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Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) Charles Sturt University's Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Policy has been shaped by the following institutional needs, including:

  1. delivery of quality learning abroad programs within Australia and abroad
  2. commitment to compliant and supportive learning abroad programs
  3. management and administration of learning abroad programs, and
  4. provision of clear expectations for staff, students, and members of the community, involved with learning abroad programs.

(2) This policy is intended to ensure that Charles Sturt University (the University) meets all standards of the following legislation, frameworks, and policies with respects to learning abroad programs, including:

  1. Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (Cth) (HES Framework)
  2. Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) (HESA) and OS-HELP Guidelines
  3. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) International Relations Global Themes (and respective policies)
  4. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Child Protection Policy
  5. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Preventing Sexual Exploitation 
  6. Modern Slavery Act 2018
  7. Australian consumer law as set out in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)

Scope

(3) This policy applies to staff and students of the University, who participate in, lead or administer learning abroad programs, or related activities.

(4) Some sections of this policy apply only to specified categories of people, for example: staff only. Such sections will be clearly marked.

(5) Learning abroad programs include all inbound (to Australia) and outbound (from Australia) programs, including online programs with an overseas host institution.

(6) This policy does not apply to students taught through onshore or offshore partnership arrangements, except where the Charles Sturt Global team has expressly permitted such inclusion.

(7) This policy does not apply to higher degree by research candidates or staff of the University who are undertaking professional staff exchange or research fieldwork.

References

(8) Where a supporting document is referred to in this policy, it will be listed on the associated information tab.

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Section 2 - Policy

Part A - General

Common types of learning abroad programs

(9) For the purposes of this policy, the following types of learning abroad program have the definitions stated:

  1. Conference – attendance at an international conference or meeting, or participation in an international competition such as a moot court.
  2. Exchange program – the mobility of students (undergraduate and postgraduate coursework) and/or scholars between the University and an exchange partner, formalised between the institutions through an exchange agreement.
  3. Faculty-led program – an international study tour directed by a University faculty member (or members) and who accompanies students abroad. See also Part G – Faculty-led programs.
  4. Industry experience – relevant industrial or equivalent experience means work of a technical nature that is related to the subjects studied. It may involve research, design, development, testing, manufacturing, fabrication or construction-related work and should include interaction with the work of others who are likely to be professionally qualified.
  5. Internship – paid or unpaid professional work experience in which a student has learning goals relevant to their academic qualification and professional development. Internships offer students the chance to test their skills in real-life situations, gain an insight into an organisation and career path, and build professional networks. Internships can include clinical placements or practicums.
  6. Non-Credit – an international experience that is recognised by the University in some form (for example, as part of a leadership program), but no academic credit is awarded, and it is not a required part of the degree program.
  7. Placement – a clinical placement, practicum, internship and any other like form of professional, industrial or vocational experience included in a course/unit or required as part of a unit or program of study (including elective unit). Placements give students practical experience (usually unpaid) in the application of theoretical concepts and knowledge in a workplace environment and may include clinical practice, clinical placement, practicum, internship, professional placement, professional experience, industrial experience, work experience or professional practice.
  8. Research exchange – an activity abroad that typically pairs a learning abroad student or students with on-site faculty and/or other local experts to pursue a specific topic or research question. Such research typically results in the writing of an academic paper or article, whether to fulfil requirements for academic credit or other degree requirements or with an eye to publication in a peer-reviewed journal or presentation at an academic conference. The research may be undertaken as part of an organised learning abroad program (i.e. a research-based course or independent project) or in a completely independent manner outside the structure of a program.
  9. Sandwich program – is where the student continues to be enrolled at their home institution but undertakes a period of study or experience at a host institution. A sandwich program would typically be taken during the middle of an academic program, after which the student returns to their home institution to complete their studies.
  10. Short-term program – any learning abroad program with a duration less than the usual academic term or session. Note: academic term and academic session are teaching periods defined in the Academic Calendar Schedule contained in the Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure.
  11. Study abroad program – the mobility of students (undergraduate and postgraduate coursework) between educational institutions in different countries and refers to a range of activities that allows students to spend a specified period of time at an institution that is not always an established partner of the University, with fees paid direct to the host institution.
  12. Study tour – face-to-face teaching activity involving visits by an academic member of staff, and other participants, to one or more academic institutions, workplaces, government organisations, sites of practice, places of religious, cultural, geographic, national or international significance, or similar.
  13. Summer or winter school – a learning abroad program generally taken during university summer or winter vacations.
  14. Volunteering – the hosting of a student by the host organisation, service provider, or other organisation, and may include such activities such as research, projects, or other relevant activities, which are undertaken for no monetary reward.
  15. Work integrated learning (WIL) or workplace learning (WPL) – internship, business placement, clinical placement, sandwich program (or co-op program), in which a student is embedded in an external organisation for a period of time.

Related policies

(10) This policy must be read in conjunction with the following related documents:

  1. Student Charter (Students Only)
  2. Student Misconduct Rule 2020 (Students Only)
  3. Code of Conduct (Staff Only)
  4. Staff Generic Responsibilities Policy (Staff Only)
  5. Admissions Policy
  6. Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy
  7. Anti-Racism Policy
  8. Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy
  9. Child Safety Policy
  10. Credit Policy
  11. Critical Incident Management Guidelines
  12. Finance Procedure – Cost Recovery
  13. Privacy Management Plan
  14. Risk Management Policy
  15. Travel Policy
  16. University Partnerships Policy
  17. University Student Appeals Policy and Procedure
  18. Work-Integrated Learning Placement Delivery and Management Procedure

Part B - Eligibility and applications

Eligibility for Learning Abroad

(11) Students who have breached the Student Misconduct Rule 2020 are not eligible to participate in learning abroad programs.

(12) Students with financial holds are not eligible to participate in learning abroad programs. 

(13) Other eligibility requirements for individual learning abroad programs will be published on the learning abroad section of the website. Subject to clause (14), applicants must meet all eligibility requirements at the time of acceptance into a program and maintain eligibility until commencement of the learning abroad program.

(14) An exemption, from the standard or eligibility requirement(s), will only be granted in exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that the applicant meets the standard or eligibility requirement through alternative means. Any exemption must be sought in accordance with this policy and the Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure.

Applications

(15) An applicant must apply to the Charles Sturt Global team for all inbound and outbound learning abroad programs, including faculty-led programs, approved programs, programs where the applicant has applied directly to the host institution, and those hosted or arranged by external service providers, and for funding.

(16) Applications for all learning abroad programs and associated funding must be in accordance with the Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure.

(17) An application for Overseas Higher Education Loans Program (OS-HELP) must be made in accordance with Part J – Overseas Higher Education Loans Program (OS-HELP).

Part C - Responsibilities of applicants, participants, students and staff

Applicant and participant responsibilities

(18) Applicant and participant responsibilities include compliance with:

  1. this Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Policy, Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure, guidelines and associated documents
  2. Code of Conduct
  3. Student Charter
  4. Travel Policy and Procedure
  5. Work-Integrated Learning Placement Delivery and Management Procedure
  6. University Partnerships Policy and Procedure
  7. DFAT’s Child Protection Policy and Preventing Sexual Harassment and Exploitation Policy
  8. the codes of conduct, rules, policies, and other requirements, of the host institution or service provider
  9. the laws and regulations of countries visited during the learning abroad program, including but not limited to visa requirements.

(19) Applicants and participants are responsible for payment of any deposit and all associated fees and participation costs.

(20) As part of pre-departure requirements, participants must provide evidence of travel and medical insurance for the duration of the learning abroad program as required by the University.

(21) Any participant whose changed circumstances affects, or might affect, their participation in a learning abroad program, must promptly inform the Charles Sturt Global team of those circumstances.

(22) Applicants and participants must complete risk management and other pre-departure requirements and any orientation sessions associated with their learning abroad program. Specific requirements for each program will be provided by the Charles Sturt Global team at the time of acceptance.

(23) Applicants and participants must agree to Charles Sturt Global terms and conditions and sign an acceptance agreement for their learning abroad program by the date required.

(24) Participants must attend all activities associated with their learning abroad program (including social/cultural activities) unless an exemption has been granted by:

  1. faculty-led programs - the program leader
  2. all other learning abroad programs - the host institution

(25) Participants on faculty-led programs are required to stay in the accommodation arranged by the University for the duration of their program unless an exemption has been granted by the program leader. 

(26) Participants on faculty-led programs may only undertake personal travel during their program with prior approval of both the Charles Sturt Global team and program leader. 

(27) Participants undertaking personal travel before, during or after a learning abroad program, must supply personal travel dates and contact information to the Charles Sturt Global team prior to departure from Australia.

(28) On conclusion of a learning abroad program, participants must complete the returnee requirements specified by the Charles Sturt Global team. This will include providing feedback about the program.

Participant non-compliance

(29) A participant is considered non-compliant if they:

  1. do not comply with the:
    1. funding rules (only applicable to funded learning abroad programs)
    2. academic requirements of the learning abroad program, or
    3. pre-departure or completion requirements of the learning abroad program.
  2. breach, or are suspected to have breached, this Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Policy, procedure, guidelines and associated documents, or other applicable university policy, or
  3. breach the University's Student Charter (students) or Code of Conduct (staff).

(30) Where a participant is considered non-compliant in accordance with clause (29), the University may take any of the following actions, at its discretion:

  1. Withdraw the funding allocation for that participant (only applicable to funded learning abroad programs).
  2. Require the participant to pay all costs associated with their participation in the program and any resulting from the non-compliance.
  3. Withdraw the participant from the learning abroad program or require the participant to return to their home country.
  4. Commence disciplinary or other proceedings under the Student Misconduct Rule 2020 or Staff Enterprise Agreement, as applicable.
  5. Withhold credit or results until completion requirements are met.

Student responsibilities

(31) Students are responsible for meeting the requirements of their academic program.

(32) Upon completion of a learning abroad program, students must provide the Charles Sturt Global team with a copy of their host institution transcript, completion certificate or equivalent.

(33) Students are responsible for applying for credit in accordance with the Credit Policy and Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure.

Staff responsibilities

(34) Staff leading a learning abroad program must meet the minimum requirements as program or academic leader, prior to departure of the learning abroad program, as outlined in the Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure.

(35) Staff must agree to the terms and conditions of the learning abroad program as advised by the Charles Sturt Global team.

(36) Only staff necessary for the delivery of a learning abroad program can participate in the program.

(37) Staff administering and leading learning abroad programs must have an operational knowledge of relevant legislation and incident response requirements, including how to respond to a mental health incident, as outlined in the Learning Abroad Guidelines.

(38) Staff must consult the Charles Sturt Global team before granting exemptions to students on faculty led programs to stay away from the accommodation arranged by the University.

(39) On conclusion of a learning abroad program staff must submit all expense receipts and provide a completion report to the Charles Sturt Global team.

Part D - University responsibility for learning abroad programs

(40) The Charles Sturt Global team is responsible for the management and approval of all learning abroad programs and associated funding.

(41) The Charles Sturt Global team is responsible for seeking approval for service providers involved in the delivery of overseas learning abroad programs, in line with the University Partnerships Policy. Only approved partners will be used.

(42) The Charles Sturt Global team will inform applicants and participants, in the application form and written agreement, of the terms and conditions for participating in learning abroad programs, including of this Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Policy, any applicable payment schedule, and other conditions of application and participation.

Part E - Approved programs

Approved programs

(43) An approved program may have its approval revoked immediately if:

  1. the risk for the program increases beyond an accepted level, as determined by the Charles Sturt Global team, or
  2. the Australian government deems the destination to be unsafe whether via the DFAT Smartraveller website or other means.

Part F - Non-approved programs

Participation in non-approved programs

(44) The University cannot provide support for participation in a non-approved program. 

(45) Participation in a non-approved program is not covered by the University's insurance policy.

(46) A participant takes on all risk and liability associated with participation in a non-approved program.

(47) A non-approved program may be considered for approval in accordance with the Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Policy and Procedure.

Part G - Faculty-led programs

(48) All faculty-led programs must be approved programs under this policy. The faculty must provide the Charles Sturt Global team with all information about the program with sufficient time to complete the development and approval process. Timeframes for the submission of program information will be published by the Charles Sturt Global team.

(49) Approval of a faculty-led program is subject to risk assessment by the Charles Sturt Global team.

(50) A faculty-led program can become an approved program only after assessment and approval by the applicable Executive Dean, Head of School and the Charles Sturt Global team.

Part H - Funded learning abroad programs

What is a funded learning abroad program?

(51) A funded learning abroad program:

  1. is a learning abroad program where funding is provided through a scholarship, grant, or other source of funds. (funding arrangement)
  2. may be wholly or partially funded by the funding arrangement (funded component), and
  3. may have rules governing the acceptance and use of the funded component (funding rules).

(52) The funded component may be provided directly to a participant or be applied to program costs related to the participant, in accordance with the funding rules.

Funded participant obligations

(53) A funded participant is a participant who is covered by a funding arrangement.

(54) Funded participants must:

  1. inform themselves of the applicable:
    1. funding rules, and
    2. the amount of funded component,
  2. agree to use the funded component only in accordance with the funding rules, and
  3. estimate, and make provision for, expenses which are:
    1. not covered under the funding rules, or
    2. likely to exceed the allocated funded component.

(55) In respect of any part of the funded component spent in contravention of the funding rules, the funded participant:

  1. agrees to reimburse the University for each such amount, and
  2. acknowledges such amounts may be offset against any deposit held or financial contribution the funded participant has made to the learning abroad program, and
  3. if unpaid, each such amount becomes a debt payable to the University and may affect eligibility to graduate (refer to the Conferral and Graduation Policy).

University obligations

(56) The Charles Sturt Global team will administer funding for learning abroad programs in accordance with the funding arrangement, including:

  1. assessment of applications made under the funding arrangement
  2. assessment is undertaken in accordance with the rules of the funding arrangement
  3. disbursement of funds in accordance with the funding arrangement
  4. maintenance of records relating to:
    1. applications under the program
    2. participants, and
    3. funding disbursements
  5. reconciliation of each funding arrangement, including the return of undisbursed funds to the funding provider, and
  6. monitoring and reporting.

(57) The Charles Sturt Global team will allocate places in the funded learning abroad program in accordance with the funding rules.

(58) If the number of applicants for a funded learning abroad program exceeds the number of places specified in the funding rules, allocation of funded places is handled as follows:

  1. If the funding rules specify how the allocation of places is to be handled in such a circumstance, allocation of places is handled in accordance with those rules.
  2. If the funding rules do not specify how the allocation of places is to be handled in such a circumstance, allocation of funded places is to be handled in accordance with the Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure.

Part I - Financial management, payments and refunds

Financial management of learning abroad programs

(59) The Charles Sturt Global team manages finances associated with the University's facilitated overseas programs and inbound short-term programs.

(60) Program fees are charged to cover the costs of administering and participating in such programs and may include factors such as the provision of travel arrangements, in-country fees, and accompanying staff participation.

(61) Outbound learning abroad programs are operated on a cost recovery basis. That is, the University aims to recover the cost of operating learning abroad programs but does not aim to profit from the activity. However, program budgets include a contingency margin (of up to 10%) to protect against unexpected costs and exchange rate fluctuations.

(62) Notwithstanding the operation of clause (61), at the conclusion of an outbound learning abroad program and reconciliation of all associated costs, in consultation with the Division of Finance:

  1. Underspends of over $150 per participant are refunded to participants
  2. Following the payment of refunds to participants (clause 62(a)), any remaining surplus is transferred to University central funds

(63) Clause (62) does not apply to any learning abroad program which, according to this policy, is classified as a funded learning abroad program. Funding relating to a funded learning abroad program are handled in accordance with the applicable funding rules.

(64) The Charles Sturt Global team is responsible for the preparation of budgets and the setting of student program fees. This responsibility is undertaken in consultation with the relevant school for each program.

(65) To facilitate efficiency, consistency, and reporting requirements, each learning abroad program will have its own specially designated program code within the University's financial management system.

(66) All funding and payments received in relation to a learning abroad program will be held in a specially designated program code.

Deposit

(67) For learning abroad programs arranged by the University, participants must pay a deposit of up to $1000, as advised by the Charles Sturt Global team (Deposit).

(68) The deposit is held until such time as the participant is confirmed as having arrived in the destination country and commenced the learning abroad program.

  1. For a funded learning abroad program which is wholly funded by the funded arrangement, the deposit is returned to the participant.
  2. For a funded learning abroad program which is partially funded by the funded arrangement, the deposit is applied to the fees, participation costs and disbursements.
  3. For a learning abroad program which is not a funded learning abroad program, the deposit is applied to the fees, participation costs, and disbursements.

(69) Deposits are released in accordance with Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure.

Payment of deposit, fees and participation costs

(70) Deposits, fees, participation costs and disbursements must be paid no later than the date stipulated by the Charles Sturt Global team.

(71) Non-payment of deposit, fees and participation costs, or payment received after the date stipulated, may result in non-compliance with this policy and jeopardise participation in the learning abroad program.

Refund of deposit, fees and participation costs

(72) Participants are required to inform the Charles Sturt Global team, in writing, of their withdrawal from a program. The date of receipt of such information will be considered the date of withdrawal.

(73) Where a participant has withdrawn from a learning abroad program or been withdrawn by the University due to non-compliance with this or other university policies, the Charles Sturt Global team will decide whether the participant is eligible for a refund of their deposit, fees and participation costs.

(74) Each application for refund is assessed on an individual basis, based on the following sliding scale:

  1. Withdrawal from a program up until 90 days prior to departure will result in:
    1. total loss of deposit and
    2. loss of 50% of any subsequent payments that have been made or are due to be made according to the notified payment schedule.
  2. Withdrawal from a program between 90 days and 21 days (inclusive of those days) prior to departure will result in:
    1. total loss of deposit and
    2. loss of 75% of any subsequent payments made or are due to be made according to the notified payment schedule.
  3. Withdrawal from a program less than 21 days prior to departure, or after commencement of travel, will result in:
    1. total loss of deposit and
    2. loss of 100% of all other payments made.

(75) In addition to the circumstances described in (74), the University may withhold additional amounts, or require further payment, in the following circumstances:

  1. The learning abroad program is a funded learning abroad program and clause (55) applies.
  2. The University has paid fees and/or participation costs to a third-party and is unable to obtain a refund for those items.
  3. A financial claim has been made, or is likely to be made, upon the University in relation to the participant.
  4. The participant’s withdrawal results in increased per person costs for remaining participants in the affected learning abroad program.

(76) Where the Charles Sturt Global team is provided with information that evidences, to its satisfaction, extenuating circumstances associated with a program withdrawal, the University, at its discretion, may apply an alternative refund schedule.

(77) Any learning abroad program cancelled by the University for the following reasons may result in a full refund to the participant:

  1. Funding cancellation.
  2. Border closure or DFAT Smartraveller advice.
  3. Increased risk which is beyond that acceptable.
  4. Cancellation by third-party provider, service provider, or host institution which has been contracted by the University to deliver the learning abroad program or an aspect of the learning abroad program. In this circumstance, refunds will be handled in accordance with the provider’s own refund policy.

Part J - Overseas Higher Education Loans Program (OS-HELP)

Background

(78) OS-HELP assistance is an Australian Government student loan scheme that provides financial support to eligible students to undertake some of their study overseas. The purpose of the loan is to assist students to meet a range of expenses associated with overseas study, such as airfares, insurance and accommodation. 

(79) The University will select students for OS-HELP loans as stated in this section to:

  1. ensure equity, efficiency and consistency in establishing, administering and disbursing OS-HELP loans, and
  2. ensure the administration of the OS-HELP loan is undertaken in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Higher Education Administrative Information for Providers) including a selection process for the allocation of OS-HELP loans.

(80) OS-HELP debt is reported to the Australian Tax Office and becomes a part of a student's accumulated HELP debt.

(81) It is a requirement of the OS-HELP Guidelines 2023 that higher education providers maintain an OS-HELP policy, which is publicly available and accords with the federal government guidelines and the fairness requirements in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 - Subdivision 19-D of Part 2-1 as in force from time to time.

(82) A higher education provider must select students for OS-HELP assistance in accordance with the provider's OS-HELP policy.

(83) This policy should be read in conjunction with the Australian Government Overseas Higher Education Loans Program (OS-HELP) website for updated eligibility requirements and detailed OS-HELP information.

(84) The number of OS-HELP loans available to university students will vary from year to year depending on the number of loans that are allocated by the federal government.

(85) The number of loans available to university students in any given year will be determined in accordance with the federal government formula outlined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 OS-HELP Guidelines.

Responsibilities

(86) The Charles Sturt Global team is responsible for the management of the OS-HELP Program, including:

  1. preparation of submission for annual funding to the federal government, and
  2. determining the loan amount available.

(87) The Division of Student Administration is responsible for:

  1. the assessment of applicant eligibility, applications, maintenance of student records, and progression through to the Division of Finance, and
  2. reporting the HELP fee and debt aspect of the loan to the government 

(88) The Division of Finance is responsible for the transfer of funds to the successful applicant.

Loan value

(89) The maximum OS-HELP loan amount available to a student will be determined by the University in accordance with this policy, the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the OS-HELP Guidelines 2023.

(90) Unless otherwise determined by the University, the maximum value of an OS-HELP loan will be the same as that stated by the federal government in the OS-HELP statement of terms and conditions.

Eligibility

(91) OS-HELP will only be available to eligible students in those learning abroad programs which:

  1. are approved programs under this policy, and
  2. meet the program eligibility criteria as set by the federal government.

(92) To be eligible for OS-HELP a student must meet the OS-HELP Loan conditions as detailed on the Overseas Higher Education Loans Program (OS-HELP) website.

OS-HELP and Asian language study

(93) Applicants can get an extra loan amount for Asian language study in preparation for overseas study in Asia.

(94) Applicants cannot get an extra Asian language study amount if the Asian language study is a part of their course or if they are already using a HELP loan to pay for those units.

(95) If applicants plan to study overseas in more than one country, they can still get the extra OS-HELP loan amount for Asian language study if at least one of the countries is in Asia.

(96) 'Asia' as defined in the OS-HELP Guidelines 2023 includes these countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Timor-Leste, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Selection process

(97) Applications for OS-HELP loans will be processed in order of receipt. Selection and funding allocation will be made according to the receipt date and time of the application for OS-HELP.

(98) Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application within two months of receipt.

(99) The notification will include details of the assistance to which they are entitled and the conditions of receiving OS-HELP assistance.

(100) Applicants must study overseas within six months of their OS-HELP application being approved.

Part K - Inbound programs

Rules applicable only to inbound programs

(101) An application for participation in an inbound program may be made to the home institution, sponsor organisation, or directly to the Charles Sturt Global team.

(102) Where an application for participation in an inbound program is made:

  1. to the home institution or sponsor organisation, the rules governing learning abroad programs (or similar) of that institution apply in addition to those in this policy, and will be considered by each institution, respectively, in the assessment of an application, or
  2. directly to the University, this policy and the Admissions Policy will apply in the assessment of the application.

(103) Exchange students must be nominated by their home university before submitting an application to the University.

(104) All inbound applicants are responsible for ensuring that they meet applicable progression and credit requirements of their home institution or sponsor organisation.

(105) Inbound learning abroad programs of less than one semester in duration must comply with the Finance Procedure – Cost Recovery.

(106) Charles Sturt University may withhold transcripts or other records of completion until such time that all debts have been settled with the University in accordance with usual rules, policies, and practices.

(107) All other clauses of this policy continue to apply.

Part L - International students

Rules applicable only to international students

(108) International students are eligible to apply for a learning abroad programs.

(109) International students must not undertake an exchange program in their home country.

(110) An international student must continue to meet applicable course progression and immigration requirements if they undertake a learning abroad program.

Part M - Global citizenship and ambassadorship

Background

(111) The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s international relations ‘global themes’ and ‘aid risk management’ policies outline Australia’s position on child protection, climate change, corruption, environment and sea law, gender equality, human rights, First Nations peoples, people smuggling and trafficking, cyber affairs, and preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment.

(112) The University supports the DFAT global themes and risk management policies.

Requirements for learning abroad programs and participants

(113) All learning abroad programs and participants must comply with the DFAT global themes and risk management policies (regardless of funding source).

(114) The Charles Sturt Global team will support the DFAT global themes and risk management policies through provision of:

  1. pre-departure training and information sessions for participants
  2. a post-learning abroad program debrief session, and
  3. support in relation to any matter which might arise.

Prevention of child exploitation and abuse

(115) Learning abroad program participants must familiarise themselves and comply with the DFAT Child Protection Policy and acknowledge that they may be required to make a mandatory and immediate report in accordance with the policy.

(116) Participants must immediately report any suspected or alleged case of child exploitation, abuse, or policy non-compliance, by anyone within scope of the DFAT Child Protection Policy.

(117) Where the University adopts a policy in relation to overseas child exploitation and abuse, then that policy must be read in conjunction with this policy.

Preventing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment

(118) Learning abroad program participants must familiarise themselves and comply with the DFAT Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy and acknowledge that they may be required to make a mandatory and immediate report in accordance with the policy.

Management of specific areas of risk

(119) The Charles Sturt Global team will apply adequate risk management practices, consistent with the published DFAT information, guides and frameworks on any other specific areas of risk in the assessment of each learning abroad program.

Modern slavery

(120) All learning abroad programs will be assessed to ensure that modern slavery, as defined in the Modern Slavery Act 2018, is not taking place in the delivery of the program and in related supply chains.

(121) The prevention, detection, and reporting, of modern slavery is the responsibility of:

  1. all staff involved in the assessment and approval of learning abroad programs, and
  2. all participants of a learning abroad program.

(122) Participants must report any breach or suspected breach of the Modern Slavery Act to the Manager, Charles Sturt Global.

(123) If the University establishes a policy in respect of modern slavery, that policy will apply in lieu of the provisions contained within this modern slavery subsection.

Requirement to report to the University

(124) Any participant with cause to make a report under any provision of this Part M – Global citizenship and ambassadorship is also required to make an immediate report to Manager, Charles Sturt Global via the emergency protocol outlined in pre-departure documents.

Part N - Review and appeal

Request for review

(125) A student who is unsuccessful in their application for a learning abroad program, or their application for OS-Help, or a participant who is dissatisfied with a refund decision, may seek a review of the outcome in accordance with the Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure.

(126) A review may only be made on procedural grounds (that is, where there has been an error in the consideration process that led to the decision).

Appeals

(127) Where a person remains aggrieved after a review decision is made, or where the review decision is not made within the timeframe stipulated in the Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure, an appeal may be submitted.

(128) Appeals must be made in accordance with the University Student Appeals Policy and Procedure.

Part O - Privacy

(129) Learning abroad program applications and the personal information they contain will be handled in accordance with the University's Privacy Management Plan.

(130) In submitting their application, an applicant also consents to the following uses of their personal information:

  1. to assess their eligibility for a learning abroad program,
  2. if they are successful, to create records related to their participation in, and administration of, the learning abroad program,
  3. in the University's reporting to government departments to meet legislative requirements, and
  4. in the University's reporting to external service providers, or funding providers, in order to meet the requirements of each specific learning abroad program.

(131) An applicant acknowledges that information may also be shared with other educational or professional institutions, service providers and funding bodies within Australia or overseas.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(132) The Learning Abroad and OS-HELP Procedure supports this policy.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(133) The Charles Sturt Global Guidelines support this policy.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(134) This glossary defines the general terms used in this policy. See clause (9) for definitions of the approved programs under this policy.

General terms

(135) For the purposes of this policy, the following general terms have the definitions stated:

  1. Approved program – means a learning abroad program that the Charles Sturt Global team has endorsed, in accordance with this policy, for its students and staff to participate in whilst abroad. Common types of learning abroad programs include those defined in clause (9). Also see the definition for non-approved program within this clause (135).
  2. Approved partner – means a service provider or overseas host institution with which the University has entered into an agreement for the purposes of delivery of a learning abroad program.
  3. Charles Sturt Global team – means the office within the University responsible for the facilitation and coordination of student international experience opportunities. The Charles Sturt Global team is administered by the Office of Global Engagement.
  4. Credit – means academic recognition or credit as defined in the Credit Policy.
  5. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) International Relations Global Themes and Aid Risk Management Policies – means the Global Themes and Aid Risk Management Policies, respectively, published by DFAT.
  6. Exchange agreement – means a formal agreement established between the University and an exchange partner for a bilateral or multilateral exchange of students and/or scholars according to agreed protocols and which specifies the number of students, level of study, fields of study, timeframes, admission requirements, and other details of cooperation.
  7. Exchange partner – means an overseas tertiary institution with which the University has entered into an exchange agreement to exchange students for the purposes of reciprocal learning abroad experiences. The student remains enrolled at their home institution for the duration of their time overseas and pays normal fees to their home institution.
  8. Funding – means scholarships and grants for learning abroad activities that are administered by the Charles Sturt Global team, including but not limited to New Colombo Plan, Destination Australia Cheung Kong, and Vice-Chancellor Travel Grants.
  9. Higher degree by research candidate – means candidate as defined in the Higher Degree by Research Policy.
  10. Home institution – means the academic institution or sponsor organisation of primary enrolment or connection, where the participant is working towards the completion of an academic award or professional recognition.
  11. Host institution – means the overseas institution or organisation where the participant is accepted for a program of study or learning experience.
  12. Inbound program – means an approved program that allows a participant, whose home institution is based outside of Australia, to participate in a learning abroad program at Charles Sturt University.
  13. International student – means international student as defined in the Admissions Policy. Note: Additional requirements apply to international students, refer to Part L – International students.
  14. Learning abroad – means any opportunity, credit-bearing or non-credit-bearing, undertaken by an individual outside their home country and excludes the pursuit of a full academic degree at a host institution.
  15. Non-approved program – means a learning abroad program that Charles Sturt University has either not endorsed, or whose previous approval has been revoked, and is accordingly unavailable for student participation. See also Part F – Non-approved programs.
  16. OS-HELP – means a loan available to eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses.
  17. Outbound program – means an approved program that allows a participant whose home institution is Charles Sturt University to participate in a learning abroad program with a host institution or service provider based outside of Australia.
  18. Participant – means a staff member or student of the University, or member of the community, who has been authorised for participation in an approved program and who has paid their deposit where required.
  19. Service provider – means a person or entity who provides services, whether directly or indirectly, to the University and/or participants of an approved program.
  20. Student mobility - means the movement of students between educational institutions or geographical locations to pursue academic opportunities or experiences.
  21. Study abroad partner - means an institution with which the University has entered into a formal agreement for students to study abroad for the purposes of learning abroad experience. The student enrols at their host institution for the duration of their time overseas and pays normal fees to their host institution.
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Section 6 - Document Context

Compliance drivers N/A
Review requirements As per the Policy Framework Policy.
Document class Management