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MUIC Academic Progression Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy (MUIC Academic Progression Policy) specifies how Macquarie University manages progress requirements for students enrolled in the Macquarie University International College.

(2) Macquarie University International College courses are delivered under a teaching and learning model that is based on a study period called a Term. 

(3) A Term is eight (8) weeks in length: six (6) weeks of classes, one (1) week of examinations and one (1) week for result ratification and release.

(4) The intensive nature of the delivery model requires clearly articulated requirements for progression and the processes for supporting students.

(5) This Policy ensures compliance with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 by specifying how MUIC will monitor the progress of its overseas students to ensure that they are able to complete the course within the expected duration specified on their electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).

Scope

(6) This Policy applies to all domestic and international students undertaking studies at Macquarie University International College.

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Section 2 -  Policy

(7) To be successful in their course, students must demonstrate that they satisfy each Unit’s learning outcomes. Student’s progress in their Units and course will be monitored. Where a student is At Risk of not achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress in a Unit, MUIC will implement Intervention strategies to support the student (see ‘At Risk’ Monitoring).

(8) At the end of each Term, students will be assessed for the Minimum Rate of Progress (MRP). Students At Risk of not meeting MRP will be supported to complete their studies (see ‘At Risk’ Monitoring and Intervention (ARMI)).

(9) The student is responsible for their enrolment, engagement in their course, and in any Intervention strategies that may be put in place to assist them.

‘At Risk’ Monitoring

(10) MUIC will monitor the academic progress of students and have systems in place to promote the early detection and support of students who are At Risk of not achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress.

(11) A student may be deemed to be ‘At Risk’ if they:

  1. fail to submit assessments, including those that are not weighted;
  2. fail to meet participation and / or homework requirements;
  3. receive low grades in ongoing formative and summative assessments, including in-class tasks and mid-term assignments and exams;
  4. fail to meet the satisfactory attendance requirements in accordance with the Attendance Policy / Attendance Procedure – Macquarie University International College; or
  5. fail to engage with their studies in a way consistent with their responsibilities as a student, including adherence with the Student Code of Conduct and the Academic Integrity Policy.

(12) In addition, students may be deemed to be ‘At Risk’ upon enrolment into certain Units, for reasons including, but not limited to:

  1. enrolling into a Unit for a second, or further, attempt;
  2. enrolling into a Unit where results from previous study in their course indicate the student will struggle with its concepts, even if they have met the pre-requisites for entry into that Unit; or
  3. enrolling into a combination of Units that is deemed to be difficult to complete in tandem, due to workload, content or timetabling constraints (for example, a significant number of classes, or clashing classes).

(13) Students who are deemed to be ‘At Risk’ may be referred to the Student Advisors who will implement appropriate Intervention strategies such as:

  1. a welfare check to provide the student with guidance;
  2. suggestions to the student of possible academic and / or personal support options that are available;
  3. a review with the student of key policies and responsibilities, such as the Student Code of Conduct or the Minimum Rate of Progress requirements;
  4. amendments to a student’s enrolment and / or class registration; or
  5. contacting the student by student email, phone or in-class visit to organise a face-to-face appointment to discuss potential strategies.

‘At Risk’ Monitoring and Intervention (ARMI)

(14) Any student who receives a fail grade at the conclusion of a Term (F, FA, FW, or FH) will be assessed against the Minimum Rate of Progress (MRP).

(15) Depending on their proximity to meeting / not meeting MRP, the student will be contacted to engage with the process in a phased approach.

(16) ARMI Phase 1 – Academic Caution:

  1. A student who receives a fail grade at the conclusion of a Term, and is meeting MRP, will be contacted by email to advise them of the requirement to maintain their progress. They will also be provided with support information and encouraged to engage with any support offered by the Student Advisors.

(17) ARMI Phase 2 – Monitored Enrolment:

  1. A student who receives a fail grade at the conclusion of a Term and is not meeting the MRP will be required to engage with a targeted Intervention strategy as prescribed by MUIC Student Advisors. 
  2. Strategies will be recommended to the student to assist their academic progress in their next enrolled Term, and this progress will be monitored. The student’s Engagement with recommended Intervention strategies will be recorded and reviewed if the student reaches ARMI Phase 3.
  3. At the end of the Monitored Enrolment term, if the student has received no failing final grades, they will be re-assessed for MRP:
    1. If they are not meeting MRP, they will be kept at ARMI Phase 2.
    2. If they are meeting MRP, their enrolment in the following Term/s will no longer be monitored unless the student stops meeting MRP again.
  4. At the end of the Monitored Enrolment term, if the student has received at least one (1) fail grade, they will be assessed under to ARMI Phase 3.

(18) ARMI Phase 3 – Assessment of Progression:

  1. A student who has failed any enrolled Units in a Monitored Enrolment term will be referred to the MUIC Governance team. The MUIC Governance team will assess the student’s progression, noting any academic improvement and participation with recommended Intervention strategies. Subject to any personal concerns that may have been raised, a recommendation will be made by MUIC Governance to either:
    1. return the student to an ARMI Phase relevant to whether they are meeting MRP or not; or  
    2. determine that the student progression is unsatisfactory and that the student should be subject to Academic Pause (ARMI Phase 4).
  2. This recommendation will be referred to the Program Managers who will take any additional relevant academic concerns into account (e.g. participation in class, academic misconduct allegations, feedback from the teachers and Senior Teachers of the Unit/s) and will either approve or dismiss the recommendation.
  3. Should a recommendation for an Academic Pause be dismissed by the Program Managers, the student will be returned to an ARMI Phase relevant to whether they are meeting MRP or not.

(19) ARMI Phase 4 – Academic Pause:

  1. When a student is placed on ARMI Phase 4, the following will occur:
    1. When there is a determination of unsatisfactory academic progress (arising from Clause 18 a ii), the student will be issued with a Notice of Academic Pause, notifying the student of the University’s intention to suspend the student’s enrolment for two (2) Terms. The student will be given twenty (20) working days to submit an appeal to this decision. During this time, and while the appeal is being considered internally, the student will be permitted to remain enrolled. See ‘Appealing an Academic Pause’ below for more information.
    2. In the event a student does not appeal, or a student’s internal appeal is unsuccessful, the student will be placed on Academic Pause for two (2) Terms. This will prevent their enrolment into Units. However, their admission to their course will be maintained. Additionally, International Students must apply to formally suspend their eCoE to prevent its cancellation – refer Impact of Suspension due to Academic Progression on Student Visa.
      1. If a current Term is in session and the final decision to implement an Academic Pause occurs between the commencement of that Term and the end of Week 6 (Friday), the pause period will commence immediately. If a decision to place a student on an Academic Pause occurs outside Weeks 1 – 6 of a Term, the pause period will begin from the commencement of the next Term.
    3. If the student is enrolled in Units, this enrolment will be managed as follows:
      Unit Enrolment
      Action to Be Taken
      If a student is enrolled in a Unit in the current Term, and an Academic Pause is applied before the end of Week 6 of that Term.
      The student will be withdrawn from the Unit without academic or financial penalty.
      If student is enrolled in a Unit in the current Term, and an Academic Pause is applied between the end of Week 6 and the release of final results.
      The student will remain enrolled in the Unit, will receive their final grades for that Term and they will remain financially liable.
      If a student is enrolled in a Unit in a Term that is yet to commence and an Academic Pause is applied.
      The student will be withdrawn from the Unit without academic or financial penalty.
      If a student is enrolled in a Unit that has pending grades from an already concluded Term (i.e. IS, UD, UL or UJ) and an Academic Pause.
      The student will remain enrolled in these Units until they are resolved. Once resolved, the student will receive their final grades for that Term and will remain financially liable.
  2. Following an Academic Pause, a student can enrol into Units and continue with their course. They will be returned to an ARMI Phase relevant to their MRP status.

Appealing an Academic Pause

(20) Students may appeal their Academic Pause by submitting a personal statement to the Program Manager by email to muic.governance@mq.edu.au. The appeal must be made within twenty (20) working days of the student receiving the Notice of Academic Pause.

(21) This personal statement must specify the reasons the student has not been able to meet the Minimum Rate of Progress and must include any relevant supporting documentation. Personal statements and all documentation must be readable, and in English or translated to English by a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) accredited translator.

(22) If a student submits an appeal, the Program Manager will commence assessing the appeal and supporting documentation within ten (10) working days. The student will be advised in writing of the outcome as soon as practicable.

(23) Each application will be assessed on its own merits with reference to the student’s academic performance, Engagement with Intervention strategies, and any other factors determined by the Program Manager to be relevant to making a decision. Extra documentation or information may be requested to assist in deciding.

(24) If the appeal is upheld, the student’s pause period will not be implemented and they may continue their studies. If the student fails to meet MRP in future Terms, the student can be placed back onto Academic Pause in accordance with the provisions of the Policy.

(25) If the appeal is not upheld, the student will be placed on Academic Pause for a period of two (2) Terms.

(26) After the internal right of appeal specified in this Policy is exhausted, a person in respect of whom a decision has been made may complain to the NSW Ombudsman about the decision under the Ombudsman Act 1974 of New South Wales.

(27) Where a student has lodged or intends to lodge a complaint with the NSW Ombudsman, the student must notify the University of this within four (4) weeks of the outcome of their appeal.

Maximum Time to Complete (MTC)

(28) Students are expected to make steady progress and work to complete their course within a reasonable timeframe. The maximum time to complete is the maximum length of time a student is permitted to remain in their course.

(29) The maximum duration for each MUIC course is listed in the table below. The date will be calculated from the student’s initial commencement date in their course (Term and year) as stated on the student’s transcript.

Course name
Enrolment Requirements
(Study Load)
Maximum Time to Complete (MTC)
Intensive Program
2 Core Units
+
2 Elective Units
1 Year
Standard Foundation Program
4 Core Units
+
4 Elective Units
18 Months
Diploma
Core Units
+
Elective Units
18 Months

(30) Students will not be able to enrol into further Terms than allowed by the maximum time to complete, however they can request an extension of time to complete their course.

Applications for an Extension of Time

(31) A student can apply for extra time to complete their course if they have compassionate or compelling circumstances. ‘Compassionate or compelling’ circumstances are generally those beyond the control of the student and which have an impact upon their course progress or wellbeing. These could include, but are not limited to:

  1. serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the overseas student was unable to attend classes;
  2. bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (where possible a death certificate should be provided);
  3. major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel and this has impacted on the overseas student’s studies;
  4. a traumatic experience, which could include:
    1. involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident; or
    2. 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); or
  5. 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.

(32) These are only some examples of what may be considered compassionate or compelling circumstances.

How to Apply

(33) Applications for an extension of time will be assessed by the Director, Macquarie University International College and English Language Centre (Director, MUIC). Applications must be addressed to the Director, MUIC and sent by email to muic.governance@mq.edu.au. The Director, MUIC will consider the application on its merits, and may include academic performance and any matters that warrant special consideration if relevant.

(34) Students are encouraged to apply before their maximum time to complete date has passed. Students should submit their application at least two (2) weeks before the start date of the next Term they wish to enrol in to allow time for processing. In all cases, applications must be made no later than one (1) month after the maximum time to complete date has passed.

(35) Students can only re-enrol if an extension of time has been approved. If MUIC is not able to provide an outcome on an application by the last date to enrol in a Term, the student cannot resume study in that Term.

(36) Applications must include a Personal Statement which specifies:

  1. why the student has not been able to complete their course during the maximum duration allowed; 
  2. what the student is doing or has done to improve; and
  3. how the student is now fit to complete their course. 

(37) It is highly recommended that supporting documentation is provided to support the personal statement. Personal statements and all documentation must be readable, and in English, or translated to English by a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) accredited translator.

(38) The Director, MUIC will commence assessing the application and supporting documentation within ten (10) working days of submission. The student will be advised in writing of the outcome as soon as practicable.

(39) Each application will be assessed on its own merits. Extra documentation or information may be requested to assist in making a decision.

(40) If an application for an extension of time is approved, an updated maximum time to complete will be provided (the length dependent on how many Units a student has remaining) and the student will be permitted to continue with their course with the new maximum time to complete in place.

(41) If an application for an extension of time is not approved, no extra time will be provided. A student will not be permitted to enrol in further Terms in their current attempt of their course; however, any grades relating to Units attempted in Terms before exceeding the maximum time to complete will remain and any pending grades will be allowed to resolve as per their standard processes.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(42) Refer to MUIC Academic Progression Procedure.

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Section 4 -  Guidelines

(43) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(44) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Academic Caution means a student who has not passed 100% of their attempted Units in a Term, but who is still meeting the Minimum Rate of Progress.
  2. Academic Pause means prevention of enrolment for a period of two (2) Terms, triggered by a student not meeting the Minimum Rate of Progress at the end of a Monitored Enrolment term and applied after review by MUIC of a student’s enrolment and Engagement.
  3. At Risk means students who have been identified by MUIC staff as unlikely to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress in a Unit or Units during a MUIC Term.
  4. Engagement means the extent a student has participated in prescribed actions, such as participation in their Units / course or in Interventions as prescribed by MUIC and the University.
  5. eCoE means Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment. It confirms an international student's eligibility to enrol in a course for a specified duration at Macquarie University. The document is registered via the PRISMS database with the Department of Home Affairs.
  6. Intervention means the approach taken to support and assist MUIC students identified as potentially not making Satisfactory Academic Progress or not meeting the Minimum Rate of Progress.
  7. Minimum Rate of Progress (MRP) means the MRP is passing 50 percent or more of the Units attempted in a course after receiving a minimum of four (4) final grades.
  8. Monitored Enrolment means a Term where a student who is not meeting MRP is monitored by MUIC and provided with a targeted Intervention to support their studies.
  9. PRISMS means the Provider Registration and International Student Management Systems, the database used to process information given to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment by Registered Providers.
  10. Satisfactory Academic Progress means a student’s expected ability to successfully complete their enrolled Unit/s during a Term.
  11. Term means an eight (8) week period of study at MUIC, including an examinations week and a week of results ratification and release, in which an entire Unit of study is delivered.
  12. Units means the individual components of study (also known as subjects) within a course, each worth a fixed number of credit points.