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 Australian Government Department of Education and 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 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 Department of Education and 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 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 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 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 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

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. For additional assistance, contact staff on +61 3 8344 7271 or +61 3 8344 6930 or email iss-support@unimelb.edu.au


Research Higher Degree (RHD) students

What is unsatisfactory progress?

The University's Candidature Handbooks and Policy Guidelines set out the principles for reviewing and managing students' candidature in a higher degree by research. For more information about this, please seek advice from a Graduate Research Contact at your Graduate School.

In general, if you are deemed to have not made satisfactory progress in your candidature the Melbourne School of Graduate Research (MSGR) will issue a written warning that outlines specific conditions to be achieved within the next three months. At the end of the three month warning period, if you have achieved satisfactory progress you will be allowed to continue your candidature. However, if you have not achieved satisfactory progress, you will be notified in writing that your enrolment is terminated. This letter will also inform you of the University's intention to notify the Department of Education and DIBP that you have not achieved satisfactory progress and your right to appeal the University's decision.

Appeal the warning

You have the right to appeal to the University's Research Higher Degrees Committee in relation to the warning within the time frame indicated on your warning letter. A decision can be made to maintain, withdraw or amend the warning or make changes to your candidature.

Appeal to the Academic Board

You have the right to appeal the decision to terminate your enrolment to the University's Academic Board if there are prescribed grounds for an appeal. You have 20 working days from the date you are deemed to have received the decision to lodge an appeal with the Academic Secretary. See: Appeals to the Academic Board – Procedure.

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 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 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 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 have chosen to continue your candidature your enrolment may be terminated. The University must notify the Department of Education and 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 MSGR's decision

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. For additional assistance, contact staff on +61 3 8344 7271 or +61 3 8344 6930 or email iss-support@unimelb.edu.au