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International Student Fee Refund Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Admissions Policy and Enrolment Policy by stating:

  1. the conditions under which an international applicant for admission to a course at Charles Sturt University (the University) who does not take up their course may receive a full refund of tuition fees, or a partial refund, or no refund;
  2. the conditions under which an international student enrolled in a course at the University who withdraws from the course may receive a full refund of tuition fees paid in advance, or a partial refund, or no refund;
  3. the processes for applications for tuition fee refunds; and
  4. the avenue for review of a decision to refund, partially refund or not refund students’ tuition fees.

(2) The procedure is intended to ensure that the University complies with the sections related to international student tuition fees and refunds within the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and its associated regulations, the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) and the National Code.

(3) The University will determine refunds of tuition fees for international students in accordance with this procedure and the student’s written agreement with the University. This procedure should be read alongside the written agreement, the Admissions Policy and the Enrolment policy.

Scope

(4) The scope of this procedure is limited to applications for a refund of tuition fees for international students who were studying in Australia on a student visa at the time that the tuition fees were charged.

(5) The refund of tuition fees section of the Enrolment Policy states the conditions under which the University will refund tuition fees for overseas and domestic students.

References

(6) Where a rule, policy, procedure, guidelines or supporting document is named in this procedure, it is listed in the associated information tab, with a hyperlink to the text that is meant.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(7) For the purposes of this procedure, the following terms have the definitions stated:

  1. Census date – the deadline by which all students must finalise their subject enrolments for each teaching period, after which they are financially and academically liable for each subject that remains on their enrolment.
  2. Commencing student - a student who has accepted a place in a course, or who is in their first period of study in a course at this University.
  3. Confirmation of enrolment (COE) – an official document issued to international students to confirm they have accepted a place and are eligible to enrol in a course at this University. The COE provides information about student enrolment status, course details, tuition fees, registered course duration, and enrolment start and end dates. International students must submit a current COE when applying for or renewing their student visa to study within Australia. 
  4. Continuing student – a student continuing their enrolment beyond the first teaching period of their course.
  5. Domestic course – a course delivered by an Australian education provider, including courses provided by this University and by partner institutions located within Australia.
  6. Domestic student – a student who at the time of the relevant study is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen, or holds an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
  7. Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS) – establishes legislative requirements and standards for the quality assurance of education and training institutions offering courses to international students who are in Australia on a student visa.
  8. International student– for the purposes of the Enrolment Policy and this International Student Fee Refund Procedure, ‘international student’ refers to non-domestic students who are studying within Australia on a temporary student visa.
  9. In writing – means a legible hard copy letter or document written in English and signed by the relevant student, or an email sent by a student from their personal email account as nominated on their student record.
  10. Letter of offer (Offer Letter) – the written agreement outlining a student’s enrolment contract with the University.
  11. Letter of release – a letter issued by the University to an international student studying on an Australian student visa, giving them permission to transfer their enrolment to another institution.
  12. National code – the ESOS National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.
  13. Non-tuition fees - any fees required for items not directly related to tuition fees. Examples include: Overseas Student Health Cover, Student Services and Amenities Fees, Accommodation Fees, and other fees and charges related to additional administrative costs incurred by the University, such as late payment and late enrolment fees.
  14. Overseas student – for the purposes of the Enrolment Policy and this International Student Fee Refund Procedure, ‘overseas student’ refers to students who are not categorised under 'international student’ or ‘domestic student’ as defined in this glossary. ‘Overseas students’ include: any student enrolled in a non-domestic course (including Australian domestic students studying overseas in a course delivered by an offshore partner institution); non-domestic students studying on campus within Australia while on any temporary visa other than the student visa; and non-domestic students who are studying in a domestic course that is delivered entirely online, where they do not need a student visa for their enrolment.
  15. Teaching period – each formal period of study during which a subject is delivered, including sessions, terms, micro-sessions, year-long periods and ADPP periods.
  16. Tuition fees - fees charged for each unit of study (subject) that a student is enrolled in.
  17. Written agreement – this is the University’s letter of offer to the student, containing the enrolment contact between the student and the University, which is agreed to by the student when they accept their offer.
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Section 3 - Policy

(8) This procedure supports the Admission Policy and Enrolment Policy but is designed so that it can be read independently and provides a full statement of the University’s rules regarding refunds of tuition fees for international students.

(9) The Enrolment Policy states the requirements and processes for all enrolment matters related to international students aside from tuition fee refunds.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Responsibilities

(10) The Student Administration (Student Admin) is responsible for monitoring international student enrolments in accordance with ESOS requirements, including conducting a preliminary assessment of international student refund applications before referring them to the Division of Finance for processing.

(11) Where an international student claims exceptional circumstances as a factor in their refund request, Student Administration will refer the application to the Executive Director, Division of Students or delegate for assessment before it can be processed by the Division of Finance.

(12) The Division of Finance processes all international student refund applications once they have been approved and referred to them by Student Administration. 

Course withdrawal

(13) International students are strongly encouraged to discuss any decision to withdraw from their course with the University before doing so, as this will result in the cancellation of their confirmation of enrolment (COE) which may lead to the cancellation of their student visa.

(14) Students seeking to transfer courses within this University are advised to submit their application for admission to study in their new course before submitting any request for course withdrawal. See the Admissions Policy and procedure for information about applying for a new course or transfer.

(15) Students seeking to transfer their enrolment to another provider must follow the process outlined in the International On-Shore Students - Provider Transfer Policy.

(16) In order to withdraw from their course, international students must submit a request in writing to the Student Administration, after which the University will cancel their confirmation of enrolment and report this change in current enrolment status to the government. Students must directly contact the Department of Home Affairs to discuss the impact this will have on their student visa.

Refund applications

(17) Depending on the timing of a student’s request to withdraw from their course and/or subjects, international students may be eligible for a full or partial refund of the tuition fees they have paid to the University.

(18) Students seeking a refund must follow the instructions outlined on the relevant refund application form and attach the required supporting documentation before submitting their request.

(19) Applications for a refund of tuition fees will only be considered if they are submitted within 12 months from the end date of the teaching period for which the tuition fees were charged.

(20) Applications for a refund are based on the tuition fees that have been paid for each subject, and students must identify each subject they are requesting a refund for on their application form.

Refund schedule for commencing students

(21) The following table states the University’s refund rules for commencing students (who are in their first teaching period of enrolment in their course).

(22) Throughout the table, the date of the student’s withdrawal is the date on which the University receives the student’s request to withdraw from their course or subject.

Commencing student situation  Time period to which rule applies Refund
The University withdraws their offer of admission because the student provided incorrect, incomplete or fraudulent information in their application for admission. Before the student begins study in the course. No refund of tuition fees for the first teaching period. Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
The University withdraws their offer of admission for any reason other than because the student provided incorrect, incomplete or fraudulent information in their application for admission. Before the student begins study in the course. Full refund of all tuition fees paid.
The student’s application for an Australian student visa is declined, so they are unable to take up the offer of a place in the course. Before the student begins study in the course. Full refund of all tuition fees paid.
The student withdraws from the course because of exceptional circumstances outside their control, being either:
  1. serious illness or death which prevents them from undertaking studies in Australia;
  2. death or serious illness of an immediate family member (parent, sibling, spouse or child); or
  3. political, civil or natural event which prevents them from leaving their home country or paying course fees in full.
Up to and including the census date of the first teaching period in the course* Full refund of all tuition fees paid for the first and future teaching periods.
The student withdraws from the course prior to commencement of study in the first teaching period for any reason other than exceptional circumstances outside their control. At least four weeks before the first day of the teaching period in which the student is to begin study in the course.
The University will retain an administration fee of 10% of the tuition fees for the teaching period in which the student would have commenced study, up to a maximum of $1000, and will refund the rest of the fees the student has paid.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
The student withdraws from the course prior to commencement of study in the first teaching period for any reason other than adverse circumstances outside their control. Less than four weeks before the first day of teaching period in which the student is to begin study in the course. The University will retain an administration fee of 25% of the tuition fees for the teaching period in which the student would have commenced study, up to a maximum of $2500, and will refund the rest of the fees the student has paid.

Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
The student withdraws from the course during their first teaching period to take up a place at another education provider without a letter of release from the University.

(See the next table for information about refunds for continuing students who are issued with a letter of release to transfer providers after completing their first teaching period at Charles Sturt University.)
From the first day of the teaching period in which the student begins study in their course, up to six months after the date they commenced study in their course at Charles Sturt University.
No refund of tuition fees for the first teaching period.
No refund of tuition fees for future teaching periods within the first six months of the date on which the student commenced study in their course at Charles Sturt University (without a letter of release).
Full refund of tuition fees paid for future teaching periods more than six months after the date the student commenced study in their course at Charles Sturt University.
The student withdraws from the course after commencing study in the first teaching period for any reason other than to take up a place at another provider without a letter of release from the University. From the first day of the teaching period in which the student begins study in the course, up to the census date for that period.
50% refund of tuition fees paid for the first teaching period of study.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
The student withdraws from the course after commencing study in the first teaching period for any reason other than to take up a place at another provider without a letter of release from the University. *
(*See the section below these tables for information about applying for refunds after census date due to exceptional circumstances.)
After the census date of the commencing student’s first teaching period of study.
No refund of tuition fees for the first teaching period*
Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
The student changes their subjects or their course and the tuition fees for their new enrolment are less than what they have paid for their original enrolment. Up to and including the census date for the current teaching period. Full refund of the difference in tuition fees paid for the current teaching period (or this amount can be applied as credit towards future tuition fees).
Cancellation of visa, visa extension is not granted, or the Commonwealth Government instructs the student to leave Australia for breach of their visa conditions. At any time.
No refund of tuition fees for the current teaching period*
Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
The student is excluded from the University, or is excluded from their course and not admitted to another course at the University, for a breach of any of the University’s rules or policies, including misconduct, lack of progress or attendance, or has their enrolment cancelled for non-payment of fees. At any time. No refund of tuition fees for the first teaching period of study. Rules on refunds for subsequent teaching periods are the same as for continuing students in the table below.
The University is unable to deliver the course and either:
  1. cannot offer the student a place in an alternative course; or
  2. offers the student a place in an alternative course, but the student prefers a refund of their fees.
After the student has commenced study in the course.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for the current teaching period and any future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
* Unless the student applies for and is granted a refund due to exceptional circumstances. See the refunds in exceptional circumstances section below these tables for more information about applying for refunds outside of these refund limits.

Refund schedule for continuing students

(23) The following table states the University’s refund rules for continuing students.

(24) Throughout the table, the date of the student’s withdrawal is the date on which the University receives the student’s request to withdraw from their course or subject.

Continuing student situation Time period to which rule applies Refund
The student withdraws from the course because of exceptional circumstances outside their control, being either:
  1. serious illness or death which prevents them from undertaking studies in Australia;
  2. death or serious illness of an immediate family member (parent, sibling, spouse or child); or
  3. political, civil or natural event which prevents them from leaving their home country or paying course fees in full.
Up to and including the census date for the current teaching period*
Full refund of tuition fees paid for the current teaching period.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
The student withdraws from their course and/or subject(s) for any reason once the census date has passed.
*See the section below this table for information about applying for refunds after census date due to exceptional circumstances. 
After the census date for the current teaching period.
No refund of tuition fees for the current teaching period*
If the student withdraws from the course as a whole, full refund of tuition fees paid for future periods.
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
The student withdraws from their course within the first six months of study to take up a place at another education provider without a letter of release from the University. Within the first six months of study in their course at Charles Sturt University.
No refund of tuition fees for the current teaching period.
No refund of tuition fees for future periods less than six months after the date the student commenced study in their course at Charles Sturt University.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for future periods more than six months after the date the student commenced study in their course at Charles Sturt University.
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
The student is issued a letter of release by the University to transfer providers and withdraws from their course before census date to take up a place at another education provider, after completing at least one teaching period of study in their course at Charles Sturt University. Up to and including the census date for the current teaching period.
The University will retain 50% of tuition fees for the current teaching period. 
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
The student withdraws from the course for any reason other than to transfer providers during the first six months of study without a letter of release from the University. Up to and including the census date for the current teaching period.
The University will retain 50% of tuition fees for the current teaching period. 
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
The student changes their subjects or their course and the tuition fees for their new enrolment are less than what they have paid for their original enrolment. Up to and including the census date for the current teaching period. Full refund of the difference in tuition fees paid for the current teaching period (or this amount can be applied as credit towards future tuition fees).
The Commonwealth Government instructs the student to leave Australia for breach of their visa conditions. At any time.
No refund of tuition fees for the current teaching period.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for future periods.
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
The student is excluded from the University (or is excluded from their course and not admitted to another course at the University) for a breach of any of the University’s rules or policies, including misconduct, lack of progress or attendance, or has their enrolment cancelled for non-payment of fees. At any time.
No refund of tuition fees for the current teaching period.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
The University is unable to deliver the course and either:
  1. cannot offer the student a place in an alternative course; or
  2. offers the student a place in an alternative course, but the student prefers a refund of their fees.
After the student has commenced study in the course.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for the current teaching period and any future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees for past teaching periods.
* Unless the student applies for and is granted a refund due to exceptional circumstances. See the refunds in exceptional circumstances section below these tables for more information about applying for refunds outside of these refund limits.

Refunds after census date in exceptional circumstances

(25) A student may apply for a refund of tuition fees beyond the limits stated in the refund tables above where they have been prevented from continuing or successfully completing their studies in particular subject due to:

  1. exceptional circumstances outside their control, which
  2. did not make their full impact on the student until after the census date for the relevant teaching period.

(26) A student must apply in writing and clearly identify each subject they are requesting a refund for due to exceptional circumstances, and they must attach supporting independent (third party) evidence of these circumstances.

(27) Applications for a refund of tuition fees due to exceptional circumstances must be submitted within 12 months from the end-date of the teaching period for which the tuition fees were charged.

(28) The Executive Director, Division of Students or delegate will assess international student applications for a refund of tuition fees due to exceptional circumstances and will notify the student of the decision outcome within 10 working days of receiving the completed application with supporting evidence.

Appeals

(29) See the University Student Appeals Policy and University Student Appeals Procedure for information about appeals.

Payment of refunds

(30) The University will normally pay tuition fee refunds within four weeks of:

  1. receiving the refund request from the student, if no exceptional circumstances are claimed; or
  2. an approved refund decision, if the student is claiming exceptional circumstances that need to be assessed before their refund payment can be processed.

(31) Tuition fee refunds will be paid, in the Australian dollar amount of the fees, to the credit card or bank account of the student or to a nominated third party bank account authorised by the student. 

(32) The University will not compensate the payer of the fees for any exchange rate changes or funds transfer costs.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(33)  Nil.