The Glossary is a list of terms and their standard definitions for policies, procedures and guidelines. Unless separately defined or the context of the policy requires otherwise then the following definitions apply to each document. 

It is expected that the glossary will be built up over time and documents will gradually be converted to incorporate standard definitions as part of the normal review process.

Click on a letter from A to Z below to view Glossary items that begin with the selected letter, or use the scroll bar located on the right hand side of this page to browse the entire list.

Return to TopA

  • Academic Transcript

    An Academic Transcript represents a true account of all results achieved in each Victoria University (VU) unit of study the student has completed.

  • Access Plan

    An individualised plan developed by a student and the University (via the Disability Support office) which documents the student's individual needs for adjustment to learning and assessment conditions, how these will be implemented, and how the student will be supported to succeed in their studies.

  • Accountable Officer

    Victoria University staff member accountable for content, compliance and adherence of a Policy or Procedure.

  • Accreditation

    Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency. For Victoria University (VU), the relevant accreditation bodies are the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Authority (TEQSA) for higher education, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for vocational education, and the National ELICOS Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) for English language intensive programs.

  • Accredited Courses

    Courses that are accredited by a VET regulator in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses. These courses address skills requirements for industry, enterprises and the community where these are not covered in nationally endorsed Training Packages.

  • Accredited Unit

    A unit that is approved as part of a formal accreditation process within an award course.  This is also referred to as a Unit of Competency for VET Awards.

  • Active Award

    An Award is deemed to be Active when there is an alignment between it and a currently offered Award Course.

  • Adjunct appointments

    Adjunct appointments are made to individuals of standing, working within industry, their profession or the community, or who are experts in their field. Appointments are made to those who can contribute to the University's educational, professional, advisory support and/or research or industry practice on an intermittent or regular basis, for a defined period of not more than three years in the first instance, subject to review. 

  • Administrative Date

    The date, earlier than Census date, set in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act for payment of student contribution amounts or tuition fees.

  • Admission

    The act of admitting an applicant into a course of the University, following a successful application and acceptance of the offer of a place in a course.

  • Advanced Standing

    The term 'advanced standing' is used to describe a form of credit for prior learning. It involves the application of credit towards a student's course of study, usually with respect to entering a course at an advanced stage.

  • Affiliation

    Formal recognition of a student group as being part of/associated with VU.

  • AHEGS (Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement)

    The Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) is a Commonwealth inititative to make Australian qualifications recognised throughout the world.  The AHEGS is a document that describes higher education qualifications in an easily understood way.  It describes the award, the awarding institution and the Australian Higher Education system providing potential employers and other institutions a greater understanding of the achievements of the graduate.

  • Alternative examination

    An examination provided in place of a regularly scheduled examination (either before or after the regularly scheduled examination) to a student who meets the criteria established in Part F of this procedure. Alternative examination papers must not be identical to, but must be equivalent to, the regularly scheduled examination.

  • Animal

    An animal is a live member of a vertebrate species including any fish, or amphibian that is capable of self feeding; reptile, bird or mammal, that has passed the mid-point of gestation for the particular species; other than any human being; or a live adult decapod crustacean, that is a lobster; crab; crayfish; or a live adult cephalopod including an octopus; squid; cuttlefish; or a nautilus.

  • AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework)

    The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system. It incorporates the quality assured qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.

  • AQF Qualification

    Referred to as an Award Course at Victoria University (VU) and is one of the following: Doctor, Master, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Bachelor (Honours), Bachelor, Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma, Diploma, Certificate IV, Certificate III, Certificate II or Certificate I.

  • Archived Award

    An Award is deemed to be Archived when an Award Course is deactivated and there is no longer an alignment between it and the Award.  

  • Articulation

    Course articulation is the process by which one institution matches its courses or requirements to course work completed at another institution. Students use course articulation to assure that the courses they complete will not have to be repeated at the institution to which they are transferring.

  • ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority)

    The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training sector. ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met.

  • Assessment

    Victoria University defines assessment as the methods and procedures by which a student's academic progress and standard, at a given time, are measured. Within this single definition, the University recognises three broad types of assessment:

    a.diagnostic – assessment that identifies the level of competency/performance/ knowledge before commencing learning in a course/ program/ learning experience but does not contribute to the student’s final grade;

    b.formative – assessment that provides feedback to the student during the learning experience;

    c.summative – assessment that is focussed on the outcomes of the learning experience.

  • Assessment level

    The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) classification assigned to each student visa application, determined by the student's passport and the education sector in which the student will study. Assessment levels range from 1 through to 5, with 1 being deemed the lowest immigration risk and 5 being the highest risk.

  • Authorised Agent

    An organisation or individual which has a current signed contract with the University to recruit onshore international students to the University on behalf of the University.

  • Award

    An academic award of the University, approved by the Vice Chancellor.

  • Award Abbreviation

    The official abbreviation for an Award as declared by the Vice-Chancellor. 

  • Award Course

    A structured combination of approved units and/or supervised research into which students are admitted and are issued with an Award at the completion of their studies.

Return to TopB

  • Bibliography

    A reference list that includes all the texts and websites that have been read for understanding, as well as those that have been cited in a piece of work.

  • Block

    A four-week delivery period in which all learning activities and assessments for a unit of study are completed.

  • Block Credit

    Block credit is granted for whole stages or components of a qualification, and does not involve individual student assessment. It is typically arranged through a credit transfer or pathways agreement and is given for a whole section of a course (e.g. a study period or a year of full-time study) rather than for specific units.

  • Breadth Minors

    Breadth minors provide students with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge across a range of discipline areas or undertake interdisciplinary studies. Breadth minors make use of existing units and cannot contribute to a major.

  • Bridging courses for overseas-training professionals

    A course for overseas trained professionals who are seeking to meet the formal requirements for entry into their profession in Australia.

  • Bursary

    Payment made by the University to students in representative positions on University Council and the Victoria University Student Union (VUSU). 

  • Business Case

    The Business Case is a document summarising key information about the proposed Contract and Undertaking.  This is necessary for each Undertaking, and may be necessary for each Contract (unless it is part of a suite of Contracts dealing with a similar issue). The level of detail required in the Business Case should be proportionate to the risk and value of the Contract. The Business Case is complete and becomes a historical document at the time of signing the Contract.  The Contract Business Case section of the Best Practice Guide provides advice and assistance on how to draft and maintain the Business Case.

Return to TopC

  • Campus

    Any University campus, workplace and site used for work or study purposes. It includes field and research stations, buildings, grounds, vehicles, farms and commercial operations.

  • CAMS

    Victoria University’s Course Approval and Management System.

  • Carer

    A carer is a person on whom another person is totally or substantially dependent for ongoing care and attention. Carers provide care and support to family members and friends with a disability, mental illness or disorder, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail. Care giving may occur occasionally, continuously, in the short-term or over the long-term.

  • Chaplain

    A Chaplain is a recognised representative of a religious or spiritual group, which may include an Indigenous Australian Elder, who provides religious or spiritual support to students and staff of the University.

  • Clubs Officer

    The Victoria University employee who assists and who has oversight of student groups.

  • Cognate

    Refers to a prior qualification that is demonstrably within the discipline to the one for which a person seeks advanced standing.

  • Collaboration

    Academic work that is undertaken jointly by two or more students with the knowledge and consent of the teacher. Collaboration is not plagiarism.

  • Collaborative Awards

    An umbrella term for awards/courses that are developed in collaboration between Victoria University (VU) awards/courses or those of a partner. They include double degrees, dual degrees, combined degrees, joint degrees and double qualifications.

  • Collusion

    This is a deliberate joint attempt by a student and another person or persons to deceive an assessor that work submitted is solely the student's own work. Collusion is a form of plagiarism and a breach of academic integrity.

  • Commercialisation

    Any activity or initiative undertaken with the objective of exploiting (or that could contribute to the development or exploitation of) intellectual property in ways that might generate or are intended to generate commercial returns or other material benefits to the owners of the intellectual property. Commercialisation includes selling, hiring, licensing or otherwise disposing of or dealing with intellectual property (other than the use of teaching or learning materials in the delivery of a University course), including-


    • design;
    • development;
    • manufacture;
    • marketing;
    • distribution; or
    • provision of any product or service based on or incorporating the intellectual property.
  • Competent Person

    A person who has, through a combination of training, education and experience, acquired knowledge and skills enabling that person to perform correctly a specified task.

  • Compliance

    Adhering to the requirements of law (acts, regulations and other legislative instruments), standards, codes and policies, as well as principles of good governance and accepted community and ethical standards.

  • Compliance Culture

    The values, ethics and beliefs that exist throughout the University, and interact with the University structures and control systems to produce behavioural norms that are conducive to compliance outcomes.

  • Conceded pass

    A terminal pass granted to eligible students who obtain a result in the range 45% - 49% in a unit which is the last required to complete a course of study. Conceded passes are only available in certain units and cannot satisfy prerequisite requirements for further units.

  • Confined Space

    A space in any vat, tank, pipe, duct, flue, oven, chimney, silo, reaction vessel, container, receptacle, underground sewer, shaft, well, trench, tunnel or other similar enclosed or partially enclosed structure, if the space:
    •    is, or is intended to be, or is likely to be, entered by any person; and
    •    has a limited or restricted means for entry or exit that makes it physically difficult for a person to enter or exit the space; and
    •    is, or is intended to be, at normal atmospheric pressure while any person is in the space; and
    •    contains, or is intended to contain, or is likely to contain:
         o    an atmosphere that has a harmful level of any contaminant; or
         o    an atmosphere that does not have a safe oxygen level; or
         o    any stored substance, except liquids, that could cause engulfment. 
         o    but does not include a shaft, trench or tunnel that is a mine or is part of the workings of a mine.

  • Confined Space Entry Authorised Person (CSEAP)

    A person employed or engaged by the University to raise and sign off a confined space entry permit

  • Confined Space Entry Permit

    A document which permits entry to or work in a confined space.

  • Confirmation of Enrolment

    A document, provided electronically, which is issued by the registered provider to intending overseas students and which must accompany their application for a student visa. It confirms the overseas student’s eligibility to enrol in the particular course of the registered provider (definition from National Code 2018).

  • Contract life-cycle

    Contract lifecycle means when a Contract is being first considered and planned, through to when it is negotiated, prepared & signed, then when it is monitored and managed after signing, through to when all contractual obligations have been fulfilled.

  • Corrupt Conduct

    Corrupt conduct means any one of the following:

    • conduct of any person that adversely affects the honest performance by a public officer or public body of his or her or its functions as a public officer or public body;
    • conduct of a public officer or public body that constitutes or involves the dishonest performance of his or her or its functions as a public officer or public body;
    • conduct of a public officer or public body that constitutes or involves knowingly or recklessly breaching public trust;
    • conduct of a public officer or a public body that involves the misuse of information or material acquired in the course of the performance of his or her or its functions as a public officer or public body, whether or not for the benefit of the public officer or public body or any other person; or
    • conduct that could constitute a conspiracy or an attempt to engage in any of the conduct referred to above; and
    • if that conduct could be proved beyond reasonable doubt at a trial, amounts to:
    • an indictable offence; or
    • one of the following 3 types of common law offences committed in Victoria:
      • perverting the course of justice
      • attempting to pervert the course of justice
      • bribery of an official.
  • Course

    The overall program of study in which the student is enrolled.

  • Course Approval

    The endorsed process for development, consideration and verification of new or replacement courses of study. The process of approval involves consideration of both educational and financial matters by governance and management committees. The Course Approval process is described in the Courses and Pathways Lifecycle Policy and its associated procedures.

  • Course Architecture

    A systematic method for Colleges to design higher education courses that enable the University to balance student choice and academic rigour with efficient and sustainable delivery. Course architecture is currently used only for undergraduate courses.

  • Course Cessation

    The process undertaken to discontinue offering an Award or Non-Award course or major.

  • Course Design

    The content, duration and sequencing of the elements (units) of a course of study. This structural definition is broadened by the HESF to include various other design characteristics including entry requirements and pathways, the nature of the content, the expected learning outcomes, their sequence of attainment and assessment, and professional accreditation if required.

  • Course Suspension

    The process undertaken to temporarily suspend a Higher Education (HE) course or major.

  • Credit

    Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications. Credit reduces the amount of study required to achieve a qualification and may be granted through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing.

  • Credit Arrangements

    Formal negotiated arrangements within and between issuing organisations or accrediting authorities.

  • Credit Transfer

    A process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for completed components of a course of study based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched courses of study.


    The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) is the register prescribed under section 14A of the ESOS Act.

  • CRICOS Code

    Is a unique identifier allocated to each course, at each location, that Victoria University (VU) is registered.

Return to TopD

  • Direct Admissions

    The process of admitting a student via direct application rather than via VTAC or other externally managed batch processes. Direct admissions also includes offers made by one of the University's authorised agents.

  • Disability

    The definition of disability is that used by relevant State and Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Legislation and is very broadly defined. A disability may be periodic, temporary or permanent, total or partial, lifelong or acquired

    "disability" , in relation to a person, means:

    total or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions; or
    total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
    the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
    the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
    the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person's body; or
    a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
    a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;

    and includes a disability that:

    presently exists; or
    previously existed but no longer exists; or
    may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
    is imputed to a person.

    To avoid doubt, a disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability.

  • Discipline

    An area of study which has a history and tradition of teaching at both introductory and advanced levels.

  • Discipline Minor

    Discipline minors provide students with an introduction to a field of study.  Discipline minors may also form the first four units of one or more majors.

  • Domestic Partner

    A domestic partner is a person with whom the person lives as a couple on a genuine domestic basis (regardless of sexual orientation), but to whom they are not married.

  • Domestic Pathway

    Pathways delivered in Australia and related to students who are Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents. Domestic pathways can be internal or external pathways.

  • Double Degree

    Comprises two individually approved Victoria University Awards at the same Australian Qualification Framework level, taken concurrently, and resulting in the conferral of two Awards.

  • Double Qualification

    A combination of two degrees at different Australian Qualifications Framework levels undertaken sequentially, where the full requirements of each Award must be met.

  • Dual Award

    Where Victoria University and another Higher Education institution offer a collaborative course which results in two separate Awards being conferred from the two institutions.

Return to TopE

  • Elective

    A unit that provides alternate options for students to complete, or incorporate unique learning experiences within courses.

  • Enabling Courses

    A Non-Award course that enables a student to undertake study that leads to admission into a Higher Education Award. Enabling courses cannot be a HE Award course.

  • Entry (confined spaces)

    When a person's head i.e. the breathing zone, or upper body is within the boundary of the confined space (NB - Inserting an arm for the purpose of atmospheric testing is not considered an entry to a confined space).

  • Equal opportunity

    Equal opportunity is about ensuring that everyone has equal access to, and opportunity to take part in, areas of public life such as, education, employment, accommodation and access to goods and services. Equal opportunity law sets standards for the way we treat each other in these areas and provides remedies for people who have been treated unfairly.

  • Equitable

    Open to all without systemic, hidden or apparent bias on the grounds of any attribute upon which discrimination is prohibited by State and Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Legislation.

  • Exempt Students

    Under the HESA (HESA - s169-20(1)), exempt students are those who are exempt from the payment of student contribution amounts or tuition fees for specified units of study.

  • Exit Award

    An award that may be available to students unable to fulfill the requirements of the course in which they are enrolled but who have completed the requirements of a lower level qualification.

  • External Pathway

    Arrangements between Victoria University (VU) and one or more Australian education and training providers or one or more overseas education providers. External pathways are available to Domestic and/or International students. 

Return to TopF

  • Firewall

    Any of a number of security schemes that prevent unauthorised users from gaining access to a computer network; or that monitor transfers of information to and from the network.

  • Formal Learning

    Prior or concurrent studies that are provided by a recognised higher education or VET provider (or equivalent for overseas studies) and would, if completed, lead to an Award under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or relevant national equivalent for overseas studies.

Return to TopG

  • General Admission Criteria

    The University-wide entry requirements that applicants must satisfy to be eligible for selection to each level of course offered by the University.

  • General Degrees

    Broad-access qualifications designed for non-traditional and less academically prepared students, as well as those wishing to have a broad and flexible educational experience.

  • Gifts

    Free or heavily discounted items, intangible benefits or hospitality exceeding common courtesy that are offered to employees in association with their work. They may be enduring such as a work of art or consumables such as a box of chocolates. They range in value from nominal to significant and may be given for different reasons.

Return to TopH

  • Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

    A Higher Degree by Research (HDR) is a postgraduate award at Master or Doctoral level at AQF 9 or 10 respectively, of which two thirds or more is research and research training. The major part of assessment of these courses must be in the form of reporting the outcomes of a research project/s conducted as the research component of the degree. A HDR may also include a coursework component, which is one or more accredited units of study designed to address and area(s) of content and/or skill development within the HDR program.

  • Hospitality

    The friendly reception and treatment of guests. It is hospitable to offer light refreshments in the course of a business meeting or as part of a conference program. Hospitality can range from offers of light refreshment at a business meeting to restaurant meals and sponsored travel and accommodation.


  • Human Rights

    Human rights are the basic entitlements that belong to all of us just because we are human beings. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, forms the basis of these entitlements. The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 is a formal recognition of Human Rights and aims to protect people from injustice and to allow everyone to participate in and contribute to society.Our human rights entitlements include:

    Civil and political rights such as the right to life, liberty and freedom from torture and slavery, freedom of opinion, expression and religion;
    Economic and social rights such the right to health care, education, work, food and a reasonable standard of living;
    Environmental and cultural rights including the right to live in a clean environment protected from destruction and the right to cultural, political and economic development.

Return to TopI

  • Informal Learning

    Learning that takes place in a practical context without any studies being undertaken. Knowledge, skills and experience acquired through work is a common category of informal learning.

  • Internal Pathway

    Internal pathways may be created between courses at different Australian Qualification Framework levels offered by any College within Victoria University (VU) or Victoria Polytechnic. Internal pathways are available to Domestic or International students.

  • International Onshore Student

    A person (whether within or outside Australia) who holds a student visa as defined by the ESOS Act.

  • International Pathway

    Pathways delivered in Australia (and/or) overseas and related to students who are or will be on an international student visa. International pathways can be internal or external pathways.

Return to TopJ

  • Joint Award

    The awarding of a single qualification, recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework, which is jointly conferred by Victoria University and one or more institutions.

Return to TopL

  • Learning in the Workplace and Community (LiWC)

    LiWC is an umbrella term that encompasses the many models and integrated approaches to teaching, learning and assessment that involve learning in and through the workplace and community. These LiWC models and approaches may include, but are not limited to, projects in a workplace, practical, co-operative and clinical placements, fieldwork, simulated learning environments, apprenticeships, traineeships or internships and enterprise initiatives.

  • Letter of Release

    The letter issued by a CRICOS registered provider to confirm approval for an international student to be released from that provider to study with another provider.

  • Limited amount of personal use (staff use of ICT facilities)

    While Victoria University’s ICT is provided for University business and operations, a limited amount of personal use is permitted.

    Limited personal use will be use which:
    a.   does not interfere with an individual’s duties/responsibilities;
    b.   is infrequent and brief;
    c.   does not interfere with, or impact on, the operation of the University; or 
    d.   does not cause more than a nominal additional expense.

Return to TopM

  • Major

    A major consists of 96 credit points of study within an undergraduate course that provides students with a depth of knowledge in a particular discipline. Majors may only be commenced after first year.

  • Minor

    A minor consists of 48 credit points of study that may either be a discipline minor or a breadth minor.

  • Mode of Study

    This includes: face-to-face in a classroom; supervised study on campus; distance learning; online learning; or work-integrated learning.

  • Moderation

    A process of peer review to reach consensus on expected standards for student outcomes at different grade levels, relative to the level of the course or unit.

  • Modified Assessment

    An adjustment or alteration to the standard conditions or format of assessment following the development of an Access Plan. It can apply to any formal assessment task or examination. Modifications can include the time allowed to complete the assessment; the conditions under which the assessment is completed; or any aids or assistance required by the student.

Return to TopN

  • Nested Award

    A purposely designed Award course that enables explicit articulation between courses from one or more Australian Qualifications Framework qualification types. These courses must be available for students to both enter and exit.

  • New Award Course

     A course that has a new course code and a new award title, even if some elements are retained or repurposed from previous or existing courses.

  • New Course

    New Course: 
    a.    usually, but not exclusively, a course that will lead to a new Award (if an Award course). 
    b.    a course that has a new course code and a new title, even if some elements are retained or re-purposed from previous or existing courses.

  • New Non-Award Course

    A Non-Award course that has a new course code and a new title, even if some elements are retained or re-purposed from previous or existing courses.

  • Non-Award Course

    A course of study that does not lead to the issuance of an Award of the University.

  • Non-Award Unit

    A unit that is approved as part of a non-award course.

  • Non-formal Learning

    Learning that takes place within a teaching or instructional context, where the studies are not part of an Award course. Examples may include Non-Award studies offered by training or higher education providers; executive education; workplace and continuing professional education. Non-formal learning can only be used for credit where an assessment of competence or skills has occurred as part of the learning.

  • Notice in Writing

    Notice in writing will include sending an email to a student's VU email address.

Return to TopO

  • Offer

    A document stating what course the University is prepared to admit a person into, with any relevant conditions that must be satisfied before enrolment can take place. The University may make unconditional or conditional offers as appropriate.

  • Overseas Student (studying onshore)

    A student who has been granted a visa by the Department of Home Affairs which gives them study rights.

Return to TopP

  • Paraphrasing

    This involves a student/author using someone else's ideas but expressing them in his/her own words. As another person's intellectual output (ideas) are being used, they must be acknowledged, for example by a footnote.

  • Pass Degree

    A Bachelor degree without an Honours component.

  • Pathways

    Formally agreed structures by which students may move through qualification levels and between courses with full or partial recognition for the qualifications and/or learning outcomes they already have.

  • Pets

    Animals under the care and control of individuals which are kept primarily for companionship rather than as assistance animals.

  • Plagiarism

    Plagiarism is the use of another person's intellectual output, presented without appropriate acknowledgement, which creates the impression that the work is being claimed as one's own. The following are examples of plagiarism:

    (a) Word for word copying of sentences/paragraphs without acknowledgement or with insufficient or improper acknowledgement;
    (b) Purchasing and/or downloading essays or assignments from the web and presenting these for assessment;
    (c) Presenting another person's work or research data as your own work;
    (d) Copying out parts of any work without acknowledging the source(s). This may be:

    • written text (verbatim copying or paraphrasing)
    • structures within texts
    • diagrams
    • formulae
    • sound files
    • still photographs
    • audio-visual material (sound and image files)
    • graphics/animations/multimedia objects
    • software and code, including mashed-up products or code
    • other computer based material
    • mathematical proofs
    • art objects
    • practical artifacts (ie apprenticeship pieces)
    • other work as relevant.

    (e) The use of someone else's concepts, experimental results, experimental conclusions or conclusions drawn from analysing evidence or arguments without acknowledging the originator of the idea(s) or conclusion(s).

  • Prayer Room

    A room set aside for prayer or reflection.

  • Principal Course of Study

    The main course of study to be undertaken by an overseas student (studying onshore) where the student visa has been issued for multiple courses, and is usually the final course of study.


    The Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) is the system used to process information given to the Secretary of DET by Victoria University.

  • Probation

    An employment period of mutual testing during which decisions regarding continuation of employment are made.

  • Professional Degrees

    Degrees which provide students with clear professional outcomes and are more linear than General Degrees.

  • Provider Default

    Is when Victoria University fails to, or ceases to provide, a course to an international on-shore student within the meaning of section 46A of the ESOS Act.

  • Public Records

    Records made or received by a public office, and therefore governed by the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic).  Includes all records created or received by Victoria University (VU).

Return to TopR

  • Recognition of Current Competency

    Recognition of current competency applies if a person has previously successfully completed the requirements for a unit of competency or module and is now required, (e.g. by a licensing authority) to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

  • Recognition of Prior Learning

    Recognition of prior learning is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

  • Records

    Documents or information created or received in the course of business, and maintained as evidence or for reference purposes.

  • Redeployment

    The transfer of a staff member to employment in a suitable vacant position, as a consequence of redundancy arising from a position being determined by the University as excess to requirements

  • Register of Awards

    The Victoria University Register of Awards is a consolidated list that includes all Higher Education Awards, including Higher Degrees by Research, and Vocational Education and Training Awards. 

  • Research

    Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, understandings, inventions and applications of this knowledge. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes. This definition of research encompasses pure and strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development. Applied research is original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge but directed towards a specific, practical aim or objective (including a client-driven purpose) and which may include patentable inventions or innovations.

    a.         This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development (R&D) as comprising of creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.

    b.         Activities that do not satisfy the definition of research include:

    i.          scientific and technical information services;

    ii.         general purpose or routine data collection;

    iii.       standardisation and routine testing;

    iv.       feasibility studies (except into research and experimental development projects);

    v.         specialised routine medical care;

    vi.       commercial, legal and administrative aspects of patenting, copyright or licensing activities; and

    vii.      routine computer programming, systems work or software maintenance.

  • Responsible Officer

    Victoria University staff member responsible for operational implementation of a Policy or Procedure.

  • Restriction Period

    Overseas students (studying onshore) wishing to transfer to a different higher education provider must have completed six months of their principal course of study. Until this time, there are restrictions on transferring to another provider.

  • Risk

    Risk is the likelihood of something happening that can prevent an organisation from achieving its goals and objectives. The ISO31000 defines risk as 'the effect of uncertainty on objectives'.

Return to TopS

  • Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

    A document that identifies the steps in a task, the hazards involved in performing the tasks and the risk controls to be applied to eliminate or reduce risks involved in a task.

  • Scheduled Course Contact Hours

    These are the hours that students are scheduled to attend including; face-to-face classes; course-related information sessions; supervised study sessions; mandatory and supervised work-based training; and examinations.

  • Scope of Registration

    The training products for which a Registered Training Provider (RTO) is registered to issue AQF certification documentation. It allows the RTO to provide either training and/or assessment resulting in the issuance of AQF certification documentation.

  • Secondment

    An arrangement where a staff member is temporarily moved to another position either within the University or external to the University for a defined period, whilst maintaining their substantive position.

  • Selection

    The process of assessing applicants for a course and deciding which applicants can be made an offer of a place in the course.

  • Selection Methodology

    The methodology employed to decide whom amongst the eligible applicants will be selected to be made an offer of a place in the course for which they applied. Selection methodology is usually used in cases where a course is competitive (more applications than places available) and applicants are ranked. Selection methodology includes ranking methodology.

  • Selection tasks

    Activities an applicant must undertake as part of the selection process, such as providing a folio, attending an interview or completing and submitting a supplementary form. These tasks need to be met in order to be eligible for an offer into a course.

  • Special Consideration

    A form of adjustment of outcome for students who experience acute unexpected circumstances which have an adverse impact on their performance in assessable tasks, submission of assessment tasks or examination attendance; or who require an extension of longer than five (5) working days from the due date for an assessment. Special consideration applies to acute events only and can result in the granting of extensions, alternative assessments, or the adjustment of results.

  • Specialisations

    A prescribed grouping of electives which addresses a specific area of knowledge within an AQF qualification. The area of specialisation must be included on a testamur to certify attainment of an AQF qualification.

  • Specified Credit

    Credit granted towards particular or specific components of a qualification or program of learning, such as a core or required major or particular units.

  • Staff

    For the purposes of Victoria University (VU) policy, staff means:

    - all employees of the University, on all domestic and offshore locations, including student residences, and while engaged in all work-related activities such as conferences and work-sponsored social occasions;
    - all contractors and consultants performing work on University sites or on behalf of the University;
    - visiting academics, honorary, adjunct and exchange staff;
    - the Council and its committees; and
    - any volunteer in the workplace and study environment.

  • Student

    -  a person enrolled at the University in a course leading to a degree, diploma, certificate, licence or other award; or

    -  a person whose study performance is being or is to be assessed by the University, notwithstanding that such a person is not enrolled at the University in a course leading to a degree, diploma, certificate, licence or other award.

    (The above definition of student is from section 3 of the Victoria University Act 2010 and Council Resolution C2010 - 070).

  • Student Academic Misconduct

    Academic misconduct is:

    • Conduct by a student that is designed or calculated to, or has the effect of, providing a misleading basis for admission, assessment or academic progress.
    • conduct by a student in connection with research or learning activities that is dishonest, reckless, or seriously deviates from accepted standards within the scientific and scholarly community.

    Without limiting the above, student academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to -

    • cheating or attempting to gain an unfair academic advantage in an examination or an assessment task;
    • plagiarism, collusion or otherwise breaching the academic integrity requirements of the University;
    • asking another person to complete assessable work or knowingly enabling another student to plagiarise his or her work;
    • failing to comply with examination or assessment rules or directions;
    • impersonating, or allowing herself or himself to be impersonated by another for any assessment task;
    • forging or falsifying academic results, data or records;
    • publishing, distributing or making available (in any form or forum) any confidential information of or held by the University, including any information that breaches any person's privacy;
    • taking into, or using in connection with, any assessment task any material or device other than material or a device specifically permitted by the University; or
    • research misconduct as described in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and/or a breach the University's published standards for conduct of ethical and responsible research. 
  • Student General Misconduct

    Student general misconduct means conduct in connection with the University by a student which is, or is likely to be, detrimental to the University or its members. 

    Without limiting the above, student general misconduct includes, but is not limited to -

    • breaching a Statute, Regulation, policy or rule of the University or Act of Parliament;
    • disrupting the orderly conduct of a University activity;
    • disobeying any reasonable order or direction given by an authorised officer of the University;
    • threatening personal injury or harm of any kind to any person;
    • engaging in conduct which causes or may cause personal injury or harm to any person (including oneself), or damage or loss of property;
    • without authorisation, using or obtaining access to University property, premises, facilities or services;
    • without authorisation, using or obtaining access to electronic information, including computing programs, belonging to the University or another person's University records or information;
    • providing false or misleading information to the University or falsifying a University record or document;
    • publishing, distributing or making available (in any form or forum) any confidential information of or held by the University or improperly using such information;
    • without authorisation, accessing or distributing information that breaches a person's privacy;
    • harassing, stalking, bullying or intimidating any person, however facilitated and including by telephone or by the use of other technology;
    • failing to adhere to policies, procedures or rules of external organisations while on placement, practicum, or undertaking research or work experience; or
    • inciting another person to commit student general misconduct. 
  • Study Period

    A defined period of time in which teaching is delivered. This includes pre-teaching, teaching and assessment activities. Each study period has its own set of key dates, including start, end and census dates. Study periods vary across the academic year and include semesters, trimesters, terms, Block and intensive.

  • Supplementary assessment

    "Second-chance" assessment offered to students who barely fail a unit of study (45 - 49%). Supplementary assessment is not the same as alternative assessment, which refers to first-chance assessments provided at a different time to eligible students, or modified assessment, which refers to assessment with altered conditions to accommodate a student's individual needs.

Return to TopT

  • Testamur

    The official certification document that confirms that an award has been conferred.

  • Tissue

    Any part of an animal, whether extracted from a living animal or a dead animal. Tissue includes blood and blood products.

  • Training Packages

    Training packages are a set of nationally endorsed standards and qualifications for recognising and assessing an individual's skills in a specific industry. Training Packages are developed by Service Skills Organisations (SSO's) through an industry consultation process and endorsed through the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). All Training Packages contain three major components: qualification framework, units of competency and assessment guidelines.

Return to TopU

  • Unique Identifier

    A unique identifier is a code consisting of alphabet characters and/or numerals (not a person's name) which is applied to an individual and distinguishes them from other individuals, for example a drivers' licence number or a student / staff number.

  • Unit

    A discrete entity of study within a discipline area and the fundamental component of a course.

  • Unit of Competency

    Defines the skills and knowledge to operate effectively in a workplace context.

  • University business days

    University business days are any weekdays on which the University is open for normal business. This includes semester breaks, study and examination periods, and any public holidays not observed by the University (eg, Labour Day). It excludes all weekend days, public holidays that are observed by the University, and the Easter and Christmas shutdown periods as declared by the University on an annual basis.

  • Unspecified Credit

    Credit granted towards optional components of a qualification or program of learning, such as elective studies.

Return to TopV

  • Validation

    Validation is a process of peer review, which occurs prior to the setting of assessment tools. It is used to check that assessment is aligned with and reflects unit learning outcomes, and that the format, content and criteria for assessment are set at an appropriate level.

  • Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

    The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on option for students in Years 11 and 12. The VCAL gives students practical work-related experience, literacy and numeracy skills as well as the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. Like the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), VCAL is an accredited secondary certificate.

  • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

    The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is awarded to students who successfully complete their secondary education. It is internationally recognised, and provides pathways into employment, vocational education and training and higher education.

  • Victorian Purchasing Guide (VPG)

    Victorian Purchasing Guides contain nominal hour allocations for units of competency and maximum hour allocations for qualifications within training packages. They also contain sample training programs that have been developed for nationally endorsed training packages.

  • Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)

    The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) is the State statutory authority responsible for ensuring that employers of apprentices and trainees and providers of education and training (including course and qualification owners) meet quality standards, and that information is readily available to support informed choice in education and training.

  • Visiting appointments

    Visiting appointments are made to individuals who hold positions within another University or vocational institution and can contribute to the University's educational, professional, advisory support and or/research or industry practice for a defined period of not more than three years in the first instance, subject to review.

  • VU Association

    A group of Victoria University (VU) students:

    • who represent students belonging to a particular cohort connected with their enrolment;
    • whose primary aim is to advocate for and improve the student experience for that particular group of students; and
    • who are represented University-wide (e.g. international students or post-graduate students); and
    • who have applied for and been granted Affiliation.
  • VU Club

    A group of Victoria University (VU) students:

    • who share and are dedicated to a particular interest or activity (e.g. skiing); and
    • who have applied for and been granted Affiliation.
  • VU College Society

    A group of Victoria University (VU) students:

    • who represent the interests of students in a particular College or students enrolled in Victoria Polytechnic; and
    • whose primary aim is to advocate for and improve the student experience for that particular group of students; and 
    • who have applied for and been granted Affiliation.
  • VU Extra Transcript

    A certificate issued by Victoria University (VU) which provides evidence of involvement in approved extra-curricular programs run by VU.