Academic staff have been instructed to defer their planned return to campus this week and keep working from home.
To allow RMIT to focus on essential restoration activities, the majority of staff have been asked to work remotely for now, the university told staff this week.
Orientation week events attracted a smaller, COVID-safe crowd at RMIT University this week.Credit:Paul Jeffers
The cyber attack has also disrupted the universitys efforts to secure a number of late-enrolling students.
Enrolment online is currently unavailable, staff were told.
Student recruitment teams have proactively reached out to students who have an offer from RMIT and who have not completed the enrolment process.
The university has also had to delay paying casual staff due to the corruption of an electronic payment system.
Rhidian Thomas, an industrial officer with the National Tertiary Education Union, said his office had been inundated with calls from unpaid casual staff.
Our phone has been going off with casual staff being unable to generate online pay claims, Mr Thomas said.
The university said students would be taught through a mixture of online lectures and on-campus tutorials next week.
RMIT has made significant progress in restoring access to the majority of IT systems that were affected by an outage last week, an RMIT spokeswoman said.
We are looking forward to welcoming our higher education students when they commence their semester one studies next week.
But one RMIT lecturer, speaking anonymously because he is not authorised to speak to the media about employment issues, said there was uncertainty about how next weeks lectures would take place.
Were trying to start teaching next week, the lecturer said.
Were going to be teaching online for our first week because we cant be guaranteed access to the campus and for many students, theyre in limbo.
RMITs orientation week, usually one of the liveliest in the university calendar, went ahead despite the IT woes, albeit with a smaller, COVID-safe crowd.
All the usual O-Week antics were on view at the city campus on Thursday: student political groups trying to sign up first-year students, tote bags of freebies along with DJ and band performances.
But students saidthey were still unable to access the universitys Wi-Fi, apply for concession cards or enrol in some subjects.
Business information systems student Harsh, 21, who didnt wish to use his surname, said he was hoping the IT incident wouldnt mean a return to online learning for his course.
Ive got three subjects that are completely related to IT, so if it doesnt get sorted by the end of this week its going to be very hard for me, he said.
I just hope they dont send us back home and for a couple of weeks we have to go back to online studies I cant take more of it.
Start your day informed
Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.
Adam Carey is Education Editor. He joined The Age in 2007 and has previously covered state politics, transport, general news, the arts and food.
Rachael Dexter is a breaking news reporter at The Age.