To be compliant with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 the College is required to have certain policies and procedures in place to ensure appropriate ongoing support and communication with Overseas Students. As the College is in partnership with a member college of the Australian College of Theology this policy is based on the equivalent policy.
This policy addresses the requirements of the National Code of Practice (2018) standard 9. Specifically it documents the College:
- processes for assessing, approving and recording a deferment, suspension or cancellation of study
- will notify the overseas student in writing of the intention to suspend or cancel their enrolment
- will tell the overseas student to seek advice from the Department of Home Affairs on the potential impact on their visa if enrolment has been deferred, suspended or cancelled
- will not let a suspension or cancellation take effect until the overseas student has been given a chance to complete an internal appeals process, unless their health or wellbeing, or the wellbeing of others, is likely to be at risk.
This applies to overseas students in VET or Higher Education courses.
1. Deferment of Study
- An overseas student may only defer their studies for compassionate or compelling reasons such as:
- serious illness or injury with a medical certificate stating that they were unable to attend classes;
- bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents;
- major political upheaval or natural disaster in their home country requiring emergency travel when this has impacted on their study;
- a traumatic experience which could include involvement in or witnessing a serious accident, witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime (supported by a police or psychologist’s report);
- the College’s inability to offer a prerequisite unit;
- unavailability of units
- inability to begin studying on the course commencement date because of a delay in receiving a student visa.
- The Student must notify the college by completing the required form and provide evidence of the compassionate or compelling reasons why deferment should be granted.
- The College will:
- inform the student that deferring their enrolment may affect their student visa and the student should contact the Department of Home Affairs on the potential impact on their visa if the enrolment is deferred; and
- request the Dean of Academic Administration to approve or deny the request for deferral;
- when approved the College will:
- notify the student in writing within five working days; and
- the Department of Education and Training via PRISMS (as required under section 19 of the ESOS Act) that the student’s enrolment is deferred.
- when denied the College will:
- notify the student in writing, within five working days, of the reason for the decision and that the student has 20 working days to appeal the decision through the College's Grievance and Complaints Policy for Overseas Students.
- If the student chooses to access the College's Grievance and Complaints process, the student’s enrolment will be maintained until the internal appeal process is completed.
- The College will notify the Department of Education and Training of any change to the student’s enrolment status only after the internal appeals process is completed.
- when approved the College will:
2. Suspension or Cancellation of Study
- The College will inform the student in writing of any decision leading to suspension or cancellation of enrolment.
- The student will be informed that they have 20 working days to access the College's Grievance and Complaints process.
- The following are possible (but not the only) grounds for the suspension or cancellation of enrolment:
- Academic misconduct. The College may exclude a student from class studies on the grounds of a breach of academic integrity by the student. Please refer to College's Academic Integrity Policy.
- General misconduct. Please refer to the College’s Student Responsibilities statement.
- Unsatisfactory course progress. Please refer to College's Progress Policy.
- Non-payment of fees by the due date. The College will inform the student of its intention and allow the student 20 working days in which to access the College's Grievances and Complaints process. Please refer to the College's refund policies - Refund Policy (Higher Education) and Refund Policy - VET
- Non-commencement of studies - where the student does not commence studies in a program when they are due to commence and they have not notified the College in writing; or where the student requested deferment, but there were no compassionate or compelling reasons for granting a deferment.
- When a student who has not completed their program does not return to studies after a break and has not notified the College of any reason. In this case, by not re-enrolling the student has ‘inactively’ advised that they will not be continuing their studies. The student will be notified by email of the intention to cancel enrolment. If no response is received within five (5) working days the College will notify the Department of Education and Training via PRISMS of the student’s intention to cease studies by cancelling the student’s Confirmation of Enrolment.
- The College considers the student to be non-bona fide. Indicators of this include but are not limited to:
- A student who demonstrates erratic course progress as a result of their failure to maintain regular class attendance, such that attendance falls below 80%, shall have their enrolment cancelled and shall be reported to the Department of Education as non-bona fide
- Students who have been counselled regarding their attendance and course progression; but their attendance and progression continues to be unsatisfactory without reasonable cause
- Students displaying unsatisfactory course progression who have not committed to any individual learning plan developed to support their study
- Students who attend classes but refuse to be engaged or to participate in the learning. Examples of this include:
- not submitting assignments
- not attending class when assessments are scheduled
- refusing to participate or be involved in classroom or workshop activities.
- Students who have not provided up to date contact details when requested.
3. Appealing a Decision to Suspend or Cancel Study
Should the student choose appeal a decision through the College Grievance and Complaints process, the student’s enrolment is maintained while the appeal is ongoing. [i.e.The Department of Education and Training is not notified of a change to enrolment status until the internal complaints and appeals process is completed (and has supported the College's intention to suspend or cancel the student’s enrolment).] This applies even if an overseas student’s misbehaviour is grounds for immediate expulsion, unless the overseas student’s or other’s welfare is at risk.
Such extenuating circumstances include the following situations when an overseas student:
- is missing;
- has medical concerns, severe depression, or psychological issues which lead the provider to fear for the overseas student’s well-being;
- has engaged or threatens to engage in behaviour that is reasonably believed to endanger the overseas student or others; or
- is at risk of committing a criminal offence.
Any claim of extenuating circumstances will need to be supported by appropriate evidence.
3.1 Reporting Process
The College will only report an overseas student for suspension, cancellation of enrolment, unsatisfactory course progress or attendance in PRISMS after:
- the internal and external complaints processes have been completed and the decision to suspend or cancel enrolment has been upheld;
- the overseas student has chosen not to access the internal complaints and appeals process within the 20 working day period;
- the overseas student has chosen not to access the external complaints and appeals process; or
- the overseas student withdraws from the internal or external appeals process, by notifying the College in writing.