Withdrawal without Penalty (Coursework)

Withdrawal without Penalty (Coursework)

SUMMARY

The Withdrawal without Penalty (Coursework) Procedure establishes the steps to lodge and process an application to withdraw from a unit after the Census Date without academic and/or financial penalty due to serious and unavoidable disruption.

PROCEDURE

1     PURPOSE

To outline the steps to lodge and process an application to withdraw from a unit after the Census Date without academic and/or financial penalty due to serious and unavoidable disruption.

2     SCOPE

This procedure applies to all coursework and honours students of Macquarie University, including students undertaking non-award study or admitted to the Bachelor of Philosophy or Master of Research, and to staff involved in the academic administration of coursework and honours study.

3     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the accompanying Policy.

4     RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIRED ACTIONS

A student may withdraw from an enrolled unit at any time prior to Census Date without penalty.

Students who withdraw from a unit after the unit Census Date are liable for the relevant unit fees.

Students who withdraw from a unit after the Last Day to Withdraw Without Academic Penalty, incur both:

  • a liability for the unit fees
  • an academic penalty where the unit from which they have withdrawn is recorded with an F (Fail) grade.

If a student experienced serious and unavoidable disruption to their studies, they may apply for withdrawal without academic penalty and/or financial penalty provided they evidence their claim.

International students should refer to the International Fee Refund Policy when requesting to withdraw without financial penalty.

This procedure requires actions by the following:

  • Commonwealth Loans Scheme Officer
  • Student Administration Officer (Lifecycle)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar
  • Head, Student Administration
  • Director Operations, Office of Financial Services (OFS)
  • Finance Officer, Macquarie International
  • Faculty Executive Dean / Director MUIC
  • Unit Convenor
  • Student

The steps in this procedure include:

  • Withdraw without Academic and/or Financial Penalty
  • Submit Evidence of Unavoidable Disruption
  • Process Application
  • Assess Application
  • Assess and Process Refund
  • Consider Appeal

HEAD STUDENT ADMINISTRATION
Ensure all requirements, timelines and associated forms are published and available to students and staff.

STUDENT
For an application to be considered, the timing of the impact of the event or circumstances must have been evident after Census date or become substantially worse after Census date such that it made it impossible to continue in your studies.

Withdraw Without Academic and/or Financial Penalty
You may wish to withdraw from a unit of study after the Census Date due to serious and unavoidable disruption.    The online Application to Withdraw from Unit(s) without Academic Penalty and/ or Financial Penalty form must be completed by the student through www.ask.mq.edu.au.  International students need to additionally request a fee refund according to the International Fee Refund Policy.

You are additionally encouraged to seek academic advice from your Faculty Student Services Centre and/or counselling support from Campus Wellbeing.

Submit and retain Evidence of Serious and Unavoidable DisruptionAll available supporting documentation must be submitted electronically at the time of submitting the Application to Withdraw from Unit(s) without Academic Penalty and/ or Financial Penalty form.
Determination of whether the disruption meets the Serious and Unavoidable criteria will commence once supporting documentation has been supplied.
The University reserves the right to request and retain the originals of supporting documentation and will conduct regular audits of supporting documentation submitted electronically. 
Requests for original documentation will be sent to the student’s University email address within six (6) months of notification of a serious and unavoidable disruption by the student.
Students must therefore retain all original documentation for this six (6) month period and must supply original documents to the University within ten (10) working days of such a request being made. 
All documentation (in hardcopy or electronic form) relating to an application to withdraw without Academic and/or Financial penalty will be treated in accordance with the University’s Privacy Framework.

Medical Reasons

Where the unavoidable disruption is of a medical nature you must attach a medical certificate or Professional Authority Form (PAF) to your application noting that the information required by the University to consider your withdrawal application includes:

  • the health professional’s provider number
  • the date of consultation(s)
  • the impact that the circumstances may have had on your ability to continue in your tertiary study
  • the severity (serious/not serious) of the condition, and
  • the duration of the condition including the date it first became evident.

Note: it is not necessary for the University to know the specific nature or details of a medical condition, rather, how it has affected your studies.

Employment Reasons
Where the unavoidable disruption pertains to the unanticipated demands of employment, you must include a  signed letter from your employer with the following:

  • the date when employment circumstances changed
  • the type of and impact that the change in circumstances may have had on your ability to continue tertiary study
  • the duration of the change in circumstances including the date it first became evident
  • contact details of your employer. 

If you manage your own business, you must provide a Statutory Declaration declaring:

  • the date when business circumstances changed
  • the type of impact that the change in circumstances may have had on your ability to continue tertiary study
  • the duration of the change in circumstances including the date it first became evident.

Other
Where the unavoidable disruption is neither medical nor a consequence of employment, documentation must be attached to the application, indicating:

  • the date these circumstances first became evident and made their impact
  • the type of and impact that the circumstances may have had on your ability to continue tertiary study
  • the duration of the change in circumstances.

STUDENT ADMINISTRATION OFICER (LIFECYCLE)

Process Application
Consider all applications according to legislation and/or University policy.

Application for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty

  1. Receive and log the application according to University procedures.
  2. Ensure that the application is complete and that it includes satisfactory supporting documentation/evidence.
  3. Where an application is incomplete inform the student and request additional information as necessary. The claim may be rejected at this point if satisfactory evidence cannot be provided.
  4. Once all relevant information is received, withdraw the student from the unit under consideration, within the student system.
  5. Advise the student on the relevant template, that the application has been received and the grade has been amended to ‘F’ (Fail), and of the next steps in the process.
  6. Determine whether the event or circumstances pertaining to unavoidable disruption meets the requirements of criteria:
    1. could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student, and
    2. was beyond the student’s control.
  7. If the evidence does not confirm (a) and (b) above, advise the student in writing, explaining why their application has been unsuccessful.
  8. If the evidence confirms (a) and (b) above, forward the student’s application to the relevant Head of Department or nominee to consider clause (c), (d) and (e) of the serious and unavoidable disruption definition.
  9. Receive the Executive Dean’s / Director MUICs or nominee assessment.
  10. If the application has then satisfied clauses (a) to (e) of the serious and unavoidable disruption definition and the grade has not already been ratified by University Council, amend the student record for the relevant unit to status W (withdrawn).
    If the grade has been ratified, forward the application to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar for approval to amend the grade to status W (withdrawn).
  11. Receive the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar decision.
    If the application is approved, amend the grade to status W (withdrawn).
  12. Provide confirmation to the student of the outcome of their application for withdrawal without academic penalty explaining why if their application was unsuccessful.
  13. All correspondence to the student will be electronic – either via the web and/or via the student’s official email address.

Application for Withdrawal Without Financial Penalty

  1. Receive and log the application according to University procedures.
  2. Ensure that the application is complete and that it includes satisfactory supporting documentation/evidence.
  3. Where an application is incomplete inform the student and request additional information as necessary. The claim may be rejected at this point if satisfactory evidence cannot be provided.
  4. Forward the application for consideration to the relevant Officer:
    • Coursework Commonwealth Loans Scheme Officer,  or
    • International students - Finance Manager, Macquarie International, or
    • Non-award students to: Manager, Revenue Services, OFS.
  5. The relevant Officer will determine whether the circumstances outlined by the student and the evidence are consistent with the definition of serious and unavoidable disruption for the purpose of withdrawal without financial liability in accordance with the relevant legislation and/or University policy. 
  6. If the application is approved according to legislation and/or University policy, process the application to effectively remove the debt.
  7. If the application is denied according to legislation and/or University policy, inform the student explaining why it was unsuccessful.

UNIT CONVENOR

Assess Application
In accordance with the serious and unavoidable disruption definition, determine for each separate unit, whether the event or set of circumstances satisfies the following clauses:
(c) caused substantial disruption to the student’s capacity for effective study and/or the completion of required work to the extent that they were unfit to complete the unit

Record the assessment on the pro-forma explaining where the application successfully or unsuccessfully aligns with the definition of serious and unavoidable disruption.

Forward the assessment decision to the Lifecycle Team (Student Administration).

FACULTY EXECUTIVE DEAN / DIRECTOR MUIC

Ensure that the student’s application under section (c), (d) and (e) of the serious and unavoidable disruption definition have been considered according to the Withdrawal and Discontinuance (Coursework) Policy.

DEPUTY VICE-CHANCELLOR (ACADEMIC) AND REGISTRAR
If the grade has been ratified and the recommendation is to amend the grade, assess the case for withdrawal without academic penalty on the grounds of serious and unavoidable disruption definition. Notify the Lifecycle Team (Student Administration) whether or not the application is approved.

COMMONWEALTH LOANS SCHEME OFFICER

Assess and Process Refund

Consider and Process Remissions: Domestic Students –with no fees paid directly to the University

Consider the withdrawal without financial penalty for approval / non approval.
If approved:

  • arrange for relevant remission of HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, and/ or re-crediting of Student Learning Entitlement (SLE).
  • advise the student of the outcome of their application for withdrawal without financial penalty.

Process Commonwealth Supported Students – with fees paid to the University
On approval from the Director of Revenue Services, arrange for relevant remission of HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, and/or re-crediting of Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) in accordance with relevant legislation.

Advise the student of the outcome of their application for withdrawal without financial penalty.

DIRECTOR OPERATIONS, OFS

Consider and Approve Refunds/Remissions: Students–with fees paid directly to the University
Consider the withdrawal without financial penalty for approval / non approval.
If approved:

  • arrange the relevant refund, or
  • arrange the relevant remission of debt by advising the Commonwealth Loans Scheme Officer, and
  • advise the student of the outcome of their application for withdrawal without financial penalty.

FINANCE MANAGER MACQUARIE INTERNATIONAL

International Students
On approval from the Director of Revenue Services, arrange for a refund of tuition fees in accordance with the International Fee Refund Policy.

Advise the student of the outcome of their application for withdrawal without financial penalty.

DEPUTY VICE-CHANCELLOR (ACADEMIC) AND REGISTRAR

Consider Appeal
In exceptional circumstances a student may appeal their right for consideration of Withdraw without Academic and/or Financial Penalty on the basis of the following grounds:

  • University Policy and Procedures were not correctly followed;
  • New evidence is subsequently provided that may bear on the original decision.

Appeals must be submitted to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar within 14 days of the date of the letter advising the original decision.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar may consult with relevant stakeholders of the University in considering this and a decision will be considered against the criteria of serious and unavoidable disruption.

5     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Higher Education Support Act (HESA), 2003 (Cwlth)
The Administrative Information for Higher Education Providers: Student Support (AIEP), 2014 (Cwlth)
The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, 2000, amended 2010, (Cwlth)
The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students

6     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Disruption to Studies Policy / Procedure
International Fee Refund Policy
Recrediting of Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) Procedure
Refund of Up-Front Tuition Fees Procedure
Remission of HECS-HELP Procedure
Remission of FEE-HELP Procedure
Withdrawal and Discontinuance (Coursework) Policy

Forms
Application to Withdraw from Unit(s) without Academic Penalty and/ or Financial Penalty
Professional Authority Form (PAF)

7     NOTES

7.1
Contact Officer

Director, Academic Services

7.2
Implementation Officer
 
7.3
Approval Authority / Authorities

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar

7.4
Date Approved
4 August 2011
7.5
Date of Commencement
4 August 2011
7.6
Date for Review
August 2014
7.7
Documents Superseded by this Procedure
 
7.8
Amendment History

7 November 2017 – Updated Approval Authority from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Registrar) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar, updated Contact Officer to Director, Academic Services, changed reference for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Registrar) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar.
18 May 2016 – Links to application form updated to online form
1 April 2016 – updated disruption process, amended to reflect organisational structure, aligned with Policy Framework template
3 June 2014 - 3 June 2014 (AS Resolution14/53) – updated definition of ‘serious and unavoidable disruption’ to align with Disruption to Studies Policy
August 2012 – position titles updated

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