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1. Governing policy

These procedures relate to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. They describe how staff will enact the terms and conditions in respect to the steps taken for students to apply to change their study load at the Institution.

2. Scope

These procedures apply to all students (excluding ELICOS) seeking approval to change their study load at the Institution, subject to the conditions in these procedures, and staff involved in approving the requests. These procedures are aligned with applicable Australian Government legislation including the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training of Overseas Students 2018 (National Code).

3. Procedures

3.1 A full-time load at the Institution is normally:

  • no more than 9 credit points and no less than 6 credit points per study period (24 credit points per year) for undergraduate courses; and
  • no more than 12 credit points and no less than 8 credit points per study period (32 credit points per year) for postgraduate courses.
  • 3.2 The accelerated study load (for students who are not on work integrated learning) in one study period is:
  • 12 credit points (36 credit points per year) for undergraduate courses; and
  • 16 credit points (48 credit points per year) for postgraduate courses.

3.3 Students undertaking a work integrated learning placement, must complete additional credit points to the aforementioned to achieve a full-time study load. The credit requirements are as follows:

  • 6 credit points per study period for undergraduate courses; and
  • 8 credit points per study period for postgraduate courses.

3.4 Students must apply to change their study load beyond the approved full-time and accelerated study load limits.

3.5. A reduced study load is:

  • less than 6 credit points per study period (or less than 24 credit points per year) for undergraduate courses; and
  • undertaking less than 8 credit points per study period (or less than 32 credit points per year) for postgraduate courses.

3.6. A credit overload, which can only be requested in exceptional circumstances where a student has progressed successfully in previous teaching periods and requires a subject overload of one additional subject to complete the course is:

  • 15 credit points for undergraduate courses in one study period; and
  • 20 credit points for postgraduate courses in one study period.

3.7. These procedures set out the five key processes involved in assessing a student’s request to change their study load from a fulltime load, to either increase the number of subjects or load (also known as overload), or reduce the number of subjects or load (also known as reduced load), as per Table 1 below:

1. Eligibility

International students on a student visa must complete their course within the duration specified on their current Confirmation of Enrolment (COE). This requires international students to be enrolled fulltime in each study period. In limited circumstances an international student may be eligible to reduce their study load in a given study period. Domestic students are eligible to reduce their study load without seeking approval. Both domestic and international students are eligible to apply to increase their study load in limited circumstances.

2. Submit request
An international student must submit an application to reduce their study load with supporting documentary evidence. All students must submit an application to overload their subjects in a given study period.

3. Change of study load assessment and outcome
A change of study load application is assessed as per the guidelines explained in these procedures. Requests for a reduced study load from an international student can only be approved for compassionate or compelling circumstances, or where an intervention strategy has been implemented, as per Standard 8 of the National Code, with supporting documentary evidence.

4. Review the outcome
Students have the right to lodge a complaint regarding a decision that resulted in their request for a change of load being refused in accordance with the Complaints and Appeals Policy and Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

5. Recording/reporting
Change of study load approvals are recorded accordingly on the student management system.

Table 1.

Process Responsibilities Timeframe
Step 1 Eligibility
Reduced load:

1.1. To be eligible to apply to reduce study load to less than fulltime, the following applies:

1.1.1. Domestic students are eligible to reduce their study load, if their course permits part time study, by changing their enrolment by Census Date. They do not need to proceed further with these procedures.

1.1.2. International students on a student visa may be eligible to apply to reduce their study load where:

a. compassionate or compelling circumstances exist including (but not limited to):

  • serious illness or injury affecting a student’s ability to study;
  • witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime;
  • bereavement of close family members, such as parents or grandparents;
  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in a student’s home country;
  • traumatic upheaval;
  • where the faculty is unable to offer a subject due to the structure of your program; or

b. academic difficulties exist and a reduced load is part of an intervention strategy.

1.1.3. International students must contact the Student Success Centre to discuss reducing their load before submitting an application.

1.1.4. International students must provide supporting documentary evidence with their application which may include (but is not limited to):

a. medical certificate/letter;

b. death certificate;

c. police report;

d. case number as evidence of an intervention strategy and proof of ongoing support from the Wellness team;

e. written approval for the reduced load request, from the sponsor of international sponsored students;

f. written approval for the reduced load request from the home institution of study abroad students.

1.1.5. Supporting documentary evidence if not issued in English must be translated by an official translator. Translators in Australia must be certified by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

1.1.6. International students in their final study period do not need to seek approval to reduce their study load if the course will be completed during that study period.

1.2. The Institution retains the right to approve or reject a request on a case by case basis.

Overload:

1.3. To be eligible to apply to overload the normal fulltime credit point limit, the following applies:

1.3.1. The course rules must allow for a credit overload;

1.3.2. An application for overload cannot normally be made in the first two enrolled study periods;

1.3.3. Enrolments must not exceed a normal fulltime study load plus one subject in any one study period;

1.3.4. A student cannot apply to overload a previously failed subject;

1.3.5. Students must have good academic standing as defined by the Academic Progression Procedures with a GPA of 2.5 or higher in the previous two study periods;

1.3.6. A student may apply to overload in their second last study period, where the overload allows them to complete their course early, with no subjects remaining in the final study period; and

1.4. The Institution retains the right to approve or reject a request on a case by case basis.

Student,

Student Success Centre

Step 2 Submit request
2.1 Students applying to reduce their study load or increase their study load must apply using the online form by Census Date, together with supporting documentation as per 1.1.4 (if applicable). Student Before census date
Step 3 Change of study load assessment and outcome
Reduced load:

3.1 A Program Manager assesses and makes a decision on the request for a reduced study load based on the conditions of these procedures and approves or rejects the application, indicating the outcome on the form.

3.2 Applications from international students for reduced study load will be rejected where the Institution determines:

3.2.1 There are no compassionate or compelling circumstances to support the application;

3.2.2 Insufficient evidence has been submitted;

3.2.3 Fraudulent supporting documentation has been submitted;

3.2.4 Financial or employment related issues are provided as a reason for reducing load;

3.2.5 The intervention strategy did not include reduced load as a recommendation;

3.2.6 An international sponsored student did not obtain approval from their sponsor; or

3.2.7 A study abroad student’s home institution did not approve a reduced study load.

Overload:

3.3 A Program Manager assesses and makes a decision on the request for an overload based on the conditions of these procedures and approves or rejects the application, indicating the outcome on the form.

3.4 Applications for overload will be rejected where the Institution determines:

3.4.1 The eligibility criteria to overload, as detailed in clauses 1.3.1 – 1.3.6, was not met;

Outcome:

3.5 A student is notified via email of the outcome within 10 working days of submission. If the assessment will take longer than 10 working days, the student will be notified.

3.6 If the change of study load request is approved, the notification will include:

3.6.1 Approval to reduce load OR overload including details of the subjects;

3.7 If the change of study load request is rejected, the notification will include:

3.7.1 The reason(s) for rejection; and

3.7.2 The right to lodge a complaint about the decision within 20 working days as per the Complaints and Appeals Policy and Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

Program Manager 10 working days
Step 4 Review the outcome
4.1 The student submits a complaint about the decision as per the Complaints and Appeals Policy and Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

4.2 Student Services is notified of the outcome of the review of the decision.

4.3 If the refusal decision is upheld, no further action is required from Student Services.

4.4 If the outcome is to grant the change of study load request, Student Services proceeds to Step 3.6 to notify the student of the approval.

Student Services
Step 5 Recording/reporting
5.1 The change of study load outcome is recorded on the student management system, including the reasons for approval and rejection.

5.2 Student Services proceeds to drop or add the subjects as per the final outcome.

5.3 The change of study load documentation, including the supporting documentary evidence is saved in the student management system. The Institution maintains records of all requests and decisions for two years after a student ceases to be an accepted student.

Student Services

4. Roles and responsibilities

The Vice President (Student Engagement & Registrar) is responsible for overseeing the change of study load procedures.

5. Compliance and monitoring

These procedures are written in accordance with the National Code and HESF.

6. Records management

As detailed in Table 1 above, release requests are recorded in the Institution’s database and records of the request to change study load are filed and saved for two years.

7. Related documents

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

Approved by Learning and Teaching Committee on 12 March 2021