Students and Support for Students Policy

Policy code: ST2073
Policy owner: Chief Learner Experience Officer
Approval authority: Vice-Chancellor and President
Approval date: 02 July 2024
Next review date: 06 December 2027


This policy mandates Student based structures and operations for the University in accordance with the Federation University Australia Act 2010 and any other applicable legislative and regulatory requirement.

This policy supports the Federation University Australia (Students) Regulations 2022 and must be followed in conjunction with supporting procedures, operating manuals and work instructions. This policy also aligns with other policy domains, particularly Academic Governance and Global, Partners and Engagement domains.

Reconciliation statement

As a leading Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) organisation, Federation University is deeply committed to embedding reconciliation and Indigenous matters throughout all areas of the University. Our key policy areas will complement and engage with our RAP and several Indigenous strategies in across the University.

Anti-Modern Slavery Statement

Federation University Australia acknowledge that modern day slavery and the exploitation of an individual’s rights and freedoms is a complex global issue. We are committed in doing our part to identify and prevent instances of modern slavery in all forms.

Policy statement

(Note: definitions throughout this Policy can be accessed via the Policy Glossary which is currently under development)

Federation University students come from a variety of backgrounds. This policy ensures equitable enrolment practices that reflect the diversity of student backgrounds and supports students to have success during their learning journey.

1. Student enrolment

1.1 Enrolment

This policy provides a set of principles for determining application to enrolment across the university, except Higher Degrees by Research. Higher Degrees by Research information can be found in the Research and Research Training Policy.

The following principles apply:


The University Registrar is responsible for ensuring that all selection, offers, admission and enrolment processes for students enrolling at Federation University Campus locations comply with quality and legislation requirements, including those at Partner Provider locations.

Access and equity        

University and course entry requirements together with all relevant information for applicants are published in the official University Course Guide and VTAC Course Guide which inform applicants of the selection criteria. The University is committed to ensuring quality in access and equity in its selection process. In its admissions, the University also seeks to provide access to persons who have experienced educational or social disadvantage and to address under-representation of specific community groups 

Confidentiality and privacy

All personal information collected from prospective students will be for the purpose of determining enrolment suitability and meeting legislative reporting requirements. The University will only collect personal information using lawful and fair means, and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Application to Enrolment information will be treated as confidential. The University will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal and health information it holds is protected from misuse, loss, or unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

The University will also take all reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify personal and health information if it is no longer needed for any purpose. Under the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic) the University is required to keep full and accurate records and implement a record disposal program. Destruction of personal and health information will be carried out according to the University’s disposal schedules.

Admission and enrolment

Admission to the University's courses will be consistent with requirements, codes of practice and guidelines detailed within current national legislation. Offers of admission are made to applicants who are judged to have met the published entry requirements. A person is eligible to enrol once they have received and accepted a formal offer from the University and once enrolled, the student is bound by the University's legislation, policies and procedures.

Supporting documents

1.2 Enrolment variations

Variation to enrolment processes are often required as part of the student journey. Federation University supports student flexibility of enrolment with options for deferral, leave or changes to enrolment as identified within the Regulations.

Supporting documents

1.3 Scholarships, bursaries and grants

The University is committed to supporting the development, administration and management of all scholarships, bursaries grants and scholarships for students as part of recruitment, retention and success of students. Principles associated with the process include the following:

  1. Confidentiality and privacy.
  2. Clear eligibility criteria and selection criteria.
  3. Focused on students with the greatest need.
  4. Reflects strategic intent of the University and/or donor.
  5. Awarded through a consistent, equitable, transparent and coordinated process.
  6. Abide by University financial rules and regulations

Supporting documents

2. Student engagement and participation

2.1 Student academic participation

Students are required to progress throughout their enrolment, building skills, knowledge and employability. The University is committed to student engagement and success and recognises and values cultural and ethnic diversity.

A student who does not make satisfactory academic progress will receive written warning that their academic progress is unsatisfactory and request a meeting with the Course Coordinator or HDR Supervisor to develop an intervention strategy.

Under Australian law, the University is obliged to track International student progress in keeping with Visa requirements determined by the Federal Government. Also refer to Section 1.2 International students through Partner Providers in Global Partners and Community Engagement Policy and Section 2.1 Student academic participation in Students and Support for Students Policy.

Supporting documents

2.2 Academic interventions

Students often require additional support throughout their learning journey. Support may include triaging students to several support services, adjustments related to course load, variations in assessment practices and familiarity with systems can assist with identifying and communicating with students regarding options towards success.

Academic Integrity and Misconduct requirements are addressed in the Academic Governance Policy.

Supporting documents

2.3 Student complaints and appeals

The University is committed to providing a fair, safe and productive study environment. However, the University recognises that from time to time, decisions made by the University and its staff may adversely affect a student, and that students may wish to lodge a complaint or appeal such a decision. In all instances, the University will respond to complaints and appeals in a way that contributes to the University’s supportive and fair learning environment, and consistent with the principles of fairness, equal opportunity, and natural justice.


At all stages of the Student Appeal Procedure, the University is committed to:

  • an accessible, impartial, fair and equitable process;
  • transparency and consistency;
  • resolution of appeals at the earliest possible stage; and
  • privacy and confidentiality.

The University will consider appeals in a timely manner, while keeping the parties fully informed of the progress of the matter.

All staff and students are expected to cooperate with the Student Appeal process fully, openly and in good faith, with the aim of reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution. Any student who uses the Student Appeal procedure to make a frivolous or vexatious claim may be subject to disciplinary action.

The University reserves the right to decline to pursue an appeal, including but not limited to circumstances where another process is more appropriate, or where the student does not have sufficient grounds to lodge an appeal.

Students are encouraged to liaise with Student Advocacy who can provide clear and independent advice for students navigating University processes. Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal process may make a complaint to an external agency, such as the Victorian Ombudsman.

Supporting documents

2.4 Student surveys

Student surveys provide the University with important feedback to assist in the planning, delivery and improvement of services available across the University. Student surveys distributed using the University branding and/or sent from the University email addresses or profiles will have a clearly defined purpose, are appropriately planned, designed and implemented and the acquired data achieves that purpose, thereby enabling:

  1. coordination of the timing and quantity of student surveys based on the targetrespondents, thus managing the student survey load of particular groups and avoiding survey fatigue;
  2. avoidance of excessive student surveying through the provision of shared data and survey analysis;
  3. quality assurance on the questioning, sampling, delivery, data collection, privacy and storage of surveys; and
  4. identification of surveys where Human ResearchEthics approval is required.

Supporting documents

2.5 Timetabling

The development and release of the timetable is a critical component of the student learning journey. The timetable should provide students with clear information related to their scheduled learning and teaching activities. Numerous key principles are considered as part of the planning process including accessibility, consultation, time periods and implementation prior to the commencement of the teaching semester.   

Supporting documents

3. Support for Students

In order to ensure that students have every chance to succeed they must be informed of what services are available to them, and how to access them if and when they may need any such service throughout their time with Federation UniversityStudents are provided information about support services in their on-boarding communications, orientation programs and at key points throughout the academic year.  This information is shared through multiple channels to ensure effective messaging and includes written communication, online resources, awareness sessions conducted during class time, digital screens, student help desk and on-campus events.

Information on all university support services is also provided on the website

3.1 Students at risk of not successfully completing subjects

Federation University will undertake the following to identify studentswho are at risk of not successfully completing their units of study. Federation University undertakes the following intervention strategies and processes in order to identify students who are at risk of not successfully completing their units of study

  1. Identifying students who have previously failed a unit in their course of study.
  2. Monitoring student engagement in units including accessing unit content through the Learning Management System within the first two weeks of each semesterstudy period.
  3. Class attendance
  4. Failure to participate in, or failure of, their first assessment item and/or is not successful in one unit of study.

Where appropriate, systems are used to cross-reference student interactions with the University to further identify students at risk of not successfully completing their subjects or courses and connect them with academic or other support. In these instances, students receive a ‘counselling’ email and follow up call that provides advice on where to seek support and assistance to aid future success.

The Institute/School/Partner Provider are required to Identify Students with unsatisfactory progress and develop success intervention plans by notifying the student that they have been identified as not meeting satisfactory progress in their course in the previous semester of study. Students are directed and encouraged to develop a success (intervention) plan.

  1. An Intervention Strategy must be implemented by the Institute/School or Partner Providers at enrolment, if a student has had ‘unsatisfactory progress’ in the previoussemester of study,as per their course/qualification regulations.
  2. Intervention strategies can cover, but not limited to:
    1. Transition Support
    2. Study Skills Support
    3. Wellbeing Support
    4. Reduced Study Load
    5. Change of Course
  3. Study Plan
    An amendment study plan will be requiredfor student who has an intervention in place due to failureof one or more units. The student must receive a copy of the amended study plan.
  4. Evidence of Intervention Strategy
    Documentaryevidence of the measures implemented is to be placed in the student’s file. Students will receive a copy on request.

    Where a student identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, a team member of the Aboriginal Education Centre must be included in the development in the intervention strategy.

    Supporting documents

3.2 Equity and inclusion

Federation University Australia is committed to providing equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination, harassment and vilification for all members of the University community, and to creating an environment which reflects and values the social and cultural diversity within our communities. The University will take proactive, reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination, sexual harm, discriminatory harassment, vilification and victimisation within University activities.

The University will provide reasonable adjustments for protected attributes under law and use inclusive practices wherever practicable to ensure all people have equal opportunity to access and participate in University activities. The University acknowledges the systemic disadvantage that affects participation and progression in University activities by some members of the University community. The University will take proactive steps to redress this. 

Supporting documents

3.3 Special consideration and learning access plans

Special Consideration and Learning Access Plans are essential strategies and  are apart of study support and progression for all Federation University students (except those undertaking a Higher Degree by Research). The process must maintain confidentiality, privacy, integrity and alignment with both internal codes of conduct and external reference points (including legislation). All students are entitled to reasonable adjustments of their learning environments towards meeting student success goals and sustainable student progression. 

Academic staff members are required to act in a proactive manor when identifying a student who have experienced or been affected by a significant life event by offering special consideration and academic adjustment arrangements where suitable.

Federation University is committed to supporting students through the provision of formal and informal learning supports. Learning supports will be available to all students, with student access to special considerations and Learning Access Plans for students with a disability.

For students who are elite athletes or performers, the University offers the opportunity to manage the demands of higher education via customised support and the implementation of flexible study arrangements.

Supporting documents

3.4 Student safety

As part of creating safe learning environments, the University is committed to eliminating inappropriate behaviour to all students, staff and affiliates by creating a culture of respect and inclusivity, proactive action against harm and managing issues using evidence-based best practice. The University is diligent in providing clear processes, professional learning opportunities and resources to support to support all stakeholders whilst maintaining confidentiality and privacy.

Federation University students have access to broad range of safe and appropriate Work Integrated Learning experiences. These placements will be in an area relevant to the study interests of the student and will help broaden workplace knowledge and skills. Academic components of the Work Integrated Learning program are covered within the Academic Governance Policy.

Supporting documents

3.5 Student wellbeing

Federation University is committed to the delivery of holistic student support services. These include access to services such as counselling, housing support, and financial assistance services.

Federation University acknowledges the broad diversity of students enrolled at the University and is committed to fairness and equability of all students. Aboriginal and Torres Strait students have access to the Aboriginal Education Centre to refer students to culturally appropriate services and supports at the University and other community organisations.

Supporting documents


3.6 Student financial assistance

Federation University is committed to supporting students who are identified in need of the Student Financial Assistance Fund.  The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support for students during the period that they are enrolled for an award course at Federation University Australia.  The financial support will be related to the students’ essential needs to continue their program at the University. The applicant must be able to demonstrate financial hardship.

These procedures attempt to strike a balance between providing support for students in need and exercising responsibly the University’s duty of care.

Applications for Student Grants and Emergency Aid are to be made via the prescribed application process and forwarded to Student Wellbeing/Scholarships and Grants Teams for evaluation and recommendation.

Supporting documents

3.7 Support Student Success

Federation University seeks to create an environment where students are empowered, are able to explore new opportunities and build confidence through self-discovery

Our Learning Academic and Skills Success (LASS) program aims to enhance the skills of students at all stages of their student journey, from transition to university through to graduation. Our programs, including FedReady for study preparation, Online Tutoring through Studiosity, and Learning Skills Advisors focused on skills development in referencing, essay writing, and study techniques, ensure our students have the necessary tools for success.

Our Peer Programs, such as the Peer Mentor Program, PASS study groups, and ASK Service, offer guidance and support from experienced students, fostering a sense of community and facilitating access to essential resources and support.

Through our Careers and Employability programs, students benefit from expert support in planning their careers, graduate employment, and placement opportunities. Students can also access targeted support to develop and recognise their leadership skills.

Our student Groups and Clubs program encourages skill development, social connection and belonging through support of student interests.

3.8 Crisis and critical harm response

Students are encouraged to liaise with Student Wellbeing, who may need to collaborate with Student Equity and Inclusion, or International Student Advisory (International students only) where they can be provided with supports for students in urgent need of support. This be academic or non-academic by nature.

For crisis support, students can access afterhours Federation University Crisis Line by contacting the following:

  • Phone: 1300 758 109
  • Text: 0480 089 177

For life-threatening events off campus, call 000.

For life-threatening events on campus, call the following who will connect you with emergency services:

Students studying at a partner teaching location should contact 000 or the emergency number provided to you at your orientation.

Supporting documents

4. Graduations

Students have to met all requirements of their course of study will be identified, then confirmed as having met all course requirements. Students are conferred outside of graduation ceremonies. The conferral is acknowledged at a graduation ceremony.

Every student who satisfies the requirements and conditions for completion of a course of study is eligible for formal conferral of the award. Federation University will provide graduands with academic statements, including academic transcripts, Australian Higher Education Graduation Statements AHEGS and testamurs.

An award may be conferred posthumously while ensuring the University standards are maintained in relation to an appropriate level of academic performance being attained. All cases will be considered on an individual basis.

University Medal

The University Medal is normally conferred twice annually by the University Council in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. To be eligible for the University Medal:

  • be eligible to graduate having completed the requirements of an undergraduate (Bachelor's level) single award, double degree, double award or joint degree at Federation University Australia.
  • The student must not have previously been awarded the University Medal.

Council may resolve not to award the University Medal in a particular graduation period, or to award more than one University Medal in any one graduation period.

Revocation of Awards

Awards may be revoked where they have been obtained through either fraud or administrative error. Graduates found to have been engaged in academic misconduct may have their awards revocated, subject to the appropriate processes being conducted and the principles of natural justice.

Awards aligned to Honorary awards are further described in Section 2.1 of the  Global Partners and Community Engagement Policy.  

Supporting documents

Modification history

Original issue Current version Review date Details
06 December, 2022 06 December, 2022 06 December, 2027 Consolidation of existing Policy Documents to a revised overarching Policy for Information Management that includes a living suite of support documents to better reflect currency and best practice of University Operations.

Policy governance responsibilities and communications

All documentation within the Governance Framework will be communicated throughout the University including, but not limited to, internal communications such as FedNews, VC Comms, staff emails, staff inductions and documentation distribution. Policy Document owners are responsible for identifying and managing information-related risks and issues for their assigned information entities and for escalating these to Approval Authorities accordingly. Owners of Policy documents are accountable for their respective procedures, manuals and work instructions in alignment with their position descriptions and Performance Review Development Plan (PRDP) cycles.