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Academic Progress - ELICOS Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure ensures that Victoria University English (VUE) complies with regulatory requirements in monitoring course progress for international students studying an ELICOS program.

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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

(3) National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

(4) ELICOS Standards 2018

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Procedure applies to ELICOS students assessed by Victoria University (VU).

(6) This Procedure does not apply to:

  1. VE students;
  2. Non-assessed courses;
  3. Industry training and professional development course participants;
  4. Foundation students.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(7) Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances

(8) Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

(9) ELICOS

(10) International Student (Onshore)

(11) Accredited Unit

(12) ELICOS Study Period

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(13) See Enrolments Policy.

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities
Teacher
Identifies students at risk of making unsatisfactory progress and notifies students of this status
Provides academic assistance and advice to students
Academic Manager ELICOS Manages Student Progress Cycle and the creation of Student Action Plans
General Manager
Oversees Academic Progress process
Notifies ELICOS students of their unsatisfactory progress and intention to report to the relevant Australian Government department
Considers mitigation raised by the student (compassionate or compelling circumstances) where this is validated by the findings of a Show Cause Panel
Approves the cancellation of enrolment of students deemed to have made unsatisfactory progress
Student Progress Meeting
A Student Progress Committee Meeting is convened at the end of each unit to discuss intervention strategies for students who are not making progress according to their academic pathway as per their CoE. The Committee is chaired by the Academic Manager ELICOS and includes the following people:
-  General Manager, VU English
-  Program Coordinator or nominee
-  Independent Learning Centre Coordinator, Level Coordinator or nominee
Show Cause Panels (SCP)
Where a student elects to show cause, the SCP will consider whether the student has made unsatisfactory progress in their course, whether compassionate or compelling circumstances exist to mitigate this, and, if so, decide whether they should be excluded and/or reported to the relevant Australian Government department.
The Panel will be comprised of:
- General Manager (Chair)
- Academic Manager ELICOS
- Program Coordinator or nominee
- VUI Scholarships representative when the student is a scholarship student
Administrative Officer Notifies the relevant Australian Government department of student’s unsatisfactory progress

Part B - Identification of “At Risk” Students

(14) To progress satisfactorily through an ELICOS course at VU, a student should be able to complete the course in the expected duration. For international students, this is specified in their CoE.

(15) An ELICOS student will be considered “At Risk” of not meeting course progress if:

  1. Their intake day writing is rated significantly lower than their pre-arrival English language assessment;
  2. They are identified as having ongoing difficulty with course work or are failing to do homework on a regular basis;
  3. They show poor attendance;
  4. They fail a W5 or W10 assessment task.

(16) Generally, assessment will be made no later than halfway through the study period.

“At Risk” Actions

(17) If a student is identified as “At Risk” teaching staff must counsel the student, complete a Student Progress Action Plan and monitor course progress. The Action Plan will identify academic intervention intended to help the student make satisfactory academic progress in the current or next study period.

(18) A copy of the Student Progress Action Plan must be filed with VUE and in individual student files. Notes should also be made on the VUE Student Management System.

(19) Academic intervention should be tailored to meet the student's individual needs. The intervention actions/strategies may include:

  1. Compulsory attendance at learning skills classes offered in the VU College Independent Learning Centre;
  2. Regular meetings with the teacher for study assistance;
  3. Additional tutoring or referral to a study group;
  4. Referral to appropriate skills workshops;
  5. Referral for personal counseling.

Part C - Consequences of Academic Progress

(20) International Students will be deemed to be making unsatisfactory progress if their unit failures mean that they will not complete the course within the expected course duration as per their CoE. If so, the following actions may apply:

  1. A renegotiated Study Plan (with a change of Principal Course if possible);
  2. Extension of English weeks (which may include an extension of their CoE);
  3. An application for a leave of absence.

(21) Upon failing a unit three times, students will be invited to a SCP meeting. The General Manager, VU English will notify the student (and their sponsor or carer if the student is under 18) via email of the intention to report the student to the Department of Home Affairs for not achieving satisfactory course progress. Students must confirm attendance within five University business days of letter issue.

Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances

(22)  Where an international student’s failure to progress is due to compassionate or compelling circumstances, the University may determine that an extension of the course duration is appropriate in line with ESOS Standard 9.

(23) 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:

  1. Serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the student was unable to attend classes;
  2. Bereavement of close family members such as parents, siblings, or grandparents;
  3. Major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel when this has impacted on the student’s studies; or
  4. A traumatic experience, which could include:
    1. involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident;
    2. witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime when this has impacted on the student.
  5. Where the registered provider was unable to offer a pre-requisite unit; or
  6. Inability to begin studying on the course commencement date due to delay in receiving a student visa.

(24) Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances should be supported by appropriate documentation, i.e. medical certificates or doctor’s letters, death certificates, police reports, etc.

(25) For further examples of Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances, please see Appendix 1. Assessment of Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances.

Show Cause Panels

(26) A SCP is convened when one of the following occurs:

  1. A student is at the end of their CoE and has not passed the required unit of study to enter their intended destination course; or
  2. A student is not progressing according to their pathway; or
  3. A student has failed a unit three times.

(27) The SCP will provide the student with an opportunity to present any evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances impacting on their enrolment.

(28) The SCP will be made up of the following members:

  1. The General Manager, VU English (Chair);
  2. Two academic staff members, who must not have a conflict of issue in the matter.

(29) The student may have a support person present at the SCP, and may seek assistance and advice from a Student Advocate.

(30) Students are encouraged to attend the SCP in person, however they may request to attend the meeting via telephone or video link if compelling reasons exist. A determination will be made by the Chair.

(31) The SCP will:

  1. Consider any evidence (i.e. medical documentation, death certificates); and
  2. Make a determination as to whether the student has made satisfactory progress, or determine whether the student can attempt to meet English requirements for an intended destination course in light of the circumstances.

(32) The outcome of the panel will be communicated in writing.

(33) If the decision is made to cancel the student’s enrolment, the outcome letter will detail:

  1. The University’s actions, including reporting to the Department of Home Affairs (see the Enrolments Procedure).
  2. The Appeals process (see Student Appeals Regulations 2019) which must be undertaken within 20 days of the outcome. Students will remain enrolled until the conclusion of the Appeals process, if initiated.