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

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.

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  • ABN (Australian Business Number)

    A single, unique identifier for dealings with the Australian Taxation Office and for dealings with other government departments and agencies. For the purposes of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, the ABN also acts as the University’s GST registration number.

  • Aboriginal

    The use of the word Aboriginal throughout VU Policy and Procedure refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people connected to and/or residing in South East Australia.

  • Academic Integrity

    A commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. From these values flow principles of behaviour that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action.

  • 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.

  • Acknowledgement

    Crediting a contribution to a publication or research project where the contribution is not a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution sufficient for a person to be named as an author.

  • ACN

    Australian Company Number

  • ACSF (Australian Core Skills Framework)

    A tool which describes levels of performance in the five core skills of learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy.

  • Active Award

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

  • 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 Candidature

    Where an applicant has conducted Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) studies towards a research degree at another institution.

  • Advanced Standing

    Refer to Credit definition. Advanced Standing term is being phased out and referred to as Credit.

  • 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.

  • All-Gender

    A space or activity explicitly designed to cater for users of any gender, i.e. all-gender bathrooms that may be accessed by any user.

  • Appeal

    Refers to an application under the Student Appeals Regulations 2019 to have an outcome from an earlier University review or investigation overturned or varied.  The appeal will result in the final decision made by the University.

  • 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.  

  • Arm's length transaction

    A transaction between two related parties that is conducted as if they were unrelated, so that there is no question of conflict of interest.

  • 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.

  • Associate

    An associate is any person or entity closely associated with an employee. It includes a spouse, child, relative, friend etc.

  • Associate Supervisor

    A member of staff who is research active, not necessarily in the field or discipline relevant to the candidate’s research. 

  • Atrocities

    are extremely violent, cruel and dehumanising acts and wrongdoings. Legally sanctioned atrocities were enacted on Australia’s First Nations Peoples by colonisers.

  • 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.

  • Authorised Enrolment Delegate

    VU staff who have completed the Authorised Enrolment Delegate Training and are able to complete the Skills First Eligibility assessment in the enrolment process for TAFE applicants.

  • Authorship

    An author is an individual who has made a substantial intellectual contribution to a research output and is accountable for the research output.

  • 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.

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  • BAS (Business Activity Statement)

    A single form to be lodged with the Australian Taxation Office to report various University tax obligations including the Goods and Services Tax that has been collected and paid.

  • Benchmarking

    A structured, collaborative learning process for comparing practices, processes or performance outcomes. Its purpose is to identify comparative strengths and weaknesses, as a basis for developing improvements in academic quality or performance. Benchmarking can also be defined as a quality process used to evaluate performance by comparing institutional practices with identified good practices across the sector.

  • Benefit

    A benefit includes any right, privilege, service or facility.

  • Biological Risk Group Agents

    are hazardous biological agents such as bacterium, protozoa, fungus, unicellular algae, virus able to cause disease in an otherwise healthy host (including human, animal or plant hosts). AS/NZS 2243.3 Tables 3.1 to 3.11 classifies Risk Group 2, 3 & 4 Agents.

  • Block

    A delivery period in which all learning activities and assessments, moderation and result release in units of study are completed within:

    • Four-weeks for all undergraduate units, and postgraduate units in the Colleges of Arts & Education, Health & Biomedicine, Law & Justice and Sport & Exercise Science; or
    • Eight-weeks for postgraduate units in the VU Business School and College of Engineering & Science and units/courses delivered through VU Online.
  • Block Credit

    Granted toward whole stages or components of a qualification, block creditis given for a whole section of a course (e.g. a semester or a year of full-time study) rather than for specific units.

  • Breach of the Australian Code

    Conduct that:

    1. fails to comply with any provision of the Australian Code and the Research Integrity Policy, and
    2. is not so serious as to constitute research misconduct.
  • 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.

  • Bullying

    Repeated, unreasonable behaviour, directed towards a person or a group of people that creates a risk to health and safety, and includes behaviour by verbal, written, cyber or electronic means. Bullying behaviour may not be intentional.

  • Business Continuity  

    Capability of the University to continue to the delivery of services at predefined acceptable levels following a disruptive incident to minimise any reputational risk to the University.

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  • CAMS

    Victoria University’s Course Approval and Management System.

  • Candidature
    1. Confirmed enrolment of degree; and
    2. Period of enrolment in degree including pre-candidature enrolment.  
  • Cardholder data (CHD)

    Any personally identifiable data associated with a cardholder including: account or card number, expiration date, credit card security verification codes (e.g. CVV, CVC, CID, CAV), name and address

  • Ceded

    is to have surrendered sovereignty to another nation or party. Sovereignty of Australia’s First Nation Peoples, their lands, waters, and skies have never been ceded.

  • Centrally administered examinations

    Formal, supervised examinations, including block exams, which take place in the approved University examination period.

  • 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.

  • Chief Warden  

    A person appointed at each building or campus with the formal authority to control and direct the University’s local responses to an Emergency. The Chief Warden is supported by wardens.

  • Child Abuse or Harm

    Any act committed against a child involving:

    1. A sexual offence; or
    2. An offence under section 49M(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 ; and

    The infliction, on a child, of:

    1. Physical violence; or
    2. Serious emotional or psychological harm; and

    The serious neglect of a child.

  • Child-Safe Environment

    An environment that is created to reduce opportunities for harm or abuse to children.

    A child safe organisation is one that:

    • Empowers and values children
    • Engages with families and the broader community
    • Adopts suitable strategies
    • Takes appropriate action to promote child safety and wellbeing at all levels of the organisation.
  • Clinics

    All clinics operated by or on behalf of Victoria University in any health, allied health, or social assistance field or fields, which provide clinical services as an opportunity for students enrolled in clinic-related courses at VU to undertake high-quality clinical experience in-house. Clinics include Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation (VUCER), Dermal, Massage, Osteopathy, and Psychology, (excluding beauty services).

  • Club

    A group of Victoria University (VU) students:

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

  • 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.

  • College

    An organisational unit described as a College or any other organisational unit with the primary responsibility for the delivery of award courses, foundation courses or English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

  • College administered examinations

    Examinations administered by Colleges or other teaching areas that cannot be held in the ‘swot-vac’ period or during the formal examination period. Includes take-home examinations.

  • College Society

    A group of Victoria University (VU) students:

    • who represent the interests of students in a particular College or students enrolled in TAFE; 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.
  • Collusion

    Unauthorised collaboration on assessable work (written, oral or practical) with others. This can occur when a student presents group work as their own or as the work of another person.

  • Colonisation

    is the act of a nation or party appropriating and settling in another place, dominating the original inhabitants and establishing themselves as rulers.

  • Community

    VU’s heartland is the west of Melbourne. Partnerships, collaborations and bridging between local governments, community groups, business, industry and all VU departments, Colleges, staff, students and visitors work to develop programs that respond to local needs for skills, knowledge and learning.

  • Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances

    ‘Compassionate or compelling’ circumstances are generally those beyond the control of the overseas student and which have an impact upon the overseas student’s course progress or wellbeing. These could include, but are not limited to:
    •  serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the overseas student was unable to attend classes;
    •  bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (where possible a death certificate should be provided);
    •  major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel and this has impacted on the overseas student’s studies; or
    •  a traumatic experience, which could include:
        o  involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident; or
        o  witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime, and this has impacted on the overseas student (these cases should be supported by police or psychologists’ reports);
     • where the registered provider was unable to offer a pre-requisite unit, or the overseas student has failed a prerequisite unit and therefore faces a shortage of relevant units for which they are eligible to enrol; or
     • inability to begin studying on the course commencement date due to delay in receiving a student visa.

  • Complainant

    A person who makes a complaint.

  • 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.

  • Compliance Obligations Register

    The list of compliance requirements that have been identified by the University.

  • Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

    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).

  • Conflicts of Interest

    A situation when other interests have the potential to compromise judgements and decisions that should be made impartially.

  • Continuing professional development (CPD)

    The learning that practitioners engage in to develop, maintain, broaden and enhance their professional / industry knowledge, expertise and capability. CPD is often a requirement of professional registration or accreditation and when not mandatory, is often encouraged by employers due to the likelihood that it will develop the currency and competency of employees.

  • Contract Cheating

    This occurs when a student requests or pays someone else to produce all or part of an assessment task that is submitted as their own work, including arrangements through a third party. It may include the use of contract cheating service providers or websites.

  • Corrupt Conduct or Corruption

    For the purposes of the Fraud and Corruption Policy and Procedure and mandatory notification to the IBAC, corrupt conduct is conduct, or an attempt or conspiracy to engage in conduct (whether it takes place inside or outside of Victoria) that:

    a. Adversely affects the honest performance of the functions of a public officer or public body; or
    b. Constitutes or involves the dishonest performance of the functions of a public officer or public body; or
    c. Constitutes or involves knowingly or recklessly breaching public trust; or
    d. Involves the misuse of information or material acquired in the course of the performance of the functions of a public officer or public body; or
    e. Is intended to adversely affect the effective performance of the functions or powers of a public officer or public body and results in the person or their associate obtaining a specified benefit* .

    The corrupt conduct would constitute an indictable offence against an Act, or the common law offences of attempt to pervert the course of justice, bribery of a public official, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

    Bribery is a type of corruption; the act of paying a secret commission (either in money or in kind) intended to:

    a. cause an employee to act contrary to the interests of the University;
    b. is contrary to the University’s policy; or
    c. is against the public interest.

    A secret commission can be anything of value; any good or benefit reasonably perceived to be of worth. Examples may include gifts, travel, entertainment, hospitality, political contributions, charitable contributions, in-kind contributions, business, employment or educational opportunities, discounts, service, commissions or credit.

    *(Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011, Section 4 –

  • Country

    is about people, place and planet. It is about the land, waters and skies, and all living things. Country is about all times, the past, present and future. It is about Dreamings, Songlines and the Creation Spirits. Country connects First Nations Peoples to place and ancient systems of knowledges. Country guides obligations for protecting cultural places, the land and the environment, and the importance of these for the wellbeing of all people and the planet.

  • 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. 

  • 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, major (HE) or specialisation (VET).

  • Course deactivation

    The course status change on CAMS when a course or major in teach out is clear of all student obligations.

  • 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 Review

    Course review includes the design and content of each course of study, the expected learning outcomes, the methods for assessment of those outcomes, the extent of students’ achievement of learning outcomes, and also takes account of emerging developments in the field of education, modes of delivery, the changing needs of students and identified risks to the quality of the course of study. 

  • Course Suspension

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

  • Course transition

    The process of transitioning students from a superseded course to a current course. 

  • 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 time required to achieve a qualification and may be through credit transfer, recognition of prior learning or academic credit.

  • Credit Arrangements

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

  • Credit Transfer

    is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for completed components of a course of study. This may be based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched courses of study, or the completion of units of competency or skillsets evidenced by AQF certification documentation or authenticated VET transcripts.


    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.

  • Crisis

    Any emergency or critical incident that is beyond the capacity or the delegated authority of the campus emergency response or business continuity response, to successfully manage, or a series of events that have the potential to seriously damage the University’s operations or reputation.

  • Critical Incident

    A Critical Incident is a traumatic or tragic event or situation, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia) affecting a student or staff member within the University community, which is of a sufficient size, type or complexity (or has the potential) to require or warrant a coordinated whole of University response. Critical incidents are not limited to but could include:

    • death (including the death of a dependant residing in Australia for an international student)
    • serious injury preventing or severely affecting a student’s ability to continue with a course
    • severe verbal or psychological aggression
    • natural disaster
    • domestic violence, sexual assault, drug or alcohol abuse.

    *Note: a critical incident may involve an emergency or a non-emergency situation such as a business continuity interruption, or a transition between these two situations.

  • Critical Incident Team

    Responsible for providing executive decisions on University priorities when responding to, recovering and learning from critical incidents. 

  • Cross-Institutional Study

    Where students from one higher education provider in Australia undertake subjects with another provider, and has this study credited towards the course requirements at their home institution.

  • CSP

    Commonwealth Supported Place.

  • Cultural Safety

    An environment that is safe for people: where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience of learning, living and working together with dignity and truly listening.

  • Current Attendance

    Attendance within current 2 weeks.

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  • Decolonisation

    is a process of reframing and revising matters from the perspective of First Nations Peoples. Decolonising a university requires uprooting institutional racism through truth-telling and incorporating cultural knowledge and practices.

  • Deferment

    An agreement to allow an applicant to defer taking up the place they have been offered until a later time.

  • Direct Applications

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

  • Direct Discrimination

    Direct discrimination occurs if a person treats, or proposes to treat, a person with a protected attribute unfavourably because of that attribute.

  • 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.

  • Dispossession

    is the effect of the systematic denial of truth and human rights and the persistent experience of disrespect and devaluing of a person’s cultural way of being. 

  • Diversity

    Diversity involves recognising the value of individual differences in the educational setting and in the workplace. Diversity in this context includes, age, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, family responsibilities, gender, language, religious belief and sexual orientation. Diversity also refers to the other ways in which people are different, such as educational level, life experience, work experience, socio-economic background, personality and marital status.


    Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions.

  • 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.

  • Domestic Student

    A person who is an Australian or New Zealand citizen or holder of an Australian Permanent Resident Visa (including humanitarian visas).

  • Double Degree

    Comprises two individually approved Victoria University Awards at the same Australian Qualifications 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 (HE only)

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

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    ELICOS student record management database.


    Equivalent full-time student load.

  • Elective

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


    English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students

  • ELICOS Study Period

    A unit of study ten weeks/200 hours in duration. 

  • Emergency

    An emergency is a sudden, unexpected event that requires an  immediate response from internal and external emergency services, that threatens the:

    • Health, safety or wellbeing of people.
    • Integrity or loss of infrastructure or other property including the reputation of the University.
    • Environment.
  • Emergency Control Organisation

    Person or persons appointed by the Emergency Planning Committee to direct and control the implementation of the facilities emergency response procedures.

  • Emergency Operations Centre

    Is a defined facility which provides members of the Critical Incident Team and essential services staff with the physical and technological resources to effectively fulfil their role to manage an effective response to an emergency or critical incident.

  • Emergency Planning Committee

    Committee of persons responsible for the documentation and maintenance of the emergency plan including the establishment and maintenance of the University's Emergency Control Organisation and Critical Incident Response Groups which report to the Critical Incident Team.

  • Employee

    For FBT purposes, Employee includes current, future or former employees. An employee is generally someone who receives, or is entitled to receive, salary and wages in return for work or services provided, or for work under a contract that is wholly or principally for person’s labour. For FBT purposes, “employees” includes company directors, office holders, common law employees and recipients of compensation payments.

  • 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.

  • Equity

    Equity relates to fair treatment. Our equity objective is to ensure that people from all groups in society have the opportunity to participate successfully in post-secondary education. This includes (but is not limited to) Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, women in areas of under-representation, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people from lower socio-economic and rural backgrounds.

  • Excluded Fringe Benefits

    These are benefits that are excluded from the reportable fringe benefits arrangements. For example, meal entertainment and car parking benefits.

  • 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.

  • Extenuating Circumstances Relating to the Welfare of the Student

    Circumstances which have an impact upon a student’s course, engagement or health or wellbeing of themselves or others.

  • 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. 

  • External Referencing

    A process through which a higher education provider compares an aspect of its operations with an external comparator(s) e.g. comparing the design of a course of study and/or student achievement of learning outcomes with that of a course from another provider.

  • External Supervisors

    Supervisors who do not hold an ongoing or contract of one year of more at Victoria University (VU). For the purposes of Graduate Research supervision academics holding adjunct or honorary appointments are considered to be external supervisors.

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  • Fee

    The price established for delivery of all or part of a student’s educational experience at VU, including tuition and non-tuition fees.


    A government loan scheme for students studying in a full-fee place.

  • File Sharing

    The uploading to a website, or direct provision via messaging or social media, of a person's completed assessment tasks for a unit of study (whether they have been marked or not, and whether from the current year of study or earlier).

  • Fine

    A disincentive charge levied to encourage students to perform actions in a timely and appropriate manner (e.g. library fines, late enrolment fines.)

  • First Nations Peoples

    are the original inhabitants and owners of Australia’s lands, skies and waters.

  • 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.

  • Foundation Courses

    Refers to VU’s foundation studies courses and units, which are non-award courses for students who wish to develop skills and transition into higher education, vocational education courses, or employment.

  • Fraud

    Any dishonest activity causing actual or potential financial loss to any person or entity, including theft of moneys or other property, by staff or persons external to the University and where deception is used at the time, immediately before or immediately following the activity.

    This also includes the deliberate falsification, concealment, destruction or use of falsified documentation used or intended for use for a normal business purpose or the improper use of information or position for personal financial benefit*.

    The theft of property by a person or persons internal to the University but where deception is not used is also considered ‘fraud’ for the purposes of the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Procedure.

    *(Australian Standard AS 8001-2008 Fraud and Corruption Control, page 15 -

  • Fringe Benefit

    Is a non-cash incentive paid to an employee on top of their salary or wages. For example, salary packaging of vehicle leasing (novated), gym membership at University gymnasiums and locker hire, University campus parking fees etc.

  • Full-time Study

    At least three quarters of the standard full-time load for tertiary students during a study period.

  • Fully Enclosed Office

    An office that has a lockable door and where all of the partitions forming the office run from floor to ceiling.

  • Further Education (FE)

    Training and programs focused on core skills education: literacy, numeracy, English language, employability and digital skills. It also covers preparation and contextualised learning for study and work. It encompasses the accredited Certificates of General Education (CGEA).

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  • Gender Affirmation

    A personal process where a trans or gender diverse person implements steps to live as their defined or affirmed gender identity, rather than the gender assigned to them at birth. Transition may involve social, medical/surgical and/or legal steps that affirm a person’s gender.

  • 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.

  • General Space

    Usable space or room which is not scheduled for timetabled classes and may be utilised for training, events, meetings or other activities including office space and ancillary areas.

  • Gifts

    Gifts are free or discounted items and any item that would generally be seen by the public as a gift. These include items of high value (e.g. artwork, jewellery, or expensive pens), low value (e.g. small bunch of flowers) and consumables (e.g. chocolates).

  • GPA (Grade Point Average)

    A grade point average is the average result of all grades achieved by a student during a course of study.

  • Graduate Certificate in Block Teaching

    Postgraduate teaching certificate is designed for all educators at schools, universities, TAFE, and other tertiary institutions.

  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)

    The GST is a broad-based consumption tax of 10% per cent on most supplies of goods and services consumed in Australia.

  • GST Input tax credit

    This is the entitlement to claim GST included in the purchase price of many goods and services used in the business.

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  • Harassment

    The act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. Harassment includes actions such as stalking.

  • Health and Safety Representative (HSR)

    A Health and Safety Representative (HSR) is a person who has been elected by his or her co-workers to represent them on OHS issues.


    A government loan scheme for students studying in a Commonwealth Supported place.

  • 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.

  • Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Candidate

    A candidate enrolled in a higher degree by research who has achieved confirmation of candidature. 

  • Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student

    A student enrolled in a higher degree by research who has not yet achieved confirmation of candidature.

  • Higher Education (HE)

    Universities and higher education institutions listed in subdivision 16-B of Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and providers as determined by the Minister under section 16-25 of the HESA.

  • Honorary Degree

    An honorary award conferred upon an individual who has achieved eminence in an area of education or research (whether or not the person has graduated at a university) or is distinguished by eminent community service, outstanding achievement or given distinguished service to the University.

  • Hospitality

    is the friendly reception and entertainment of guests. Hospitality may range from light refreshments at a business meeting to restaurant meals and sponsored travel and accommodation. 

  • Host Employer

    Organisation/business providing supervised workplace experience for VET students.

  • 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.

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  • Improper Conduct

    For the purposes of the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Procedure and public interest disclosures*, improper conduct is conduct that is corrupt, a substantial mismanagement of public resources, or conduct involving substantial risk to public health or safety or to the environment. The conduct must be serious enough to constitute, if proved, a criminal offence or reasonable grounds for dismissal.

    Misconduct in public office is included as a type of improper conduct, for purposes of the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Procedure.

    *(What is a public interest disclosure? IBAC

  • Incident

    An incident is any event, occurrence, or circumstances that may give rise to such an event, and that causes or has the potential to cause any of the following:

    • Disruption of the delivery of core University services relating to research, teaching or learning.
    • Disruption of the delivery of support services provided to the University community.
    • Threaten the reputation of the University, or by implication threatens a loss of brand value.
    • Loss of confidence of partners and other key relationships.
    • Threaten the integrity, availability, or security of data, information and intellectual property.
    • Damage to, or loss of property owned by, or in the control of the University.
    • Loss, accidental or deliberate, of University funds.
    • Adverse financial impacts on third parties arising from the activities of the University.
    • Compliance breach involving legislation, regulation, codes of practice, or University policy.
  • Incident Classification

    The University will use a risk based critical incident classification and escalation process in alignment with the University’s risk assessment matrix.

    Critical incidents are classified into three levels of escalation:

    1. Minor event - a minor incident or minor injury, with a localised impact on staff, students or visitors and may entail minor property damage. The incident is contained and is unlikely to escalate in severity. It is usually handled by the emergency response team using normal operating procedures.

    2. Moderate event - an incident or event, which has a localised impact on University operations and may threaten life or property, or could potentially escalate to a major incident. A moderate event might include death or serious injury. A moderate event may involve the activation of an emergency response and or the Crisis Incident Team (CIT).

    3. Major event - an incident or event that has a high impact or imminent severe adverse effect on University operations stemming from an emergency or business continuity failure. This necessitates the activation of the CIT.

  • Indirect Discrimination

    Indirect discrimination occurs if a person imposes, or proposes to impose, a requirement, condition or practice:

    1. that has, or is likely to have, the effect of disadvantaging persons with a protected attribute; and
    2. that is not reasonable.
  • Industry Experience

    Remunerated or non-remunerated work in an organisation within an occupational sector relevant to the study for a TAFE or Higher Education award of the University. Active participation in or completion of such experience is often a mandatory requirement for the issuing of the award.

  • Industry Recognition

    A form of non-mandatory industry recognition that is undertaken at the discretion of the University. 

  • 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.

  • Inherent Requirements

    Inherent requirements are the fundamental abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours necessary to achieve the learning outcomes of a course while preserving the academic and vocational  integrity of the University's learning, assessment and accreditation processes.

  • Institutional racism

    is racism that is embedded into social systems and institutions. Typically, institutions are set up to privilege those in power, and on ideas that white ways and knowledge are superior. Institutional racism manifests in the failure to deliver equal outcomes to all people.

  • Internal Pathway

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

  • 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.

  • International Student (Onshore)

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

  • Intersectionality

    Intersectionality refers to the ways in which different aspects of a person’s identity can expose them to overlapping forms of discrimination and marginalisation. Aspects of a person's identity can include social characteristics such as Aboriginality, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, colour, nationality, refugee or asylum seeker background, migration or visa status, language, religion, ability, age, mental health, socioeconomic status, housing status, geographic location, medical record, criminal record, etc.

    Attitudes, systems and structures in society and organisations can interact to create inequality and result in exclusion. These include: sexism, racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, intersex discrimination, ableism, ageism, stigma.

    When these aspects or characteristics combine, there is a greater risk of people experiencing [disadvantage]; people find it harder to get the help they need due to systemic barriers and there is increased risk of social isolation.

  • IT Facilities and Services

    Including but not limited to computer labs, equipment, software, operating systems, business systems and applications, data storage, communication facilities and accessories (voice, video and data), network accounts, network services, email accounts and central archive, web browsing, mobile phones and hand held devices.

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  • Joint Award (HE only)

    The awarding of a single qualification, recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework, which is jointly conferred by Victoria University and one or more institutions.  In such arrangements, each institution delivers their own units / content.

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  • Leave of Absence

    Leave of Absence is an approved break in course enrolment, requested by or on behalf of the student.

  • 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.

  • Literacy and Numeracy (LN)

    Literacy and numeracy assessment against the ACSF (Australian Core Skills Framework), conducted using an approved tool. 

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  • 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.

  • Mandatory Reporter(s)

    Persons who have a mandatory reporting obligation as set out in Part 4.4 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic). Persons include (but not limited to) registered teachers; school principals; registered medical practitioners; nurses including midwives; police officers; registered psychologists; early childhood workers; youth justice workers, and out of home care workers.

  • Merchant

    Any person or department/business unit that accepts payment cards as payment for goods and/or services.

  • Micro-credential

    An assessed certification of an individual’s discrete learning and achievements. Micro-credentials are often aligned to industry or other professional needs and, in some instances, can be combined to provide credit towards formal qualifications.

  • Micro-credential stack

    A cohesive group of micro-credentials, intentionally designed to achieve an overarching description and set of learning outcomes, which may be counted together for credit towards an AQF award course.

  • Minor

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

  • Misconduct in Public Office

    For the purposes of the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Procedure and mandatory notification to the IBAC, misconduct in public office is established if:

    a. A public officer in the course of, or connected to, their public office wilfully misconducts themselves whether by act or omission, without any reasonable excuses or justification; and

    b. The misconduct is serious and meriting criminal punishment having regard to the responsibilities of the public office, the importance of the public objects they serve and the nature and extent of the departure from those responsibilities and objects*.

    Misconduct in public office is included as a type of improper conduct, for purposes of the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Procedure.

    *(Mandatory Notifications, Frequently Asked Questions

  • Mode of Study

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

  • Moral Rights

    These are personal legal rights belonging to the creators of copyright works and cannot be transferred, assigned or sold. They ensure that the creators of works are correctly attributed and the works are not treated in a derogatory way, that is, the 'integrity' of the work is upheld.

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  • 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.

  • Non-Tuition Fee

    The price established for delivering a student’s educational experience at VU, excluding tuition fees and fines. These may include ancillary and course materials fees (associated with the provision of services and/or goods retained by the student for use during their course), Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF), and other fees and charges (e.g. parking fees). International Students should refer to Section 7(3) of the Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019 for further guidance.

  • Notice in Writing

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

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  • 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.

  • OHS Issue

    Any health and safety related matter that is raised.

  • Online Delivery

    Study where the teacher and student primarily communicate through digital media, technological based tools and IT networks and does not require the student to attend scheduled classes or maintain contact hours


    Financial Assistance to eligible CSP to undertake part of their course of study overseas. Not eligible for remission.

  • Overall Attendance

    Attendance from beginning of the course date until the end of the course date as listed on a student’s Confirmation of Enrolment.

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  • Part-time Study

    Any study load enrolled below the minimum rate for full-time study during a study period.

  • 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 achieved.

  • PAYG (Pay As You Go)

    Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding is the system whereby payers (e.g. the University) withhold amounts from payments to payees (e.g. businesses) and send the withheld amounts to the Australian Taxation Office.

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)

    A set of industry security standards to mitigate the risks by entities who process, store and/or transmit cardholder data.

  • Persons Involved in Research

    Researcher (including adjunct, honorary and visiting staff), research mentor, graduate researcher, research trainee, and technical and other support staff when directly involved in research.

  • Physical containment level 1 (PC1)

    A PC1 facility is suitable for work with microorganisms that have been designated Risk Group 1. In addition, samples originally designated Risk Group 2 that have subsequently been fixed or inactivated may be handled in PC1 facilities.

  • Physical containment level 2 (PC2)

    A PC2 facility is suitable for work with biohazardous material that have been designated Risk Group 2 or below.

  • Plagiarism

    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.

  • Police Check

    Formal National Police Certificate from the Victorian Police (or the Police of another jurisdiction, where that is relevant) of disclosable court outcomes and any pending matters against a particular person.

  • Practical Placement (VET)

    A required or assessable component of a qualification that is intended to develop job related skills in the area of the particular post-secondary course. It is undertaken by VU’s VET students and is only conducted when it is a requirement of a qualification, as specified in the relevant Training Package, accredited course curriculum or by a professional body for the purposes of accreditation.

  • Prayer Room

    A room set aside for prayer or reflection.

  • Pre-Candidature

    A period of enrolment prior to the student achieving confirmation of candidature.

  • Pre-Training Review

    The process undertaken to determine the most suitable and appropriate training product based on the individual’s current competencies, existing educational attainment, literacy and numeracy skills, capabilities, aspirations and interests with due consideration of the likely job outcomes from the development of new competencies and skills.

  • 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.

  • Principal Investigator

    The person named as the Principal Investigator or Primary Chief Investigator on a project or, if no one is named, the person with the overall responsibility for the project. Where there are more than one principal or chief investigators, the first named principal investigator or primary chief investigator, is considered to be the person responsible for the project.

  • Principal Supervisor

    The primary academic supervisor of a research student, recognised as the academic leader of the candidate’s supervisory team. A principal supervisor must be a doctorally qualified member of staff who is research active in a field or discipline relevant to the candidate’s research.


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

  • Professional Accreditation

    Accreditation intended to ensure that a course of study meets essential criteria in the training and education of its students in the relevant professional discipline, and that graduates from that discipline achieve the professional competencies and learning outcomes necessary for entry into the relevant level of professional practice.  Courses must be accredited by the relevant accrediting body for course graduates to be registered or otherwise licensed to practice in a regulated profession.

  • Professional Degrees

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

  • Proof of Compliance

    Evidence of PCI DSS compliance from a third party vendor which may include the following: Attestation of Compliance; relevant sections of their Report on Compliance; Self-Assessment Questionnaire; ASV Scan Report Attestation of Scan Compliance; approval from University’s banker.

  • Protected Attributes

    Personal attributes, on the basis of which discrimination is unlawful. These are as listed in Section 6 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.

  • 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.

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  • Racism

    is the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, economic, intellectual and cultural violence and dispossession of First Nations Peoples. Racism occurs in various forms including personal and institutional racism.

  • Reasonable Adjustment

    Any adjustment to be made by the university modifying the work environment to accommodate the needs of employees with disability, injury or illness. An adjustment is a reasonable adjustment unless making the adjustment would impose an unjustifiable hardship on the person or organisation.

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

    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.

  • Refund

    The repayment of monies owing by the University to a student.

  • 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. 

  • Relocation Expenses

    Refers to the personal expenses incurred by an appointee in relocating to Melbourne to take up a position at the University.

  • Research

    The creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative. This definition of research encompasses pure and oriented basic research, applied research and experimental development. This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development (R&D) comprising creative work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge.

    Activities that do not meet 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 in R&D projects)
    v.    literature reviews that do not include any critical assessment or report any new findings or original experimental work
    vi.    commercial, legal and administrative aspects of patenting, plant breeders rights, copyright, material transfer agreements or intellectual property licensing, option and assignment activities, and royalties
    vii.    routine computer programming, systems work or software maintenance.

  • Research Mentor

    Anyone involved in the professional development and supervision of other researchers, including graduate researchers.

  • Research Misconduct

    A serious breach of the Australian Code which is also intentional, reckless, wilful, repetitive or negligent.

  • Research Space

    All spaces under the stewardship of VU Research comprised of either general and/or specialist space which may include the use of specialist equipment for a broad spectrum of research disciplines, including science, engineering, sports, and health.

  • Research supervisor

    The Chief Principal Investigator (see definition) and, if different, the person responsible for the training, development, academic support or mentoring of a researcher or research trainee. In the case of a student project, the research supervisor is a nominated supervisor on the project

  • Research Trainee

    A person who is new to research, a research assistant, or Higher Degree Research  candidates undertaking or involved in research.

  • Research Training

    Occurs when an academic staff member has the responsibility as a registered research supervisor for overseeing the development of a researcher who is enrolled in an HDR program of the University (e.g. Research Doctorate or Research Masters).

  • Research-intensive

    Academic staff whose role means that a major or the primary focus of their work is research (defined as a workload of >50% devoted to research). It is expected that such research-intensive staff will contribute to teaching and research training through supervision and instruction of research postgraduate students.

  • Researcher

    A person who undertakes, produces or performs research.

  • Respondent

    A person about whom a complaint is made.

  • 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.

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    Government loan scheme to cover student services and amenities fee. Not eligible for remission.

  • 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.

  • Same / similar discipline

    Refers to a prior qualification or studies that is demonstrably the same as or very similar to the discipline to the one for which a person seeks academic credit

  • 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.

  • 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 Officers

    VU teaching staff who have been authorised by the teaching managers to complete the selection process for VE applicants.

  • 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.

  • Sexual Assault

    A range of unwanted sexual behaviors,  whichconstitute a crime, whereby a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts without their consent, including when they have withdrawn their consent. This includes:

    • Rape
    • Indecent assault (sexual acts that involve touching but not penetration)
    • Any sexual contact with a child
    • Sexual servitude
    • unwanted sexual behaviour not involving touching, eg. forcing someone to witness a sex act
  • Sexual Harassment

    Unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, and which a reasonable person having regard to all the circumstances would have anticipated as likely to cause offence, humiliate or intimidate.

  • Short Program

    A short program (usually Summer/Winter) with fees paid to host institution.

  • Site Emergency Management Plan

    The written documentation of the emergency arrangement for a facility generally made during the planning process. It consists of the preparedness, prevention and response activities and includes the agreed emergency roles, responsibilities, strategies, systems and arrangements.

  • Skills First

    Reforms of the training and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) sector, builds on the Victorian Government’s commitment to the training and TAFE system. Funding for the training and TAFE system.

  • Social Inclusion

    Social inclusion refers to a program of measures to overcome social exclusion and promote social justice. Victoria University's social inclusion strategies work in partnership with the community and contribute towards reducing disadvantage, increasing the ability of people to participate in the life and work of the community and to have their voices heard.

  • Social Justice

    Social inclusion refers to a program of measures to overcome social exclusion and promote social justice. Victoria University's social inclusion strategies work in partnership with the community and contribute towards reducing disadvantage, increasing the ability of people to participate in the life and work of the community and to have their voices heard.

  • Social Media

    Broadly describes online platforms that are used to share information, comments, opinions and media files.  Typical examples include but are not limited to: Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube; online comments in blogs and news articles; Wikipedia; online forums, discussion boards and groups; podcasts; geo-spatial tagging and online multiplayer gaming platforms.

  • Sovereignty

    is a nation or party with the authority to exercise decisions and to self-govern. First Nations Peoples have the inherent right to self-determination and self-government.

  • Space Allocation

    Includes the initial allocation of new space, reallocation of existing space, allocation of additional space or conversion of allocated space from one user to another.

  • Space Management

    The management of the University’s space inventory including: tracking and maintaining departmental space and occupancy information, monitoring and maintaining data on space usage, and projecting and forecasting future requirements.

  • Specialisation (HE)

    A HE specialisation consists of 48 credit points of study within a postgraduate degree.

  • Specialisation (VET)

    A VE specialisation is an approved award title on the national register, where a combination of electives defines the award title in selected courses.

  • Specialist Space

    Includes all spaces with specialist function including but not limited to: laboratories and associated spaces, sporting facilities, clinical spaces, dangerous goods stores, temperature controlled spaces, animal accommodation and any space not including generalist teaching space or generic office space.

  • Specified Credit

    Specified credit is granted for one or more specific units in a course, exempting students from those units and awarding the appropriate credit points in their place. Specified credit may be granted where the applicant has met the learning outcomes, attained the knowledge and/or developed the skills related to a specific unit.  The result for that unit is not transferred and credit only is indicated on the academic transcript.

  • Sport Club

    The club must be a recognised body that conducts regular sporting competitions or organises regular activity. Often these clubs align with Unisport Australia or Sport Australia recognised sports.

  • Staff

    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.

  • Statement of Attainment

    A formal digital or hardcopy document issued by VU when an individual has completed one or more units of competency from nationally recognised qualification(s) or accredited courses.

  • 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 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); and
    • who have applied for and been granted Affiliation.
  • Student Exchange

    Approved study with an Exchange Partner institution. Fees paid to VU.

  • Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)

    A fee charged to support services and amenities to onshore students subject to Government legislation e.g. sport, recreation, counselling and childcare.

  • Study Abroad

    Approved study with an overseas institution. Fees paid to the host institution.

  • 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.

  • Study Tour

    An academic-led program leading a group of students travelling overseas, usually for two to four weeks.

  • Suspend

    To suspend enrolment means to temporarily place studies on hold after enrolment has commenced. 

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  • Tax Invoice

    A document generally issued by the supplier and containing information about a taxable supply. It shows the price of a supply, indicating whether it includes GST, and may show the amount of GST. It must also show other information, including the ABN of the supplier.

  • Teaching Space

    All spaces which can be scheduled for timetabled classes and are used for teaching and learning activities including lecturing, collaborative, individual, informal and other indoor and outdoor learning spaces.


    Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency is an Australian government agency that regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s higher education sector.

  • Testamur

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

  • Third Party Arrangements

    A third-party arrangement is a formal agreement between VU and one or more educational institutions for the purposes of the partner institution wholly or partly delivering VU units or courses on VU's behalf.

  • Timely Duration

    The normal period of time, deemed by the Commonwealth, for the degree level to be completed, i.e: minimum of 3 years (EFT) and to a maximum of 4 years (EFT) for doctoral degrees (at the discretion of the University) and for a maximum of 2 years for a Research Masters (EFT) (at the discretion of the University).

  • Training and assessment strategies and practices

    Training and assessment strategies and practices are the approach of, and method adopted by, an RTO with respect to training and assessment designed to enable learners to meet the requirements of the training package or accredited course.

  • 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.

  • Training Product

    Any qualification, skill set, unit of competency, accredited short course and module that is listed on Victoria University’s Scope of Registration.

  • Treaty

    is a formal, legal agreement between nations or parties that define their relationship and establishes rights and obligations between them.

  • Truth-telling

    is bringing truth to light. It is the process of extracting and documenting Australia’s history and the experiences of First Nations Peoples, from the standpoint of First Nations Peoples. Truth-telling reaps perspectives to revise recordings of Australian history and the impact of past and present colonisation and racism.

  • Tuition Fee

    The fees payable by a student to the University which is directly related to the teaching and assessment for a course or unit in which a student is enrolled.  International Students should refer to Section 7(2) of the Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019 for further guidance.

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  • Unique Student Identifier (USI)

    The Unique Student Identifier (USI) is a reference number made up of ten numbers and letters that creates a secure online record of recognised training and qualifications gained in Australia.

  • 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.

  • Universal Design

    Means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design. “Universal design” includes assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where this is needed.

  • University

    Refers to Victoria University.

  • University Incident Controller

    A senior officer appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to lead the Critical Incident Team, and to take overall direction and control of a critical incident.

  • Unjustifiable hardship

    In determining whether a hardship is an unjustifiable hardship, all relevant circumstances must be taken into account, including the following:
    a.the nature of the benefit or detriment likely to accrue to, or to be suffered by, any person concerned, including any wider community benefit;
    b.the effect of the disability of any person concerned; and
    c.the financial circumstances, and the estimated amount of expenditure required to be made.

    The burden of proving that something would impose unjustifiable hardship lies on the person or organisation claiming unjustifiable hardship.

  • Unspecified Credit

    Credit granted towards components of a qualification or program of learning, such as minor studies where options exists or where block credit is applied, but the credit is not applied against a specific unit/s.

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  • VET

    Vocational Education and Training. 

  • VET accredited course

    A course accredited by the VET regulator in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses.


    A former government loan scheme for students studying in a VET program. This has now been superseded by VET Student Loans.

  • VET Student Loans

    VET Student Loans offer income contingent loan support to eligible students studying certain diploma level and above vocational education and training qualifications. 

  • 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.

  • Vocational Education (VE)

    VET provides skills and knowledge for work through a national system of registered training organisations, provided by a network of industry, public and private training providers that work together to provide nationally consistent training across Australia. Registered VET training organisations are listed on

  • VU Block Model Academic Induction Program

    Onboarding and education of VU Block Model to support all new academic teaching staff.

  • VU Block Model Professional Learning Program (VUBMPLP)

    Professional Learning Program to support the VU Block Model learning and teaching for all VU academic staff.

  • VU Extra Transcript

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

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  • Washing

    The use of Google Translate or similar tools to translate a plagiarised assessment task into another language and then back again into English, or where text/word spinning is used. This process involves automatically substituted generated synonyms and phrases and creating an ostensibly "new" document.

  • Wellbeing

    A state in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.

  • Work Integrated Learning (HE)

    Activities which engage students in authentic professional practice, to build disciplinary knowledge, skills and understanding, and which are embedded in curriculum that integrates such activities with disciplinary theory; or which are embedded within Training Packages and Accredited Curriculum.

  • Work Space Area

    All shared and open-plan work areas and associated circulation space, breakout space, print rooms, meeting rooms, kitchens/tea rooms/staff rooms, reception areas, storage and other areas used to support work areas’ accommodation.

  • Working with Children Check

    A screening process that examines a person’s suitability to work or volunteer in activities that involve persons under 18 years of age. In Victoria, these checks are conducted by the Department of Justice and Community Safety.