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English Language Centre (ELC) Attendance Policy and Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy establishes how the Macquarie University English Language Centre (ELC) meets the requirements of Standard 8 of the National Code 2018 regarding attendance monitoring.


(2) Under the National Code, registered providers must systematically monitor students’ compliance with student visa conditions relating to attendance. Registered providers should be proactive in notifying and counselling students who are at risk of failing to meet their attendance requirements. Registered providers are required to report students who have breached their attendance requirements to the Department of Home Affairs.


(3) Students on a student visa and ELC teachers and staff with responsibility for advising on and implementing this Policy.

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Section 2 - Policy

(4) Holders of student visas are required to maintain an attendance level of 80 percent or above throughout their study period as per their student visa conditions.

(5) Attendance is based on the entire study period of the student as per the student’s Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). Any calculation is based on projected attendance, assuming that the student will maintain full attendance for all future courses. Where a student has consecutive CoEs, each will be treated separately with the calculation of attendance being based on the student’s current CoE.

(6) Standard 8 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 requires the ELC to record attendance and to report students whose attendance falls below the minimum requirement of 80 percent. The ELC may decide not to report a student for breaching the student visa attendance condition if:

  1. there is documentary evidence demonstrating that compassionate or compelling circumstances apply; and
  2. the student is attending at least 70 per cent of the course contact hours for which they are enrolled.

(7) Compassionate or compelling circumstances are generally those beyond the control of the student which have an impact upon the student’s wellbeing or progress in a program of study. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the student was unable to attend classes;
  2. bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (supported by documentation);
  3. major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel when this has impacted on the student’s studies; or
  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 student (these cases should be supported by police or psychologists’ reports).

(8) A student has the right to appeal against any decision made by ELC staff members in accordance with the English Language Centre (ELC) Complaints and Appeals Policy.

(9) The ELC will notify the Department of Home Affairs through the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) as soon as practicable that the student is not achieving satisfactory attendance if:

  1. the student chooses not to access the ELC Complaints and Appeals Process within the prescribed 20 working-day period; or
  2. the student withdraws from the ELC Complaints and Appeals Process; or
  3. the ELC Complaints and Appeals Process is completed and results in a decision supporting the decisions and actions of the ELC.
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Section 3 - Procedure


(10) Teachers take attendance using the student management system for each session they are teaching.

(11) Attendance is calculated on an hourly basis.

(12) A student who is absent for 20 minutes or more of each hour is marked as absent for one (1) hour.

(13) Class attendance is calculated weekly, based on the student’s enrolment dates as per the CoE.

(14) Teachers will inform the Student Advisors of students who are frequently late or absent.

(15) In the case of absence due to religious observances, students will be marked absent for the appropriate length of time, with a note made as to the reason.

(16) Teachers will inform the Student Advisors once a student has been absent for three (3) consecutive days.

Student Services

(17) Student Services will run an attendance report every week.

(18) If a student is absent for more than three (3) consecutive days, a Student Advisor will attempt to make contact with the student by phone and / or email, in order to provide counselling to the student regarding their absence.

(19) The student’s situation will be reviewed and a decision regarding the next steps will be made.

(20) Student Services will contact the student requesting a meeting when:

  1. attendance is less than 90 percent during an enrolment of five (5) weeks or fewer; or
  2. attendance is less than 85 percent in an enrolment longer than five (5) weeks.

(21) Students will be contacted via message delivered by their teacher, phone call or email.

(22) During the meeting a general welfare check will be made and the student will be counselled regarding:

  1. the need to provide adequate reasons for any absence;
  2. the rate at which the attendance percentage can drop, particularly within a short enrolment period;
  3. the effect of the student’s absences on their overall attendance and the implications of this for their visa;
  4. the potential impact of the student’s absences on their ability to achieve their desired academic outcomes;
  5. the need to take personal responsibility for their attendance; and
  6. how to check attendance at Student Services.

(23) It will be clearly stated that if attendance continues to fall, and drops below 80 percent, the next correspondence the student receives will be an Intention to Report Letter.

(24) Students will receive a warning letter to acknowledge that the above advice has been received and understood. Translations of this document or access to an interpreting service will be made available to the student if required. A copy of this document will be placed on the student’s file and the original letter will be given to the student.

(25) If attendance drops below 80 percent, and no evidence of compelling or compassionate circumstances has been provided, the reporting process will begin.

(26) The student will receive an Intention to Report Letter (ITR) in accordance with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018. The ITR is delivered to the student in person or posted if the student is absent. A copy of the letter and notification is also sent via email.

(27) The student has the right to appeal the ELC’s decision to report them to the Department of Home Affairs for low attendance; refer to the English Language Centre (ELC) Complaints and Appeals Policy for further details.

(28) Should the student’s appeal be successful, the ELC will re-start the monitoring and calculation of the student’s attendance from the date of the successful appeal with a projected attendance of 100 percent.

(29) If the student’s attendance drops below 70 percent the student will be reported to the Department of Home Affairs. Any evidence provided by the student will be included in the reporting process.

(30) If a Student Advisor is unable to make contact with the student, emergency contact or next of kin, the student will be reported for Cessation of Studies after 14 days.

(31) All letters, notifications and ITR Letters concerning students under the age of 18 will also be sent to the parent or guardian of the affected student.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(33) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.