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Fees Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) This policy provides a consistent and clear basis for all matters related to the setting, amending and reviewing of unit of study and course fees and non-tuition fees, for all cohorts of students at Victoria University.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) This policy applies to:

  1. The setting, amending and publication of tuition fees relevant to domestic and international students, both onshore and offshore, and including:
    1. Vocational Education programs
    2. Higher Education undergraduate programs
    3. Further Education units of study
    4. Cross-institutional inbound units of study
    5. Study Abroad programs or units of study
    6. English Language Intensive Courses of Study (ELICOS) programs operated by Victoria University English (VUE)
    7. Postgraduate programs, both coursework and thesis-based
  2. The setting, amending and publication of non-tuition fees relevant to domestic and international students, both onshore and offshore, and including:
    1. Fitness Centre Fees
    2. Library Fees
    3. Facilities and Security Fees
    4. Enrolment Fees
    5. Assessment and Completion Fees
    6. Ancillary and Material Fees
    7. Student Connect Fees and Charges
    8. Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)
    9. Study Abroad Fees, and
    10. Any other fees fixed under the Fees and Charges Regulations 2013.
  3. All variations to fees for both domestic and international students, including:
    1. Fee waivers and part-waivers
    2. Fee extensions
    3. Fee refunds

(3) This policy does not apply to:

  1. Children's Centre Fees
  2. Student Housing Fees
  3. The establishment and management of repayment plans for unpaid fees (as agreed between the University and the student). Information about payment plans is available online.
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Section 3 - Definitions

(4) Charge: Used interchangeably with fine.

(5) Fee: The price established for delivery of all or part of a student's educational experience at VU. This includes fees for tuition, amenities, and ancillary or material fees.

(6) Fine: A disincentive price levied to encourage students to perform actions in a timely and appropriate manner. Fines are not normal pricing but rather are a way of flagging exceptional behaviour and discouraging it. Fines or charges can relate to performing required actions late or in an inadequate manner (eg. library fines, late enrolment charges).

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

Part A - Principles of Fee Establishment and Publication

(7) All fees and charges levied by Victoria University are governed by the provisions of the Fees and Charges Regulations 2013.

(8) The University will seek to establish fees that:

  1. Ensure a sound financial basis for delivery of all the University's programs;
  2. Are market-competitive;
  3. Are fair and equitable to all students across all cohorts and study types; and
  4. Represent good value for money for students in their pursuit of a qualification.

(9) All fees and charges will be published to the VU website, print promotional material and other locations as required in a timely fashion and in a manner that supports clear comprehension of all costs entailed in a course of study or other activity. Required timelines are provided in the two Determination of Fees procedures.

Tuition (Course) Fees

(10) Course fees are reviewed annually and must be set at a level that ensures the course is financially viable: revenue must exceed expenditure. The following must be considered:

  1. Projected expenditure must incorporate all costs associated with the implementation of the course including, but not limited to:
    1. salaries and on-costs
    2. departmental non-salary costs
    3. appropriate Corporate Levy
    4. international levy (if applicable)
  2. Course fees must be competitively priced with similar or comparable courses offered by institutions of equivalent standing.
  3. The course fee for an ensuing year must generally be no less than that for the prevailing year.
  4. The unit of study fee will not generally vary for students from within each fee type, unless legislation stipulates otherwise or an approved banding model applies (eg ELICOS courses offered by VUE).

(11) Course fees for international full-fee paying students must be established one cycle ahead (ie 18 months in advance) to facilitate providing timely fee advice to prospective students. Thus, the annual approval of fees process will consider international fees for the year after the forthcoming year.

(12) All tuition fees must be approved and published to the VU website and all other relevant locations by the dates specified in the Determination of Fees - Tuition procedure.

Non-Tuition Fees

(13) The University may establish fees and charges for services it delivers to students, when the services are directly or indirectly related to the provision of education.

(14) Business areas responsible for the activity to which the fee or charge relates will prepare recommendations for fee changes on an annual basis for consideration by the Chief Financial Officer.

(15) Where fees are wholly or partially established by an external body (eg. the Student Services Amenities Fee), it is the responsibility of the relevant business area to ensure that recommendations comply with current directions.

(16) All non-tuition fees must be approved and published to the VU website and all other relevant locations by the dates specified in the Determination of Fees - Non-Tuition procedure

Part B - Principles of Fee Adjustment

(17) The University recognises students' entitlement to full or partial refunds on some fees when published refund criteria are met.

(18) Refunds are managed via the process prescribed in the Fee Adjustments Procedure - Domestic and Fee Adjustments Procedure - International.

(19) The University also acknowledges that some students may experience exceptional circumstances causing substantial and unforeseen financial hardship during their course of study. To help in such situations, some students may be eligible for an extension of time to pay their fees or a waiver of all or part of their fees if specified criteria are met.

Fee extensions

(20) Fee extensions are available to:

  1. Higher Education international students
  2. Higher Education (HE) Full-fee (302)
  3. TAFE certificate IV students and below (Diploma and above students need to pay fees by census date or defer their fees via VET FEE-HELP Diploma and above students cannot apply for a Fee Extension or Student Welfare Assistance).

(21) Fee extensions are not available to:

  1. TAFE Full-fee students
  2. TAFE international students
  3. ELICOS (VU English) students
  4. Higher Education (HE) Full-fee (except 302 is allowed to apply for an extension)
  5. HE students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported place
  6. HE Summer or Winter school students

(22) Three types of fee extensions are available to eligible students who satisfy the criteria: Part A, B and C. Details of each type of extension, and how it is applied, are provided in the Fee Adjustments Procedure - Domestic and Fee Adjustments Procedure - International.

Fee Waivers

(23) Fee waivers can cover the full or partial waiving of fees such as tuition, material and ancillary fees and fines that are charged to students enrolled at the University.

(24) The University provides fee waivers for a range of purposes including:

  1. to assist students facing exceptional circumstances to continue in their studies
  2. to support the University's strategic aims,
  3. in the situation of provider default where VU proposes to place a student into a more expensive course than the one they applied for; and
  4. to comply with legislative and statutory requirements.

(25) Fee waivers are generally only available to students who have not previously had a waiver granted.

(26) Fee waivers are available to:

  1. Enrolled VE/FE domestic students
  2. HE international students in possession of a CoE
  3. VUE students in limited cases

(27) Fee waivers are not available to:

  1. Students studying on or offshore at VU partner institutions
  2. VE international students
  3. Students whose fees are paid via a scholarship
  4. Exchange and Study Abroad students

(28) Fee waivers are only granted in exceptional circumstances or in circumstances where the University's default would otherwise impose unforeseen costs on the student. Criteria for assessing eligibility for a waiver are published and accessible.

Part C - Responsibilities and Delegations for Fee Establishment and Adjustment

(29) Tuition fees are approved by the Vice Chancellor and Senior Management Team on an annual basis following recommendation from the Chief Financial Officer. These recommendations are based on input from the relevant areas (see Fee Determination Procedure ).

(30) Non Tuition fees are approved by the Chief Financial Officer following recommendations from relevant areas.

(31) Fee disputes are reviewed and determined by the Academic Registrar.

(32) Fee Waivers for all students except VU English students or international students subject to provider default are approved by the Director, Student Wellbeing following recommendations from the Student Welfare area in consultation with the relevant College/s.

(33) Fee Waivers for VU English students are approved by the General Manager, VU English.

(34) Fee Extensions Part A and B are administered via the Student Services Centre using published criteria.

(35) Fee Extensions Part C are assessed using published criteria by Student Welfare staff and are approved by the Manager, Student Welfare.

(36) Fee Refunds for domestic students are assessed and approved via the criteria specified in the Fee Adjustments Procedure - Domestic by the Enrolments and Fees Unit.

(37) Fee Refunds for international students, including those enrolled through VU English, are assessed and approved via the criteria specified in the Fee Adjustments Procedure - International by VU International (VUI).

Reviews and Appeals

(38) Students who dispute the University's statement of their fee obligation may apply to have the matter reviewed by the Academic Registrar.

(39) Domestic students may apply to have a fee refund determination reviewed by the Academic Registrar.

(40) Domestic students may apply to have a fee waiver determination reviewed by the Dean of Students.

(41) Domestic and international students who are denied a Fee Extension Part C may apply to have this decision reviewed by the Director, Student Wellbeing.

(42) International students may apply to have a fee refund determination reviewed by the Vice President, VUI or the General Manager, VU English in the case of VU English students.

(43) These nominated review avenues represent the final University review available in fee matters.

(44) External appeal avenues are available to all students who wish to dispute fee determinations on relevant grounds as required by law. These are detailed in the relevant procedures.

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Section 5 - Procedures

(45) Fee Determination Procedure - Tuition Fees

(46) Fee Determination Procedure - Non-Tuition

(47) Fee Adjustments Procedure - Domestic

(48) Fee Adjustments Procedure - International

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(49) Fee Extension Part C Information Brochure