Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Higher Education Deferral or Leave from Studies Procedure

Policy Code: SS1968

Purpose

This procedure supports and mandates the implementation of Federation University Australia’s Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing Policy. It expands on the principles outlined in the policy and provides guidance on processing and granting of:

  • deferment prior to commencement of studies; or
  • Leave of absence after commencement.

Students with a pre-existing disability/health condition or prolonged adverse circumstances may be eligible for assistance and support – refer Disability Learning Access Plan Procedure.

Scope

This procedure applies to all domestic students of Federation University Australia studying higher education programs, regardless of the training delivery mode (on-campus, off-campus, online), including those offered through partner providers. However it does not apply to applications lodged by international students which will be assessed according to the University’s Deferment, Suspension or Cancellation of a Student’s Enrolment (ESOS Specific) Procedure.

All commencing students who have been given a formal written offer for a higher education award program by the University but have not yet enrolled will have the option to defer this offer for one teaching period (6 months) to a maximum of two teaching periods (12 months). Students who enrol in the University may apply to take leave from studies at any time.

Students intending to transfer into another Federation University Australia program should be directed to complete the Internal Transfer form (not the Withdrawal from all studies form).

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • Statute 2.2 Academic Board
  • Statute 5.1 Academic Awards and Courses
  • Statute 5.2 Entry Quotas, Admissions and Enrolment
  • Statute 5.3 Assessment
  • Statute 5.4 Exclusion for Reasons of Unfitness
  • Statute 5.6 Admission to Academic Awards
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1992)
  • Disability Standards for Education (2005)
  • Privacy Act (1988)
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (as amended), Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001 and National Code of Practice 2007
  • Standard 13 – Deferring, Suspending or Cancelling the Student’s Enrolment

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing Policy.

A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

Term Definition
CUP Centre for University Partnerships
Deferral Postponement of the commencement of studies at Federation University Australia. Available only to commencing students who choose to defer the commencement of their studies until a later teaching period rather than accepting the offer to begin in the current teaching period
Enrolment

The process by which a person who is in receipt of a written offer of a

place, enrols by completing the appropriate form

ESOS Act Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, as amended from time to time
Internal transfer A student enrolled in a Federation University Australia program who wishes to transfer to another program within the University
Offer

Notification to a student in writing that they have a place in a program or

course

Actions (applicable to Domestic Students only)

1. Confidentiality and Privacy

Any Deferral, Leave from Studies or Withdrawal from All Studies Applications received must be treated by all parties as strictly confidential – refer Information Privacy Policy.

Information forming part of the application shall only be discussed with, or made available to, a person who is:

  • A party to the application
  • Is or has been legitimately involved in the management of that application; or
  • Has a formal management role in following up the consequences or implications of the application

Parties must be aware of the consequences if there is a breach of confidentiality, which may include disciplinary action.

2. Applying for and approving Deferment

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Completing the Application for Deferment Form Student
  1. On receipt of a written offer of a place in a higher education program, a written application to defer must be made within two weeks of receiving the letter of offer
  2. Discuss circumstances for deferral with the Program Coordinator
  3. Complete the application, indicating reasons for applying for deferment and the length of deferral
  4. Submit written application to Head of School
B.

Reviewing/

approving the Application

Faculty
  1. Approve or deny student’s deferral request (deferrals in excess of one year require authorisation from the Head of School) – deferment cannot be offered once a student has enrolled
  2. Update student file
  3. Notify student in writing of approval/non-approval
  4. Notify Student Administration via email

3. Applying for and Granting Leave of Absence

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Completing the Application for Leave of Absence (ALOA) Student
  1. Once enrolled, complete and lodge a Leave of Absence Form, including:
    • Student name and ID number
    • Program/Course from which Leave of Absence is being sought
    • The period of time for which the leave is sought (one teaching period or up to one year)
    • The reason/s for which the leave is being sought
  2. Scan the document and retain the original in a secure place for the duration of the requested leave
  3. Electronically submit to the Program Coordinator within the relevant Faculty:
    • the scanned copy of the completed form
    • relevant documentary evidence to support the application – refer ALOA Form (evidence required)
  4. Continue to attend classes while awaiting the decision on the application
B. Granting Leave of Absence Program Coordinator
  1. Receipt the application in the University’s approved student management system
  2. Automatically grant a first application from a student for leave of absence providing the Program Coordinator and Program Committee are satisfied that the reasons are appropriate
  3. Notify the student of the outcome:
    • within 10 University working days from date of decision
    • clearly state the program/course from which Leave of Absence has been granted; and
    • the period for which it has been awarded
  4. Scrutinise more closely, a second application and accept only on grounds such as physical or mental ill health, financial hardship, or clear loss of motivation
  5. Warn students granted second periods of leave that third applications may not succeed unless the grounds for leave are serious and unavoidable
  6. Applications for leave of absence from students whose performance warrants appearance before an academic progress committee will only be considered after the decision of the progress committee has been reached
C. Withdrawal Student
  1. The student has the right to withdraw their application up to the point that the decision has been made and will need to make their intent known to the Program Coordinator
D. Considering retrospective applications Program Coordinator
  1. Applications for Leave of Absence will not be approved retrospectively other than in exceptional circumstances – refer Higher Education Special Consideration Procedure

Responsibility

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Support is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure
  • Director, Student Connect is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Support
  • Manager, Health and Wellbeing is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this policy as directed by the Director, Student Connect

Promulgation

The Higher Education Deferral or Leave of Absence 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 Policy.
  • Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Faculty meetings
  • Academic Induction Program
  • Student Health & Wellbeing meetings
  • Student Senate meetings

Implementation

The Higher Education Deferral or Leave of Absence 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 Policy
  • Moodle module

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Application for Deferment Form The University’s approved student management system Program Coordinator Destroy 7 years following deferment
Student’s documentary evidence The University’s approved student management system Program Coordinator Destroy 7 years following deferment
Notification of Deferment approval/non-approval The University’s approved student management system Program Coordinator Destroy 7 years following deferment
Application for Leave of Absence The University’s approved student management system Program Coordinator

Destroy 7 years following leave of absence

Notification documentation The University’s approved student management system Program Coordinator

Destroy 7 years following leave of absence