Unsatisfactory Academic Progress by Coursework
Students Policy

**This policy has been reviewed by Academic Board in April 2015 - interim arrangements are in place until 1 January 2016 when the new policy comes into effect **

  1. Notification of students
  2. Support for students at risk
  3. Show cause submissions
  4. Faculty Academic Progress Committees
  5. Decision and notification by Faculty Executive Dean
  6. Monitoring compliance with conditions imposed by Faculty Executive Dean
  7. Appeals against exclusion
  8. Student Appeals Committee
  9. Notification of outcome of Student Appeals Committee
  10. Finalisation of Exclusion Decisions

Overview

University of Adelaide students are provided with the opportunity to meet the academic standards that lead to the conferral of a University of Adelaide award. Students have the primary responsibility for their own academic progress but the University recognises that it is important to identify students at risk of making unsatisfactory progress so that they can take steps to address the impediments to their progress and to improve. If a student's progress in an academic program is consistently unsatisfactory, conditions may be placed on the student's continued enrolment or the student may be excluded from continuing their studies in that program. This policy specifies how unsatisfactory progress will be identified and addressed.

Scope and Application

This policy applies to all students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.

Higher Degree by Research students are covered by the rules on Monitoring Academic Progress in the Research Student Handbook.

Policy Principles

1. Criteria for unsatisfactory progress

a) A student is deemed at risk of making unsatisfactory academic progress in a program if their Grade Point Average (GPA) for that program in a semester is 2.8 or less. NOTE: For 2015, the GPA will be based on the results provided after Additional Assessment or Replacement Examination opportunities.

b) A student is deemed to have made unsatisfactory academic progress in a program if their GPA for that program is 2.8 or less in three semesters, which may or may not be consecutive.

c) Using other risk indicators: Nothing in this policy prevents Faculties using different criteria to identify additional students who may be at risk of not completing their academic program, and offering support for those students. However a student can only be asked to show cause in accord with this policy.

Exception: students in the Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) academic programs

d) A student in the MBBS, BDS or BOH program is deemed at risk of making unsatisfactory academic progress if they fail a Year Examination.

e) A student in the MBBS, BDS or BOH program is deemed to have made unsatisfactory academic progress if they twice fail a Year Examination, which may or may not be consecutive.

2. Notification

a) At the end of each of Semester 1 and Semester 2:

i) students deemed at risk for the first time will be notified, and informed of the options available for their assistance (First Risk Notification)

ii) students deemed at risk for a second time will be again notified, informed of the options available for their assistance, and asked to consult a nominated academic program adviser (Second Risk Notification)

iii) students deemed to have made unsatisfactory progress will be notified and asked to show cause to the relevant Faculty Academic Progress Committee why they should not be excluded from their program of study (Show Cause Notification).

b) This clause has been rescinded.

c) A student who is permitted to re-enrol after being asked to show cause may again be notified and asked to show cause if their semester GPA at any time is 2.8 or less, without another First or Second Risk Notification.

Exception: students in the Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) academic programs

Students deemed at risk in the MBBS, BDS and BOH programs are notified once only: clause 2a)ii) above does not apply. Because Year Examination results are for a full academic year, notifications of students deemed at risk or to have made unsatisfactory progress will only occur at the end of the academic year. In all other respects, this policy applies to MBBS, BDS and BOH students.

3. Faculty Academic Progress Committee meetings

Each Faculty Academic Progress Committee will meet after the end of each academic year to consider the exclusion of students who were sent Show Cause Notifications in that academic year.

4. Faculty Academic Progress Committee powers

4.1 After consideration of all the evidence before it, and in accord with the principles of procedural fairness, the relevant Faculty Academic Progress Committee has the power to:

a) find that there is cause not to exclude the student, and recommend to the Faculty Executive Dean that:

i) the student's re-enrolment be approved, subject to any conditions the Committee sees fit to be imposed; or

ii) for domestic students* only, the student's enrolment be suspended from their entire program for one or two semesters;

or

b) find that there is cause to exclude the student, and recommend to the Faculty Executive Dean that the student be excluded from further studies in the program.

4.2 If the Committee recommends a condition, it must recommend a default consequence, which may be exclusion, if the student does not comply .

4.3 If a student does not provide a written submission within the time specified in the Show Cause Notice, the Committee may exercise any of these powers without further deliberation.

*Note: International students cannot be suspended under Policy Principle 4.1 a) ii) because of student visa requirements imposed by law.

5. Faculty Executive Deans power

Faculty Executive Deans have the power to make decisions based on the Faculty Academic Progress Committee's findings and recommendations.

6. Appeal

a) Students who have been excluded from their program of study may appeal to the University's Student Appeals Committee on the sole ground that there has been non-compliance with this Policy and such non-compliance amounted to a serious defect in the Faculty Executive Dean's decision. Appeals may not be made on merit grounds.

b) This appeal is the only and final appeal within the University.

c) All other decisions of a Faculty Executive Dean under this policy are final and students cannot appeal against them.

7. Re-admission after exclusion

A student who has been excluded from an academic program may apply for re-admission to that program or another program in accord with the University's Admissions Policy.

8. Authorities

The following authorities are delegated under this policy:

Clause 4

Faculty Academic Progress Committees

To exercise powers as specified in clause 4.

Clause 5

Faculty Executive Dean

To exercise power as specified in clause 5.

Clause 6

Student Appeals Committee

To uphold or reject appeal.

Procedure 7.2

Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic)

To exercise powers under Procedure 7.2.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic)

To approve Procedures and Templates, as required by this policy

To vary application of policy in respect of students in a course or program where special circumstances apply

9. Transitional provision

a) The Policy on the Review of Academic Progress, authorised 27 June 2006 and superseded by this policy, continues to apply to students enrolled in 2007 or earlier who have, at the time this policy comes into effect, previously been identified and notified as not meeting the published criteria for satisfactory academic performance in accord with the Policy on the Review of Academic Progress.

b) This transitional provision lapses from 1 January 2009.

Procedures

1. Notification of students

Responsibility: General Manager, Student Services

a) At the end of each semester, ensure a report is obtained from the University Management Information System on every student who has obtained a GPA of 2.8 or less in that semester. For MBBS, BDS and BOH students, obtain a report at the end of each academic year on students who fit the criteria specified in clause 1.1 of the policy.

b) Ensure each student is informed, as follows:

i) First Risk Notification. Those in the report for the first time: send an email in accord with the approved template.

ii) Second Risk Notification. Those in the report for the second time: send an email and a letter in accord with the approved template.

iii) Show Cause Notification. Those in the report for the third time: send an email and a registered letter asking them to show cause, in accord with the approved template for the relevant semester.

c) Ensure a copy of each notification is placed on the relevant student file, and provide each Faculty with a list of the names of students receiving a notification, and what type of notification, at the same time that the notifications are sent.

2. Support for students at risk

Responsibility: Faculty Executive Dean

Ensure that each Faculty has identified a range of options which can be offered to students receiving their First and Second Risk Notifications, and that a Faculty Officer is available to discuss options with students receiving their Second Risk Notification.

3. Show cause submissions

Responsibility: student who is asked to show cause

a) Prepare submissions in writing and include as much relevant information as possible to help the Faculty Academic Progress Committee reach a decision, including :

i) the reasons for their previous performance, supported by documentary evidence;

ii) any remedial action undertaken since they were advised of being at risk; and

iii) how they intend to improve their academic performance if permitted to continue their studies.

b) Lodge the submission by the date specified in the Show Cause Notification.

4. Faculty Academic Progress Committee

Composition

Responsibility: Faculty Executive Dean

a) Establish a Faculty Academic Progress Committee annually with the following minimum composition:

Faculty Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching) or equivalent: Chair

At least 1 academic staff member

At least 1 administrative staff member

b) Appoint a Faculty Officer as Secretary to the Committee.

Duties

Responsibility: Committee

c) Examine thoroughly all documents and evidence before it, including the student's academic record and the student's submission.

d) Assess the probable impact:

i) on past academic performance of the factors submitted by the student (for example, medical, personal, cultural and/or compassionate factors); and

ii) on future academic performance of any factors that may continue into the next academic year, and of any remedial actions taken or proposed by the student.

e) Exercise the powers specified in clause 4 of the Policy Principles.

Without limiting the Committee, examples of conditions which it may recommend be imposed are:

i) require the student to undergo counselling

ii) restrict the student's enrolment to less than a full-time load or to specified courses

iii) set a minimum GPA which must be achieved in the next semester for the student not to be excluded.

Process

Responsibility: Committee and Committee members

a) Meet after the end of each semester, as close as possible to, but not earlier than, 15 business days from the date the Show Cause Notifications are sent.

b) Ensure the student has had an opportunity to make a written submission to the Committee. If the student chooses not to make a submission, the Committee may exercise its powers on the basis of the student's academic record alone.

c) Permit a student to present their submission in person if the student so requests, provided the student has made a written submission with documentary evidence. The student may be accompanied by a friend or advocate.

d) Apply an open, impartial and unprejudiced mind to the Committee's duties.

e) Base findings and recommendations solely on relevant considerations.

f) Maintain confidentiality about the case.

A person with a direct or indirect financial or personal interest in a particular case, or in a personal relationship with a student whose case is before the Committee, or who otherwise has a conflict of interest in this case, must not sit on the Committee or have any involvement in the finding and recommendation for that case, even if they do not believe that their interest would affect their duties.

5. Decision and notification by Faculty Executive Dean

Responsibility: Faculty Executive Dean

a) Make a decision based on the findings and recommendations of the Faculty Academic Progress Committee.

b) Ensure the student is notified of the decision, by email and registered mail, using the approved template, within 5 working days of the decision.

c) Ensure a copy of the notification is sent to the General Manager, Student Services, for inclusion on the student's file.

6. Monitoring compliance with conditions imposed by Faculty Executive Dean

Responsibility: Faculty Executive Dean

a) When conditions are imposed on a student's re-enrolment, monitor the student's compliance with the conditions.

b) Implement default consequence of non-compliance. If exclusion is the default consequence, implement procedure 10.

7. Appeals against exclusion

Submission

Responsibility: student who wishes to appeal against exclusion

a) Prepare request for appeal and submission. Evidence must be provided to show:

i) that the decision to exclude was not made in compliance with this Policy; and

ii) such non-compliance amounted to a serious defect in the decision.

Note: appeals cannot be based on the student's dissatisfaction with the decision to exclude, or claims that the merits of the case were incorrectly or inappropriately assessed, or additional evidence or documentation related to the original submission to the Faculty Academic Progress Committee, or other grounds going to the merits of the decision rather than whether the decision was made in compliance with this Policy.

b) Lodge the submission with the Student Policy and Appeals Office within 20 business days of the date of the written notification of exclusion.

Preliminary assessment of appeal

Responsibility: Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic)

a) Review request for appeal and submission to ensure the grounds for the appeal are based on non-compliance with the Policy.

b) Where the supporting evidence provided by the student indicates that there was a non-compliance with the Policy which amounted to or had potential to amount to a serious defect in the Executive Dean's decision: refer the matter to the Student Appeals Committee.

c) Where the documentation submitted by the student indicates no evidence that there was a non-compliance with the Policy, or that the effect or potential effect of any non-compliance amounted to a serious defect in the Executive Dean's decision: notify the student in writing, with a copy to the Secretary, Faculty Academic Progress Committee, and to the General Manager, Student Services & Administration, for inclusion on the student's file.

8. Student Appeals Committee

Composition

Responsibility: Student Appeals Committee Secretary

Convene Committee as specified in the Student Grievance Resolution Process.

Duties

Responsibility: Student Appeals Committee

a) Review the evidence before it for non-compliance with the Policy which amounts to a serious defect in the Executive Dean's decision.

b) Decide to uphold or reject appeal.

Process

Responsibility: Student Appeals Committee and members

Follow the process set out in the Student Grievance Resolution Process.

9. Notification of outcome of Student Appeals Committee

Responsibility: Secretary, Student Appeals Committee

a) Notify the student in writing using the approved template.

b) Send a copy to the Secretary, Faculty Academic Progress Committee, and to the General Manager, Student Services & Administration, for inclusion on the student's file.

10. Finalisation of Exclusion Decisions

a) A decision to exclude becomes final only when:

i) the 20 business days allowed for lodging an appeal from the decision of the Faculty Executive Dean elapses and no appeal is lodged; or

ii) if the student lodges an appeal, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) or the Student Appeals Committee upholds the decision to exclude.

b) Students may enrol and continue with their studies until the exclusion becomes final.

Responsibility: General Manager, Student Services & Administration

Record the exclusion on the student's academic transcript when the decision is final.

External appeals: Onshore International Students

Responsibility: General Manager, Student Services & Administration

a) Notify the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Technology through PRISMS that the student has made unsatisfactory progress, and has consequently been excluded.

b) Print the ESOS Act Section 20 notice which PRISMS generates, and send to the student.



This document is a component of Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy

Policy Control Information

RMO File No. F 2007/4272
Policy custodian Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)
Responsible policy officer Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)
Endorsed by Academic Board
Approved by Vice-Chancellor and President
Related Policies Please visit the Academic Policy Resources website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/learning/governance/policy/?m=auth for additional information and materials, such as guidelines, FAQs and templates, to assist areas of the University understand and implement academic policies.
Superceded Policies Unsatisfactory Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
Effective from 1 January 2016
Review Date 31 December 2018
Contact for queries about the policy Learning Quality and Support: lqseducompliance@adelaide.edu.au

Printed copies of these documents may not be up to date. Please refer to the University Policy and Procedures website for the latest version.