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Admissions Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure provides a clear set of principles to guide Victoria University (VU) in the admission of students to all courses of study, to ensure processes are transparent and decisions are consistent and fair.

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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: 1.1 Admission

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

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This procedure applies to current and future students undertaking:

  1. Award coursework study in higher education (HE) and vocational education (VE), both domestic and international, onshore and offshore, including online offerings;
  2. Higher degrees by research;
  3. Apprenticeships and trade-based study; and
  4. Non-award units or courses of study including industry-based courses.

(5) Throughout this Policy, VU refers to Victoria University and Victoria University Polytechnic. VU is a dual-sector institution.

(6) VUI refers to Victoria University International.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(7) Admission

(8) Authorised Agent

(9) Authorised Enrolment Delegate

(10) Deferment

(11) Direct Applications

(12) Domestic Pathway

(13) General Admission Criteria

(14) International Pathway

(15) Offer

(16) Selection

(17) Selection Methodology

(18) Selection Officers

(19) Selection Tasks

 
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Section 5 - Policy

(20) Admissions Policy

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Section 6 - Procedures

(21) The admission of applicants to any course of study at VU is at the discretion of the Accountable Officer in line with the following procedures.

Part A - Eligibility for Admission

(22) To be considered eligible for admission at VU a person must demonstrate that they:

  1. Satisfy the general requirements for admission; and
  2. Meet minimum VU admission criteria and English Language requirements, including literacy and numeracy requirements in the case of VET; and
  3. Meet minimum academic or training requirements (or equivalent) for the course level they are seeking to study; and
  4. Satisfy Genuine Temporary Entrant Visa requirements if they are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident; and
  5. Satisfy published course admission criteria, and selection tasks; and
  6. Meet any other legislative or external requirements relevant to their eligibility to study.

(23) Where a course is competitive, applicants may need to satisfy a higher standard than the minimum to be offered a place.

Part B - General Requirements for Admission

Identity and Age

(24) To be eligible for admission to VU applicants must provide verifiable proof of their identity, citizenship and date of birth in support of their application, as required by VU and relevant legislation.

(25) Any applicant admitted to VU must be at least 15 years of age by the course start date.

  1. A person under the age of 16 years at the course start date may only be admitted with written permission by the Dean of the relevant College or equivalent. 
  2. All VET students under the age of 16 must have Centre Director approval to enrol. 

(26) International applicants who, should they be successful in gaining admission, will be under 18 years of age at the time of enrolment may also be required to satisfy additional requirements, including those outlined in the Safety and Welfare of Children and Young People – International Student Welfare Procedure, and must provide written, binding consent from a parent or legal guardian in order to be permitted to enrol.

(27) Admission of international applicants under the age of 18 years may require approval from additional relevant regulatory authorities.

General Selection

(28) Where a person can demonstrate that they meet all relevant criteria in (22) (a), they are eligible to be considered for admission to a course but an offer of a place is not guaranteed.

(29) Where an applicant does not meet VU or course admission criteria, where possible VU may make an alternate offer for a course for which the applicant satisfies the admission criteria.

(30) Where a person does not meet the relevant criteria in (22) (a) and (22) (d), they are not eligible for admission to VU.

(31) In some exceptional cases VU may waive course admission criteria if an applicant clearly demonstrates they have capacity to successfully complete the course. 

(32) A recommendation for a waiver to be considered will be directed by the Manager of Admissions, Pathways and Scholarships (Domestic) or Senior Manager, International Admissions to the relevant College Dean or Centre Manager or delegate to make a decision based on the evidence provided.

(33) VU reserves the right not to admit applicants who are currently excluded or suspended from study at VU or any other institution.

  1. An outstanding or unresolved debt to VU may be considered grounds not to admit a person as part of the selection process.
  2. Applicants who have met the admission criteria but have previously been excluded from VU or any other institution on academic progress grounds must demonstrate that they have an improved likelihood of success in the course for which they are applying.
  3. The Vice Chancellor reserves the right to refuse admission where, when assessed by the Director, Student Administration (Domestic), or the Director, VUI (International) the applicant’s conduct would provide reasonable grounds to take action to exclude the applicant from study.

Legislative or External Requirements

(34) In addition to VU and course admission criteria, a person's eligibility for admission and to enrol at VU may also be subject to meeting relevant legislative or external requirements, e.g. requirements set by external accrediting bodies.

(35) VU will not admit a person where to do so would be contrary to Australian law.

English Language Requirements

(36) All applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements for the level of study for which they are seeking entry. Minimum English Language requirements are stated in the Admissions – English Language Admission Requirements Procedure.

(37) Some courses require a higher English Language requirement and these are stated in the course admission criteria.

(38) International applicants seeking to study on a student visa, and for whom English is not their first language, must be able to demonstrate a current test score with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent.

(39) International applicants seeking to study at an offshore location, and for whom English is not their first language, must be able to demonstrate the equivalence of current IELTS scores or equivalent.

(40) A current IELTS or equivalent test score will be considered to be recorded within two calendar years of the scheduled commencement of delivery of the intended course, except where accrediting bodies have alternate requirements, i.e. the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council. 

(41) All domestic applicants must satisfy English Language Requirements where stated for specific courses.

Part C - Course Eligibility Criteria

(42) A person seeking admission to a course must be able to demonstrate that they have met the minimum VU admission criteria and English Language criteria for the course they are seeking to study.

(43) Course admission criteria and English Language requirements are developed using the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and any accrediting or professional body standards, and are used to benchmark an applicant's potential to succeed at the level of study.

(44) Course admission criteria and English Language requirements are endorsed by Academic Board prior to the declaration of a course by the Vice-Chancellor. 

(45) International qualifications will be assessed to establish an equivalent level in the AQF framework in order to establish eligibility against course-level admission criteria.

(46) Teaching areas are able to (where relevant) set course-specific admission criteria that are higher than the minimum VU criteria, and/or may include additional selection tasks. Admission to VET courses may include a pre-training review to determine suitability. 

(47) All course-specific admission criteria must be documented and made available to persons who are seeking to apply for admission to the course.

(48) All course-specific entry requirements should be endorsed by the Academic Board with demonstrable capacity to assess an applicant's capacity to succeed in the course and applied reasonably and equitably for all applicants.

Application

(49) Applicants generally apply for admission via one of the formal application processes at VU.

(50) Formal application options are:

  1. Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre;
  2. Direct Application to VU, including Research applications;
  3. Victoria University International (VUI);
  4. Internal applications;
  5. Pathway students from Victoria University Polytechnic, VU College or external pathway providers; and
  6. Partner institutions for offshore international places.

(51) VU and course admission criteria will be applied equitably to all persons applying for each course.

(52) Information provided as part of the application process, along with any selection tasks (including pre-training reviews) will be used to determine an applicant's eligibility for offer.

(53) Any information provided as part of the application that is false or cannot be verified by the applicant will be grounds to not offer a place at VU.

(54) Any information provided as part of the application that is later found to be false or unable to be verified by the applicant will be grounds to revoke the offer of a place at VU, regardless of whether the student has subsequently accepted the offer by enrolling.

(55) Non-disclosure of information will be considered grounds to not offer a place at VU.

(56) If non-disclosure is later discovered, this will be grounds to revoke the offer of a place at VU, regardless of whether the student has subsequently accepted the offer by enrolling.

(57) To be considered for selection, all completed applications must be submitted by the relevant deadline, via the correct channel.

Alternative and Early Entry

(58) VU may also offer admission alternative entry modes into courses or intakes that are not administered via the formal admission centres as per clause (50).

(59) Alternative entry may be made available in circumstances where:

  1. The duration or delivery of the course would make formal application, offer and enrolment administratively cumbersome; and/or
  2. The language and literacy levels of applicants could result in the application process being a barrier to admission; and/or
  3. There is a formal training plan, a memorandum of understanding or an agreement or letter of intent/contract to provide training; and/or
  4. VU would be commercially disadvantaged in its relationship with external organisations if it imposed a formal direct entry application process.

(60) In all cases of alternative entry, the primary considerations must be for the equity of admission to the course and the person's potential to succeed at the level of study.

Part D - Selection Process

(61) The authority to select or deny applicants for admission for particular courses rests with the Manager Admissions, Pathways and Scholarships, and the Senior Manager, International Admissions, in conjunction with the relevant College Dean or Centre Manager. 

(62) Implementation of this authority will be via the development and publication of selection criteria, which can be applied by any selection staff of VU following endorsement by Academic Board. 

(63) All staff involved in selection must disclose where there may be a conflict of interest by completing and submitting a Declaration of Potential or Actual Conflict of Interest Form to their manager.

(64) The staff member must withdraw themselves immediately from the situation giving rise to the conflict, pending advice from the manager to whom the disclosure was made.

(65) The selection criteria for each course requiring formal application must be documented and approved by the relevant College authority, and made available to all staff delegated authority to select applicants for admission to the course. The selection criteria should be reviewed as required by the Courses Lifecycle Policy and Procedures. 

(66) All VU and course entry requirements will be applied consistently and equitably to all applicants for a course.

(67) Where the information provided in the application is not sufficient to determine a selection outcome, a request for additional or supporting information may be made to the applicant. Failure to provide additional or supporting information within the required timeframe may impact the capacity of VU to make an offer.

(68) Permission to obtain additional or supporting information from other bodies or organisations may be requested from the applicant by VU. Where permission is not granted this may impact the capacity of VU to make an offer.

(69) VU conducts selection and the publication of admission related information in accordance with the Higher Education Standards Framework and the requirements of Admissions Transparency. Important information about Admissions Transparency and how VU conducts selection is maintained on the VU website under Admissions at VU.

(70) All completed applications will receive a formal selection outcome.

(71) To support VU's principles of providing equal access to educational opportunities, and to actively engage with and serve its communities, VU will seek to offer every applicant a place at VU, whether in the course for which they applied or another course deemed to be suitable based on the information supplied in the application.

(72) Where the applicant demonstrably meets all relevant criteria for admission, a formal offer of a place in a course at VU will be made in writing signed by the PVC Students or the Director, VUI in the case of international students.

(73) An offer in any other form, including in conversation or by written communication other than signed by the PVC Students or the Director, VUI, will not constitute an offer of admission to a course at VU.

Equity in Access

(74) VU believes in equitable access to educational opportunities for people of all backgrounds, experiences and abilities and will utilise recognised access schemes to facilitate this goal.

(75) Wherever possible applications will not be held for pooling or competitive selection at a later point and offers will be made based on an individual applicant's suitability for the course.

(76) Pooling applicants, to select competitively in relation to all applicants, may only be employed with approval from the relevant Dean or Centre Director.

(77) When seeking approval for pooling applicants, consideration must be given to the impacts of this practice on all admission centres.

(78) When selecting competitively, all applicants who are eligible for admission are to be ranked against documented ranking methodology with offers made in order of these rankings.

(79) Where required due to matters of profile, limitations of the College or VU to deliver teaching or limitations on the availability of places for external placements as part of a course requirement, the relevant College Dean may authorise the use of quotas as part of selection.

Converting Offer to Enrolment

(80) All applicants who have received an offer for admission to a course are eligible to enrol in that course in that intake, subject to the conditions of the Enrolments Policy, by no later than the relevant enrolment deadline, or else defer their acceptance of the offer until the next commencing intake for that course.

(81) Failure to accept the offer by formally enrolling in line with the Enrolments Policy or deferring their acceptance by the relevant enrolment deadline for that intake or as indicated an offer letter may result in the offer being lapsed.

(82) An offer of a place in the course will include an offered fee rate based on knowledge of the student's eligibility against published criteria. An applicant must be able to provide verifiable proof of their eligibility to accept the offer and enrol, in line with the relevant requirement or legislation.

(83) An offer may be made conditional on the applicant subsequently meeting criteria such as providing confirmed academic results before they are permitted to enrol.

Alternative Officers

(84) Where an offer cannot be made in the course for which the applicant has applied, but the applicant is deemed suitable for another course based on the information supplied in the application, an alternate offer can be made.

(85) Alternate offers are made with respect to the applicants preferred academic outcome and should consider realistic means by which the applicant may gain entry to their preferred course.

Packaged Offers

(86) VU may make packaged or sequenced offers, where students are offered a guaranteed pathway through a number of levels of study, conditional on them progressing through each level successfully and sequentially.

(87) In packaged and sequenced offers, students will be admitted to the next level of study only once their eligibility to progress has been confirmed. A new application is not required, however VU may require the student to indicate that they are seeking to be admitted to the next level in line with their original offer.

Part E - Deferment

(88) The Dean or Centre Director has the discretion to permit deferment for each intake in particular courses at particular locations. The ability to defer an offer may not be possible for all courses or intakes at VU.

(89) An applicant may only defer the acceptance of their offer once, and only prior to accepting their offer by enrolling in the course.

(90) International applicants may only defer by application to VUI. If the international applicant has already accepted their offer, VU is required to report this deferral to the relevant government department.

(91) An applicant may only defer the acceptance of their initial offer once and may not defer at subsequent levels of a sequenced or packaged offer. Once an applicant has accepted the first level of such an offer by enrolling, they are deemed to be an enrolled student of VU and not eligible to defer any course to which they have gained admission as a result of this offer.

(92) The period of deferment will normally be one year or 6 months depending on course availability.

(93) The period of deferment will normally be no longer than one year, except in exceptional circumstances where approval to defer the acceptance of an offer is granted by the relevant Dean or Centre Director.

(94) Upon receipt of a complete and timely request to defer acceptance of an offer for which deferment is available, VU will continue to consider the person an applicant in that course and not a student at VU.

(95) By granting deferment, VU does not guarantee that the course offering will be available to the applicant at the end of the period of deferment.

(96) Where the course is no longer available for an intake at the end of the period of deferment VU will seek to make an appropriate alternate offer where possible.

(97) As the applicant has deferred the acceptance of their offer, the fee type and rate will be as applicable at the time of commencement of their studies, as determined by their enrolment.

(98) Where the applicant's eligibility for a particular fee arrangement may have changed over the period of their deferment, the applicant will have their eligibility for this arrangement reassessed prior to being permitted to enrol.

(99) At the end of the period of deferment the applicant will be invited to enrol to accept their offer. Failure to do so by the relevant enrolment deadline may result in the offer being lapsed.

Part F - Readmission

(100) Students of VU whose enrolment lapses may reapply for admission to their course and will be subject to the same requirements as all other applicants at the time of applying.

(101) Applicants who fail to accept their offer by enrolling by the relevant enrolment deadline may reapply for admission to the course and will be subject to the same requirements as all other applicants at the time of applying.

(102) International applicants must accept their offer by the acceptance deadline as provided in their offer letter. 

Part G - Review of Decision

(103) An applicant who is not offered a place, or is made an alternate offer, is entitled to seek a review of the selection decision on the following grounds:

  1. The applicant demonstrably met all relevant VU and course admission criteria; and
  2. The application was lodged completely, including providing all requested additional or supporting information, on time and in the correct manner; and
  3. The Admissions policy and/or procedure was not correctly applied.

(104) A request to review the decision must be lodged in writing, addressed to the Director, Student Administration (for domestic students) or to the Director, VUI (for international onshore students) within 10 University business days of the selection decision.

(105) The Director, Student Administration or Director, VUI will arrange for a review of the selection decision by:

  1. The relevant College Dean or their nominee if the application was rejected on course specific grounds, or
  2. A Senior Officer of VU if the application was rejected on general VU criteria.
  3. A written outcome will be provided within 10 University business days of the date received by VU.

(106) Where the outcome is in favour of the applicant, and an offer is subsequently made, the applicant will be required to meet all relevant enrolment criteria in order to enrol. Where a new offer is made too late for the applicant to reasonably enrol and commence study, with a view to their ability to succeed in the course, a deferment may be applied on the applicant's behalf. VUI will assess the suitability of a deferral for international offshore students. 

(107) A request to review the decision may be dismissed where the applicant cannot substantiate their request in line with clause (103).

(108) The review is final and cannot be appealed within VU.