This webpage contains the latest information from Sancta regarding our response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

As always, urgent updates are shared with residents directly via SMS or email.

Do you have a question? Sancta’s Reception and Student Services is moving online. Complete this form and a staff member will get back to you soon. 


Information from Authorities

Australian Government Department of Health:

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Current situation and case numbers

Health information telephone line

World Health Organisation (WHO):

Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Protective measures

Australian Government Health Direct:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptom checker

Australian Government:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) essential information 


Jump to a section:
Fees & Contracts
Leaving Sancta
Staying at Sancta
Returning to Sancta


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Fees & Contracts

What is the College’s position regarding payment of fees for students who temporarily leave the College with the intention of returning, due to COVID-19?

The College Council is actively working to resolve this question and we thank you for your patience while it is worked through. Please be assured that the College Council is committed to meeting this challenge in line with the College value of caring for our community, and is acutely aware that the pandemic is already leading to financial distress for many students and families.

We will provide this information as soon as possible. In the meantime, please reach out to us if your circumstances are such that you need an urgent resolution.

UPDATED: 24 March 2020


Am I breaking my contract if I leave permanently?

Yes. If you decide to leave permanently, you are breaking your residential contract with the College. Due to current circumstances, we have decided to waive the break-of-contract fee (normally a 4-week penalty + $750) for all students. If you leave permanently, you must inform us in writing by emailing Mia, Dean of Admissions.

If you leave permanently and later decide to return, we will, of course, do our best to accommodate you again (subject to availability). 

UPDATED: 24 March 2020


Would it be possible to get part of my fees back if l leave Sancta temporarily? 

If you have decided to leave temporarily, and this period extends beyond two weeks, as a minimum we are already committed to removing all costs associated with food from your fees from the third week of absence onwards. Please advise us if you have temporarily left so that your food rebate can be guaranteed. 

UPDATED: 24 March 2020

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When is the latest I am able to leave the College (temporarily or permanently)?

You can leave at any time. However, that window of opportunity to leave is diminishing as governments move to close borders in coming days. If you have decided that you wish to be at home during the peak of the pandemic, we suggest you leave as soon as possible. Please remember to let us know in writing by contacting Mia, Dean of Admissions.



If I leave, do I have to take everything out of my room? 

It will help us greatly if you are able to take everything out of your room, as this will maximise our flexibility and assist us to keep the students who remain as safe as possible. We appreciate your assistance by not leaving any belongings outside of your room, or in any corridor. Please dispose of any rubbish (general waste and recyclable waste only) in the skip bins. We are opening the Attic at various points during the day (times will be advised on the Sancta Noticeboard) for you to store some belongings.



Can I lock my belongings in my wardrobe, like all students do at the end of the year?

No – you must pack up all your belongings and take them with you, or have them placed in the Undergraduate main building attic for storage. The attic will be opened for students to store one square metre of their belongings while they have temporarily left. If you need to leave immediately, please leave the belongings you would like stored in the attic in a bin bag labelled with your name, or in a neat and tidy pile in your room. (Contact an RA for more information). 



I have not packed up my belongings and I have already left temporarily. Should I come and collect them?  

If you are in a position to return to Sancta and it is safe for you to do so (i.e. you have NOT been in contact with any suspected cases of COVID-19), you may return to collect your belongings. This will assist us in freeing up rooms throughout the College for use in a range of potential scenarios – such as distancing of residents or isolation of suspected or confirmed cases. Students who have already left without packing up their belongings will not be disadvantaged by decisions made in the coming days regarding fees. 

If you want a remaining resident to pack up your room for you, you must provide your written permission to us with the details of the person collecting your belongings, and the date and time they will be at the College. They must adhere to current health and safety guidelines, including maintaining social distance with residents. 



Where do I return my access key or fob if I move out (temporarily or permanently)?  

Please return your access key or fob to the slot in the Reception door. 



I’m thinking about whether to stay or go. What do you think?

We are equipped to support anyone who wishes to stay, and we are committed to staying open as things unfold.

We understand however that your decisions need to be based on more than just what is happening at Sancta, but that Uni, work and what is happening at home all play a part in your decision making. Our job is to assist you where we can.

If you have decided to leave Sancta for the ‘peak period’ of the pandemic: Given we don’t know when the peak will be, or how travel restrictions will continue to evolve, we do suggest that now might be the time to leave. 



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I have mail coming to Sancta. Will Sancta still be receiving mail and packages?

Mail and packages will continue to be delivered to the College by Australia Post and other couriers, however, you may experience some delays in receiving your delivery. We have also made some temporary changes to the way you collect your packages. You will now collect your packages from the shelving unit in the foyer, and you will no longer receive a message from a Sancta team member that your package is ready for collection. The new collection area is under 24/7 CCTV surveillance.  



Will the College fully close at any time?

We do not anticipate Sancta fully closing. We have students living with us for whom Sancta is their best and safest option. Every measure we are taking now is to try to provide the safest living environment for them. 

Should an unforeseen circumstance arise that requires Sancta to temporarily close, we will not abandon our students. We will ensure that every single remaining student has a safe alternative before any closure could be contemplated.



Will my movements in and out of the College be restricted if I stay at Sancta?

We will not be imposing our own movement restrictions in or out of Sancta for students who remain at the College. However, please anticipate that there may be periods of time throughout the pandemic where the Government will enforce greater restrictions of non-essential movement around the city. In this instance, Sancta will support that decision as far as we are able to, to ensure the safety of our community, and the community at large. 



Will there be any job opportunities at Sancta for students who stay?

There may be potential opportunities for students to be engaged in employment at the College. We will inform students if any opportunities arise. 



Will I be moved to a different room (i.e. one with an ensuite bathroom) if I decide to stay at Sancta? 

To reduce the risk of spreading potential infection, it is a possibility that students may be asked to relocate to another room if they stay at Sancta. All students who remain at Sancta will be kept closely informed of any room changes and movement plans from the Principal.  Your fees will not be impacted if you move to a different room for the period of the pandemic (e.g. moving from a shared room to a single or private ensuite room).



Are there plans to do anything differently with respect to food at Sancta? 

In addition to the (already implemented) extended and staggered meal times in the Dining Hall, our staff are working with our onsite catering team to consider further measures we can take to reduce risk with respect to food and the Dining Hall. Possibilities include the removal of self-serve practices in the servery. 



Is it possible that the government will order our rooms to be vacated even if we choose to stay? 

We do not have any information that suggests this will happen. The students who now remain at Sancta are so because they need to be. Authorities will be looking to facilities such as this to ensure we are taking this seriously and that we are taking measures above and beyond the baseline recommendations. In saying this, as we have said before, if you can return home, the time to do this is now and this is the preference of both Sancta and the Government. 



Is there a chance that the vacated rooms will be used by any overflow from the hospital with patients who have tested positive, given the proximity of the hospital to Sancta?

The Health Department has not contacted us with regard to any idea or plan of this nature. 



I have noticed that there are more parking spots now available at the College. Can I park my car on College grounds?

To park your car on College grounds, you still require a parking permit. Brigid, Vice Principal, manages parking permit requests – simply send her an email and she will let you know if a permit is now available for you. 



Am I allowed to bring visitors into the College?

No – as with other residential colleges, we are asking for a cessation of all guests into the College. This is for the mutual safety of our residents, and to have us collectively do our part for the broader community. If you have unique circumstances, please contact Fiona, Principal, or Brigid, Vice Principal, before allowing guests into the College.



Will housekeeping be performing the regular cleaning of my room?

No – we are asking our housekeeping staff to cease all cleaning of bedrooms. This is for two reasons. The first reason is to maximise focus and attention on the repeated sanitising of common spaces and touchpoints. The second reason is to protect our housekeeping staff as much as possible.



You’ve removed regular room cleaning. How can we ensure our rooms remain clean and sanitary?

We are ensuring that access to the products and appliances you want is readily available for you to keep your room in a clean and tidy state are available. We are in the process of placing cleaning kits on every floor of the College that will contain products to help keep your room clean.

Please assist our housekeepers by taking your own rubbish from your room directly to the large skip bins outside. These are located in the back car park near MRD, and to the left of the Grad House entrance near Figtree Terrace. 

Two rolls of toilet paper (if you have an ensuite room) and a fresh rubbish bag will be placed outside your door on your room’s scheduled cleaning day.



I don’t feel comfortable eating in the Dining Hall. Can I eat in my room?

All students are welcome to take food out of the Dining Hall and eat elsewhere in the College, however as per the College’s normal standards, if you are taking away food from the Dining Hall, please use your own containers and eat with your own cutlery.

If you have Sancta’s cutlery, plates or bowls in your room, please return them to the cleaning station in the servery for cleaning and sanitising.



If I get infected here, is there someone who can take care of me?

Most young people who contract the virus only get very mild symptoms and our response is based on that confidence. We are not able to provide nursing care but will do absolutely everything in our power to ensure you get the level of care you require if your needs are different from the norm. Our processes around supporting people in isolation are focused on more than just physical care – we are accounting for emotional and practical support needs too.



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I moved out of Sancta temporarily last week and went home. Things are not working out at home. Can I come back to live at Sancta?

If you are interested in returning to Sancta now or in the coming days, please get in contact with Brigid directly. Decisions will be made on an individual basis. We will want to make sure you are aware of any risks within the College at your point of return, and to assess what risks you could possibly be bringing into the College. The easiest thing to do is get in touch with Brigid to talk it through.



Will I be able to move back to Sancta this semester if I have left temporarily?

Our speculation is that students will physically not be able to return to College until Semester 2 or later. This is, however, fully dependent on how things unfold. 

If you are an international student who is returning to Sancta from overseas, we will do our best to accommodate you as long as Government rules allow you to return to Australia, and it is safe for you to do so. Please let us know in advance of your intentions to return, and we will advise you if we can accommodate you at that time. 

We will keep all students informed as to when it will be suitable for you to move back in. 



Will I be able to have my same room back when I move back to Sancta? 

It is our preference to be able to re-offer students their same rooms from 2020, however, we simply cannot guarantee that we will be in a position to do this. 



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Will the College Counsellor be available to support students during this time?  

We are in the process of setting up arrangements to allow the College Counsellor to provide support to our students via telephone, email or video call. We will inform all students when this is available. 



Is the College still running tutorials? Can I attend them virtually?

Yes – we intend to continue running tutorials. They will be run online if face-to-face is not an option. The same rules apply will apply – 1 hour a week and a minimum of 3 students in attendance – but they will just be run either online or face-to-face or a combination.

They will likely run on Zoom but the method of delivery is ultimately up to the tutor. This is going to take some time to coordinate but CJ, the senior tutor, is working on it and we hope to have tutorials up and running soon. The other colleges are also working on moving their tutorials online, so when their online tutorials are up, Sancta students should be able to virtually attend those too.

UPDATED: 20 March 2020


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