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Scholarships - Higher and Vocational Education Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy:

  1. provides a framework for the management and implementation of Victoria University (VU) Grants and Scholarships, and the Commonwealth Scholarships Program at VU, as set out in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) and the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2017;
  2. ensures that the University meets its obligations for the delivery of Commonwealth Scholarships;
  3. ensures that VU provides assistance to students in need and meets its obligations for complementary grants and scholarships in relation to the Commonwealth Scholarships; and,
  4. details the eligibility, selection criteria and procedures for VU Grants and Scholarships and Commonwealth Scholarships.
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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: Standards 1.3 Orientation and Progression; 2.2 Diversity and Equity; 2.3 Wellbeing and Safety; 2.4 Student Grievances and Complaints; 6.2 Corporate Monitoring and Accountability; 7.2 Information for Prospective and Current Students; 7.3 Information Management. 

(3) ESOS National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018: Standard 6 Overseas Student Support Services; Standard 10 Complaints and Appeals. 

(4) Standards for RTOs: Standard 1; 5; 6.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Policy applies to Grants and Scholarships provided by VU and the Commonwealth to higher and vocational education students. 

(6) Research Scholarships are covered by the Higher Degree by Research Scholarships Procedure.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(7) Commonwealth Scholarships: refers to Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarships that may be awarded using an Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) grant which include:

  1. Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarships (ICECS) which assist with education costs;
  2. Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships (ICAS), which assist with relocation costs, accommodation costs, or relocation and accommodation costs;
  3. Indigenous Commonwealth Reward Scholarships (ICRS) that (i) involve a payment that is unlikely to be repeated; and (ii) are not intended to duplicate or supplement the purpose for which an Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship or an Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship is provided; and (iii) a recipient would not have reasonably expected, or necessarily anticipated, receiving.

(8) Eligible full-time student: refers to a student who:

  1. is enrolled in a Higher Education course of study with at least 75% of a full-time study load (minimum of 36 credit points per semester); or
  2. is enrolled in a Vocational Education course of study in at least 270 hours of study per semester.

(9) Eligible part-time student: refers to a student who is not enrolled full-time but:

  1. Is enrolled in at least 25% of a full-time course of study; and,
  2. Is able to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances prevent them from enrolling full-time. Students who are registered with VU Accessibility Services are eligible if enrolled part-time.

(10) Indigenous student: refers to a student of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. The University will determine Indigenous eligibility on the basis of the applicant's declaration, and where necessary, confirmation in writing from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander incorporated organisation in a community in which the student lives or has lived. Evidence of receipt of ABSTUDY payment will also be considered.

(11) Low-income status: refers to a student who is suffering financial hardship as determined by their income and supported by verifiable evidence (such as receipt of Centrelink payment).

(12) Regional or remote location: is defined by the Australian Standard Geographic Classification Remoteness Areas classification.

(13) Relocation Scholarship: refers to those accommodation scholarships administered by Centrelink

(14) VU Grants and Scholarships: refers to approved VU student financial support schemes, categorized as follows:

  1. Grants: money (or equivalent) provided to student on the basis of financial need. E.g VU Thrive, VU Access.
  2. University Scholarship Programs: instances where VU chooses to vary the cost of a course and/or provide additional funds to attract students, examples include:
    1. VU Ignite
    2. Alumni discount
    3. Diplomatic Scholarship
    4. Asylum Seeker Scholarship 

(15) Sponsorships: refers to instances where a sponsor (internal department, government agency or company) pays a student’s fees rather than the individual themselves. Examples include:

  1. Fee waivers (internal sponsorships)
  2. Ministry of Scholarships such as those offered by the Cultural Offices of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

(16) Western Region of Melbourne schools: refers to secondary schools that offer Year 12 and are located in the municipal regions of: Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Brimbank, Wyndham, Melton and Moorabool.

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

Part A - Selection Policy: Commonwealth Scholarships

(17) The following selection policy accords with the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2017 and the fairness requirements in subdivision 19-D of Part 2-1 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003. To be eligible for an Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (ICECS) or an Indigenous Commonwealth Reward Scholarship (ICRS) students must: 

  1. be an Australian citizen; and
  2. be an Indigenous person;
  3. be enrolled full-time in a  degree-level course, and
  4. not already completed a bachelor degree, unless it is a prerequisite for their current course of study, and
  5. be in receipt of Centrelink payments or able to demonstrate financial hardship. 

(18) If enrolled on a part time basis, be assessed as having approved exceptional circumstances. In determining inability to study full-time, the University will take into account factors such as: enabling course requirements; disability; significant family care responsibilities; Indigenous community responsibilities; or course constraints outside a student's control. Applicants with exceptional circumstances will need to be enrolled in at least one quarter of a full time load.

(19) A student is not eligible for an ICECS if they have already received a CECS or ICECS for the maximum duration.

(20) In addition to meeting the basic eligibility requirements for an Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (ICECS) students are eligible for a Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (ICAS) if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. lived in a regional or remote area for at least three of the previous four years immediately preceding the commencement of their course of study; or
  2. completed the final two years of schooling in a high school or college in a regional or remote area immediately prior to the commencement of study; or
  3. lived away from their regional or remote home to complete the whole or majority of secondary schooling at a high school or college in a major city; or
  4. lived in a regional or remote area for at least two years and relocated to undertake vocational education and training (maximum of two years) immediately preceding the commencement of their undergraduate course; and
  5. It was necessary for the student to move away from the regional or remote area to undertake their course of study and, as a result, the student has incurred or will incur additional accommodation costs; and
  6. Is enrolled as an internal student (attends classes on campus).

(21) A student is not eligible for an ICAS if they have already received an ICAS for the maximum duration.

Part B - Selection Policy: VU Grants and Scholarships

(22) VU provides a wide range of grants and scholarships, both internally and externally funded, that support access and retention and success of domestic and international students.

(23) Grants and scholarships have unique eligibility criteria and specific selection processes, tailored to suit their particular aims and objectives. Eligibility criteria and selection processes for each grant or scholarship are recorded and maintained in a central register of grants and scholarships by the Manager Admissions Pathways and Scholarships.

Part C - New Grants and Scholarships

(24) Proposals for new grants and scholarships may arise from VU fundraising initiatives and/or where VU is asked to advertise an opportunity to students from external sources. In both circumstances, new scholarships will be assessed, approved and operationalised according to standard operating procedures which clarify the responsibilities of key stakeholders.

Part D - Reporting

(25) Financial records relating to grants and scholarships are maintained by the Manager Admissions Pathways and Scholarships and are reviewed quarterly for planning and forecasting purposes. De-identified student outcomes data will be collated and maintained by the Manager Admissions Pathways and Scholarships to assess the impact of grants and scholarships on student admission, retention and success.

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Section 6 - Procedures

(26) Scholarships - Higher and Vocational Education Procedure