Academic Progress Policy

Summary

This policy describes the requirements and principles governing academic performance and progression within Swinburne courses. 

Objectives

This policy aims to:

  • Provide a framework to guide decisions regarding academic performance and progression
  • Set clear responsibilities and accountabilities for academic progression decisions and processes
  • Ensure that academic progression processes are transparent, consistent and fair

Scope

This policy applies to all Swinburne courses.


1. Student progression principles

The University is committed to the maintenance of academic standards and high quality graduate outcomes for all courses.  Students are expected to maintain a satisfactory level of academic performance to be permitted to progress through a course.  Students who do not meet the required levels of academic performance will be identified and offered advice and support, and may be required to demonstrate why they should be allowed to continue in the course.  In accordance with the Academic Courses Regulations (Chapter 6), unsatisfactory progress may have consequences for students, such as conditions imposed on enrolment or exclusion from a course.
 
The University adheres to the principles of natural justice when making decisions regarding academic progress, including:

  • Students have access to clearly defined processes regarding academic performance and progress review
  • Students are provided with clear and timely information regarding any unsatisfactory progress
  • Students are given the right and opportunity to present their case
  • Academic progress issues are considered in a timely and efficient manner
  • Students are treated impartially and equitably during all stages of a progress review process

2. Academic progress

The Academic Courses Regulations (Regulation 63) outlines the criteria for the identification of students who are "at risk" of unsatisfactory progress (‘at risk’ status).

The University provides reasonable advice and support through early intervention processes to students who are identified as being ‘at risk’ of unsatisfactory progress.

The Academic Courses Regulations (Regulation 64) outlines the criteria for the identification of students whose progress is unsatisfactory (‘unsatisfactory’ or ‘show cause’ status).

A student who has unsatisfactory progress may be required to show cause in the manner and form determined by the University as to why they should not be excluded from his or her course.

The University may impose different academic progress requirements on students by category (Academic Courses Regulation 62(b)) (for example, specific courses may have different academic progress requirements and consequences due to alternative learning modes and locations or particular scholarship requirements).

The University and Academic Senate monitor the academic progress and status of students and the effectiveness of early intervention processes. 

Roles and Responsibilities (VC delegation)

Role/Decision/ActionResponsibility*Conditions and limitations
Determination of procedures to identify and notify students who are "at risk" or have unsatisfactory progress Registrars for SUT and SUTS Must be consistent with the above, and subordinate to the criteria in the Academic Courses Regulation.
Provision of early intervention advice and support to students identified "at risk" SDVC and Provost 
Registrars for SUT and SUTS
 
Approval of different academic progress requirements and consequences by category

Head of Academic Unit

Must be consistent with the above, and documented in the course accreditation instrument for approval by Academic Senate
Monitoring of academic progress of students SDVC and Provost A regular report must go to Academic Senate

*(Staff holding, acting in or performing the responsible position or office)


3. Progress review

A student who has been requested to show cause why they should not be excluded from their course will be subject to a progress review process.

The University will determine:

  • Roles and accountabilities of staff in relation to progress review processes and decisions
  • Procedures to manage academic progress decisions and outcomes that are consistent with the natural justice principles outlined in this policy.

When making academic progress review decisions, the University should consider:

  • Whether the student can continue to undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success
  • The relevance, nature, currency and authenticity of any evidence provided by the student to support their case
  • Compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • Regulatory and legislative requirements for international students on student visas
  • Special requirements of courses
  • Scholarship requirements
  • Professional accreditation or registration requirements
  • Maximum duration of studies

Possible consequences of unsatisfactory progress are outlined in the Academic Courses Regulations (Regulation 65).

The University may impose different consequences on students by category (Academic Courses Regulation 62(b)).

The University and Academic Senate monitor the outcomes of academic progress decisions. 

Roles and Responsibilities (VC delegation)

Role/Decision/ActionResponsibility*Conditions and limitations
Procedures to manage academic progress processes Registrars for SUT and SUTS Must be consistent with the above
Determination of procedures to manage academic progress decisions and outcomes SDVC and Provost  
Academic progress decisions Head of Academic Unit 
Academic positions specified by the Head of the Academic Unit and approved by SDVC and Provost
Must be consistent with the above.
Monitoring of decisions and outcomes of academic progress processes SDVC and Provost A regular report must go to Academic Senate

*(Staff holding, acting in or performing the responsible position or office)


4. Complaints, reviews and appeals

A person dissatisfied with a decision under this policy may lodge a complaint (or in some instances students may apply directly for a review), subject to the requirements of the complaints, reviews and appeals provisions of the People, Culture and Integrity Policy and the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.

In particular, where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of a progress review decision, the student may apply for a review of the decision in accordance with the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.


5. Transition provision

This Policy and the other Policies commencing 1 January 2014 promulgated by the University under the University-wide “Policy Review Project” replace all University policies in existence before 1 January 2014.

Before 1 January 2014 policies were coupled with procedures and many policies included procedural aspects.

Transitional arrangements will apply from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 under which:

  • Procedures coupled with policies and procedural components within policies that were in effect as at 31 December 2013 will continue to apply to provide direction as to procedure until 31 December 2014 unless replaced by new procedures or guidelines or otherwise repealed
  • Such procedures and procedural components are subordinate to and must be read in conjunction with new Policies
  • New Policies prevail to the extent of any inconsistency.

Higher Education students who have been identified prior to 31 December 2013 as having unsatisfactory progress and are required to show-cause before a deadline in January 2014 will be managed under the previous academic progress provisions in the Assessment - Higher Education 2013 policy.

Delegations

This policy includes, where indicated in the tables of roles and responsibilities, delegation of power by the Vice-Chancellor under section 26(7) of the Swinburne University of Technology Act 2010.

Approvals

VersionDateApproverContact
V 1.1 17 Dec 2013 Academic Senate Chair of Academic Senate