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Monitoring Course Progress of Overseas Students Policy

Last Updated 5 June, 2019

MONITORING COURSE PROGRESS OF OVERSEAS STUDENTS POLICY AND PROCEDURES


Policy

The Sydney College of Divinity and its Teaching Bodies will monitor the progress of all overseas students at the end of every semester to ensure they are completing their course within the duration specified in their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), without exceeding the allowable limit (one-third of the overall program) of distance or online learning, and ensuring that all students are studying full time with at least one unit not by distance or online learning per semester.

The Sydney College of Divinity’s Students at Academic Risk Policy and Procedures refers to all students, including, explicitly, international students, and sets out details for identifying and addressing students exhibiting potential learning problems in order to avert them if at all possible. A CRICOS student is deemed to be at risk of unsatisfactory course progress by failing assessments, non-attendance, or otherwise exhibiting inadequate engagement with the unit or course, leading to failure in a unit and thus not tracking at a rate to complete the course within the duration specified in the CoE. A CRICOS student is deemed to be maintaining satisfactory course progress if he or she continues to be on track to complete the course in the duration specified in the CoE.

Academic performance will also be monitored at the end of every semester to ensure all overseas students are maintaining satisfactory academic course progress.

When students are at risk of not meeting the course progress requirements, an intervention strategy will be implemented that focuses on interviewing and counselling students and assisting them to achieve satisfactory progress.

The Sydney College of Divinity and its Teaching Bodies will only enable students to extend the expected duration of study for their course through the issuing of a new CoE in limited circumstances, as outlined by Standard 8 of the National Code 2018. These circumstances include:

  • Compassionate or compelling circumstances and there is evidence to support this assessment
  • An intervention strategy is being implemented for the overseas student who is at risk of not meeting course progress requirements
  • An approved deferral or suspension of the overseas student’s enrolment has occurred

Any breaches of student visa conditions will be reported to the Department of Home Affairs DHA) through PRISMS after the student has been informed and given access to appeals procedures, in keeping with Standard 8 of the National Code 2018.

Procedures

  1. Timetables:
    • The Sydney College of Divinity and its Teaching Bodies will ensure that, when planning their timetables for each semester, sufficient units are offered to enable overseas students to complete all course requirements within the expected course duration, as specified on each student’s CoE.
    • Timetables must enable overseas students to take at least one unit per semester that is not by distance or online learning and ensure that an overseas student can complete at least two-thirds of course requirements through face-to-face learning.
  2. Monitoring course progress:
    • At the end of every semester, the Registrar of each Teaching Body will examine the records of every overseas student studying at that Institution to ensure he or she is maintaining satisfactory course progress.
    • The Registrar will ensure that for the next semester, each student is enrolled in at least one face-to-face unit, and is enrolled in a sufficient number of units to be in a position to complete the course within the expected duration.
    • The Registrar will examine each student’s next semester enrolment in light of what he or she has already completed, to prevent the student from undertaking more than one-third of their total course by distance or online learning. A written record will be kept of the number of distance and online units taken and the percentage it makes of the course to ensure the total percentage allowed is not exceeded,
    • The Registrar will examine the previous semester’s academic results for each overseas student and determine if the student is maintaining satisfactory course progress. The minimum requirement for satisfactory course progress is passing or being competent in 50% or more of units attempted in any study period – normally a semester.
    • An intervention strategy will be activated if a student has failed in one or more of the units in any given study period.
    • When a student is deemed to be at risk of not achieving satisfactory course progress, the Registrar will activate an intervention strategy to counsel the student and assist the student to meet satisfactory course progress such as-
      • receiving individual case management
      • attending study skills workshops
      • receiving assistance with personal issues which are influencing progress
      • attending supervised study groups
      • receiving tutorial support assistance
      • if circumstances listed at 3) below apply, reducing the enrolment load of the student, or
      • a combination of the above and a reduction in course load
  3. Reporting course variations:
    • If, in monitoring a student’s course progress, it is evident that the student will not complete the course within the expected duration (as specified on the student’s CoE), the Sydney College of Divinity will extend the duration of the student’s study, if it is a result of:
      • compassionate or compelling circumstances which includes:
        • serious illness or injury with a medical certificate stating that the student was unable to attend classes
        • bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents
        • major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel when this has impacted or the student’s study
        • a traumatic experience, which could include involvement in or witnessing a serious accident, witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime (supported by a police or psychologist’s report)
        • the College’s inability to offer a prerequisite unit
      • the College implementing its intervention strategy for a student at risk of not meeting satisfactory course progress; or
      • an approved deferment or suspension granted under Standard 9 of the National Code 2018
    • When the duration of a student’s study is extended in keeping with the circumstances above, the Sydney College of Divinity and its relevant Teaching Body will record this variation and the reasons for it on the student file. The variation will also be reported via PRISMS and a new CoE issued where necessary. The student will be advised to visit the DHA to seek advice on any potential impacts on their visa.
  4. Reporting students who have breached their course progress visa conditions:
    • When a student has been assessed under Procedure 2 (above) and it has been determined that the student is not achieving satisfactory course progress, the Sydney College of Divinity and its relevant Teaching Body will notify the student in writing of its intention to report the student for not achieving satisfactory course progress. The written notice will:
      • Inform the student of the right to appeal the college’s decision under the SCD Grievance Procedures (in keeping with Standard 8 of the National Code)
      • Inform the student that he or she has 20 working days in which to access the complaints and appeals process and may continue in the course until any appeals are finalised.
    • After the 20 working days have passed and the student has not chosen to access the complaints and appeals processes, or has withdrawn from the process, or the process is completed and results in a decision supporting the college’s initial determination, the Sydney College of Divinity and its relevant Teaching Body will inform DHA through PRISMS of the student not achieving satisfactory course progress as soon as possible.
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