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1.   Purpose

This policy outlines the conditions in which the Institution will refund tuition and non-tuition fees paid by, or on behalf of, domestic students in accordance with relevant legislation.

2.   Scope

This policy applies to all domestic students.

3.   Definitions

See Glossary of Terms.

4.   Policy statements

4.1  Students who choose to withdraw from a subject or a course will be eligible for a refund of their tuition or non-tuition fees or a re-credit of their FEE HELP/HECS-HELP amount for the relevant study period in the following circumstances only:

Withdrawal date Refund amount or re-credit of FEE-HELP amount
Prior to and including census date
  • 100% refund of tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period
After census date
  • 0% refund tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period – all fees forfeited; or
  • equivalent FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP amount incurred for the study period

Notwithstanding the prescribed refund amount, students remain liable for any other outstanding debts owed to the Institution.

Any payments made for a future study period(s) will be refunded to the students.

4.2  Special circumstances

A refund or re-credit of FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP amount may be granted in special circumstances beyond the control of the student, making it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements of a unit or a course of study, the full impact of which occurs on or after the census date for the unit of study. Special circumstances include those described under Higher Education Support Act 2003 Administration Guidelines, for example (but not limited to):

  • serious health issues;
  • death of the student or a close family member (parent, sibling, spouse or child); or
  • major political, civil or natural disaster causing prolonged absence.

For further information, please refer to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 –  Administration Guidelines 2012 refer to the link below:

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2013C00782

Application for refund or re-credit of FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP amount under special circumstances will be considered within 14 days of receiving the application with valid supporting documents. The student will be notified in writing within 14 days of the decision.

For FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP students, if a student is dissatisfied with the initial decision, the student may request a review in writing within 28 days of the receipt of the initial decision.  The Chair of Appeals (as delegated FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP review officer) will review the written request within 14 days and notify the student in writing the review outcome setting out the reasons for the decision. The student will also be informed of his or her right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if the student remains dissatisfied with the subsequent review decision.

For full fee-paying students, if a student is dissatisfied with the initial refund decision for special circumstances, the student may lodge a complaint in accordance with the Complaints and Appeals Policy and Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

4.3  Refund and re-credit of FEE HELP/HECS-HELP process

Requests for refunds must be lodged using the online form. Requests for refunds and re-credit for FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP will only be considered once the completed form has been approved by Student ServicesRefunds and re-credit for FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP may take up to 28 days to be processed from the time the completed forms are received by Student Services. For FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP, the re-credit amount may take up to six months to appear in the student’s FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP balance limit in CHESSN.

4.4  No refunds or re-credit of FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP amount incurred

Students who are suspended or had their enrolment cancelled after the census date due to misconduct or not meeting academic progression or in breach of the institution’s policies, will not be eligible for a refund on tuition fees or a re-credit of their FEE HELP/HECS-HELP amount incurred for the study period. Non-tuition fees are also not refunded in this circumstance. However, students with an ongoing allegation of misconduct from the relevant study period will be eligible for a full refund of fees paid for future study period(s) if the outcome of the investigation is proven after the commencement of the consecutive study period.

4.4  Deferral

A domestic student may request to defer their admission for a period of up to 12 months. The student must complete a Deferral Request form. The request for deferral must be lodged prior to the census date of the study period. Students seeking to defer must do so in accordance with the Admissions Policy and Deferral Procedures.

4.5  Unavailable courses – Tuition Protection Service (TPS)

The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is an initiative of the Australian Government to assist students whose education providers are unable to fully deliver their course of study. The TPS is a placement, refund and loan re-credit service for eligible students who are affected by a provider closing or ceasing to deliver a course. The TPS provides information and assistance to ensure that students are able to either:

  • complete their studies in another course or with another education provider; or
  • receive a refund of unspent tuition fees; or
  • for domestic students on FEE-HELP/ HECS-HELP, receive a loan re-credit for the subjects they received a FEE-HELP / HECS-HELP loan for and they were undertaking when the provider defaulted.

In accordance with the TPS Service Charter 2020, the TPS provides assistance and support to:

  • international students on student visas;
  • domestic Vocational Education and Training (VET) students accessing a VET Student Loan (VSL); and
  • domestic higher education students accessing the Higher Education Loans Program (HELP)(FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP).

In the unlikely event the Institution is unable to deliver a course the student has paid for and does not meet their obligations to either offer an alternative course that the student accepts or pay a refund (or a FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP re-credit as applicable) of unspent prepaid tuition fees (this is called a provider’s ‘default obligations’), the TPS will assist the student in finding an alternative course or to get a refund if a suitable alternative is not found.

The TPS can be contacted at: [email protected] or phone 1300 980 434.

For more information on the TPS please refer to https://tps.gov.au/Home

5.   Complaints and appeals
If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of a decision, they may lodge a complaint in accordance with the Complaints and Appeals Policy and Complaints and Appeals Procedures. Students have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of the Institution’s services or to raise a grievance about a member of the Institution’s community. Students can be assured that complaints processes are fair, equitable and dealt with promptly. The Institution manages complaints in accordance with its Complaints and Appeals Policy and Complaints and Appeals Procedures, which provide further details on the following key processes:
Step 1: Students are encouraged to informally resolve a grievance where it is appropriate and reasonable to do so.
Step 2: Where a matter cannot be informally resolved, or if a student is dissatisfied with the outcome, the student may lodge a complaint. The complaint will be investigated and an outcome determined within a specified time period.
Step 3: Where a student is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint the student may lodge an appeal. The appeal will be investigated, considered by an Appeals Committee and an outcome determined within a specified time period. This is the final internal avenue for appeal.
Step 4: Where a student is still not satisfied, they may submit a complaint or appeal with an external body or agency. Full details and timelines are provided in the Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

6.   Roles and responsibilities

The Responsible Officer is the Vice-President Finance.

Executive Management Group (EMG) has overall responsibility for implementation of the policy in liaison with the policy owner.

 

Approved by the Board of Directors on 23 July 2021