Partner Provider

Partner Provider Exit Strategy Procedure

Policy Code: CG1526

Purpose

This procedure mandates operational activities and assigns responsibilities under Federation University Australia’s Higher Education Partner Provider Delivery Policy.

The Partner Provider Exit Strategy Procedure provides the process to be followed by the University when implementation of an exit strategy with a partner provider has been determined in relation to a program or partnership.

Scope

This procedure applies to all University Faculties under agreement with a Partner Provider to deliver Federation University Australia programs or courses, at their location.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • Statutes and Regulations
    • Statute 5.3 – Assessment
    • Regulation 5.3 – Assessment
  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Second Edition January 2013
  • Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011

Definitions

Term Definition
Agreement/Contract An Education Agreement between the University and a Partner Provider
Course A subsidiary element of a program
CUP Centre for University Partnerships

Faculty

 

Faculty or School delivering programs
Partner Provider An approved educational institution that delivers university programs or courses as part of an agreement with Federation University Australia
Program A program of learning based on a curriculum, training package, units of study, or structured workplace learning which leads to an award. Non-award studies include programs for professional development, education development, general interest and preparation for study offered by the University

Responsibility

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure
  • Director, Partnerships and Commercial Engagement is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement
  • Manager, Partner Relationships is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this procedure as directed by the Director, Partnerships and Commercial Engagement
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement is responsible for making recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor to exit a Partner Provider education agreement.
  • The Vice-Chancellor, on endorsement of a recommendation, will direct the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement to implement the exit strategy.
  • The Dean of the relevant Faculty will be responsible for academic oversight of the students transfer or completion.

Actions

1. Initiating an exit strategy by the University

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Conducting a risk assessment of the Partner Provider Faculty
  1. A risk assessment of the Partner Provider will be based on the following:
    • Academic quality and integrity
    • Financial viability
    • Regulatory compliance in host country
    • Reputation of Partner Provider; and
    • Advice from the University’s Legal Office
B. Determining the exit strategy based on the results/outcome of the risk assessment Faculty
  1. Implement of one of the following exit strategies:
    • The Partner Provider ceasing delivery of University programs; or
    • The University giving notice that the Partner Provider may not offer any further intakes into University programs; or
    • The University giving notice to Partner Provider/s that a program is ceasing and that they may not offer any further intakes into that program but that all existing enrolled students will be given the opportunity to complete the program (ie teach out the program)
C. Seeking approval to exit Faculty
  1. Obtain approval from the International and Partners Committee (I&PC) to implement the exit strategy

2. Initiating an exit strategy by the Partner Provider

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Ceasing offering of the University’s program/s  Partner Provider
  1. A Partner Provider may give notice to the University that it wishes to cease offering the University’s programs due to:
    • Declining or low enrolments; or
    • A decision to partner with another University
B. Seeking approval to exit Partner Provider
  1. Obtain approval from the International and Partners Committee (I&PC) to implement the exit strategy

3. Implementing an exit strategy

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notifying the Partner Provider University’s Legal Office
  1. Ensure that the partner provider receives notification in writing of the decision to exit, providing reasons for the decision or acceptance of the Partner Provider’s intention to cease offering the University’s program/s.
  2. Unless otherwise advised by the University's Legal Office, the partner must not offer places to any new students in the program/s from the commencement of the semester preceding the termination date.
B. Immediately ceasing delivery (on shore) Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement or nominee
  1. Meet with the students to explain the decision to immediately cease delivery at an off-shore partner provider and offer alternatives to allow each student to complete his or her course by:
    • transferring to a University campus in Ballarat or Gippsland
    • transferring to another partner provider; or
    • provide assistance to obtain credit to complete with another education provider/University (where possible)
  2. Compliance with the ESOS Act Tuition Protection Services must occur for Provider Default including presenting each student with the choice of:
    • a refund of all pre-paid program fees paid in advance; or
    • the offer of placement in an alternative CRICOS program (either at a University campus in Ballarat or another partner provider); or
    • provide assistance to obtain credit to complete with another education partner provider/University (where possible).
  3. The student must agree, in writing, to accept the alternative program before the University is relieved of the obligation to fully refund the pre-paid tuition fees
C. Managing a teach out period Faculty
  1. Where the exit strategy involves a teach out period the partner agreement will generally specify that both parties must cooperate to ensure that the students complete the program/s and the terms and conditions of the agreement continue (where relevant) to apply and bind the parties until the last student completes his or her program.
  2. Ensure that the Partner take responsibility for maintaining all necessary government approval/s for the duration of the teach out period
  3. Verify the student's academic transcript to assist the student make an appropriate transfer decision (where teach out is not possible)
  4. Work with the Partner to develop a teach out plan which will include:
    • remaining students
    • a schedule of delivery
    • the finalisation of fees and payments
    • possible early exit arrangements for the students; and
    • the finalisation of records for return to the University.
  5. Prepare and send communications to the students at the Partner outlining:
    • the exit and teach out
    • the contractual obligations to assist the students to complete; and
    • the options available
  6. Maintain student support through the relevant Faculty until each student has completed or has transferred to another institution (including the opportunity to attend graduation).
D. Notifying the relevant bodies Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement or nominee
  1. Notify the relevant government regulatory authorities
  2. Notify FedUni Finance, Student Administration, Registrar Services and other relevant personnel
E. Notifying relevant agencies Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement or nominee
  1. Notify relevant agencies (if off-shore), for example:
    • Austrade
    • Department of Education and Training; and
    • Victorian Government agencies

Promulgation

The Partner Provider Exit Strategy Procedure will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the 'Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University' website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  • Faculty meeting
  • Inclusion in the University’s Partner Operations Manual

Implementation

The Partner Provider Exit Strategy Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • Inclusion on the University’s Policy Administration Management Portal;
  • Inclusion in the University’s Partner Operations Manual

Records Management

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Risk Assessment Faculty Faculty Business Manager

Retain for 5 years after life of relevant agreement

Lodge records into the University’s approved records management system using established procedures

Approval to Exit (Minutes from I&PC meeting) Faculty Faculty Business Manager

Retain for 5 years after life of relevant agreement

Lodge records into the University’s approved records management system using established procedures

Written notification to Partner Provider Legal Office Director, Corporate Governance

Retain for 5 years after life of relevant agreement

Lodge records into the University’s approved records management system using established procedures