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Progression and Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Once students enrol in a course of study, their progression through to graduation will be dependent upon meeting minimum success rates and correctly re-enrolling.

(2) The aim of the policy is to identify poorly performing students, so that they may initiate steps to address that poor performance. Students may avail themselves of support services, including counselling and learning support. Where poor performance persists, students face sanctions, including exclusion from the University.

(3) The aim of this policy is to encourage students to explore other options that may be more appropriate for them, and prevent students incurring significant costs. The University believes it must exercise a duty of care to students who incur fees and who are not well suited to tertiary study, and not permit poorly performing students continuing to study indefinitely.

(4) At the same time, the University recognises that there can be extenuating circumstances for poor performance, and students who are sanctioned have a right of appeal, that may lead to the sanctions being removed or modified.

(5) Students who have been enrolled for less than 12 months will not be placed on conditional enrolment or suspended or excluded. Periods of placement on conditional enrolment, suspension or exclusion will only commence once any Summer session units that the student is currently studying have been completed.

(6) This policy only applies to award coursework programs and does not apply to courses with a significant research component - i.e., research degrees such as Bachelor Honours, Masters Honours, Doctor of Philosophy, and professional doctorates such as the Doctor of Business Administration.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(7) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. At Risk - the University will identify students who, because of poor academic performance, are, if performance does not improve, faced with sanctions - like placement on conditional enrolment, or exclusion. Students who are identified as "at risk" are contacted, and advised of the situation they are in, and advised to seek assistance. The School of Medicine undertakes special procedures during the teaching session to identify "at risk" students in the School.
  2. Conditional Enrolment for Unsatisfactory Academic Performance - is a sanction for students whose academic performance is unsatisfactory. Placement on conditional enrolment limits the number of units that a student may enrol in. For full time students, the reduced load must not exceed 30 credit points studied simultaneously in any session; for part time students the load must not exceed 10 credit points per session as described above. Students enrolled in courses that do not adhere to the Autumn and Spring Session academic calendar must consult their Academic Course Advisor to determine the reduced study load to be carried during the year of Conditional Enrolment.
  3. Suspension for Unsatisfactory Academic Performance - is the barring of a student from attendance at the University for a specified period of time. At the conclusion of a period of suspension, the student has automatic right of resumption of study in their original course or a course deemed to be equivalent by the University. During a period of suspension, a student's enrolment will be terminated and the student will not be entitled to have access to University premises or facilities, except with the written permission of the Vice-Chancellor and President. A student who is suspended from the University shall not be granted advanced standing for units completed at another university during the period of suspension, and may not take units at other universities under the arrangements for concurrent or cross-institutional enrolment.
  4. Exclusion for Unsatisfactory Academic Performance - an excluded student's enrolment is cancelled and they are precluded from any re-enrolment at the University during the period of exclusion, which will not exceed 24 months. At the expiration of a period of exclusion, the student does not have automatic right of re-admission to the course, or to the University and must apply for re-admission. Students cannot be granted advanced standing from a previously abandoned course at the University to another current course at the University while on exclusion. Students who have been excluded may apply for re-admission to their original course of study or for admission to the course deemed by the University to be equivalent after the period of exclusion has expired. Students will be required to apply formally for re-admission through the normal channels. (ref: Enrolment Policy "Enrolments after Suspension and Exclusion"). Previous enrolment in a course of study at the University does not guarantee acceptance of an application for re-admission. A student re-admitted under this clause will be subject to the rules for the course (or the course deemed by the University to be equivalent) that were current at the time of re-admission. During a period of exclusion, a student's enrolment will be terminated and the student will not be entitled to have access to University premises or facilities, except with the written permission of the Vice-Chancellor and President. A student who is excluded from the University shall not be granted advanced standing for units completed at another university during the period of exclusion, and may not take units at other universities under the arrangements for concurrent or cross-institutional enrolment.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Part A - Progression Rules

(8) The Progression Rules, against which students enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) are assessed, are listed in Part B.

(9) Student academic performance is assessed following the examinations and results processing following the end of the Autumn and Spring sessions.

(10) Students enrolled in Summer session units that have not been completed at the time that academic performance is assessed will remain enrolled in those units, and be able to complete them, before any sanctions for unsatisfactory academic performance are applied. Notwithstanding that, any sanction imposed following review of a student's performance in a preceding session or sessions will not entitle a student to a late appeal against that sanction on the basis of successful completion of Summer session units.

(11) Student academic performance may also be assessed at other times. In these situations, the University may retrospectively impose sanctions on the student. The Director, Student Administration has the authority to determine whether sanctions will be applied retrospectively, to, for example:

  1. take account of late grades that have not been finalised at the end of the Autumn and Spring sessions;
  2. take account of performance in units undertaken in Summer session;
  3. take account of performance in courses and units where students are enrolled in one-year postgraduate courses taught over four terms, or are enrolled in undergraduate courses taught off-shore over four terms.

(12) The Progression Rules, against which students are assessed, are as follows:

  1. failing more than 50% of the credit points available in the previous twelve months in units for which they were formally enrolled on the relevant census date(s);
  2. failure of the same unit, or equivalent unit, on three occasions;
  3. failure to complete the course in maximum time. See "Maximum Length of Enrolment" below.

(13) The assessment of academic performance will apply the University's Progression Rules, and the following outcomes are possible:

  1. The student has satisfied the progression rules, their academic progress is satisfactory, and they are in "good standing."
  2. The student has not satisfied the progression rules and is "at risk" of being placed on conditional enrolment or excluded for unsatisfactory academic performance. See "At Risk" below.
  3. A student designated as "at risk" has not satisfied the progression rules and is placed on conditional enrolment or excluded for continued unsatisfactory academic performance. (See "Conditional Enrolment and Exclusion for Unsatisfactory Academic Performance" below).
  4. A student has exceeded the maximum length of enrolment and is excluded. See "Maximum Length of Enrolment" below.

Part B - Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery Progression Rules

(14) The Progression Rules, against which students enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) are assessed, are as follows:

  1. in Years 1 - 4 of the MBBS, the unit of study in each year must be successfully completed before a student is able to progress to the next year;
  2. in Year 5 of the MBBS, Integrated Clinical Rotations 3 (400977) must be successfully completed before progression; and
  3. in Year 5 of the MBBS, Integrated Clinical Rotations 4 (400978) must be successfully completed before graduation.

(15) The assessment of academic performance will apply these Progression Rules, and the following outcomes are possible:

  1. Failing to successfully complete the unit in each of years 1 - 4;
    1. Students who fail to successfully complete the unit in any one year will be clearly advised that they are "at risk" of exclusion and will be required to repeat the failed unit in their next year of study.
  2. Students who fail to successfully complete the assessment at the end of 400977 Integrated Clinical Rotations 3 will be required to undertake 400979 Integrated Clinical Rotations (General).
  3. For Years 1 - 5:
    1. Students who fail to successfully complete the same unit after two attempts will be placed on suspension or be excluded from the course for unsatisfactory academic performance.

(16) A student who has exceeded the maximum length of enrolment will be excluded. The maximum length of enrolment for the MBBS is eight years, recognising that the degree is not available in part-time mode, and the standard formula is not applicable.

(17) A student who is excluded from the MBBS course for unsatisfactory academic performance may transfer to another University course with the permission of the relevant Deans.

Part C - At Risk

"At Risk" - Student not Sanctioned

(18) The University holds the view that any student who fails 50% or more of the credit points in any study period is "at risk" and advises such students to discuss their future study plans with the appropriate support services and the relevant Academic Course Advisor or Director, Academic Program.

(19) The University holds the view that any student who has failed the same, or an equivalent, unit twice, is "at risk" of exclusion and will advise such students to discuss their future study plans with the appropriate support services and the relevant Academic Course Advisor or Director, Academic Program. It is the student's responsibility to recognise they are at risk and to respond accordingly.

(20) Students identified as being "at risk" will receive a personalised communication from the University and their student record will indicate their "at risk" status.

(21) The consequence of being "at risk" is that students face sanctions if poor academic performance continues.

"At Risk" - Student Previously Sanctioned (Placed on Conditional Enrolment)

(22) A student who has been placed on 12 months conditional enrolment, and then, in any subsequent six month period of enrolment, (conditional enrolment or otherwise) passes less than 50% of the credit points attempted, is "at risk" of exclusion from the University. The University will advise such students to discuss their future study plans with the appropriate support services and the relevant Academic Course Advisor or Director, Academic Program. It is the student's responsibility to recognise they are at risk and to respond accordingly.

(23) Students identified as being "at risk" of exclusion will receive a personalised communication from the University and their student record will indicate their "at risk" of exclusion status.

(24) The consequence of being "at risk" of exclusion is that students face exclusion from the University if poor academic performance continues.

Part D - Conditional Enrolment or Exclusion

Conditional Enrolment

(25) If a student has not previously been on conditional enrolment, and they pass less than 50% of the credit points attempted in any 12 month period, the student will be placed on conditional enrolment for the following 12 months and must enrol for a reduced academic load during that time.

(26) A student placed on conditional enrolment has the right of appeal to Academic Senate.

Exclusion

Passing Less than 50% of the Credit Points

(27) If a student has previously been on conditional enrolment, and they pass less than 50% of the credit points attempted in any 12 month period, the student will be excluded from the University for the following 12 months.

(28) A student excluded from study under this clause has the right of appeal to the Academic Senate.

Multiple Failure of Units

(29) A student who fails the same unit, or a unit deemed equivalent by the University, on three separate occasions, will be excluded from study at the University for a period of 12 months.

(30) A student excluded from study under this clause has the right of appeal to the Academic Senate.

Implications of Leave of Absence

(31) A student who has been placed on conditional enrolment or excluded but has approved leave of absence will be placed on conditional enrolment, or excluded, at the conclusion of their period of leave of absence.

(32) Periods of approved Leave of Absence are not counted for the purpose of this policy. However students do not have the right to prolong their studies by taking periods of unapproved leave of absence. Students failing to re-enrol in the course by the date notified to them by Student Administration in the Student Experience Office, will be regarded as having abandoned the course of study and will need to apply for re-admission in order to resume studies.

Part E - Maximum Length of Enrolment

(33) The maximum length of enrolment clauses do not apply to postgraduate coursework courses or courses with a significant research component - i.e. research degrees such as Bachelor Honours, Masters Honours, Doctor of Philosophy, and professional doctorates such as the Doctor of Business Administration.

(34) Failure to complete a course within a reasonable time (like failing the same unit three times, or passing less than half of the credit points for which they were formally enrolled in a calendar year) can be an indicator that a student needs to review their circumstances which may be preventing them from performing adequately. If a student transfers from one course to another under the provisions of the Course Transfer Policy or as the result of a deletion of a course by the University, the maximum time for completion of the second course will be the period specified in this policy [clause (35)] less the time the student has been enrolled in the first course.

(35) The maximum time to complete a course will be one and a half times the minimum time a part-time student would need to complete the course, where the time for completing the course is derived from the total credit points content for the course. Therefore the maximum time for a 240-point bachelor degree will be nine years.

(36) This maximum time will be adjusted according to the total credit points required for completion, so that an 80-point course will have a maximum time of three years.

(37) The University has determined that students should be able to complete a coursework award within a set maximum period. Students who fail to complete will be excluded.

(38) Students will be excluded for a period of two years if, at the end of an academic year, the student has failed to complete their course in the prescribed maximum time.

(39) A student excluded from study under this clause has the right of appeal to the Academic Senate.

(40) Periods of approved Leave of Absence are not counted for the purpose of this policy. However students do not have the right to prolong their studies by taking periods of unapproved leave of absence. Students failing to re-enrol in the course by the date notified to them by Student Administration in the Student Experience Office, will be regarded as having abandoned the course of study and will need to apply for re-admission in order to resume studies.

Part F - Appeals

General Provisions

(41) The University believes that students have a right to appeal against a decision that excludes or suspends them from their course of study, or places them on conditional enrolment, for unsatisfactory academic performance. The notification sent to the student advising them of their exclusion, or suspension, or placement on conditional enrolment, will inform them of the deadline for the submission of an appeal.

(42) An appeal must be in writing and clearly state the grounds for the appeal. The student will not have an automatic right to appear in person before a committee. Appeals should therefore include appropriate documentation (statements from counsellors, medical certificates, etc.) to substantiate the appellant's grounds for appeal.

(43) Appeals lodged outside the timeframe stated in the notification will not be considered.

(44) These timeframes refer to students whose results have been determined at the end of the main exam period. Appeals from students who have deferred exams in the formal deferred exam period will normally be completed before the census date.

(45) If appeals are determined late, even if the appeal is upheld, and restrictions lifted (for example, conditional enrolment conditions, or a period of exclusion, revoked) the student may not be permitted to enrol for additional units in that session.

(46) Late or non-receipt of official letters from the University will not be accepted as grounds for appeal if the student has not ensured that the University is in receipt of accurate and current contact details.

Appeals against Exclusion, Suspension or Placement on Conditional Enrolment

(47) Students may appeal to the Academic Senate against exclusion, suspension or being placed on conditional enrolment for unsatisfactory academic performance, on the grounds defined as misadventure and extenuating circumstances under the Special Consideration Policy.

(48) The Chair or Deputy Chair of Academic Senate and the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning Transformations or nominee may determine, on behalf of the Academic Senate, that there are no valid grounds on which to uphold an appeal, and therefore that the appeal will be dismissed. The Chair or Deputy Chair of Academic Senate may determine, on behalf of the Academic Senate, to uphold the appeal, if there are clear and significant grounds to do so.

(49) On behalf of the Academic Senate, the Chair of Academic Senate will convene a panel to consider appeals that have been received by the due date and have not been upheld or dismissed in accordance with clause (48) above. The panel will consist of:

  1. The Chair or Deputy Chair of Academic Senate or nominee (as Chair);
  2. The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning Transformations or nominee;
  3. The Director, Equity and Diversity or nominee

(50) The Panel may determine to refer the appeal to the Academic Senate's Academic Appeals and Integrity Committee, where the student will be invited to present a case, or to:

  1. uphold the appeal and remove the period of exclusion or suspension;
  2. uphold the appeal and remove the period of conditional enrolment;
  3. uphold the appeal and reduce the period of exclusion or suspension;
  4. uphold the appeal and reduce the period of conditional enrolment;
  5. uphold the appeal and replace the period of exclusion with a period of suspension, or conditional enrolment;
  6. uphold the appeal and replace the period of suspension with a period of conditional enrolment;
  7. dismiss the appeal; or
  8. vary a penalty that has been imposed.

(51) The determination of the Panel will be final. Elements of procedural fairness will be assessed by the panel and therefore the provisions of the Academic Appeals Procedures will not subsequently apply.

(52) For an appeal under this Policy, the membership of Academic Senate's Academic Appeals and Integrity Committee is:

  1. Chair or Deputy Chair of Academic Senate or nominee (as Chair);
  2. The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning Transformations or nominee or Chief Student Experience Officer or nominee;
  3. One student from the students who are members of Academic Senate or one of its committees;
  4. Director, Equity and Diversity or nominee.

(53) Any member of the Committee who has previously been involved with the assessment of a particular case before the Committee should excuse themselves from the Committee for the duration of that case.

(54) The Committee must contain at least one member of each gender.

(55) A quorum of the Committee will be the Chair and two members, one of whom must be academic.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Appeals Heard by Senate's Academic Appeals and Integrity Committee

(56) The secretary to Academic Senate's Academic Appeals and Integrity Committee will, no later than five working days prior to the date of the Committee hearing, forward a copy of the appeal papers to each member of the Committee. The student's copy will be sent by express post and email.

(57) At the hearing of the appeal by a student:

  1. the Chair of the Committee will give an overview of the appeal to the hearing;
  2. the student will be invited to present a case, either in person or in writing where the student does not attend the hearing. The student may be assisted by an enrolled student, a staff member of the University or a representative from a student association. The person assisting the student may provide the student with advice, but may not act as an advocate nor make direct comment to the meeting without the permission of the Chair of the Committee. If the Chair does give permission, the person assisting the student may address the Committee.

(58) At the conclusion of the hearing, everyone present, with the exception of members of the Committee, will retire from the hearing to allow the Committee to reach a determination. In reaching a determination, the Committee may:

  1. uphold the appeal and remove the period of exclusion or suspension;
  2. uphold the appeal and remove the period of conditional enrolment;
  3. uphold the appeal and reduce the period of exclusion or suspension;
  4. uphold the appeal and reduce the period of conditional enrolment;
  5. uphold the appeal and replace the period of exclusion with a period of suspension, or conditional enrolment;
  6. uphold the appeal and replace the period of suspension with a period of conditional enrolment;
  7. dismiss the appeal; or
  8. vary a penalty that has been imposed.

(59) The Director, Student Administration will normally advise the student in writing of the outcome of the appeal no later than five working days before the beginning of the session.

(60) The determination of the Senate Academic Appeals and Integrity Committees will be final.

Status of Students Awaiting the Outcome of an Appeal

(61) The University will make determinations on academic appeals as soon as practicable, but will not necessarily resolve any particular case before the close of enrolments for the next session. An application should be received from the student to continue with their enrolment up to the census date. A student whose appeal will not be resolved before the commencement of session (where the delay is not the fault of the student) will be issued with a letter of authorisation from Student Administration in the Student Experience Office to audit units, pending the outcome of the appeal. The Director, Student Administration will determine the enrolment status on a case-by-case basis should the matter not be resolved by the census date.

(62) If the appeal is upheld, the student will be permitted to enrol in the recommended course of study. No late enrolment penalties will apply provided the student enrols within seven days after receiving the advice from the University. However, if appeals are determined after the census date, even if the appeal is upheld, and restrictions lifted (for example, conditional enrolment conditions, or a period of exclusion, revoked) the student will not be permitted to enrol for additional units in that session.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(63) Nil.