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Curtin University
Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS)
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Student enrolment

Standard 9 of The National Code 2007 requires Curtin University to ensure that, at all times, Student Visa holders are in a position to complete their studies within the duration specified in their CoE, unless certain circumstances apply. If a Student Visa holder chooses to study at less than a 100 per cent load in a particular teaching period, they will have to make sure that they can still complete their course in time. However, students must maintain an enrolment load, that is, a student cannot have zero load for their semester.

A student may be reported to DIBP if their enrolment does not meet the full time criteria to complete their course within the duration specified within their CoE, or, where the University is convinced that the student is not studying.

If a Student Visa holder does not complete within the expected duration of their course, Curtin University can only issue them another CoE if:

  • their faculty adviser agrees that there are compassionate or compelling circumstances;
  • their faculty adviser has previously agreed to a reduced study load as part of Curtin University's Intervention Strategy; or
  • they did not complete as the result of an approved deferment or suspension of their study.

Supporting documents should be saved and the Unit Coordinator should make a brief note in the course notes section of the student's internal academic record.

If a Student Visa holder completes course early, Curtin University must report this to the DIBP and the duration of the student's visa will most likely be reduced.

The Standard 10 of The National Code 2007 requires Curtin University to have an Intervention Strategy to identify and assist students at risk of not meeting their course progress requirements. The University follows an intervention strategy highlighted in the Assessment and Student Progression Manual.

Curtin University is required to monitor international student academic progress. Students who do not meet satisfactory academic progress or course progress requirements, will be reported by Curtin to DIBP via the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

Curtin has established a range of support services designed to assist students achieve their academic goals, improve their academic performance and retain a status of Good Standing. The support services include the University Counselling, Student Transition and Retention Team (START), Mentoring Program, Student Assist Officers in the Student Guild, International Student Advisors in Student Service Centre, Academic and Learning Support, and Faculty and School staff and Unit and Course Coordinators.

If a Student Visa holder does not make satisfactory course progress according to Curtin University's rules, they are sent a letter informing them of this, and of the University's intention to report this breach of their Student Visa conditions to the DIBP, unless they lodge a formal appeal against their Course Progress Status within 20 working days of the date of the letter, and their appeal is successful.

If they are reported to DIBP for failure to meet course requirements, this may result in their visa being cancelled and their being unable to re-enter Australia for a period of three years as per Australian law.

The National Code 2007 permits Student Visa holders to enroll in a limited amount of distance/online learning.  No more than 25% of the point load of their entire course may be studied by units which are delivered 100% in distance/online mode, and they must study at least one unit face-to-face in each compulsory teaching period. The students may submit a Form if they tend to request enrolment for less than 100 credit hours in the current semester.

Students studying in Australia on an international student visa have certain obligations relating to enrolment as part of their student visa conditions. This includes enrolling in a full time load, attending classes when students are enrolled in English language programmes, and if a student wishes to transfer to another education provider before completing the first 6 calendar months of their principle course. Curtin also has obligations to assist students in their enrolment to ensure that students do not breach their visa conditions.

It is a requirement under Standard 7 of The National Code 2007 for Curtin to assess requests for a Letter of Release from international onshore students on student visas who request to change providers prior to completing the first six months of their principal course. Requests for a Letter of Release are considered in light of Curtin’s obligations under visa processing arrangements as well as The National Code 2007. This includes international onshore students enrolled at Curtin articulation and pathway partners.

Curtin also may not knowingly enrol international students transferring from another education provider within the first 6 months of their principle course without an appropriate Letter of Release from that provider. Where the student is enrolling at Curtin due to not being able to complete their course at their previous provider for reasons including that provider ceases to be registered, Curtin may proceed with the enrolment of that student. Sponsored students require the permission of their sponsor prior to being enrolled at Curtin when transferring from another provider, or when applying to transfer to another provider.

Curtin provides a range of support services to assist students to adjust to studying at University in Australia, and therefore students should ensure that they have accessed these services where appropriate for their situation, including transition to study, homesickness and settling in.

Those students who wish to have a Request for Letter of Release considered are required to complete the Request for Release form and provide with supporting documentation to the appropriate area of the University.

a)    Circumstances in which a transfer will be granted

Curtin University will grant transfer requests within the first six months of a student’s enrolment when the transfer will not be to the detriment of the student and conditions in this policy are met.

In all cases, a transfer can only be granted if the student has a valid enrolment offer from the receiving provider. If the student is an under-18 student, there must be written evidence that the student’s parent or legal guardian supports the transfer, and, where the student is not being cared for in Australia by a parent or suitable nominated relative, written confirmation that the new provider will accept responsibility for approving a student’s accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements as per Standard 5 of The National Code 2007.

If the student either at Curtin University or at another institution is within their first six months of study, a letter of release from the losing institutions must accompany any approval for transfer.

b)    Circumstances which Curtin University considers as providing reasonable grounds for refusing the student’s request, including when a transfer can be considered detrimental to the student

Curtin University may refuse a student’s request:

  • If the transfer may jeopardize the student’s progression through a package of courses
  • Within four weeks of a course beginning. (Issues such as homesickness may take some time to overcome and transferring to another provider is unlikely to solve this problem. The provider may consider that the student needs some time to settle in to the course and the Australian education system and for the student to use and benefit from the provider’s student support services)
  • If Curtin University forms the view that the student is trying to avoid being reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for failure to meet the provider’s attendance or academic progress requirements
  • In other cases where it is viewed to be against the best interests of the student

c)    Applications, and timeframe for assessing and replying to the student’s request

  • Initially, the student should discuss their plans with the International Student Adviser (for undergraduate students) or International Students Officer (for postgraduate students). The student should be advised that there may be visa issues if there is a gap between the courses.
  • The student should submit an application for a transfer in writing, together with a copy of the Letter of Offer for the proposed new course, to the Director Curtin International. Assessment and notification of the result will be completed within 10 University working days.
  • When the Manager International Admissions has informed the International Student Adviser (for undergraduate students) or International Students Officer (for postgraduate students) of the decision, they should advise the student to go to Student Administration to withdraw from their course. The Guidelines for Requesting Letter of Release are published on Curtin website. Student Request for Release is also available. If a request for release is refused, the criteria used and the reasons for refusal must be given to the student in writing, together with advice that it is possible to lodge an appeal if the student thinks there are sufficient grounds.
  • Records of each request, and the outcome of the request, must be stored on the student file in Student One.
  • The student’s COE is cancelled when they have withdrawn from their course.

Curtin also may not knowingly enrol international students transferring from another education provider within the first 6 months of their principle course without an appropriate Letter of Release from that provider. Where the student is enrolling at Curtin due to not being able to complete their course at their previous provider for reasons including that provider ceases to be registered, Curtin may proceed with the enrolment of that student. Sponsored students require the permission of their sponsor prior to being enrolled at Curtin when transferring from another provider, or when applying to transfer to another provider.

Curtin provides a range of support services to assist students to adjust to studying at University in Australia, and therefore students should ensure that they have accessed these services where appropriate for their situation, including transition to study, homesickness and settling in. Those students who wish to have a Request for Letter of Release considered are required to complete the Request for Release form and provide with supporting documentation to the appropriate area of the University.

If an International Student changes course they must contact the Curtin’s International Office. Students who change course will be asked to sign a new Acceptance of Offer and will be issued a new CoE and may be subject to a revised tuition fee.

If a Student Visa holder intends to transfer to another university within the first six months of their final course at Curtin University, their request will be assessed using the criteria in Curtin University's Student Transfer Request assessment policy and procedure, which is available from Curtin International.

Standard 13 of The National Code 2007 introduced the provision for international onshore students to apply for leave through Leave of Absence Form. The grounds on which a Leave of Absence can be approved are very similar to that of reducing a student’s enrolment on compassionate or compelling circumstances. The maximum period of leave which can be granted for an international onshore student is 6 months. The International Student Visa Officers notify DIICSRTE  through PRISMS that the University is ‘deferring or suspending’ a student’s enrolment which will affect the course end date of the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). A new CoE will not be granted until the student has notified the University of their Return Date. The student will be able to return to studies on their original student visa and will not be required to apply for a further visa until the original visa is due to expire.

An international student on a student visa who has accepted an offer for a course, and paid the indicative tuition fees as stated in the Letter of Offer can request a deferral due to unforeseen circumstances (delay in visa application, visa denied etc). In the event of a deferral, if the student requests a refund of fees, the original eCoE will be cancelled. The new eCoE for the deferred intake/start date will be issued once the new Letter of Offer and payment of fees are confirmed. If a refund is not requested, then the tuition fee is credited to the relevant semester. The eCoE is then amended to reflect the new intake/start date once the new Offer is confirmed. Deferrals for students who have not commenced studies are normally granted for a maximum period of 12 months.

Any deferment, suspension or cancellation of a Student Visa holder's enrolment may have an effect on their visa, and it is important that they contact DIBP for advice before taking any action. Students can contact DIBP on official email address wa.student.compliance@immi.gov.au. It is also worth noting that the Perth immigration office will no longer see a student without an appointment. This appointment must be made via their office and therefore this email is the quickest route to resolving any issues, either by appointment or return email.

If Student Visa holder wants to suspend their research enrolment or take leave from a coursework degree, they must complete the Leave of Absence Form and have their leave approved by the authorized staff, who can approve if compassionate or compelling circumstances apply. A new CoE is created and Offer and Acceptance signed by the student. In case of rejection of the leave, the student may use their right of Appeal against Rejection of Leave of Absence.

Compassionate or compelling circumstances are generally those beyond the control of the student and which have an impact upon the student's course progress or wellbeing. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states 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 and this has impacted on the student's studies;
  • a traumatic experience which could include involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident; or witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime;
  • where Curtin University was unable to offer a pre-requisite unit;
  • inability to begin studying on the course commencement date due to delay in receiving a student visa.

The Student Policies and Procedures allow Curtin University for the suspension of a student's enrolment for one or two semesters, or their expulsion from the University. Curtin University is required to notify Department of Education and Training and DIBP of any suspension or expulsion for reasons of misconduct, and it is most likely that the student's visa will be cancelled and that they will be banned from returning to Australia for a three-year period.

For compliance of Standard 12 of The National Code 2007, Curtin has established procedures for granting Course Credit and Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL), and all CRL provided to international students must be recorded on the student file, and in Curtin’s student information systems. If a Student Visa holder is granted course credit, and this results in a shortening of their course, Curtin University will report their new expected course duration to DIBP, who may then reduce their visa duration.

Refunds available to International Students for cessation or non-commencement of study are subject to specific legislation and differ to refund conditions for Domestic Students. Students can submit Curtin’s Online Refund Application for International Students highlighting reasons of claiming refund.