University of Auckland confirms Covid-19 vaccination policy

Tuesday 2 November 2021

The University of Auckland has confirmed its policy that from 4 January 2022 all students, staff and visitors will need to be fully vaccinated as a condition of being able to take part in face-to-face University-managed activities or to enter our campuses. This includes teaching and learning spaces (such as workshops, classes, labs, tutorials, meetings, noho marae, exams and assessments), libraries, student services, student accommodation, gyms, counselling and health services, offices and research and related activity settings.

This decision will be reviewed regularly, and will be revisited in full in June 2022, noting the rapidly changing environment and the increasing advances in the management of living with the pandemic globally.

In a message to staff and students Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said that consultation with students and staff and the development of a risk assessment framework had informed the decision, which she was confident had the support of a significant majority of the University community.

“This decision is firmly based on the health and well-being of our community, and is in line with decisions the Government has announced for other industry sectors. It also follows the lead of similar leading universities around the globe. We all very much want to return to a normal university experience for our students and staff, and we believe a vaccine policy such as this is the best way to keep everyone safe,” she said.

“We know that some people feel that this may impinge on their freedom of choice, however it’s important to note that the policy does not force anyone to get vaccinated. That decision remains entirely a matter of personal choice, and the University respects the right to choose. However, if you make that choice then you need to be aware that it will carry consequences and limit your ability to take part in University activities.

“Our priority throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has been to protect the health, safety and well-being of our University community. While this policy may limit some rights, it reaffirms what we consider to be the University’s primary responsibility, which is to keep our campuses and people safe.”

Some of the practical details about how the policy will be implemented will be determined over the next couple of months in advance of the policy taking effect on 4 January 2022.

A set of frequently asked questions about the policy has been created, based on the submissions and questions from students and staff in the consultation. This is a working document that will be further developed as information comes to hand and more decisions are made.