Mandates at uni colleges

University of Otago's University College (Unicol). Photo: Gerard O'Brien
University of Otago's University College (Unicol). Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Covid-19 vaccinations will be mandatory in all University of Otago residential colleges next year.

Announcing the news, university chief operating officer Stephen Willis said the decision was made after consultation and careful assessment of the health and safety risks, as well as the likely restrictions that would be in place.

‘‘It was concluded that if residents were to be unvaccinated, the university would be unable to meet its pastoral care obligations to all residents, or to offer the full college experience.’’

All incoming residents for the 2022 year have been advised via email.

 Stephen Willis. Photo: ODT files
Stephen Willis. Photo: ODT files

Students who did not wish to attend colleges under the mandate had until November 25 to withdraw without financial penalty.

Several universities have already announced mandates at university-owned accommodation and campuses.

Meanwhile, the university yesterday confirmed about a dozen staff covered by a vaccine mandate had not received the jab.

Human resources director Kevin Seales said for some of those staff members, the university had been able to put in place interim arrangements so they could continue to work while it considered possible long-term options.

‘‘For others, there are no viable short-term options and we are working through their circumstances with them on an individual basis.’’