University of Tasmania students will be given three days to decide if they want to continue their study online and pay for their subjects after the new way of learning is trialed on Friday.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic UTAS announced on Monday it would shift all classes online by March 20.
The census date for students to drop subjects for semester one without any financial liability is March 23.
This gives students three days to decide if the change is for them.
UTAS student Samuel Bertram is in his final year of a mathematics degree and said he moved to Hobart this year to study on campus.
"I did my past two years as a distance student and was told that doing third year by distance was impossible due to how hard it is and they had no plan in making it ever a distance subject," he said.
"My entire second year was distance [and] what I can confirm is [it's] horrendously harder than on campus, especially when lecturers fail to turn on the microphones or tracking cameras half the time."
Mr Bertram said the best option would be for the university to defer the semester for several weeks until there was more information.
UTAS emailed students on Tuesday explaining they could withdraw from classes without receiving a fail mark until May 31 but would still need to pay subject fees if enrolled on March 23.
IN OTHER NEWS:
UTAS executive director of student operation's Andrew Gillies said the change was made due to the pandemic situation in Australia.
"As part of our response to COVID-19, we have put in place additional measures to ease concerns you may have about your enrolment in semester one," he said.
"This means that students can request withdrawal without academic penalty, a fail grade will not be recorded, up until the last teaching week of the semester.
"As you will have already paid for the unit, we will ensure students who withdraw can undertake the same unit again in the future at no extra charge."
Mr Bertram is on a financial scholarship where he is required to pass all of his subjects to keep it.
He said the change announced by UTAS was a step in the right direction but it was not enough.
"It doesn't do anything for students like myself with scholarships who can't un-enroll to save our grade," he said.
"My biggest concern now is that I was hoping to go into honour research next year ... and [it] would require me to get distinction and preferably high distinctions in all my third year units.
"On campus [this] is already a stretch but as a distance student it has potentially locked me out of my future.
"Of course with no scholarship I could drop a unit or two and focus on two to three units intently but that isn't an option."
What do you think UTAS should do? Have your say with a letter to the editor: