Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Deceased Student Procedure

Policy Code: SS2021

Purpose

To enable the University to respond quickly and sensitively to the death of a student, whilst endeavouring to minimise distress to the student’s next of kin, fellow students and staff.

Scope

This procedure applies to all FedUni students.

Legislative Context

Statute 5.6 Admission to and Granting of Academic Awards

Statute 9.1 Fees & Charges (Higher Education Division)

Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic)

Standard 6 – Student Support Services: National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students

Definitions

A full list of definitions is contained in the FedUni Health and Safety Policy.

Actions

1. Appointing a Case Manager

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Appointing Case Managers DVC, Student Support and Services (DVC SSS) or nominee
  1. Appoint a Case Manager to act in accordance with this policy.
  2. The DVC SSS may appoint the Case Manager on an annual or as required basis. If:
    1. An annual appointment is made, the DVC SSS will publish notification of the appointment via FedNews and advise each Directorate of the appointment. 
    2. The student was a resident of FedUni Living, the Director, Campus Life shall act as Case Manager, notwithstanding any appointment made under paragraph 2(a).
    3. The student is a student of a Partner Provider, the Provider shall appoint a Case Manager, under advice from the Pro Vice Chancellor (International and Partnerships), notwithstanding any appointment made under paragraph 2(a).
  3. If a student death occurs, and a Case Manager has not yet been appointed, the DVC SSS may nominate an interim Case Manager until such time as the appropriate appointment is made.
  4. If a student death occurs, and a Case Manager has been activated, other Case Managers will be notified who the Case Manager is.

2. Notification

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notifying Police or Emergency Services/University management All Staff
  1. When a student dies on campus, the police and ambulance must be notified immediately. The Incident and Emergency Management Procedure otherwise applies.
  2. Police or Emergency Services should be directed to Security, who will notify the DVC SSS and the appointed Case Manager.
  3. Where a staff member is notified of a student death, the staff member should:
    1. Obtain the student’s name and student number.
    2. The name, contact phone number and relationship to the student of the person making the notification.
    3. Notify the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Support and Services, or the Case Manager, as soon as possible and within 1 day of the initial notification and forward to the Case Manager all information obtained.
  4. In all cases, steps must be taken to notify the Vice-Chancellor of the death as soon as possible.

3. Verification of the death

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Verifying the death Case Manager
  1. The Case Manager will take reasonable and sensitive steps to verify the death. This may include via:
    1. A reliable source such as the student’s family;
    2. Notification from an official government agency such as the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages;
    3. A copy of the Death Certificate, Coroner’s Report or police report which explicitly indicates the student’s death;
    4. A letter from a solicitor or executor of the deceased’s estate;
    5. Death notice in the local newspaper; or
    6. Other evidence as deemed appropriate by the Case Manager.
  2. In the event that the student’s death cannot be verified, the Case Manager will instruct the University Registrar to halt all correspondence to the Student until such time as the death can be verified.

4. Communication

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Communicating with family Case Manager
  1. The Case Manager shall act as the point of contact with the deceased student’s family and coordinate all formal interactions.   
  2. The Case Manager will ensure that prompt letters of condolence follow from:
    1. The DVC SSS or Head of Partner Provider, offering condolences on behalf of the University or Partner Provider; and
    2. The student’s School.
B. Communicating with the media Case Manager
  1. The Case Manager will notify the Director, Marketing, Advancement and Community Engagement who will:
    1. Co-ordinate all external communications regarding the death; and
    2. Ensure that all relevant staff and students are appropriately briefed as to how to direct and handle media enquiries.
  2. Under no circumstances should staff make any external comment or communication about the death without the express authority of the Director, Marketing, Advancement and Community Engagement.
C. Notifying Student Records Case Manager/Others as indicated
  1. Following verification, or subject to Activity 3A above, the Case Manager will notify as soon as possible:
    1. The Vice-Chancellor and relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellors that a student death has occurred and the Deceased Student Procedure has been invoked.
    2. The University Registrar, who will instruct Student HQ Services staff to:
      1. Send out a Deceased Student Memorandum (which is available from Student HQ) to the parties indicated on that form;
      2. Remove the student from all courses of enrolment in current and future terms, if applicable
      3. Change the student’s enrolment status in all active programs to ‘Discontinued’.
      4. Add the deceased NSI to the students enrolment record;
      5. Change student’s address to:  c/- Student Administration and amend all other contact details as per the current business process for deceased students;
      6. Place a note on the student’s file ‘Deceased, student withdrawn from course’.
      7. Complete all other actions as required in the current business process for deceased students.
      8. Notify the Director CLIPP, who will make the necessary arrangements in respect of the students learning technology accounts.
    3. The Student’s School, who will instruct the relevant School to remove the student from all class lists.
    4. The Director, Student Connect and Manager, Health and Wellbeing, who will assist in notifying relevant staff and students about the availability of counselling and support services.
    5. The Director University Library, who will;
      1. Update the relevant systems to ensure that no automatic requests or notifications are sent to the student;
      2. Use sound judgement and act sensitively in seeking to recover any outstanding library items, if deemed appropriate to do so.
    6. The Executive Director,  Information Technology Services, who will make the necessary arrangements in respect of the student’s email account and network access.
    7. If the deceased student is a FedUni Living student, notify the Director, Campus Life and Manager, FedUni Living. The procedure relating to the death of a FedUni Living Student is set out below.
    8. The Associate Director, Financial Services and Student Finance, who will halt all bills, invoices and/or requests for payment pertaining to the student.
    9. The Alumi/Foundation Officer, if the student is an alumnus.
    10. The Contact Centre, who will direct:
      1. Calls from the media to the Public Relations Office;
      2. All other calls to the appointed Case Manager.
    11. If the deceased student is an Overseas Student, the Critical Incident Management - International Students Procedure applies.

5. Academic Status

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Amending student’s record Student HQ
  1. The student’s record will be marked as ‘Deceased’.
  2. In cases where a deceased student has completed, or is close to completing, the requirements of their academic award the University’s Posthumous (Coursework) Awards Procedure applies.

6. FedUni Living Students

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Dealing with matters related to FedUni Living Director, Campus Life/others as indicated
  1. Where the deceased student is a FedUni Living Student, the Director, Campus Life, will:
    1. In his/her capacity as Case Manager, or in consultation with the Case Manager otherwise appointed under this policy:
      1. Contact the student’s representative and arrange for the collection and return of the student’s personal effects; and
      2. Ensure that an appropriate member of staff is available to escort the representative to the student’s room in the event that they wish to collect the effects in person;
    2. Instruct the Manager, FedUni Living to undertake any of the following steps as relevant:
      1. Lock and secure the student’s room;
      2. Where relevant, co-operate with police and ambulance services;
      3. Consult with the Manager, Health and Wellbeing, regarding the management of information to FedUni Living students and measures that may assist with the management of grief.
      4. Notify FedUni Living students of the death in a sensitive manner, and liaise with the Manager, Health and Wellbeing, to offer support and counselling to students and staff.

7. Students of Partner Providers

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Dealing with matters related to students enrolled at Partner Providers Partner Provider/others as indicated
  1. If the deceased student is enrolled at a Partner Provider:
    1. The Partner Provider shall appoint a Case Manager to act in accordance with this policy;
    2. The Case Manager will act under the advice of the Pro Vice Chancellor, International and Partnerships, in consultation with the Director, Student Connect and Manager, Health and Wellbeing.
  2. The Critical Incident Management - International Students Procedure applies in respect of Overseas Students.

Responsibility

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Student Support and Services) as the Approval Authority is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.
  • Director, Student Connect (as the Policy Sponsor) is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Support and Services).

Promulgation

The Deceased Student Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. 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.

Implementation

The Deceased Student Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. 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.

Records Management