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Student Travel and Transport Policy (MPF1209)

1. Objective

The objectives of this policy are to:

(a)    outline the University’s support, and conditions, for enrolment-related travel;

(b)    empower and support students to effectively, efficiently and conveniently manage travel conditions; and

(c)    foster a travel environment that aspires to the highest standards of safety and security for students.

2. Scope

2.1.    This policy applies to all students at the University undertaking enrolment-related travel, including:

(a)    independently arranged travel for purposes such as field work, research or attendance at conferences;

(b)    University organised group travel; and

(c)    student mobility programs including exchange or study abroad placements, internships or clinical placements.

2.2.    This policy does not apply to:

(a)    students undertaking travel within the Melbourne metropolitan area;

(b)    students enrolled at Melbourne Business School Limited; or

(c)    students who are also staff members of the University and are travelling in their capacity as a staff member (refer to the Staff Travel Policy).

3. Authority

4. Policy

4.1.    The University supports the use of travel to enrich and enhance students’ overall experience of their course of study.

4.2.    Where students engage in enrolment-related travel, the University’s expects that they will do so in compliance with the conditions detailed in sections 5.1–5.8 of this policy.

4.3.    The University aims to protect the health and safety of all students during learning experiences, including enrolment-related travel. Thus, students must register their travel with the University and complete a risk assessment as outlined in sections 5.9–5.17. 

4.4.    Travel insurance is mandatory for all students engaging in enrolment-related travel.

4.5.    The University funds some kinds of enrolment-related travel in certain circumstances. Not all enrolment-related travel is able to be funded by the University, however, and costs may need to be borne by participating students.

5. Procedural principles

Conditions of travel

5.1.    Students undertaking enrolment-related travel must comply with:

(a)   University of Melbourne policies and processes;

(b)   host institution policies and procedures (where applicable);

(c)   any direction given by the Academic Registrar in the interests of their safety;

(d)   any other directions given by the University on conduct and requirements for that travel;

(e)   any special conditions imposed by a scholarship or other funding body;

(f)    the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Safe Flying Guidelines; and

(g)   local laws of the country or countries in which they are travelling.

Additional conditions for overseas travel

5.2.    Students undertaking international enrolment-related travel must also comply with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel advice for international destinations, noting that alert levels may vary for different areas within a single country and can change at any time.

5.3.    Students are responsible for obtaining any visas required for enrolment-related travel to overseas destinations and, where relevant for international students, ensuring they are able to re-enter Australia at the conclusion of the travel.

5.4.    Students undertaking enrolment-related travel overseas must update their contact information in the Student Portal so that the University can easily communicate with them and their next of kin in an emergency situation.

5.5.    Domestic students on enrolment-related travel overseas must also register their local address, contact details and next of kin on the DFAT Smart Traveller website.

Additional conditions for graduate research students

5.6.    In addition to the conditions listed in 5.1–5.5, and the permissions and responsibilities listed in 5.9–5.13, graduate research students must obtain approval from their supervisors and head of department/school before studying away from campus for enrolment-related travel activities:

(a)    when travelling overseas for any length of time;

(b)   when travelling within Australia for one month or more;

(c)   when studying at a partner institution for a jointly awarded Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); and/or

(d)   where required to satisfy a condition of offer for a University travel scholarship.

5.7.    Time spent on enrolment-related travel is counted towards a graduate research student’s candidature time allocation. Graduate research students must comply with any time limits on enrolment-related travel and any candidature requirements while undertaking enrolment-related travel.

5.8.    Students undertaking research activities while on enrolment-related travel must obtain all necessary ethics approvals and regulatory permissions before travelling.

Permission to travel, travel safety and risk assessments

5.9.    Students must register their travel with the University, either independently or as part of group.

5.10.    Students, in consultation with their course/subject coordinator or research supervisors, must prepare a risk management plan where any of the following factors are regarded as medium or high risk as determined by the OHS risk assessment methodology:

(a)    the student’s fitness for travel and participation in the activity;

(b)    the safety of the methods of travel; and/or

(c)    type of activities that will be undertaken during travel.

5.11.    Students under the age of 18 must provide consent from a parent or guardian to participate in enrolment-related travel.

5.12.    Students may undertake enrolment-related travel to a country for which DFAT has issued an alert level of ‘do not travel’ or ‘reconsider your need to travel’ only with permission from the Academic Registrar. This permission may be granted if the student has registered their travel with the University and DFAT and one or more of the following apply:

(a)    the student has demonstrated expertise, language capability and local networks and support that would substantially reduce the risk of travel;

(b)    the travel is deemed to be essential, and the student has identified and has the capacity to implement suitable risk-reduction strategies;

(c)    the student is a permanent resident or citizen of the country in question;

(d)    a risk assessment has been undertaken and a risk management plan prepared; and

(e)    other exceptional circumstances apply, determined at the discretion of the Registrar.

5.13.    International students on enrolment-related travel overseas should, where possible, register their local address, contact details and next of kin with the nearest diplomatic mission of their home country and inform the diplomatic mission of any changes to these details.

5.14.    The following table summarises the registration and risk assessment requirements for students undertaking independently arranged travel:



Registration mechanism

Registration with Insurance Office also required?

Risk assessment, if required


Global mobility students: study abroad, exchange, University of Melbourne overseas subjects (UMOS)

Global Mobility online registration form


By University – students may have to provide supporting documentation


Graduate research students: travel overseas, funded by University, and/or away for more than a month

'Study Away' form in Student Portal


By student in consultation with supervisor


Coursework students: enrolment-related travel outside Group 1

Advise teaching department of travel plans in writing


By student in consultation with course/subject coordinator or delegate

Travel planning for an organised group

5.15.    The person responsible for organising class or group travel must:

(a)    prepare a risk assessment and risk management plan;

(b)    ensure the planned activities are safe and appropriate to the location;

(c)    ensure the home faculty/department has a list of all participants;

(d)    have a record of the students’ planned enrolment-related travel activities;

(e)    clearly advise students of the physical and/or psychological demands involved in the travel activities; and

(f)     register their intended travel plans with the University.

Travel planning for mobility programs (including study abroad, exchange, internships and clinical placements)

5.16.    Students undertaking enrolment-related travel overseas as part of a mobility program must comply with the University’s health and safety policies, individual risk assessment, and the Enrolment and Timetabling Policy.

5.17.    Students undertaking enrolment-related travel overseas as part of a mobility program must undertake a pre-departure briefing covering health, safety and cultural issues.

Activities not related to study

5.18.    Students may, at their own cost and risk, participate in activities that are not related to their studies (such as visiting local attractions, attending tours or public events) while undertaking enrolment-related travel.

Travel reimbursement

5.19.    Where student travel is funded by the University, students will be reimbursed only for costs associated with activities related to their studies and for which they have valid receipts.

5.20.    Students using a University vehicle for enrolment-related travel must comply with the relevant process.

Travel insurance

5.21.    Students undertaking enrolment-related travel must have travel insurance that covers them for the duration of the travel.

5.22.    Students undertaking enrolment-related travel interstate or overseas may be eligible to apply for free cover under the University’s student travel insurance policy, information on which is available from the University Insurance Office.

Fitness for travel

5.23.    Students undertaking enrolment-related travel must ensure that they are fit and able to participate in the travel activity and are strongly advised to complete the Medical Questionnaire for Off Campus Activities. Where possible, the University will make reasonable adjustments to facilitate travel for students with known disabilities. Students are advised to notify the relevant subject or course coordinator as soon as possible of any factors that might affect their ability to participate in enrolment-related travel. Where there are doubts about a student’s fitness to travel, the University may ask the student to provide written support from a medical or allied health professional.

5.24.    The University strongly recommends that students undertaking enrolment-related travel overseas are vaccinated before travel in accordance with the recommendations on the Travel Doctor website. Students should consult this website at least six weeks before their travel departure date or as soon as practicable if the travel is arranged at shorter notice.

6. Roles and responsibilities



Conditions and limitations

Comply with all relevant policies and procedures, both internal and external of the University



Register travel with the University


Where the travel is with a class or group the organiser may register travel for all students

Provide receipts for reimbursement of approved expenses



Obtain requisite visas



Ensure eligibility to re-enter Australia


International students only

Ensure contact details in Student Portal are correct



Register with DFAT Smart Traveller


Domestic students only

Gain approval to study away from campus


Graduate students only when: travelling overseas, travelling in Australia for more than 1 month, studying at a partner institution for a jointly awarded PhD or as a condition of offer for a University scholarship

Obtain ethics approvals and regulatory permissions for research activities


Graduate students only, before travel

Obtain consent for travel


Students under the age of 18 only

Obtain travel insurance for entirety of travel period



Register with insurance office



Complete a risk assessment

Student and University

Global mobility, study abroad, exchange, University of Melbourne overseas subjects – University completes risk assessment

Organised group travel – organiser (University) completes risk assessment

Individual travel – student completes risk assessment in consultation with University


Develop a risk management plan

Student and University

Global mobility, study abroad, exchange, University of Melbourne overseas subjects – University develops risk management plan

Organised group travel – organiser (University) develops risk management plan

Individual travel – student develops risk management plan in consultation with University

Approve travel to countries with an alert level of ‘do not travel’ or ‘reconsider your travel’


Where student has provided the necessary document to demonstrate the necessity of travel

Attend pre-departure briefing on health, safety and cultural issues


Global mobility only

Complete Medical Questionnaire for Off Campus Activities



7. Definitions

Enrolment-related travel means travel which is fully or partly paid for by the University and/or undertaken by students for the purpose of gaining credit towards their course of study and/or undertaken by students where they are a participant in group travel organised by the University.

Independently arranged travel means enrolment-related travel that is organised and undertaken by an individual or small group of University of Melbourne students.

Organised group travel means enrolment-related travel/excursion that is organised by (or on behalf of) the University and led by a staff member or approved provider.

Student means (under the University of Melbourne Act), a person enrolled at the University in a course leading to a degree or other award, or a person who is designated as a student or is of a class of persons designated as students by the Council. For the purposes of this policy this specifically includes in-bound study abroad and exchange students once they have arrived at the University of Melbourne (but not while they are travelling to Melbourne to begin their studies).




Director, Students and Learning


This policy is to be reviewed by 19 July 2021.



Approved By

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections Modified



12 February 2014

12 February 2014




19 July 2016

21 July 2016

New version arising from the Policy Consolidation Project replacing the former Student Travel and Transport Policy MPF1209 and Student Travel and Transport Procedure MPF1265).


Director, Students and Equity, Chancellery

10 October 2017

10 October 2017

Editorial amendment: Correction to broken hyperlink in section 5.23.

4 Director, Students and Equity, Chancellery 10 October 2017 18 January 2019 Re-formatted version history table.
5 Created in error - - Created in error - never published
6 Director, Students and Learning 16 October 2019 28 October 2019 Editorial amendment – update to Policy Steward title.