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Student Retention and Success Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy expresses VU's commitment to supporting the success of all its students and proactively working to retain and enrich their experiences during their studies, employing a multi-faceted, university-wide approach.

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(2) HESF:  Standard 1.3 Orientation and Progression (specifically 1.3.2c; 1.3.4; 1.3.5).

(3) ASQA Standard 3.1.7 – The Registered Training Organisation (RTO) determines the support needs of individual learners and provides access to the educational and support services necessary for the individual learner to meet the requirements of the training product.

(4) ESOS National Code 2018 Standard 6 – Provision of access to support services to achieve expected learning outcomes.

(5) VRQA Guidelines for Non School Senior Secondary Education Providers, Standard 5, Teaching and Learning.

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Section 3 - Scope

(6) This Policy applies to students in all study levels and modes at VU including Foundation, Vocational, Higher Education, Postgraduate and Research across all campuses.

  1. Students studying at offshore and other partner locations may receive additional localised support services from partner institutions or third-party organisations as appropriate.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(7) Retention: Retention measures the number of students who return to study after an initial teaching period, whether that be a teaching block, semester or year.

(8) Success: The proportion of students who commence study at VU who successfully complete a course.

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(9) VU believes that student retention and success are the responsibility of the entire VU community, including students themselves.

(10) As a multi-sector university committed to Opportunity and Success, VU recognises the value of a highly diverse student cohort and the need to support all of our students to achieve their educational goals. This includes the commitment to provide specific consideration to the recruitment, admission, participation and completion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. 

(11) VU continuously strives to enhance its understanding of the challenges our students face and commits to ensuring that all students are supported to meet those challenges.

(12) Retention is a key measure of student success and satisfaction and a prime strategic objective of VU. 

(13) VU recognises the importance of high-quality education at all study levels with all students supported by comprehensive orientation and transition program, data-driven retention initiatives that assist students to set and achieve their goals.

(14) VU acknowledges that the quality of a student's experience, and their desire to remain with VU, depends not only on good teaching, but on functional administrative systems, adequate student support, and access to appropriate learning resources, and extra-curricular opportunities and activities that foster a sense of belonging, and commits to providing high quality, accessible services to meet all of these needs. 

(15) Retention initiatives and support services should address the needs of all students, understanding the challenges faced by students from particular equity groups.

(16) VU will provide flexible entry and exit points and appropriate pathways and foundation courses to students.

(17) VU will guide and assist students to see the relevance of their study to their future careers and/or aspirations, and the needs of the communities to which they belong in order to foster a sense of purpose and commitment to their own success. 

(18) VU recognises that early and positive engagement with students is essential for fostering a sense of belonging to VU, helping them to build the confidence necessary for retention and success.

As part of our commitment to student retention and success, VU will:

(19) Provide appropriate, accurate, timely and useful information to students and prospective students across a range of platforms, including a well-structured, multi-faceted orientation program and study-readiness programs; and

(20) Strive to ensure that all student administrative and service processes are efficient, well communicated and user-friendly; and

(21) Provide flexible, high-quality support services and resources, including advice on accessing social supports where indicated; and

(22) Promote and support peer programs and networks among students.

(23) Recognise and accepts its responsibility to support students' academic and learning success from the outset of their VU experience to the completion of their studies.

VU will provide support for academic and learning success in the following ways: 

(24) The design and provision of academic support programs and the provision of targeted and integrated learning support in VU Polytechnic;

(25) Investment in long-term course development and ongoing evaluation based on evidence from student feedback, graduate career outcomes, data and relevant industry feedback where appropriate;

(26) Integrating developmental education into HE curriculum design;

(27) Analysing student progression in relation to course and training composition and curriculum design;

(28) Implementing early intervention strategies for students identified as being potentially at risk academically or in other ways, based on accurate data analytics, staff and/or student feedback; and

(29) Conduct Individual Pre-Training Reviews for VE students which determines additional support needs, learning and vocational goals.

(30) Investing in continuing and appropriate professional development for all academic, professional and VU Polytechnic staff.

(31) Recognising the value of a culture of success and working to create this amongst both students and staff. This will be reflected in:

  1. Recognition and acknowledgement of students who are making good progress with their studies, with the form of recognition at the discretion of each HE College or VU Polytechnic discipline area; and
  2. Success-oriented academic progress model predicated on the idea that progression and completion should be the expectation of and by every student; and
  3. Provision of supports for students who enter the academic progress process, with an expectation that the progress process will enable them to resume normal academic progression as a result; and
  4. Development of a Learning Support Plan for VE students as required to guide their learning progress.
  5. Fair and transparent academic progress process that is communicated appropriately to students.
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Section 6 - Procedures

(32) Nil.