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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 and Fees 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 students to appeal a decision to refund, partially refund or not refund students’ tuition fees.

(2) This procedure is intended to ensure that the University complies with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS) and its associated regulations, the Tuition Protection Service (TPS), and the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.

(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 and Fees Policy.

Scope

(4) The scope of this procedure is limited to applications for a refund of tuition fees for international students who were enrolled in (or applying for admission to) study within Australia on a student visa when the tuition fees were charged.

(5) The Enrolment and Fees Policy and Enrolment and Fees Procedure contain relevant information about tuition fees which applies to all students, including refund processes and requirements for non-resident and domestic students.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) This procedure supports the Admissions Policy and Enrolment and Fees Policy and should be read alongside these documents and their relevant procedures.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Termination of enrolment

(7) In certain circumstances, international students may be eligible for a full or partial refund of the tuition fees they have paid to the University for the teaching period in which their course enrolment was terminated before the relevant census date (via withdrawal or cancellation), and for future teaching periods in which the student has paid their tuition fees in advance (if any).

(8) Depending on the reason and timing of the student’s termination of enrolment, different refund outcomes apply, as defined in the schedule of refund outcomes published in this procedure (see the tables below) for commencing and continuing international students.

Course withdrawal

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

(10) In order to withdraw from their course, international students must submit an online request for course withdrawal/cancellation using the University’s self-enrolment system, after which the University will cancel their confirmation of enrolment (COE) and report this change to the Commonwealth Government. International students must directly contact the Department of Home Affairs to discuss the impact this change in enrolment status will have on their student visa.

(11) International students seeking to change courses within this University are advised to submit their application for admission to study in their new course before submitting a request for course withdrawal. See the Admissions Policy and Admissions Procedure for information about applying for a new course at this University.

(12) Students seeking an approved letter of release from the University to transfer to another provider before completing the first six months of enrolment in their principal course must follow the process outlined in the International Students Provider Transfer Procedure.

Subject withdrawal

(13) International students should only apply for a refund of tuition fees where their course enrolment has been terminated (via withdrawal or cancellation), as continuing students who have withdrawn from one or more of their subjects before the relevant census date will automatically have those subject tuition fees applied as a financial credit towards their enrolment in future teaching periods.  However, requests to have these credited subject fees returned to the applicant as a refund payment instead of being applied to future teaching periods may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Director, Student Administration, based on compassionate or compelling circumstances.

(14) If a student has failed to enrol in any subjects or has withdrawn from all of their subjects by census date in any compulsory teaching period without prior University approval, this will be processed as a failure to enrol/re-enrol (as described in the Enrolment and Fees Policy) and any application for a refund will be assessed accordingly (as per the 'Cancellation of enrolment by the University’ section of the refund schedules published in this procedure).

Refund applications

(15) International 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.  The International Refund Form is available online at the following location: https://study.csu.edu.au/international/how-to-apply/student-responsibilities

(16) Applications for a refund of tuition fees must be submitted within 12 months from the end date of the teaching period for which the tuition fees were charged. Late applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis, by the Director, Student Administration, where there are compassionate or compelling circumstances.  Examples of compassionate or compelling circumstances are outlined by the University in relation to special consideration requests, but each case is assessed on its individual merits, in accordance with the National Code.

Refunds in special circumstances (before census date)

(17) Where an international student withdraws from their course before census date in any teaching period due to special (compassionate or compelling) circumstances, they must provide sufficient supporting evidence of these circumstances to the University as part of their international application for a refund.  Where the claim of special circumstances cannot be upheld by the University, the student will receive the appropriate scheduled refund amount as stated in the relevant table published within this procedure, based on the reason and timing of their withdrawal.

(18) See the Enrolment and Fees Procedure for information about applying for refunds for course or subject withdrawals after census date, where this was due to special circumstances outside of the student’s control.

Refunds of OSHC payments

(19) Where the University has organised Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance on the student’s behalf, international students must contact the University directly to apply for any refund of their OSHC fees, using the International Refund Form to submit their request.

(20) Where an international student has organised their own Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) while studying in Australia, they must directly contact their insurance provider for any refund of their OSHC fee payments.

Assessment of refund applications

(21) International student refund applications are assessed in accordance with ESOS legislation requirements by either the International Admissions or International Enrolments team (depending on the student’s visa status when their enrolment was terminated), using the scheduled refund outcome tables published within this procedure.

(22) The International Admissions team (within OGEP) assess refund applications for students who were either still waiting for the outcome of their student visa application when their course was terminated, or who have had their request for a student visa refused by the Commonwealth Government. 

(23) Once an international student has been granted a student visa for their enrolment in a particular course at this University, any refund application submitted by the student for that course will be assessed by the International Enrolments team (within Student Administration).

(24) Where an international student’s refund request involves any potential special (compassionate or compelling) circumstances, or is outside of the scope of reasons/situations defined in the refund schedules published below, their application must be sent by the relevant team to the Director, Student Administration for a refund assessment decision.

(25) Once they have been assessed, approved refund applications are referred to the Division of Finance for processing, and every student will be notified of the outcome of their refund application in writing.

International student refund schedules

(26) Throughout each table below, the timing column refers to the date on which the University receives the student’s request to withdraw from their course (or subject), or the timing of the relevant incident that led to the termination of the student’s enrolment.

Refund schedule for commencing students 

(27) The following table of scheduled refund outcomes applies to commencing international students who are seeking a refund of tuition fees due to terminating their enrolment before completing their first teaching period of study in the relevant course.

  Commencing student reason / situation Timing of underlying request or incident Refund outcome
1
Offer conditions not met
The student accepts a conditional offer made by the University but fails to meet these conditions by the deadline stated in their letter of offer.
Before the start of the first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
The University will retain an administration fee of 5% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period, up to a maximum of $500, and will refund the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for the first and any future teaching periods.
2
Visa refusal
The student’s offer/enrolment is cancelled because their application for an Australian student visa is refused by the Commonwealth Government, so they are unable to take up the offer of a place in the course.
Before or during the first teaching period of enrolment in the course. The University will retain an administration fee of 5% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period, up to a maximum of $500, and will refund the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for the first and any future teaching periods.
3
False, misleading, or withheld information
The University withdraws the offer of admission (and/or cancels the student’s enrolment in the course) because the student provided incorrect, incomplete or fraudulent information in their admissions application form (or in their application for a student visa, submitted to the Commonwealth Government).
Before or during the first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for any future teaching periods.
4
Compassionate or compelling circumstances (before census date)
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course (or for a release to transfer providers) before census date in their first teaching period due to special (compassionate or compelling) circumstances outside of their control.  The student then provides sufficient supporting documents to the University as evidence of these special circumstances, which are approved, as part of their application for a refund.
See the Enrolment and Fees Procedure for information about how to apply for a refund of tuition fees after census date due to special circumstances beyond the student’s control
Up to and including census date in the first teaching period of the course.
Full refund of all tuition fees paid for the first and any future teaching periods (where the special circumstances claimed in the refund application are approved by the University).
 
If the special circumstances are not approved, the student will receive the appropriate refund amount as stated in this table, based on the timing of their request to withdraw from the course (or for a release to transfer providers).
5
Approved release to transfer providers (before census date)
The University approves the student’s application for a letter of release to transfer providers for any reason other than due to compassionate or compelling (special) circumstances, which was submitted by the student before census date in their first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
Up to and including census date in the first teaching period of the course.
The University will retain 50% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period, and will refund the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for the first and any future teaching periods.
6
Approved release to transfer providers (after census date)
The University approves the student’s application for a letter of release to transfer providers, which was submitted by the student after the census date had passed for their first teaching period in the course.
After census date in the first teaching period of the course, and before the next teaching period begins.
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for any future teaching periods.
7
Provider transfer without approved release
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course any time before or during their first teaching period to take up a place at another education provider without being granted an approved letter of release by the University.
Before or during the first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for any future teaching periods.
8
Student course withdrawal (early) *^*
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course at least four weeks before the first teaching period begins for any reason other than due to special circumstances outside of their control, or to take up a place with another provider. 
IMPORTANT: Where they have already been granted a student visa for the relevant course at the time of their withdrawal, the student must also provide  evidence of having left (or not yet travelled to) Australia as part of their application for a refund. (See the note below this table for details) *^*
At least four weeks before the start of the first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
The University will retain an administration fee of 10% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period, up to a maximum of $1000, and will refund the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for the first and any future teaching periods.*^*
9
Student course withdrawal (before course starts) *^*
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course less than four weeks before the first teaching period begins for any reason other than due to special circumstances outside of their control, or to take up a place with another provider.
IMPORTANT: Where they have already been granted a student visa for the relevant course at the time of their withdrawal, the student must also provide evidence of having left (or not yet travelled to) Australia as part of their application for a refund. (See the note below this table for details) *^*
Less than four weeks before the start of the first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
The University will retain an administration fee of 25% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period, up to a maximum of $2500, and will refund the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for the first and any future teaching periods.*^*
10
Student course withdrawal (before census date)
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course after the first teaching period begins and before the census date has passed for any reason other than due to special circumstances outside of their control or to take up a place at another provider.
Between the start date and census date of the first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
The University will retain 50% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period, and will refund the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for the first and any future teaching periods.
11
Student course withdrawal (after census date)
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course after the census date has passed in the first teaching period for any reason other than due to special circumstances outside of their control.
See the Enrolment and Fees Procedure for information about how to apply for a refund of tuition fees after census date due to special circumstances beyond the student’s control.
After census date in the first teaching period of the course, and before the next teaching period begins.
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for any future teaching periods.
12
Approved subject withdrawal
The student has been granted permission by the University to withdraw from one or more of their subjects in the first teaching period (via an approved application for reduced load, as part of an academic progress intervention plan, or for other specific course-related reasons), and the tuition fees required for their new enrolment are less than what they have paid for their original enrolment.
Up to and including the relevant census date for each subject.
The difference in tuition fees paid for the current teaching period will be applied as a financial credit towards the tuition fees in future teaching periods.
If the student then withdraws from their course, these fees may be refunded to the student on application, in accordance with timing and reason for their subsequent course withdrawal.
13
Unauthorised subject withdrawal
The student withdraws from one or more of their subjects  in the current teaching period before census date without University approval, and the tuition fees required for their new enrolment are less than what they have paid for their original enrolment.
Up to and including the relevant census date for each subject.
The difference in tuition fees paid for the current teaching period will be applied as a financial credit towards the tuition fees in future teaching periods.
If the student then withdraws from their course before the next teaching period ends, these credited fees may not be refunded unless there are special circumstances approved by the University.
14
Visa cancellation
The student’s enrolment is cancelled because the Commonwealth Government has cancelled their visa, not granted a visa extension, or instructed the student to leave Australia for breach of their visa conditions.
Before or during the first teaching period of enrolment in the course.
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for any future teaching periods.
15
Cancellation of enrolment by the University
The University excludes or cancels the student’s enrolment in the course due to a breach of University rules, policies, and/or conditions of enrolment, including: non-payment of fees, failure to enrol/re-enrol, unsatisfactory progress, or student misconduct.
Any time before, during, or after the relevant teaching period in which the incident occurred.  The ‘relevant teaching period’ is also considered the ‘current teaching period’ in terms of stated refund amounts.  
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the first/current  (or relevant) teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for any future teaching periods that were unaffected by the incident.
16
Provider default
The University is unable to deliver the course and cannot offer the student a place in an alternative course, or offers the student a place in an alternative course, but the student prefers a refund of their fees.
See the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for more information.
Refunds are payable starting from the first teaching period in which the University is no longer able to deliver the course to this student.
Full refund of any tuition fees paid for the first/current teaching period in which this course will no longer be delivered to the student.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
*^* NOTE:  The University will require evidence of the student having returned to their home country (such as a plane ticket) to be provided as part of their refund application for international students who requested a withdrawal before their course start date (after being granted a visa). If a student is unable to provide this evidence, the University reserves the right to retain 50% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in their first teaching period.

Refund schedule for continuing students

(28) The following table of scheduled refund outcomes applies to continuing international students who are seeking a refund of tuition fees due to terminating their enrolment after completing at least one teaching period of study in the relevant course.

  Continuing student reason / situation Timing of underlying request or incident Refund outcome
1
Compassionate or compelling circumstances (before census date)
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course before census date in the current teaching period due to special circumstances outside of their control. The student then provides sufficient supporting documents to the University as evidence of these circumstances, which are approved, as part of their application for a refund.
 
See the Enrolment and Fees Procedure for information about how to apply for a refund of tuition fees after census date due to special circumstances beyond the student’s control.
Up to and including census date in the current teaching period of the course.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for the current and any future teaching periods (where the special circumstances claimed in the refund application are approved by the University).
If the special circumstances are not approved, the student will receive the appropriate refund amount as stated in this table, based on the timing of their request to withdraw from the course.
No refund of tuition fees paid for previous teaching periods.
2
Student course withdrawal (before teaching period begins)
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course before the start of the upcoming current teaching period, after completing at least one teaching period of enrolment in their course.
Before the start of the upcoming current teaching period of the course.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for the current and any future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees paid for previous teaching periods.
3
Student course withdrawal (before census date)
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course before census date in the current teaching period for any reason other than due to special circumstances outside of their control.
Between the start date and census date in the current teaching period.
The University will retain 50% of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the current teaching period and refund the rest of the tuition fees that the student has paid for the current and any future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees paid for previous teaching periods.
4
Student course withdrawal (after census date)
The student submits a request to withdraw from their course after the census date has passed in the current teaching period for any reason other than due to special circumstances outside of their control.
See the Enrolment and Fees Procedure for information about how to apply for refunds after census date due to to special consideration circumstances circumstances beyond the student’s control.
After census date in the current teaching period, and before the next teaching period begins.
No refund of tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the current teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees paid for any future periods.
No refund of tuition fees paid for previous teaching periods.
5
Approved subject withdrawal
The student has been granted permission by the University (via an approved application for reduced load, as part of an academic progress intervention plan, being granted leave of absence, or for other specific course-related reasons) to withdraw from one or more of their subjects in the current teaching period, and the tuition fees required for their new enrolment are less than what they have paid for their original enrolment.
Up to and including the relevant census date for each subject.
The difference in tuition fees paid for the current teaching period will be applied as a financial credit towards the tuition fees in future teaching periods.
If the student then withdraws from their course, these fees may be refunded to the student on application, in accordance with timing and reason for their subsequent course withdrawal.
6
Unauthorised subject withdrawal
The student withdraws from one or more of their subjects  in the current teaching period before census date without University approval, and the tuition fees required for their new enrolment are less than what they have paid for their original enrolment.
Up to and including the relevant census date for each subject.
The difference in tuition fees paid for the current teaching period will be applied as a financial credit towards the tuition fees in future teaching periods.
If the student then withdraws from their course before the next teaching period ends, these credited fees may not be refunded unless there are special circumstances approved by the University.
7
Visa cancellation
The student’s enrolment is cancelled because the Commonwealth Government has cancelled their visa, not granted a visa extension, or instructed the student to leave Australia for breach of their visa conditions.
Any time during the current teaching period (between the end of the last teaching period of enrolment in the course and the end of the current teaching period).
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the current teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees paid for previous teaching periods.
8
Cancellation of enrolment by the University
The University excludes or cancels the student’s enrolment in the course due to a breach of University rules, policies, and/or conditions of enrolment, including: non-payment of fees, failure to enrol/re-enrol, unsatisfactory progress, or student misconduct.
Any time before, during, or after the relevant teaching period in which the incident occurred.  The ‘relevant teaching period’ is also considered the ‘current teaching period’ in terms of stated refund amounts.
No refund of the tuition fees charged for full-time enrolment in the current (or relevant) teaching period.
Full refund of the rest of the tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods that were unaffected by the incident.
No refund of tuition fees paid for previous teaching periods.
9
Provider default
The University is unable to deliver the course and cannot offer the student a place in an alternative course, or offers the student a place in an alternative course, but the student prefers a refund of their fees.
See the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for more information.
Refunds are payable starting from the first teaching period in which the University is no longer able to deliver the course to this student.
Full refund of any tuition fees paid for the first/current teaching period in which this course will no longer be delivered to the student.
Full refund of tuition fees paid for any future teaching periods.
No refund of tuition fees paid for previous teaching periods.

Refunds after census date in special circumstances

(29) 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 due to:

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

(30) See the Enrolment and Fees Procedure for details about applying for refunds after census date due to special circumstances.

Payment of refunds

(31) The Division of Finance will normally pay approved refunds within four weeks of:

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

(32) Approved refunds will be paid in Australian dollars or equivalent to the nominated bank account of the authorised beneficiary.

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

Appeals and complaints

(34) Where a student wishes to appeal a decision made under this procedure, or has a complaint about the quality of service or the conduct of staff, the following policies apply:

  1. University Student Appeals Policy and University Student Appeals Procedure
  2. Complaints Management Policy and Complaints Management Procedure

(35) If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of their internal appeal or complaint, they have the right to lodge an external appeal or complaint with the NSW Ombudsman.

(36) The Enrolment and Fees Policy provides information about University decisions related to cancellation of enrolment, including the right for students to appeal these decisions before these outcomes can be finalised and reported to the Commonwealth Government.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(37) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary

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

  1. Beneficiary – the person or organisation responsible for payment of fees to the University. The student is the default beneficiary unless there is a third party sponsoring arrangement in place.
  2. Census date – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, expected course duration, and enrolment start and end dates.
  5. Continuing student – a student continuing their enrolment beyond the first teaching period of their course.
  6. Domestic course – a course delivered by an Australian education provider, including courses provided by this University and by partner institutions located within Australia.
  7. 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.
  8. Education Services for Overseas Students Act (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.
  9. International/overseas student – a student who is not a domestic student at the time of the relevant study, who is studying within Australia on a temporary student visa.
  10. 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.
  11. Letter of offer (Offer Letter) – the written agreement outlining a student’s enrolment contract with the University.
  12. 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.
  13. National code – the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.
  14. Non-resident student – all students who are not classified as ‘domestic’ or ‘international/overseas’ as defined in this glossary in relation to their visa/citizenship and location status. Non-resident 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. Non-tuition fees – any fees required for items not directly related to tuition fees. Examples include Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), student services and amenities fees (SSAF), library fines, accommodation fees, and other fees and charges related to additional administrative costs incurred by the University, such as late payment and late enrolment fees.
  16. Teaching period – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  17. Tuition fees – fees charged for each unit of study (subject) that a student is enrolled in.
  18. 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.