The purpose of this policy is to provide international students at the Institution with a clear understanding of the conditions under which they may be eligible for a refund of their tuition and non-tuition fees.
This policy applies to all international students.
Deferral or defer refers to commencing students who have received an offer of admission but wish to delay their course commencement date at the Institution. All deferral requests must be made in accordance with the Deferral Procedures.
References to fees contained in this policy relate to both tuition and non-tuition fees, with the exception of fees for residential accommodation which are outlined in the Residential Fees Policy.
Withdraw or withdrawal means the formal process undertaken by students who wish to withdraw entirely from their studies and discontinue their enrolment at the Institution or withdraw from enrolled subject(s) after they have signed the offer of acceptance or have commenced their study (on or after the course commencement date). A student must withdraw in accordance with the Withdrawal Procedures.
Packaged courses means students undertake two or more courses on one student visa where there is clear progression from one course to another (e.g. ELICOS to Diploma).
Principal course means the final course of study covered by the student’s visa.
See Glossary of Terms for more definitions.
4. Policy statements
4.1 Refunds may be considered for international students who withdraw from their course in accordance with the Withdrawal Procedures, or who are unable to continue their studies due to compelling or compassionate circumstances beyond their control.
4.2 Refund eligibility and amounts are outlined in Table 1. Notwithstanding Table 1, students remain liable for any other outstanding debts owed to the Institution. Outstanding debts will be deducted from the overall refund amount if not paid prior to the refund being processed.
4.3 Notwithstanding the provisions outlined in Table 1, refunds are paid to any student who has submitted fraudulent documentation at any point during their application or period of enrolment.
4.4 Notwithstanding the provisions outlined in Table 1, if an international student is unable to continue their studies due to compelling or compassionate circumstances beyond their control, making it impracticable for them to complete the requirements of a subject or a course, they may be considered for a refund subject to the conditions outlined in this policy. Students are required to provide documentary evidence in support of their refund request. 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.
4.5 Notwithstanding any refund amounts paid in accordance with the provisions outlined Table 1, students are not eligible for a refund for payments relating to Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
TABLE 1 Refund conditions for international students
The following refund conditions apply to international students. Conditions vary depending on the stage of application or enrolment in a course as prescribed below.
|Stage of enrolment||Refund amount||Conditions|
|a. Commencing or continuing students who withdraw from the course prior to the course commencement date*||100% refund of fees paid minus $750 administration fee|
|b. Commencing or continuing students who withdraw from the course prior to 5pm on Friday of Week 2*||70% refund of fees paid minus $750 administration fee|
|c. Commencing or continuing students who withdraw from the course after 5pm on Friday of Week 2*||0% refund of fees paid|
|d. Students enrolled in a packaged course who have not completed six months of their principal course of study (see also the Transfer Between Providers Policy).||0% refund of fees paid|
|e. Commencing students who defer their course commencement date in accordance with the Deferral Procedures||100% of fees paid carried forward and credited towards the student’s new study period.||Students are liable for any fee increases caused by the deferral.|
|f. Commencing students whose visa application has been refused by the Department of Home Affairs and the refusal was a reason for failure to commence the course.||100% refund of fees paid minus the lesser of the following amounts:
5% of the amount of course fees received by the provider in respect of the student before the default day.
|Refunds for visa applications refused on or after the course commencement date are considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Institution.
A refund request must be submitted by completing the online form within 14 days of the date of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) visa rejection notice. The refund request must be supported by documentary evidence from the DHA. No refund is available for visa applications that are rejected on the basis of fraudulent documents by the student.
|g. A student who has had their enrolment suspended or cancelled by the Institution in accordance with the Suspension and Cancellation Procedures.||0% refund of fees paid|
|h. A student with an ongoing allegation of misconduct (general or academic) or found to be in breach of any 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.||0% refund of fees paid for study period in which the allegation occurred. 100% refund of fees paid for future study periods that have been prepaid if the outcome of the investigation is proven after the course commencement date of the consecutive study period.|
|i. Commencing or continuing students who are unable to continue their studies due to compelling or compassionate circumstances beyond their control, making it impracticable for them to complete the requirements of a subject or a course.||At the Institution’s discretion||Students are required to provide documentary evidence.|
|j. A commencing student who receives approval from the DHA to change their visa status to a permanent visa (non-humanitarian sub-class) prior to 5pm on Friday of Week 3
|A refund for either the difference in the domestic and international fees amounts
100% refund of fees paid if the student has been approved for a FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP loan.
|Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) payments||0% refund|
* Not applicable to students enrolled in packaged courses.
5. Tuition Protection
5.1 The Institution has arrangements in place to protect the tuition fees of international students in the event that the Institution is unable to deliver the course for which the student has enrolled.
5.2 The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) provides assistance and support to international students on student visas. The 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
5.3 In the unlikely event that 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 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.
6. Refund process
6.1 Refund requests must be submitted by completing the online form. The refund request will only be considered once the online form has been satisfactorily completed and any relevant documentary evidence (if applicable) submitted.
6.2 For students whose visa has been refused by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), a refund request must be submitted by completing the online form within 14 days of the date of the DHA visa rejection notice. The refund request must be supported by documentary evidence from the DHA.
6.3 Refunds may take up to 28 days to be processed from the date the form and documentary evidence (if applicable) has been received by the Institution.
6.4 Refund payments are only made to the student, or a specified person, as nominated by the student in their written agreement.
6.5 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.
7. Complaints and appeals
7.1 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.
7.2 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.
7.3 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.
8. Roles and responsibilities
8.1 The Vice President (Finance) is the responsible officer of this policy.
8.2 Executive Management Group (EMG) has overall responsibility for implementation of the policy in liaison with the Vice President (Finance).
9. Related documents
Complaints and Appeals Policy
Refund of Fees Policy – Domestic Students
Refund of Residential Fees Policy
Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
Approved by the Board of Directors on 21 March 2023