COVID-19 UPDATE 2 April 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE 2 April 2020

Kia ora SAE Auckland Students 

We’re now one week into the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown and I hope you’re all comfortably set up at home during this challenging time. With online classes commencing Monday April 6th we wanted to share some information around your studies over the next half-trimester.


Students have been asked to identify their online engagement capability in terms of equipment and internet capacity through our IT survey. Thanks so much to those who completed that survey. While we appreciate that there are a handful of you with limited computer access, we encourage all students to do their utmost to engage in synchronous online classes, even if this means using only your smartphone. Classes will be recorded and subsequently made available for any asynchronous self-directed learning. It is imperative that you are logged into Slack to be able to receive all pertinent information. 

Course Communication

On Friday April 3rd course-specific information will be sent to you in Slack for AP502, AP702, MP502, MP702, SP502/503, SP702 and CC602. This will include dates, information and links for class delivery using Zoom and/or Google Meet. Unless clearly specified, classes will be at the same times already published in the Axis timetable. That means that you should plan to attend classes at the time you usually would - it’s just that it will now be online rather than in person for a while.  

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. 


The requirement for attendance remains the same. The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), NZQA and Studylink expect and require you to be attending all classes and maintain engagement in the programme. Those organisations also expect SAE to continue reporting all attendance, as per usual. The courses will obviously have a very different flavour to them but they will provide you with a great opportunity to exist as a creative practitioner solely in the online space for a few weeks at least. So, although we won’t be at the campus in Parnell, the potential for meaningful creative endeavour is as high as ever. 

Student Support

We recognise that these are unusual times and your anxiety might be higher than usual. Our Student Support staff are here to help. This week, Alex and Lani have been ringing all students to check in regarding general wellbeing and to ensure that you’re ready to recommence classes next week. From next week on, Student Support will hold daily office hours, every day 11am-1pm in their zoom room. The Student Support zoom link will be published on the Student Support Slack channel. During this 2 hour period, feel free to pop into the zoom room at any time to chat with Lani and/or Alex. Beyond the office hours, Alex and Lani are available via Slack or email at anytime.

IT Support

Our IT Support person, Brad, is available to assist with any IT issues you may be facing while engaging with our online learning. Brad is available via Slack or emailing

Management Support

Beyond communication directly with your Course Coordinator or Head of Department, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Campus Director Suzette, Operations Manager Leyland or myself with any questions or concerns. Our Slack and email contact details are below:

Dr Suzette Major           Campus Director           @s.major

Leyland Bottomley        Operations Manager     @l.bottomley

Dr Stephen Small          Academic Manager       @s.small 


Trimester dates

As you are aware, at the announcement of entering COVID-19 response Levels 3 and 4, in order to ensure your continued studies as quickly as possible we brought forward two weeks of the next trimester break. This means that the remaining trimester breaks will be one week each with us still finishing the academic year on Friday November 13th, as originally planned.  Below are the new trimester dates for the remainder of 2020.




Finally, we know these are strange times, but we are excited about our online classes and really looking forward to reconnecting with you from next Monday. I’m sure you’ll enjoy being back amongst your creative community. If you have any questions, reach out. Otherwise, please check Slack, particularly your course channel, for more specific information about your online classes starting next week.

Dr Stephen Small
Academic Manager, SAE Auckland