond any class-wide extensions that may be announced for particular assessments, you may also formally apply for an extension if you feel you have been specifically impacted by not having access to studios/equipment or software. Please discuss your circumstances with the Course Coordinator first so that we can make adjustments and provide support where possible.

  4. Level 6 and 7 students may be impacted in your ability to undertake Work-Integrated Learning during lockdown. If you are yet to accumulate placement hours, you must speak with Dave Johnston immediately. We can grant extensions if required, however this can only be considered once you have a plan in place with Dave. 

  5. For our new Music Production students who just commenced study in Tri 3: we are aware you have not, as yet, had a chance to experience SAE life on campus. We are therefore extending your ‘census date’ – i.e., the date in which you must fully commit to the course. Usually this occurs 8 days after starting your programme, however we will start these ‘8 days’ once you have actually started on campus. This will give you time to assess if the Music Production course is the right one for you.

  6. Unless advised otherwise, we will endeavour to ensure that your Trimester dates do not change, i.e., courses will still be completed by November 12. This means you should not need to be concerned with making any adjustments to StudyLink etc. 

  7. For those who would be graduating with a Diploma at the end of this year (i.e., completing Level 5 and exiting SAE), please be advised that we will likely move your Diploma Presentation Ceremony date to January, allowing us time to get any students through extensions in time to graduate. Once we have settled on a new date, you will be informed. At this stage, the Degree Graduation Ceremony (for Level 7 students) will occur in late January 2022 as initially planned. 

  8. We are very aware of the social side of SAE and how much you are missing spending time together beyond the classroom. From today, Student Support have therefore set up a social zoom room, open daily from 1 to 2pm. This is a space to ‘hang-out’, catch up with fellow SAE students, share material that you’ve been working on, as well as chat with Student Support. If you need a private conversation, Alex H will direct you to a breakout room.

  9. Finally, a reminder that our studios are able to open, under very strict protocols, at Alert Level 3. While all classes will remain online, we can allow some students on campus, in a limited capacity, so that you can use our facilities for your assessments. Once we have confirmation about when a shift to Alert Level 3 will occur, I will be in touch to outline those protocols.

I hope these initiatives help reassure you that SAE is well equipped, experienced, and resourced for online delivery. While lockdown brings about challenges, our focus continues to be delivering the best possible student experience. It is also encouraging to see the average daily COVID case numbers drop in recent days and I’m hopeful that Auckland will be able to move back down Alert Levels soon.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my extraordinary team. They have been working tirelessly over these past 2 weeks to ensure your learning experience at SAE continues to be a positive one. SAE is an amazing place to work and study largely because of the people. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, capable, and creative team of staff. Please join me in thanking them for all they are doing. 

Kia kaha everyone. Together we will get through this.