Support for students affected by a natural disaster

If your studies are affected by a natural disaster or extreme weather, we're here to help.

Have your studies been impacted by bushfires, floods, or extreme weather events?

If you're studying through Open Universities Australia and your ability to study has been impacted, we're here to help with a range of options.

On this page:

A laptop and a smartphone connected to a portable battery or power bank

If you need some extra time to complete assessments

The best people to contact about your subjects and assessments are your tutors and coordinators. You’ll find their details in your uni’s learning management system (LMS).

Open your LMS (Student Hub sign in required)

If you need to pause your studies

Depending on how far you are into your studies, and how much time you need off, you have different options.

Withdraw online

If you’ve just recently enrolled, consider withdrawing online. Three weeks after your classes start, you’ll reach the census date. You can withdraw before the census date and you won’t be charged for the subject.

Withdraw from your subjects (Student Hub sign in required)
Find your census date

Special circumstances

When you’re dealing with events beyond your control and you have to withdraw from your subjects, but the census date has come and gone, you can apply for special circumstances. If you’re eligible, we will refund your fees and overturn your fail grade.

Apply for special circumstances (Student Hub sign in required)

Leave of absence

If you’re studying an undergraduate degree, you can spend an extended period away from your studies by taking a leave of absence. A leave of absence gives you a break from your degree for two or more study terms.

Take a leave of absence (Student Hub sign in required)

If you need to talk to someone

At Open Universities Australia, we're here to help.


It’s understandable to feel worried during this time. Whether it relates to your study or not, knowing there's someone you can talk to can really help.

How to make a counselling appointment

Your first step is to request an appointment by emailing When you ask for an appointment, let us know your Open Universities Australia ID number, plus the best number to reach you on over the phone.

If you're seeking support outside business hours, you can reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. Emergency services can be contacted on 000, and you can also visit BeyondBlue for a comprehensive list of support services.

Book a counselling appointment

Student advisors

Our team of student advisors are standing by to help you work through your study options.

They can explain the difference between withdrawing, special circumstances, and a leave of absence. They’ll help you decide which break is right for you and guide you through the process.

Contact a student advisor

Our friendly student advisors are here to help

We’re here to guide you every step of the way with advice on:

  • Choosing a course that suits you best.
  • Enrolling and planning your studies.
  • Understanding your funding options.

Call, message or chat with a student advisor today.

Open Universities Australia student advisor, Josh, seated at a workstation.
Student advisor Josh is here to help.

We're here to guide you there

Our student advisors can assist you with enrolment, help you plan your studies, and answer questions about how studying through Open Universities Australia can get you from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow.

13 OPEN (13 67 36)

Message, chat or SMS

Talk to a student advisor

We'll be in touch to answer your questions.

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