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1. Purpose

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

2. Scope

This policy applies to all international students.

3. Definitions

See Glossary of Terms.

4. Policy statements

The following refund conditions apply to international students. Conditions vary depending on the stage of application or enrolment in a course as prescribed below.

4.1 Application stage

4.1.1 International students who are unsuccessful in their application to enrol at the institution, and/or international students who have been refused a student visa prior to the commencement of a course are eligible for a refund on their course tuition fees and non-tuition fees minus the lesser of the following administration fee:

  • 5% of the total course tuition fees paid before the date of refusal notice; or
  • total of $500

4.1.2 The refund application must be submitted within 14 days of receiving the visa rejection notice and the application must include documented evidence of student visa rejection from the Department of Home Affairs. There will be no refund for student visa which is refused due to the provision of fraudulent documents by the students.

4.2  Prior to or during the first study period

4.2.1 International students who withdraw after being admitted to a course are subject to the refund conditions outlined in Table 1 below.  This includes international students who fail to enrol on the prescribed date during Orientation Week, and fail to notify the institution of their intent to either defer or withdraw, prior to Monday of Week 1 of any given study period.

Table 1.

Withdrawal date Refund amount (excluding packaged students)
Prior to the issuance of student visa
Student withdraws prior to the issuance of student visa 50% refund of tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period
After the issuance of student visa
Before 5:00pm Friday of Week 2 50% refund of tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period
After 5:00pm Friday of Week 2 0% refund of tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period – all fees forfeited

4.2.2 Notwithstanding the prescribed refund conditions, students remain liable for any other outstanding debts owed to the institution.

4.3 Packaged students

4.3.1 Any payments made for a future study period(s) will be refunded to the students, except for packaged students, who must complete at least six months of their principal course of study with the institution. This is subject to management’s discretion, taking into consideration of the withdrawal circumstances including misleading claims or fraudulent documentation.

4.4 Deferral

4.4.1 International students who defer prior to the first day of the start of the study period may be eligible to have 100% of their tuition and non-tuition fees carried forward to the following study period. Students seeking to defer must do so in accordance with the Admissions Policy and Deferral Procedures.

4.5 Second and subsequent study periods

4.5.1 International students who withdraw from a course in their second or any subsequent study periods are subject to the refund conditions outlined in Table 2 below.

Table 2.

Withdrawal date Refund amount (excluding packaged students)
Before Monday of Week 1 100% refund of tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period
Before 5:00pm Friday of Week 2 50% refund of tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period
After 5:00pm Friday of Week 2 0% refund of tuition and non-tuition fees for the study period – all fees forfeited

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

4.5.3 For packaged students please refer to paragraph 4.3 of this policy.

4.6 Extenuating circumstances

4.6.1 After commencement, a refund may be granted in extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student, making it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements of a subject or a course, the full impact of which occurs on or after the commencement date of the unit of study. Extenuating circumstances include but are 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 in the home country causing prolonged absence.

4.7 Unavailable courses – Tuition Protection Service (TPS)

4.7.1 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

4.8   Refund process

4.8.1 Requests for refunds must be lodged using the online form. Requests for refunds will only be considered once the completed form has been approved by Student Services. Refunds may take up to 28 days to be processed from the time the completed forms are received by Student Services.

4.8.2 Refunds will only be made to the student, or a specified person, as nominated by the student in their written agreement.

4.8.3  The Institution retains records of all receipts of payments made by students under the written agreement for at least two years after the person ceases to be an accepted student.

4.9   No refunds

4.9.1 International students who are suspended or had their enrolment cancelled due to misconduct, will not be eligible for a refund on tuition or non-tuition fees. However, international students with an ongoing allegation of misconduct or found in breach of the Institution’s policies from a previous 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.

4.10   International students who hold a Permanent Visa (non-humanitarian sub-class)

4.10.1 An international student who after commencing studies but before census date for that study period, receives approval from the Department of Home Affairs to change their visa status to a permanent visa (non-humanitarian sub-class), will be entitled to a refund for either the difference in fees or a full refund if they have been approved for a FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP loan.

5.   Complaints and appeals

5.1 If a student is dissatisfied with 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

Policy owner 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