Unsatisfactory progress

Student visa conditions

Student visa holders must comply with a number of visa conditions, including Condition 8202 – Meeting Course Requirements. If you have not achieved satisfactory academic course progress, the University of Melbourne must notify the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that you have breached this visa condition. This may have serious implications for your student visa and future study options in Australia.


Coursework students

What is unsatisfactory progress?

The University's Academic Progress Review Policy sets out the principles for reviewing and managing students' progress in a course. In summary, if you have failed subjects, your faculty will ask you to attend a Student at Risk or Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee (CUPC) meeting. It is important that you make every attempt to attend this meeting and provide all the relevant information as to why you did not pass. You will also have an opportunity to discuss strategies to assist you with achieving satisfactory results.

If you continue to make unsatisfactory progress in the following study period, you will (again) be invited to attend a CUPC meeting. At this point, you should carefully think about study alternatives and the option of discontinuing your course before a CUPC considers your academic progress.

The CUPC may permit you to continue your course, place conditions on, suspend or terminate your enrolment. If the CUPC terminates your enrolment, you will be informed of the University's intention to notify the DET and the DIBP that you have made unsatisfactory progress.

Appeal to the Academic Board

You have the right to appeal the CUPC decision, if there are prescribed grounds for an appeal. You have 20 working days from the date you are deemed to have received the CUPC decision to lodge an appeal to the Academic Board. If you have submitted an appeal, you must enrol in subjects and continue your study until a decision is made.

The Academic Board's decision is final and no further review is available from within the University.

External appeal

If your appeal to the Academic Board is unsuccessful, but you believe that the University made an unfair decision, you can submit a complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial, and provides a free service. You can request a review by the Ombudsman online or in writing. If you choose to submit a complaint, you have 10 working days from the date you are deemed to have received the Academic Board decision to provide evidence of lodgement to the Academic Secretary. Your right to appeal to the Victorian Ombudsman is not limited to 10 working days. However the University must notify the DIBP that you have not achieved satisfactory academic progress after 10 working days if no evidence of an appeal is received.

Student visa implications

Suspension of enrolment

The University must notify the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of student visa holders whose enrolment has been suspended temporarily.

In general, you are permitted to remain in Australia on your student visa, but you may need to renew your student visa before it expires to complete your course.

Termination of enrolment

The University must notify the Department of Education and Training and the DIBP that you have not achieved satisfactory academic progress if:

  • you do not appeal this decision, or
  • you have chosen to access the University's appeals processes and you withdraw from the process, or
  • you have chosen to access the University's appeals processes and the process is completed in support of the Faculty's decision

The DIBP may cancel your student visa if you have breached visa conditions relating to academic progress and the breach of the condition is not due to exceptional circumstances. In addition, you may not be granted another temporary visa for a period of three years.

Support

If you require any assistance with your appeal, it is recommended to seek advice from the Student Union Advocacy Service. You can contact the SUAS on +61 3 8344 6546 or via email iss-support@unimelb.edu.au.

Find health services, counselling, Academic Skills, Financial Aid and more through the service finder.


Research Higher Degree (RHD) students

What is unsatisfactory progress?

If you are not meeting deadlines or making good progress, your supervisors will discuss their concerns with you. You should have ongoing discussions to clarify and negotiate expectations and try to get back on track.

  • If you are still struggling to keep up, you may be identified as being at risk of making unsatisfactory progress and an intervention process will be initiated.
  • A formal warning can be issued after an intervention process has failed. During the three month formal warning period, you must complete a number of set progress tasks or hurdle requirements that are designed to get your research up to the standard required.
  • If you still are not demonstrating satisfactory progress, your enrolment may be terminated or other changes made to your candidature as specified in the warning (e.g. transferred from PhD to Masters).

The University's Graduate Research Training Policy and Academic Board Regulation Part 7 are the key University policies governing graduate research student progress, including unsatisfactory progress in the research component of the degree. For more information about this, please seek advice from a Graduate Research Contact at your Graduate School or Graduate Research Candidature University Services.

Appeal the warning

During the formal warning period, you can request to be heard or appeal the formal warning within the timeframe given in your letter of notification of a formal warning. There are strict deadlines and a method for requesting to be heard which is outlined in the Graduate Research Training Policy. A decision can be made to maintain, withdraw or amend the warning or make changes to your candidature. Be aware that the formal warning period is not delayed while this type of appeal is being heard.

Appeal to the Academic Board

You have the right to appeal the outcome of the formal warning at the end of the three month period. The appeal is submitted to the University's Academic Board governed by the Student Appeals to the Academic Board Policy. You have 20 working days from the date you are deemed to have received the outcome to lodge an appeal with the Academic Secretary.

The Academic Board's decision is final and no further review is available from within the University.

External appeal

If your appeal to the Academic Board is unsuccessful, but you believe that the University made an unfair decision, you can submit a complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial, and provides a free service. You can request a review by the Ombudsman online or in writing. If you choose to submit a complaint, you have 10 working days from the date you are deemed to have received the Academic Board decision to provide evidence of lodgment to the Academic Board. Your right to appeal to the Victorian Ombudsman is not limited to 10 working days. However the University must notify the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that you have not achieved satisfactory academic progress after 10 working days if no evidence of an appeal is received.

Student visa implications

If you discontinue your candidature before the expiration of the three months warning period, the University will cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and inform the Department of Education and Training and the DIBP that you have ceased your studies. If you want to extend your stay in Australia for further study you will need to apply for a new student visa.

If you do not elect to withdraw before the formal warning period has ended and the outcome of the warning is that your candidature is to be terminated, the University must notify the Department of Education and Training and the DIBP that you have not achieved satisfactory academic progress if:

  • you do not appeal this decision, or
  • you have chosen to access the University's appeals processes and you withdraw from the process, or
  • you have chosen to access the University's appeals processes and the process is completed in support of the decision to terminate

The DIBP may cancel your student visa if you have breached visa conditions relating to academic progress and the breach of the condition is not due to exceptional circumstances. In addition, you may not be granted another temporary visa for a period of three years.

Support

If you require any assistance with your appeal, it is recommended to seek advice from the Student Union Advocacy Service. You can contact the SUAS on +61 3 8344 6546 or via email suashelp@union.unimelb.edu.au.

Find health services, counselling, Academic Skills, Financial Aid and more through the service finder.