Purpose

Student enrolment can be Deferred, Suspended or Cancelled in limited circumstances by MCIE or by the student. The purpose of this document is to establish those circumstances under which an overseas student may Defer, Suspend or Cancel their enrolment within the ESOS Framework, or as allowable by MCIE.

 

Scope

This policy applies to all current and future overseas students.

 

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy the following definitions are provided:

Deferral – postponement of commencement of course

Suspension – temporary postponement of enrolment during course

Cancellation – cessation of enrolment in course

 

Grounds for Deferment, Suspension or Cancellation

MCIE initiated deferral, suspension or cancellation

  • MCIE may defer commencement of a course when a course is not offered at the proposed date, site, or other reasons where it is necessary to cancel the course. In such cases a refund will be processed as required or alternative courses offered.
  • MCIE may suspend or cancel a student enrolment for:
  1. Failing to abide by the Code of Conduct.
  2. Compassionate and Compelling circumstances.
  3. Serious student misconduct, including misbehaviour.
  4. Breach of Course Progress requirements by the overseas student in accordance of National Code 2018 Standard 8.
  5. Non-payment of overdue fees including failure to pay an amount they were required to pay MCIE to undertake or continue the course as stated in the written agreement. (MCIE will notify the overseas student in writing of the intention to suspend or cancel their enrolment).
  6. Overseas student fails to start course within 2 weeks of course commencement without formal notification.
  • In the event MCIE initiates a suspension or cancellation of an overseas student’s enrolment, MCIE will notify that student in writing of the intention to suspend or cancel their enrolment. The overseas student will be provided 20 working days to access MCIE’s Complaints and Appeals Process.
  • The student is not provided an opportunity to appeal when the student’s health or wellbeing, or wellbeing of others is likely to be at risk. Some of the scenarios related to this situation are:
    • Student is missing or fails to start course within 2 weeks of course commencement without formal notification
    • Student has medical concerns, severe depression or psychological issues which lead MCIE to fear for the student’s wellbeing
    • Student has engaged or threatens to engage in behaviour that is reasonably believed to endanger the student or others
    • Student is at risk of committing a criminal offence
  • Where a student chooses to access the MCIE Complaints and Appeals Policy, the student’s enrolment will be maintained by MCIE until the Complaints and Appeals Process is complete.
  • If the complainant finds no satisfactory outcome with the internal MCIE Complaints and Appeals process, then they can request mediation through Overseas Student Ombudsman. However, MCIE may notify Department of Home Affairs prior to the outcome of this appeal.
  • The suspension or cancellation will be notified to Department of Home Affairs (DHA) at the end of the Complaints and Appeals Process, if the appeal is not upheld. This may affect the status of a student visa.

 

Student-initiated deferral, suspension or cancellation

  • Students may defer commencement of a course, suspend or cancel their enrolment during their course in the following limited circumstances:
    • Compassionate and Compelling circumstances. All supporting documentation must be supplied. Refer to the Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Policy
    • Student visa delay or refusal
  • Students may request a deferral prior to course commencement via submitting an online Deferral request through MCIE website outlining the reasons for deferral request and supporting evidence/documents.
    • Deferral requests are assigned to the Head of Department for approval.
    • Once approved, the student will receive a new letter of offer and acceptance agreement from international admissions team for student’s acceptance.
    • Upon receiving signed letter of offer and acceptance agreement from overseas student the international admissions team will create and send the student a confirmation of enrolment with new commencement date.
  • Students may request to Suspend their enrolment for a maximum period of six months by submitting a request through MCIE website outlining the reasons for suspension request and supporting evidence/documents to International Admissions team. Suspensions longer than six months may result in the cancellation of the student visa by DHA.
    • Suspension requests are assigned to the Head of Department for approval.
    • Once approved, the student will receive a new letter of offer and acceptance agreement from international admissions team for student acceptance.
    • Upon receiving signed letter of offer and acceptance agreement from overseas student the international admissions team will create and send the student a confirmation of enrolment with new commencement date.
  • Students may request to Cancel their enrolment by submitting a request through MCIE website outlining the reasons for the request including supporting evidence/documents to International Admissions Team.
    • Cancellation requests are assigned to the Head of Department for approval.
    • Once approved, the student’s enrolment will be cancelled, and the student will receive a copy of the cancelled COE.
    • The student will be advised to contact Immigration to seek advice on any impact on their student visa.
    • International Administration Team will update the student management system to reflect the status of student’s enrolment and the student records file will be archived.

 

Request for Release (Transfer to another provider) Standard 7

The following procedure is relevant to those students wishing to transfer to another education provider prior to completing six (6) months of their principal course of study.

  • Students make a written request (e-mail is satisfactory) to transfer to another provider.
  • The student is required to provide a valid “Letter of Offer” from the new provider, along with evidence of the grounds for receiving a Release Letter.
  • The grounds on which a student will be provided a Release are if:
    • MCIE has cancelled/ceased to offer the student’s program
    • The overseas student will be reported because they are unable to achieve satisfactory course progress at the level they are studying, even after engaging with MCIE’s intervention strategy to assist the overseas student in accordance with Standard 8
    • there is evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances
    • MCIE has failed to deliver the course as outlined in the written agreement
    • there is evidence that the overseas student’s reasonable expectations about their current course are not being met
    • there is evidence that the overseas student was misled by MCIE or an education agent, regarding MCIE or its course, and the course is therefore unsuitable to their needs and/or study objectives
    • an appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release the overseas student
    • if after assessing the student application the Head of Department decides that transfer is in overseas student’s best interest.

The International Admissions Team along with the relevant Head of Department will be responsible for assessing the student application for release and will provide outcome of application within 14 working days of receiving the request including all supporting documents.

While assessing the application the following are checked:

  • ensure any outstanding fees are paid
  • check student records to ensure the student is not trying to avoid being reported to the appropriate government agency(s) due to lack of course progress.
  • once the above points have been addressed information on the release of the student is entered into PRISMS by International Admissions Team
  • where the request to transfer to another RTO is be refused, the student is to be advised in writing of the reasons for the refusal, and the student’s right to appeal the decision within 20 working days of being advised of the decision
  • where the request to transfer to another RTO is granted, it will be at no cost to the overseas student and will be informed to contact immigration to seek advice on whether a new visa is required
  • all requests, considerations, decisions and will be placed on student’s file
  • the approval of transfer of a student to another institution does not indicate the agreement to provide any refund. Refunds are governed by the refund policy independent of this policy.

 

Grounds for Refusal of a Release

Once the application has been accessed, the request for release may be refused under the following circumstances:

  • change of mind: students are able to apply for a transfer to other courses offered by MCIE, but will not be granted a release to enrol with another provider on the basis of change of mind
  • if the student has not exhausted access to MCIE support services for assistance with study or personal issues
  • claims of financial hardship or transferring to another provider with lower tuition fees
  • accommodation difficulties – distance, transport and/or living arrangement
  • MCIE considers the student has taken advantage of its Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) arrangements to obtain a student visa and enter or extend their stay in Australia and has requested to transfer to another provider without making a genuine effort to undertake their study at MCIE
  • if the request is considered detrimental to the student’s well-being; or
  • the transfer is considered detrimental to the student’s academic progression. Circumstances considered detrimental include:
    • the student has not started studying, or has only recently started studying, and has not experienced the full range of academic and support services available at MCIE;
    • the student is transferring to a different subject area qualification, not offered at MCIE, for reasons other than academic ability.

Students who are refused a release have the right to appeal the decision in accordance with the MCIE’s Complaints and Appeals Policy within 20 working days of the decision. MCIE will not finalise student’s release refusal status in PRISMS until the appeal finds in favour of MCIE, or the student has chosen not to access the complaints and appeals process.

 

In addition

  • It is a requirement of DHA that if a student’s enrolment is temporarily suspended for a period of 28 days or longer, the student must return home, unless special circumstances exist.
  • Upon Deferral, Suspension or Cancellation, the course fees owed to MCIE will be due as set out in the Student Agreement.
  • Once the Deferral, Suspension or Cancellation is processed, MCIE will notify DHA by reporting the change to the overseas student’s enrolment under section 19 of ESOS act.
  • Once the Deferral, Suspension or Cancellation is processed, International Admissions team will also inform the overseas student of the need to seek advice from immigration on the potential impact on his or her student visa.
  • MCIE will maintain records of all requests from overseas students for a release and the assessment of and decision regarding, the request for two years after the overseas student ceases to be an accepted student.

 

Responsibility

The Head of Department is responsible for approving all Deferral, Suspension and Cancellation requests.

The International Admissions Team is responsible for recording any variations and the reasons for it on the student file. The International Admissions team is responsible for reporting the student via PRISMS and/or issue a new COE.

 

References

Relevant ACTS and Regulations

Confirmation of Enrolment- Issued via PRISMS

Deferral, Suspension or Cancelation Form-available online

01-1108      Complaints and Appeals Policy

01-1017      Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Policy

04-2028      Letter of Offer and Acceptance Agreement

01-1027      Student Code of Conduct and Discipline policy