1. Objective

The objectives of this policy are to:

(a)    provide a framework to guide decisions regarding students’ academic performance and progression;

(b)    set clear responsibilities and accountabilities for academic progression decisions and processes; and

(c)    ensure that academic progress processes are transparent, consistent and fair.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all students enrolled in coursework subjects and coursework degrees of the University, including candidates enrolled in coursework components of graduate research degrees. It does not apply to students enrolled in a subject through the Community Access Program.

3. Authority

This policy is made under the University of Melbourne Act 2009 (Vic) and the Academic Board Regulation and supports compliance with the:

(a)   Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth);

(b)   Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth); and

(c)   National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.

4. Policy

Academic Progress Requirements

4.1. Academic progress is the process by which students are able to advance in their course of study, having fulfilled all academic requirements.

4.2. It is the responsibility of a student to maintain satisfactory academic progress in their course.

Students "at risk"

4.3. A student is “at risk” of making unsatisfactory progress if the student:

(a)    fails 50% or more of the student’s enrolled subjects for any one progress review period;

(b)    fails a compulsory or core subject for the first time;

(c)    is of “good standing” and fails a particular elective subject for the second time; or

(d)    withdraws from all subjects for any one progress review period.

Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

4.4. A student’s progress is unsatisfactory if the student:

(a)   reaches the maximum time to complete a course without completing the requirements of the course in which they are enrolled;

(b)   fails to meet a condition which has been imposed as part of an earlier academic progress review process;

(c)   withdraws after the census date or after the last date to withdraw without incurring a fail grade from all enrolled subjects in the progress review period for the second time; or,

(d)   is enrolled in an undergraduate course or graduate course other than those courses listed in section 7 of this policy; and:

i. fails 50% or more of credit points attempted in the two previous progress review periods;

ii. fails a particular elective subject for a third time; or

iii. has an “at risk” status and fails a particular elective subject for a second time; or

iv. has an ‘‘at risk’’ status and withdraws from a core or compulsory subject previously failed; or

v. has an '‘at risk’' status and fails a compulsory or core subject;

(e)   is a graduate student in a course listed in section 7 of this policy and fails any subject in the progress review period; or

(f)    is a student in a bachelor honours program and fails to achieve an honours grade and/or course weighted average where it is a requirement of the honours program;

(g)   fails to meet a course progression requirement in the timeline approved by the Board.

4.5. Deans responsible for the courses listed at section 7 of this policy must put in place an “at risk” process for students who are at risk of failing any subject which includes:

(a)    offering the student support and giving the student an opportunity to meet the expected standard; and

(b)   warning the student in writing that continued unsatisfactory progress may lead to termination of their enrolment in the course.

Academic Progress Exemptions

4.6 The Board may:

(a)   exempt students, by category, from the application of this policy; or

(b)   impose different academic progress requirements and consequences, by category, on students. 

Repeated Subject

4.7 For the purposes of this policy, in determining whether a student has enrolled in or failed a subject for a second or third time the University must take into account a previous enrolment in, or failure in (as the case may be):

(a)   the same subject in the same course; or

(b)   an equivalent subject of study (equivalence is determined by the dean of the relevant faculty).

Leave

4.8. If a student takes leave of absence the requirements of this policy apply equally upon return from leave to the subsequent progress review period.

5. Procedural principles

Reviewing Academic Progress

5.1. The Academic Registrar will review students’ academic progress following ratification (finalisation) of results at the end of each progress review period.

5.2. The Academic Registrar or a dean may review a students' academic progress at any time throughout the year for the purposes of monitoring or implementing intervention strategies. In particular students who have a repeated pattern of withdrawn subjects may be required to attend a meeting with a student advisor or asked to attend, and/or make a submission to, a Course Academic Progress Committee (CAPC), to assist completion within the maximum time to complete.

5.3. The dean will monitor the academic progress of bachelor honours students and students enrolled in the courses listed at section 7 of this policy through formative assessment tasks throughout the teaching period. Proactive intervention strategies during the teaching period and before the final summative assessment date must be put in place for students whose academic performance puts them at risk of failing a subject or not achieving an honours grade (for honours students).

5.4. Interviews with student advisers, meetings of the course academic progress committees (CAPC) and Academic Board appeal hearings must, as far as possible, take place between teaching periods to ensure that matters are resolved prior to the commencement of the next progress review period. In particular, student appeals will be resolved as far as possible before the next semester census date.

5.5. A dean may review the outcome of the unsatisfactory progress identification process prior to students being notified of their academic progress status and may manually revert a student’s academic status where the student’s individual circumstances warrant such action.

5.6. The Academic Registrar may divert a student within 25 points of completion of their course from a CAPC hearing where the student has been identified as having made unsatisfactory progress for the first time. Where such students continue to make unsatisfactory progress, the Academic Registrar will refer the students to the relevant dean for final determination.

Addressing students "at risk"

5.7. The Academic Registrar must issue a written notice via email, in a form approved by the Academic Secretary, to a student whose academic progress status has been identified as “at risk” of unsatisfactory progress explaining their status and including information about:

(a)    the possible consequences of further poor performance;

(b)    relevant services available to students for advice and assistance;

(c)    the requirement to attend a meeting with a student advisor or complete a written submission; and

(d)   an intervention strategy for those students.

5.8. Students who receive formal notification of their “at risk” status must respond according to the instructions and within the timeline specified in the email notification, and:

(a)    should seek clarification from the student service centre of any instruction or information that is unclear; and

(b)    may seek advice and support from the Student Union Advocacy Service (SUAS) or other support service.

5.9. It is a student’s responsibility to read and act upon an “at risk” notification. A student’s failure to respond to any notification as directed may be taken into account should further unsatisfactory progress occur.

5.10. Where a student meets with a student adviser, the student adviser must provide advice and make recommendations to students on matters including:

(a)    a student’s extracurricular activity;

(b)    a student’s continued enrolment, and course and subject selection;

(c)    assistance available from support services including academic skills support or counselling; and

(d)    that continued unsatisfactory progress may lead to termination of their enrolment in the course.

5.11. Student advisers must keep a record of advice provided to students. 

The "show cause" notice

5.12. A dean may require a student to show cause as to why the student should not have their enrolment terminated if the student’s progress has been unsatisfactory. In these cases the Academic Registrar must issue a “show cause” notice to the student in the form approved by the Academic Secretary together with the student record card.

5.13. A student must respond to a "show cause" notice by submitting a response in writing, as detailed in the "show cause" letter.

5.14. In addition to a written response, a student may be required to appear before a Course Academic Progress Committee (CAPC) to explain their circumstances in support of their written submission.

5.15  All students enrolled in any course listed at section 7 will be required to appear in response to a “show cause” notice.

5.16. Where students are required to attend a CAPC, they must be given five business days notice and be advised of their right to bring a support person.

5.17. It is a student’s responsibility to:

(a)    engage and comply with the requirements of the University’s unsatisfactory progress process; and

(b)    read and act upon, as appropriate, all notices and correspondence (written or electronic) from the University.

Course Academic Progress Committees (CAPC)

5.18. The dean responsible for each course must nominate members to a CAPC on request of, and by a date determined by, the Academic Register. The dean is responsible for ensuring that those nominated are eligible to sit on the committee.

5.19. The membership of the CAPC will be gender balanced wherever possible. The composition of the CAPC is set in the Academic Board Regulation – Part 7 – Academic Progress, Division 1 – Academic progress requirements, section 36.

5.20. A CAPC may only make a decision where the committee composition meets the requirements set out at section 4 of the Academic Board Regulation – Part 7 – Academic Progress, Division 1 – Academic progress requirements.

5.21  The Academic Registrar must appoint a secretary to the CAPC. The secretary must:

(a)   organise the CAPC meeting;

(b)   ensure all meeting papers are distributed to CAPC members and the student (where the student is attending);

(c)   keep a written record of the CAPC’s deliberations and the outcome;

(d)   provide policy advice to the CAPC;

(e)   confirm the outcome with the chair at the CAPC meeting;

(f)   draft an outcome letter detailing the decision and outcome reached at the CAPC meeting;

(g)   send the outcome letter to the student within the timeframe required by this policy in a format approved by the Academic Secretary;

(h)   ensure a copy of the outcome letter is placed on the student’s file;

(i)   ensure the student’s record card reflects the decision of the CAPC;

(j)   ensure that complete records of all CAPC meetings are maintained in a form approved by the Academic Secretary which meet the requirements of the University’s records policy.

CAPC meetings

5.22.  Students may be accompanied by a support person to a CAPC meeting. The support person may not speak unless a committee member asks them a direct question or with permission of the chair.

5.23.  A student may not send a representative in their place.

5.24.  Audio and/or visual recording of CAPC meetings is not permitted.

5.25.  Where a student has been required to appear and fails to do so, the matter may be heard and decided in their absence.

5.26.  Where a student has failed to submit a response the matter will be heard without the response.

5.27.  The chairperson may exclude the support person from the hearing if they disrupt or unreasonably impair the conduct of the meeting

5.28.  Information available to the CAPC, which pertains to the matter being heard, must be made available to the student and all committee members, and be provided with the CAPC notice where possible and practicable.

5.29.  Where a student attends the meeting, the CAPC must:

(a)    allow the student to be heard on the circumstances that have affected their academic performance; and

(b)    ask whatever questions necessary of the student and their support person (where a support person is present) to determine the student’s capacity to successfully complete the course.

5.30.  In reaching a decision a CAPC may take into account any relevant information available, including:

(a)    documentation from the student file (where use of this information complies with the Privacy Policy);

(b)    the student’s entire academic history, including their response to any previous recommendations from a CAPC or student adviser(s); and

(c)    any other information provided by the student.

5.31.  A CAPC may not: 

(a)    comment on a student’s personal circumstances outside of the context of their unsatisfactory progress;

(b)    attempt to counsel a student on any matters other than their unsatisfactory progress; or;

(c)    make assumptions about a student’s motivation for study either at University generally or within a specific course or discipline.

5.32.  A CAPC must not inform a student of the outcome of their deliberations during the meeting.

5.33.  A CAPC decision must be a decision agreed by a majority of members. For the avoidance of doubt, the chair has both a deliberative and casting vote.

5.34.  The CAPC may agree to adjourn a meeting being held in the absence of a student (in cases where a student has not been invited to attend) and reconvene, having invited a student to attend. Any hearing reconvened to allow the attendance of a student must reconsider all matters discussed at the first sitting.

Outcomes of CAPC meetings

5.35. If the Academic Registrar has issued a show cause notice under this policy, the CAPC may, after considering any submission by the student made in accordance with the notice:

(a)   impose conditions on the student’s enrolment or academic performance in the following progress review period;

(b)   impose a probationary status on the student’s enrolment, which may include a requirement to undertake specified actions, such has attending workshops or meetings with designated staff intended to increase the student’s chance of academic success;

(c)   require the student to undertake specified actions to increase their chances of academic success;

(d)   revoke a scholarship that was awarded to the student;

(e)   approve a period of leave of absence for the student;

(f)   suspend the student’s enrolment for a specified period; or

(g)   terminate the student’s enrolment in the course.

5.36. A CAPC may only terminate a student’s enrolment where it can be demonstrated that a student has made unsatisfactory progress and:

(a)   the University has warned the student in writing that continued unsatisfactory progress may lead to termination of their enrolment in the course; and

(b)   the University has offered the student support and given the student an opportunity to meet the expected standard; and

(c)   the student has been provided with the opportunity to appear before the CAPC to “show cause”; and

(d)   the CAPC has been correctly constituted.

5.37. A CAPC must terminate a student’s enrolment if they form the view that a student:

(a)   is unlikely to be able to make satisfactory academic progress in the course; or

(b)   who has reached the maximum time allowed to complete the course, is unlikely to be able to complete within the next 12 months.

5.38 If a CAPC forms the view that a student has the capacity to continue with their enrolment successfully in a subsequent teaching period, they may impose whatever conditions and/or make whatever recommendations they deem appropriate to assist the student to overcome or adjust to the circumstances that have led to unsatisfactory performance. 

5.39. If, following a CAPC meeting, a CAPC wants to revise the outcome, they may only do so to correct an administrative error in the outcome letter, to make an editorial clarification of the outcome, or to reduce/remove a penalty. Any other amendments can only be made as an outcome of a student appeal.

5.40. Any conditions a CAPC imposes on a student’s enrolment remains in place until:

(a)   amended or overturned by the Board following appeal; or

(b)   the student makes satisfactory progress in a subsequent teaching period.

Actions following a CAPC meeting

5.41. The secretary must send formal notification to students of the outcome of the CAPC meeting within three business days of the meeting to the student’s University email address.

5.42. The formal notification will include

(a)   the details of the CAPC decision and outcomes agreed by the CAPC,

(b)   information about the implications for the student; and

(c)   the process for appeal of the decision where:

       i   the CAPC applies conditions to a student’s continued enrolment; or

       ii   the CAPC decides to terminate a student’s enrolment.

5.43. The formal notification must include particular advice to international students to seek advice from the Student Service Centre on the consequences unsatisfactory progress may have in respect to their student visa.

5.44. The Academic Registrar must not action a suspension in the student system until the time for appeal has passed and it has been determined that the student has not lodged an appeal.

5.45. Where a student wishes to appeal a CAPC decision, the Academic Registrar must within three working days of receipt of the request from the Academic Secretary,

a)   forward the CAPC report outlining the CAPC’s deliberations and decision; and

b)   a copy of the CAPC outcome letter to the student.

Termination of enrolment

5.46.  Where a student’s enrolment has been terminated by the CAPC, the Academic Registrar will update the student’s enrolment status after the period of time allowed for the student to appeal has elapsed.

5.47.  The University must notify the relevant government department that an international student visa holder is not achieving satisfactory course progress (breach of visa conditions) where the student’s enrolment is terminated and the student:

 (a)   does not appeal the CAPC decision within prescribed timelines;

 (b)   appeals the termination and is unsuccessful;

 (c)   appeals the termination and later withdraws the appeal; or

 (d)   discontinues their enrolment after the CAPC decides to terminate their enrolment. 

Returning from suspension or leave of absence

5.48. Students who are suspended or take leave of absence from their course due to unsatisfactory progress are advised to meet with a student adviser before they resume their studies to discuss appropriate strategies and support to facilitate a successful return to study.

Reselection and readmission of students

5.49.  Deans may only permit readmission of a student to a course where: 

 (a)   they are satisfied that the student's circumstances have changed such that there is a reasonable prospect that the student can now make satisfactory progress in the course; and 

 (b)   on the recommendation of the selection committee for the course. 

5.50.  Students applying for readmission will have their application assessed by the relevant selection committee, and:

 (a)   are subject to the usual competitive selection process;

 (b)   may be required to present independent documentation from a relevant professional (e.g. doctor or counsellor) to verify their changed capacity for academic success; and

 (c)   are expected to have demonstrated academic rehabilitation by successfully completing between two (for a course of 100 credit points or less), three (for a course of between 100 and 200 credit points), and four tertiary level subjects (for a course of 200 points or more) in a related discipline to that of the course being studied. The subjects must:

i. be completed within one calendar year; and

ii. achieve an average result of at least 70% across the subjects with no fails. 

5.51.  Meeting the requirements at 5.50 (c) is a minimum only and does not guarantee re-selection and/or re-admission.

Appeal of decision

5.52.  A student may appeal a decision taken under this policy in accordance with the Student Appeals to the Academic Board Policy.

5.53.  Being detrimentally affected by a failure to read and act upon, as appropriate, a notice or correspondence from the University is not in itself grounds for appeal.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Role/Decision/Action

Responsibility

Conditions and limitations

Review student academic progress

Academic Registrar or a person authorised by the Academic Registrar to act.

Review must occur, at a minimum, at the end of each progress review period

Manually revert a student’s academic status

Dean of the relevant faculty or a person authorised by the dean to act

Must be in accordance with sections 5.5 and of this policy

Determine equivalence of subjects

Dean of the relevant faculty or a person authorised by the dean to act

Must be in accordance with section 4.7 (b) of this policy

Identify students at risk of failing in those courses included in the schedule at section 7

Dean of the relevant faculty or a person authorised by the dean to act

Must be in accordance with section 5.3 of this policy

Put in place an intervention strategy for students identified as at risk for those courses included in the schedule at section 7

Dean of the relevant faculty or a person authorised by the dean to act

Must be in accordance with section 5.3 of this policy

Issue at risk notice

Academic Registrar or a person authorised by the Academic Registrar to act.

Must be in accordance with sections 5.7 this policy

Put in place an intervention strategy for students identified as at risk

Academic Registrar or a person authorised by the Academic Registrar to act.

Must be in accordance with sections 5.7 of this policy

Nomination of members to the CAPC

Dean of the relevant faculty or a person authorised by the dean to act

Must be in accordance with section 5.18 of this policy

CAPC deliberation, decision and/or application of penalty

Course Academic Progress Committee

Must be in accordance with sections 5.27 – 5.38 of this policy

Notification of CAPC outcome to student

Academic Registrar or a person authorised by the Academic Registrar to act.

Must be in accordance with section 5.40 – 5.42 of this policy

Updating the student record card

Academic Registrar or a person authorised by the Academic Registrar to act.

Must be in accordance with this policy

Provision of information to the Academic Secretary related to students whose enrolment has been terminated by the CAPC

Academic Registrar or a person authorised by the Academic Registrar to act.

Must be in accordance with section 5.44 of this policy

Readmission of students

Dean of the relevant faculty on recommendation of the course selection committee

Must be in accordance with section 5.48 – 5.50 of this policy  

 

7. Graduate course list

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences:

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Dental Therapy (Advanced Clinical Practice)
  • Doctor of Clinical Dentistry
  • Doctor of Optometry
  • Doctor of Physiotherapy
  • Master of Biomedical Science
  • Master of Clinical Audiology
  • Master of Genetic Counselling
  • Master of Medicine (Radiology)
  • Master of Nursing Science
  • Master of Psychiatry
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Speech Pathology

Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences:

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Faculty of Science:

  • All graduate coursework programs including, Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas, Masters

Melbourne Law School

  • Melbourne Law Masters and associated graduate diplomas (all courses)

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

  • Master of Educational Psychology
  • Master of Education (Specific Learning Difficulties) Stream A
  • Master of Education (Language Intervention and Hearing Impairment) Stream A
  • Master of Education (Special Education Inclusion and Early Intervention) Stream A
  • Master of TESOL Stream A
  • Master of Modern Languages Stream A
  • Master of Learning Intervention 
  • Master of Teaching (Early Childhood, Primary, and Secondary)

Faculty of Fine Arts and Music

  • Master of Music (Performance Teaching)

Faculty of Business and Economics

  • Master Commerce (Accounting)
  • Master Commerce (Economics)
  • Master Commerce (Finance)
  • Master Commerce (Decision, Risk and Financial Sciences)
  • Master Commerce (Management)
  • Master Commerce (Marketing)

8. Definitions

“board of examiners” is a faculty-based committee consisting of the examiners in a subject or group of subjects. The board of examiners is responsible for all assessment and ratification of results in the subject(s) assigned to it.

“business day” means any day (on which the University is open for business and excludes all Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays that are observed by the University and University holidays declared on an annual basis (such as Easter Tuesday and Christmas shutdown periods).

“enrolled subject” includes a subject from which a student withdraws after the census date.

“good standing” is a status assigned in the Student Management System to students that are making satisfactory progress.

“probation” is a status assigned to a student in the Student Management System whose academic progress is unsatisfactory and warrants CAPC review. Probation students regain an academic status of good standing after they make satisfactory progress in the next two consecutive progress review periods in which they are enrolled. Probation students regain an academic status of at risk after they make satisfactory progress in the next progress review period in which they are enrolled.

“progress review period” means the first half of the calendar year (including summer semester and first semester, or equivalent) and the second half of the calendar year (including winter semester and second semester, or equivalent). 

“ratification of results” means the approval of final results in a subject or subjects by the board of examiners.

POLICY APPROVER

Academic Board

POLICY STEWARD

Academic Secretary

REVIEW

This policy is to be reviewed by 1 April 2021.

VERSION HISTORY

Version

Approved By

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections Modified

1

Academic Board

26 Feb 2015

26 Feb 2015

New policy – replaces relevant section in the Academic Performance Policy (MPF1024) and the Academic Progress Review Procedure (MPF1292).

2

President, Academic Board

1 Apr 2016

21 Jul 2016

New version arising from the Policy Consolidation Project (replaces Academic Progress Policy (MPF1291) and Academic Progress Review Procedure (MPF1292).

3

President, Academic Board

18 Oct 2016

31 Oct 2016

Additions to graduate course list in section 7.

4

President, Academic Board

15 Nov 2016

18 Nov 2016

Correction to scope. Correction to formatting – 4.4 (e) and (f). Correction at 5.19 to align with Academic Board regulation. Inclusion of definition of senior professional staff member. 

5

President, Academic Board

25 Nov 2016

27 Nov 2016

Clarification of wording at section 5.3.

6

Academic Board

7 Sep 2017

Semester 1 2018

Inclusion of Master of Clinical Audiology; and Master of Speech Pathology in the Graduate Course list

7

Academic Secretary

6 Jun 2018

6 Jun 2018

Editorial change to update National Code reference in section 3. Authority

8

NA

 

 

Created in error 

9

Policy Officer

20 Jun 2018

21 Jun 2018

Fixing minor errors to document information

10

Academic Board

18 Oct 2018

 

Amended to allow hearings in absentia for all probation students and to clarify that a student cannot have their enrolment terminated unless they have been given an opportunity to attend a hearing.

Amendment to approval of template letters

Amend “CUPC” to “CAPC” in line with the wording of the Academic Board Regulation.

Allow deans, specifically, to formally review the progress of students with a record of “withdrawn” subjects (5.2).

Removal of CAPC composition and replace with reference to the relevant section in the Academic Board Regulation.

Addition of role of the CAPC secretary.

Addition of amendments to outcome letters (section 5.33)

Clarification of requirements for reselection and readmission.

Amendment to faculty name in section 7.

Deletion of definition of "senior professional staff member"

Addition of definitions of “ratification of results” and “board of examiners”

11

President, Academic Board

9 Nov 2018

9 Nov 2018

Addition of 4.4(g) to align with approved progress requirements for individual courses previously approved by the Board

12 President, Academic Board 9 Nov 2018 19 Nov 2018

Addition of courses to the Graduate Course List in Section 7.

All the Courses were in the Faculty of Business and Economics

Minor amendments to 5.7 and 5.21 (f)

13 President, Academic Board 19 Mar 2019 19 Mar 2019 Clarification of meaning at sections 4.3 (c) and 4.4 (d) ii, and addition of 4.4(d) iii.

Added definitions of “good standing” and “probation”.

14 Academic Secretary 16 April 2019 17 April 2019 Editorial amendment to course title in Section 7. Master Commerce (Decision, Risk and Financial Services) changed to Master Commerce (Decision, Risk and Financial Sciences).
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