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International Student Transfer Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure outlines the process by which Victoria University (VU) assesses requests from international students wishing to transfer to or from a VU course, prior to students completing six months of their principal course of study. This Procedure is in accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Students National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (Cth).

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Section 2 -  HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF Standards: 2.4 Student Grievances and Complaints; 7.2 Information for Prospective and Current Students

(3) ESOS National Code of Practice: Standard 1.5, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10. 

(4) Standards for RTOs: Standard 6.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Procedure applies to international onshore students studying on a student visa who request a transfer between Registered Education Providers prior to completing six months of their Principal Course of Study:

  1. To VU from another Registered Education Provider.
  2. From VU to another Registered Education Provider.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(6) Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) 

(7) Registered Education Provider: A registered higher education provider or VET provider or ELICOS or Foundation Programs provider that provides courses to international students. 

(8) Release: If an international student wishes to transfer to another provider before completing six months of their principal course, the student must either obtain a release from their registered provider, or meet one of the conditions specified in Standard 7 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth). After completing six calendar months of the principal course, a student can transfer without needing to meet particular conditions.

(9) Student Transfer: When an international student withdraws from one Registered Education Provider in order to take up study at another Provider. 

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(10) International Student Transfer Policy

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles

Responsibilities

Director, Student Administration Final determination of reviews of  international student transfer requests, if necessary.
International Students Read and understand this Procedure prior to lodging an International Student Release form. Complete the form and provide all necessary documentation in support of the Transfer Request.

Submit the International Student Release form.

Co-operate with VU staff and attend any interviews or appointments directed by VU staff.
Enrolment Team
The Enrolment Team are the decision makers who are responsible for the primary assessment of all transfer requests.
Follow Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for assessing and processing Release/Transfer Applications for International Students.
All complete transfer requests will receive an outcome within 10 VU business days from submission following the requirement outlined in National Code Part D, Standard 7.
Assess the transfer request and determine the circumstances in which a transfer request will be denied or approved in line with regulatory guidelines and related VU policies and procedures.
Verify and document the offer letter and supporting documents submitted with form A216 with the education provider and other relevant bodies. 

Record the outcome of the transfer request.

Respond to the student when a transfer request decision has been made.

Record all information in relation to this Procedure in accordance with VU Records Management Policy and associated procedures.
International Student Advisers
Read and understand this Procedure prior to advising international students on transfer requests.
Provide guidance to international students required to complete intervention meetings and student support activities.

Provide assistance and support to international students regarding student transfer requests.
International Admissions Validate students’ eligibility to transfer to VU via PRISMS.
International Recruitment If requested by Enrolment Team, validate students’ background and Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) assessment and outcome.

Part B - Request to transfer to VU from another Registered Education Provider

(11) In accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Students National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (Cth), VU must not knowingly enrol an international student wishing to transfer from another registered provider’s course prior to the international student completing six months of their principal course of study, except where any of the following apply:

  1. the releasing registered provider, or the course in which the international student is enrolled, has ceased to be registered;
  2. the releasing registered provider has had a sanction imposed on its registration by the ESOS agency that prevents the international student from continuing his or her course at that registered provider;
  3. the releasing registered provider has agreed to the international student’s release and recorded the date of effect and reason for release in Provider Registration International Students Management System (PRISMS);
  4. any government sponsor of the international student considers the change to be in the international student’s best interests and has provided written support for the change.

(12) Students coming to VU from another registered provider are required to provide their documentation during the admissions process. Admissions staff validate students’ eligibility to transfer to VU.

Part C - Request to Transfer from VU to another Registered Education Provider

Situations when Transfer Requests are not required

(13) A transfer request is not required for an international student to change registered providers in the following circumstances: 

  1. The international student has completed at least six calendar months from the commencement of their principal course of study at VU; or 
  2. VU has ceased to be registered, or the course in which the student is enrolled has ceased to be registered; or
  3. VU has had a sanction imposed on it by the Australian Government or State or Territory Government that prevents the student from continuing their principal course.

(14) In all other circumstances a transfer request will be required.

What to do when a Transfer Request is required

How to Request a Transfer

(15) Information for Students on how to request a transfer is available at this website [https://www.vu.edu.au/current-students/your-course/enrolment/change-your-enrolment/transfer-to-another-course#goto-transfer-from-victoria-university=1].

The Grounds upon which a Transfer request will be granted

(16) VU will grant the transfer request when it is deemed to be in the best interests of the student, by meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  1. the international student will be reported because they are unable to achieve satisfactory course progress at the level they are studying, even after completing VU’s  intervention strategy (Academic Progress Regulations 2016, Academic Progress - Academic Progress Procedure (HE) and VET Overseas Student Progress Review Procedure)  to assist the international student in accordance with Standard 8 (Overseas student visa requirements); or,
  2. there is sufficient and verified evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances; or,
  3. VU fails to deliver the course as outlined in the Letter of Offer; or,
  4. there is evidence that the international student’s reasonable expectations about their current course are not being met; or,
  5. there is evidence that the international student was misled by VU or an education or migration agent regarding VU or its course and the course is therefore unsuitable to their needs and/or study objectives; or, 
  6. an appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release the international student; or,
  7. the international student has a government sponsor and the government sponsor considers the change to be in the best interests of the student and the government sponsor has provided written support for that change.

Evidence to be Provided with Transfer Requests

(17) All transfer requests must include the following attachments: 

  1. Evidence of a valid Letter of Offer from a registered provider; and, 
  2. Evidence to support claims made by the international student in the International Student Release Request form; and, 
  3. Personal statement outlining the reason for release; and,
  4. If the student is sponsored, letter of approval from the sponsor; and,
  5. Evidence to support any claims that the client was misled regarding VU or the course the student is undertaking.

(18) Evidence to support claims for transfer requests may include documents from registered counsellors, psychologists or medical practitioners. All claims from medical practitioners need to include a statement that due to the illness, the student is medically unfit to continue their studies at VU and that a transfer to another provider is recommended and including the grounds for the recommendation.  

Evidence to be assessed with Transfer Requests

(19) The evidence to be assessed with Transfer Requests:

  1. Evidence of a valid Letter of Offer from a registered provider; and 
  2. Evidence to support claims made by the international student in the International Student Release Form, including (but not limited to):
    1. Personal statement outlining the reason for release; or
    2. If the student is sponsored, letter of approval from the sponsor; or
    3. Evidence to support any claims that the client was misled regarding VU or the course the student is undertaking; or
    4. Evidence of completed Intervention meetings and student support activities.
  3. If required, conduct interview with responsible Regional Recruitment Manager for further insights.

Students Under Eighteen Years of Age

(20) If the international student is under 18 years of age:

  1. VU must have written confirmation the international student’s parent or legal guardian supports the transfer.
  2. If the international student is not being cared for in Australia by a parent or suitable nominated relative, VU must confirm it accepts responsibility for approving the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements in accordance with the Safety and Welfare of Children and Young People - International Student Welfare Procedure and the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (Cth), Standard 5 (Younger Overseas Students).

Timeframe for Assessment

(21) Transfer requests will be assessed within ten VU business days of receipt.

Situations when VU may Refuse a Transfer Request 

(22) VU may refuse a transfer request when the international student:

  1. has not completed required intervention meetings or followed up with offered VU support services in accordance with the relevant Progress procedure; or,
  2. has not commenced study in their VU enrolled course; or,
  3. has not accessed, utilised or experienced the full range of VU support services assigned to them; or, 
  4. has applied for a course with another registered provider that has lower fees; or, 
  5. has applied for a course with another registered provider in a different city; or,
  6. is attempting to avoid being reported to the Department of Home Affairs for failure to meet VU attendance or academic progress requirements; or 
  7. is applying to transfer to a program or course with a lower level of qualification (in the case of packaged offers, this applies to any courses within that package), according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); or, 
  8. has outstanding debts owed to VU, or, 
  9. has made decisions post their enrolment regarding accommodation, travel and employment that are not aligned with the international student’s course requirements; or,
  10. provides a new offer from a registered provider where the commencement date has passed, without written approval of late enrolment including a specific date; or,
  11. has provided information which is inconsistent or misleading when the student initially applied to VU or in their transfer request; or,
  12. will breach mandatory or discretionary student visa conditions, by transferring to another registered provider; or, 
  13. is changing to a new study discipline which is offered by VU at the same or higher AQF level either as a standalone course or pathway to a course that is the same or higher AQF level; or,
  14. has only presented a conditional offer letter from the new provider (where the condition is other than the provision of a release letter from VU).

Enrolling and Attendance

(23) The submission of a release request form by an international student does not preclude the international student from enrolling in the VU course, and thus meeting visa conditions. VU will report students who do not enrol and maintain a full-time study load as this may have implications for a student’s visa status.

(24) The submission of a release request by an international student does not preclude the international student from maintaining required course attendance, and thus meeting visa conditions. 

Provider Registration International Students Management System

(25) The Enrolment Team will record all transfer requests in the Provider Registration International Students Management System (PRISMS).

Actions following Transfer Request decision

Successful

(26) VU Enrolment Officer will:

  1. Provide the international student with a successful outcome letter via email. Note that the release letter must advise the student to contact Department of Home Affairs to seek advice on whether a new student visa is required.
  2. Cancel/report the students CoE via PRISMS. 
  3. Change the status of the international students CoE in the student management system.
  4. The student’s release application, evidence and outcome are recorded on the international student’s file by VU Enrolment Officers.
  5. Record student transfer outcome in PRISMS

Unsuccessful

(27) VU Enrolment officer will provide the international student with an unsuccessful outcome letter via email which includes the following: 

  1. The reason(s) the international student’s application for a release has been unsuccessful;
  2. The appeal process including how to submit an appeal application and the appeal processing timeframe;
  3. Once the appeal period of 20 VU business days has past, the unsuccessful release outcome can be recorded in PRISMS;
  4. Notes are entered into form ENRF3080: Maintain Student Course Attempt Notes on VU Connect; and,
  5. The students release application, evidence and outcome are recorded on the international student’s file by VU Enrolment Officers.

Reviews and Appeals Process

(28) If a transfer request is refused, the student has the right to request a review of the decision made.

Review

(29) A student can request a review of a decision by completing the Request A Review Of Decision To Transfer To Another Provider (Release) (A20) form as per the instructions on the form.

(30) A review of the decision will be made by the Director, Student Administration.

(31) The Director, Student Administration will review the decision made and the student will be notified of the outcome within five VU business days.

(32) If an issue cannot be resolved by the Director, Student Administration or where a student is dissatisfied with the decision, they may lodge an appeal in accordance with the Student Appeals Regulations 2019.

Appeals

(33) If the review outcome maintains the original decision and the student meets the prescribed grounds as set out in the Student Appeals Regulations 2019 and the Student Appeals Procedure, a student may lodge an appeal with the Manager, Governance and Secretariat within 20 working days of the review decision. 

Refusal Status in PRISMS

(34) The student’s refusal status in PRISMS must not be finalised unless the appeal finds in favour of the registered provider; or the international student has chosen to not access the appeals process within the 20 university business day period; or the international student withdraws from the process.

External Appeal

(35) Students or other eligible persons may seek an external review of a VU decision, including an appeal decision, from an appropriate, independent external body such as the Victorian Ombudsman.

(36) The student visa holder who wishes to make a complaint to an external body must provide evidence of the lodgement of their complaint to the Director, Student Administration within 20 VU business days from the date of the VU Appeal Panel decision.

Cancellation of Enrolment and Refunds

(37) Students receiving a successful outcome letter, approving transfer to another institution, will have their enrolment cancelled by VU.

(38) Students with credit in their student fees account can apply for a refund of fees according to the Fee Adjustments Procedure. Also see VU’s website for further information: https://www.vu.edu.au/current-students/your-course/fees/refunds/international-refunds.

Students under 18 Years of Age

(39) For students under 18 years of age, please see VU’s obligations under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth), National Standard 5.6, outlined in Part G of the Safety and Welfare of Children and Young People - International Student Welfare Procedure.