Removing barriers to academic success

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We know the realities of COVID-19 have meant a lot of the established ways of teaching and learning have not been possible. Significant changes have been needed to keep everyone safe, follow government requirements, and make sure students’ learning and research can continue.

At the heart of all we do is our students’ success. We are unwavering in our commitment to the academic integrity and the world-class quality of our work-ready graduates.

We are applying a universal approach to assessments and academic progression, so no students are prevented from continuing their study due to issues caused by COVID-19.

What we are doing to support students

  • Universal learning and assessment support put in place
  • Universal reduced burden for assessment and for gaining extensions if needed
  • Exam board will rescale all students if grades appear impacted by COVID-19
  • Barriers to progression for students who have not met competency or due to disrupted study will be removed

About our approach

Our approach is made up of several elements designed to be fair to all students, accommodating special cases while retaining the integrity of assessment. These include:


Learning materials have been re-designed to support student success and ensure quality in the online teaching and learning environment.


Student workload and the overall number of assessments have been reduced


There will be no exam period. Instead a variety of assessments will be used.

The need for supporting documentation for any student seeking additional time because of mild/moderate impaired performance has been removed.

We have removed barriers to progression by:

  • Enabling an interim STC (Still to Complete) grade to be given wherever this is needed by students to complete an assessment that could not take place during lockdown
  • Suspending the Academic Progress regulations so no student will be excluded from progressing if their academic performance is impaired during the period impacted by COVID-19
  • Ensuring a failing grade during the affected period will not be counted towards a student’s GPA (Grade Point Average)


All final grades, including borderline passing grades, are monitored by an examination board. This review also involves careful consideration of the grades for all assessments for the semester and making grade adjustments if these are necessary and fair to all students under the circumstances.


We are committed to supporting students now and in their future careers. That means we are being flexible and pragmatic about assessments and grading during this disrupted period without losing sight of our end goal of knowledgeable, work-ready graduates.

We have a responsibility to students, employers and the communities we serve to ensure students are supported in their learning, and also that they can be assured that students have met the learning outcomes of their qualification.

It would not be responsible in many areas, including health, education, engineering and law, to pass students if they were not competent in certain knowledge and skills.

Read our FAQs

Check out our frequently asked questions about what AUT is doing to remove the barriers to student success.

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