Higher Education Policies

FEE SCHEDULE 2019

(Higher Education courses)

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)

 

Domestic Students – Subject Fees

Course* Subject Fee
Undergraduate $2280(per 4cp subject)
Graduate $2280(per 4cp subject)
Postgraduate (Course Work) $2280/$3420(per 4cp/6cp subject)
Postgraduate(Research) $4560(per 8cp subject)

*All courses offered at ACC are approved and accredited by Australian College of Theology through MST (Melbourne School of Theology), an affiliated college of ACT.

Overseas Students

Course Subject Fee
Undergraduate $2600(per 4cp subject)
Graduate $2600(per 4cp subject)
Postgraduate (Course Work) $2600/$3900(per 4cp/6cp subject)
Postgraduate(Research) $5200(per 8cp subject)

 

Student Fee Policy

  1. Continuing full-time and part-time students must meet all outstanding fee payments from previous semesters prior to the commencement of each semester, otherwise enrolment will not be accepted unless a suitable scheme of payment through automatic bank transfer is proposed in writing and approved by the Vice Principal (Community and Operations).
  2. All full-time students will be required to establish a method of payment of semester tuition fees during the first week of each semester.
      Payment options are:
  • Payment of all fees in advance,
  • Upfront (deposit) payment of $300 payable on enrolment day and sign an authority for automatic bank transfer payments so that all fees will be fully paid no later than one week prior to examination date for the semester,
  • Application for a FEE-HELP loan covering tuition for Australian citizens studying at degree level or higher.
  1. Part-time (2 subjects) students will be required to pay either the full semester fees in advance by the first week of each semester, or an upfront (deposit) payment of $300 and sign an authority for bank transfer payments so that all fees will be fully paid by the week prior to the examination date for the semester to which they apply, or apply for a FEE-HELP loan if eligible.
  1. Part-time (1 subject) students will be required to pay the semester fees in advance by the first week of each semester, or apply for a FEE-HELP loan if eligible.
  1. Students unable to pay fees as they fall due will be required to make adjustments to their study load and secure income to cover their fees or discontinue their studies until such time as adequate financial arrangements can be made.
  2. Where there is likely to be a difficulty in meeting financial obligations in regard to student fees, students should confer with the Accountant as soon as possible.
  3. Refund of tuition fees for students withdrawing from or adding a subject or course during the semester will be made as follows –
    • Up to 2 weeks after the first lecture – a full refund will be given.
    • Subjects may be added only up to 1 week after the first lecture.
    • After the census date, no refund will be given except on written application to the Principal (or Dean of ACT for Fee-Help) on compassionate grounds. A partial refund may be given. No penalty will be applied.
  1. Students are required to pay all outstanding fees prior to the examination date of each semester. If a student is unable to clear outstanding fees by this date, the Principal may give permission to graduate if –
    • The student signs a letter acknowledging the fee debt as a priority financial commitment to the College, and
    • The student will receive the award of the College when the outstanding fees are fully paid, and
    • The student agrees that any externally awarded Diploma or Degree testamurs be held by the College until the outstanding fees are fully paid.

Additional Information

FEE-HELP is available for all ACT courses for Australian Citizens and those holding special Visas.

(Conditions apply – see http://studyassist.gov.au)

 

Other information

Fees quoted above are payable irrespective of the number of lectures actually attended.

 

ACC is a partner to MST is an affiliated college
of the Australian College of Theology

CRICOS code: 02650E

Responsible officer Geoff Treloar, Director Of Learning And Teaching
Contact (02) 9262 7890, gtreloar@actheology.edu.au
Approved by Coursework Committee
Responsible Body Coursework Committee
Approval date 5 August 2016
Effective date 5 August 2016
Review date 5 August 2018
Superseded documents none
Related documents Grievance Resolution Policy for Domestic studentsGrievance Resolution Policy for Overseas Students

 

 PURPOSE

To uphold the highest possible standards of academic integrity within ACT coursework awards.

 

DEFINITIONS

  • Academic Board is the Academic Board of the ACT.
  • Academic Dean refers to an Academic dean or equivalent officer of an affiliated college.
  • Academic integrity is academic and research honesty, including observance of ethical standards.
  • Academic misconduct is engaging in practices including but not limited to cheating in tests, examinations, essays or other assessable work, plagiarism, unauthorised collusion, fraudulent or unethical research and scholarship practices.
  • ACT is the Australian College of Theology Limited.
  • ACT award is a qualification conferred by the ACT which is certified by a testamur.
  • Affiliated College is an institution approved to offer an accredited higher education award of the ACT.
  • Assessment is the evaluation and measurement of student performance.
  • Cheating is attempting to obtain advantage in an assessment through dishonesty, deception or in contravention of any applicable regulations.
  • Coursework is work done by a student within a unit of study to a set curriculum and assessment schedule.
  • Coursework Committee is the ACT committee with oversight of coursework units.
  • Director of Academic Services is the officer of the ACT who manages academic administration, performance assessment and quality assurance.
  • Director of Learning and Teaching is the officer of the ACT who oversees all learning and teaching within coursework.
  • Domestic student is a student who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Handbook is a publication detailing the information such as courses and policies for different courses of study. The ACT produces several handbooks for different purposes.
  • Marker is a qualified person appointed to mark assessments by an affiliated college.
  • Overseas student is a student who is in Australia on a student visa enrolled with the ACT through its affiliated colleges.
  • Plagiarism is to take and use another person’s ideas and to fail to give appropriate acknowledgement. This includes material from any source, including other staff or students, the Internet, published and un-published works.
  • Registrar is the registrar or equivalent officer of an affiliated college.
  • Student is a student of the ACT. They may be a prospective, enrolled or former student.
  • Student records are records kept by the ACT and its affiliated colleges about each student and include enrolment, attendance, assessment and other information pertaining to their study.
  • TAMS is the Theological Academic Management System used to maintain the ACT student records.
  • Turnitin is an online based text-matching software service. It facilitates electronic assessment marking, formative feedback and originality checking.
  • Unit is a block of study in a particular field.

 

SCOPE

This policy applies to all ACT coursework awards.

 

POLICY STATEMENT

The Australian College of Theology, in line with tertiary institutions throughout Australia, regards academic misconduct as a serious matter.  Affiliated colleges are responsible for rigorously pursuing the highest possible standards of academic integrity.

 

PRINCIPLES

Definition of Academic Misconduct

  • Academic misconduct may encompass the following actions:

a) taking unauthorised materials into an examination;

b) submitting work for an assessment knowing it to be the work of another person;

c) improperly obtaining knowledge of an examination paper and using that knowledge in the examination;

Resources

d) endeavouring to gain unfair access to content and information where such access is not permitted;

e) arranging for another person to sit an examination in the place of the candidate;

f) failing to acknowledge the source of material in an assessment, including project or thesis, in any ACT program;

g) submitting a false medical certificate;

h) submitting incorrect, incomplete or misleading informatio

  • The ACT provides access to Turnitin to its affiliated colleges as a tool in the identification of instances of potential academic misconduct.

 

Acknowledgment and Usage of Sources

  • Students are expected to acknowledge the source of their ideas and expressions used in their written work.  To provide adequate documentation is not only an indication of academic honesty but also a courtesy enabling the marker to consult sources with ease. Deliberate failure to provide documentation may constitute plagiarism, which is subject to a charge of academic misconduct.
  • Plagiarism is understood to be the presentation of another person’s words or thoughts either as one’s own or without appropriate acknowledgement. Students are required to acknowledge by use of footnotes the origin of extracts, quotes and paraphrases contained in their work.  Quoted material shall be identified by relevant conventions.
  • Except in the case of ACT approved study and assessment schemes, students ought not to assist other students in the writing of individual assessments, such as providing written material to be copied.
  • Material submitted for assessment in one unit by a student may not be submitted for assessment by the student in any other unit of the award.

Procedures

  • Where a marker suspects intentional or inadvertent academic misconduct, the marker is to consult the Academic Dean who will make a determination regarding the nature of the student’s intentions.
  • In the case of inadvertent academic dishonesty resulting from misunderstanding of academic conventions rather than deliberate deception, students are to be granted an opportunity  to resubmit a corrected assessment, the marker shall deduct marks from the assessment and the Academic Dean is to counsel the student concerning the academic conventions prevailing in the ACT.
  • Students who have knowingly divulged, or caused to be divulged, the content of an examination to other students who are yet to complete the examination, will be dealt with by separate disciplinary processes approved by the Academic Board.
  • Students who have intentionally and knowingly received information relating to the content or nature of an examination for a unit in which they are enrolled, except that which was commonly released by the lecturer/s as part of the unit, will be dealt with by separate disciplinary processes approved by the Academic Board.
  • Affiliated colleges are required to report to the Director of Academic Services all offences with respect to plagiarism and cheating for recording in TAMS. Such information shall be available to registrars by means of a note on the student’s record on TAMS to any affiliated college with which a student is either enrolled or intends to enrol.

Penalties

  • Wilful academic misconduct may result in the following penalties:

a) the awarding of a fail grade for the whole unit of which the assessment is a part,

b) the awarding of 0% for the assessment or thesis or project with or without the opportunity to redeem it,

c) the student’s exclusion from the ACT award in which he or she is enrolled for a period not exceeding two years,

d) exclusion from any award of the Australian College of Theology, or e) another outcome appropriate to the case but with an impact less serious than exclusion from enrolment in any ACT award.

  • Since plagiarism and cheating are both serious academic offences, notwithstanding the prescriptions otherwise stated in this policy the following penalties are the ACT standard for plagiarism and cheating in coursework awards:

a) First offence

For a first offence a student will be subject to academic counselling, with and the maximum penalty being to fail the assessment item with no marks awarded. Where deemed appropriate, the minimum penalty available will be that a student may be granted an opportunity  to resubmit the assessment with a maximum of 50% for the assessment.

b) Second offence:

For a second offence a student will fail the unit, with no remedial opportunity.

c) Third or major offence:

For a third offence a student may be excluded from any ACT award, or excluded from the enrolled ACT award for up to two years, or any other outcome appropriate to the case but with an impact less serious than exclusion.

  • In the case of severe plagiarism and/or cheating, a student may be subject to a separate disciplinary process approved by the Academic Board.

Appeals

  • For domestic students enrolled in a coursework unit, any appeal against an outcome will be dealt with in accordance with the Dispute Grievance Resolution Policy for Domestic Students (section 3) which can be accessed on the ACT website and in the Handbooks.
  • For overseas students enrolled in a coursework unit, any appeal against an outcome will be dealt with in accordance with the Dispute Grievance Resolution Policy for International Overseas Students (section 3) which can be accessed on the ACT website and in the Handbooks.

 

RELATED LEGISLATION

none

 

REFERENCES

none

 

VERSION HISTORY

Version Approved by Approval Date Effective Date Changes made
1 Dean 12 March 2008
2 Dean 30 October 2010
3 Academic Board 14 March 2014
 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

Coursework

Committee

 

 

 

 

5 August 2016

 

 

 

 

5 August 2016

Recognition of ACT’suse of Turnitin; change to the penalty of a first instance of wilful academic misconduct; requirement that the Academic Dean in each college be responsible for identifying wilful academic misconduct.

Any hard copy of this electronic document may not be current as the ACT regularly reviews its policies. The latest version can be found online

at http://www.actheology.edu.au/policies.php.

AUSTRALIACOLLEGE OF THEOLOGY

CROSS INSTITUTIONAL STUDIES

Cross Institutional Enrolments are available through the Australian College of Theology. Application forms are available from your primary sponsoring ACT college.  All applicants need to ensure that once completed, the application form should be lodged well in advance of the various deadlines, as later applications will not be accepted.

 

Definition of Cross Institution Student

Students  who  are  currently enrolled  in  an  award  at  another  Higher  Education  Provider

providing documentary evidence that nominated units completed at the ACT will count towards that particular award.

 

Documentation needed

For the purposes of Cross Institutional study, the ACT is the “host institution” and your

current non-ACT college is the “home institution”.

 

Original documents required include:

  • A current official transcript of your current program of study available from your home institution. Certified copies are also acceptable.
  • You will also need to provide the ACT with a letter of authority from your home institution, stating clearly that you have permission to undertake Cross Institutional study at the ACT in the units of study concerned.
  • Cross Institution students will pay for any unit(s) undertaken at the ACT (i.e. pay up- front, or submit a FEE-HELP application form to the ACT).

 

The  above  documents  should  be  supplied  to  your  primary sponsoring  ACT  college  for application.

 

Withdrawal

As an enrolled cross institution student you cannot add any units to your approved program.

To withdraw from a cross institution unit you must complete a change of enrolment form at your primary sponsoring ACT college.  Any withdrawal from a cross institution unit must be completed before the census date.  Failure to do so will lead to both academic and financial penalties.

 

Further information

If you would like further information about Higher Education Fees please visit the following

website— studyassist.gov.au

 

Simon Davies

Director of Academic Services

10 September 2015

policies/cross institutional enrolment studies

Australian College of Theology

Grievance Resolution Policy for Domestic Students

 

Overview

The ACT has a policy and a process for dealing with student grievances (also called ‘complaints’). The policy ensures that students have access to fair and just avenues to deal with any grievances, and that they can follow those avenues without fear of reprisal. The policy applies to all colleges affiliated to the ACT.

Where possible, grievances are handled by the college involved, as well as by the ACT office if necessary. If a grievance is not resolved in this way, it is referred to the Council of Private Higher Education for independent external resolution. Any recommendations from that council must be implemented within 25 days.

The policy and its accompanying process (that is, the actions to be taken for reporting and resolving a grievance) are set out below in five sections, plus an appendix containing a diagram of the process.

  • Part 1: The policy
  • Part 2: The process: Reporting and resolving a grievance Part 3: The Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency
  • Part 4: Contact and administration details
  • Part 5: Principles of natural justice

 

Appendix: Diagram of the process

Part 1: The policy

The Australian College of Theology (the ACT) is committed to ensuring that students who have a concern about any aspect of our higher education operations have ready access to fair, just and effective grievance processes. Specifically, this means:

  • A student may report a grievance about any aspect of the ACT’s higher education operations, including operations provided on its behalf by its affiliated colleges and other entities.
  • The student may do this without fear of reprisal.
  • The grievance may be about an academic or a non-academic matter.
  • There is a comprehensive process for handling and resolving grievances, which includes review by an independent third party if the process cannot resolve the dispute.

If an affiliated college or other entity acting on behalf of the ACT does not comply with this policy, the Board of Directors of the ACT (‘the ACT Board’) will take disciplinary action as it sees fit, with the maximum penalty being dis-affiliation and exclusion from the ACT.

 

Our policy and its accompanying process are based on the following principles:

Principles underpinning the policy

  1.  Actions will be undertaken promptly, and deadlines for responses will be specified at each stage of the process.
  2.  The process will be as simple as possible and easily accessible to students.
  3.  The process will not victimise or discriminate against any student or respondent.
  4.  Reasons and full explanations will be given for decisions and actions take
  5.  Records of the handling of a grievance will be kept for at least 5 years and treated as confidential, with access available to involved parties as appropr
  6.  Components of the process will be at no cost to the student, apart from travelling expenses. A fee may apply when a review is formally requested in relation to a ‘passed’ grade of either an assessment or a unit.
  7.  All staff involved in a grievance or appeal have a duty to observe the principles of natural justice 1.
  8.  A student’s enrolment will be maintained while the appeal process is ongoing.
  9.  Students may seek resolution of a grievance under this policy regardless of where the college involved is located, where the student lives, and the mode in which the student studies.
  10.  The student reporting the grievance may withdraw it at any stage in the process. If the grievance is withdrawn, the matter will be considered closed.
  11.  If the appeal results in a decision that supports the student, the ACT will immediately implement that decision and take any corrective and preventative action required, and will advise the student of the outcom

This policy does not take away the right of any student to pursue other legal remedies, or take action under Australia’s consumer protection laws in the case of financial dispute.

 

Definitions

  • Student: All domestic students of the ACT. They may be prospective, enrolled or former students.
  • Grievance: A statement of concern made by a student which the student has reported to an affiliate college or to the ACT office, and which requires action or a response under this policy. A grievance can also be called a ‘complaint’, or a ‘dispute’.
  • What is not a grievance?: General feedback and comment about administration, academic programs and services is not treated as a grievance unless action or a response is required under this policy.
  • Academic matter: An action, inaction or decision by a member of the academic staff that affects the student’s academic assessment or progress.
  • Non-academic matter: Administrative or other matters (for example, matters related to fees, withdrawals, expulsion, allegations of bullying or harassment, etc) and other action, inaction or decisions that students may consider are interfering with the progress of their studies or with the granting of an award.
  • Natural justice: A term used in government and administrative decision-making, meaning the duty to act fairly in a dispute – that is, to act without bias and to ensure a fair hearing for all parties. It can also be called ‘procedural fairness’. The underlying assumption is that some legal principles are self-evident, or ‘natural’.

 

These are listed in Part 5.

Distribution and awareness of the policy

  • Access to the policy: The ACT is required to make this policy clearly accessible to all current and prospective students on the ACT website and in student handbooks. Affiliated colleges are required to make this policy accessible to all current and prospective students.
  • Distribution of the policy: Affiliated colleges must provide students with access to this policy on enrolment or within 7 days of starting an award course. In addition, continuing students must be reminded of this policy at the beginning of each subsequent year of their enrolment.
  • Student awareness: Students must make themselves aware of this policy before they enrol in a course or pay any fees, whichever occurs first, and within 7 days of starting an award course.

Record-keeping and reporting

Affiliated colleges and the ACT office must:

  • keep written records of all formal grievances, as well as the steps taken and decisions reached
  • report all formal grievances and decisions reached in their annual report to the ACT Board of Directors.

 

Part 2: The process: Reporting and resolving a grievance

The process to follow for reporting and resolving a grievance consists of several steps. The grievance may be resolved at Step 1 (informal resolution); if not, it is escalated to Step 2, and so on. Each step provides a fair and just avenue to deal with the grievance, and students are free to take as many of the steps as they believe appropriate, with no fear of reprisal.

This section is set out in three parts:

  • Grievances about academic matters

1) Concerns about a final grade awarded in a unit

2) Concerns about other academic matters

  • Grievances about non-academic matters
  • External dispute resolution

 

The process is also illustrated graphically at the end of this document.

Grievances about academic matters

  • In this policy, an ‘academic matter’ means the action, inaction, or a decision of a member of the academic staff that affects the student’s academic assessment or progress.
  • Examples of academic matters are final grades for units; matters concerning student admission or progression; curriculum and awards; marks for intra-semester assessment tasks (eg. essays).
  • Students may lodge grievances without fear of reprisal, and the appeals process provides for review by an appropriate independent third party if internal processes do not resolve a grievance.

1.1    Concerns about a unit grade

If a student wishes to complain about the grade awarded in an enrolled unit, they must take the following steps.

 

1.1.1      Step 1: Informal resolution with the Registrar

Student’s action

  • Within 25 days of the results being released, discuss the issue informally with the Registrar of your college of enrolment.

Registrar’s action

  • Respond to the issue promptly, giving a full explanation of the reasons the grade was awarded.
  • If the student’s concerns are not resolved, explain the next step, as set out below.
  • Give the student access to this policy and instruct them to read it.

Advice to students

If your concerns are not resolved by the Registrar, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may contact the Academic Dean of your college of enrolment. This may be done on an informal or a formal basis.

Note 1: If you choose to approach the Academic Dean informally, this does not prevent you making a formal appeal later if necessary.

Note 2: A fee might be charged for an appeal where you have been awarded a ‘passing’ grade in the unit.

 

1.1.2      Step 2: Appeal to the Academic Dean

INFORMAL COMPLAINT

Student’s action

  • Contact the Academic Dean to discuss your concern in person.
  • You must do this within 15 days of the outcome of your discussion with the Registrar.

Academic Dean’s action

  • Respond to the student’s concern promptly, giving a full explanation of the reasons for the academic decision, action or inaction.

FORMAL COMPLAINT

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your concern and the grounds for its appeal, and send it to the Academic Dean.
  • You must do this within 15 days of the outcome of your discussion with the Registrar.
  • The normal grounds for a formal appeal are one or more of the following:

−      the lecturer did not provide a unit outline as required

−      the assessment requirements in the unit outline were varied in an unreasonable way

−      you believe that the examiners’ judgement was not applied objectively because of prejudice against you

−      you believe there has been a clerical error in the calculation of the grade

−      you believe that due regard has not been given to the evidence of illness or misadventure if submitted by the specified date

−      you believe you have been disadvantaged in some way due to the circumstances surrounding your unit’s examination or other assessment.

Note: A fee might be charged for appeals where you have been awarded a ‘passing’ grade in the unit.

 

Academic Dean’s action

Note: If the Academic Dean was involved in the original decision, the college Principal must appoint another person of appropriate rank and expertise to review the matter.

  • Acknowledge the grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days. This could involve:

− bringing the student and the relevant lecturer together to discuss the matter

− having the contested assessment marked by another lecturer in the same college.

  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including:

− setting out your reasons

− advising that if the student does not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to the Dean of the ACT

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

 

Advice to students

If your concerns of an informal complaint are not resolved by the Academic Dean of your college, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may lodge a formal complaint to the Academic Dean under this section of the policy. See 1.1.2 Step 2 above below for how to do this.

If your concerns of a formal complaint are not resolved by the Academic Dean of your college, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may contact the Dean of the ACT. See 1.1.3 Step 3 below for how to do this.

Note: A fee might be charged for an appeal where you have been awarded a ‘passing’ grade in the unit.

 

1.1.3      Step 3: Appeal to the Dean of the ACT

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your concern and the grounds for its appeal, and send it to the Dean of the ACT.
  • You must do this within 15 days of receiving the Academic Dean’s written response.

Note: A fee might be charged for appeals where you have been awarded a ‘passing’ grade in the unit.

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for the Dean of the ACT

 

Dean of the ACT’s action

Note: If the Dean of the ACT was involved in the original decision that has become the matter in dispute, the Chair of the ACT Board must appoint another person of appropriate rank and expertise to review the matter.

  • Acknowledge the grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including:

−  setting out the reasons the final grade was awarded

−  advising the student that if they do not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee

−  enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

 

Advice to students

If your concerns are not resolved by the Dean of the ACT, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may approach the Academic Appeals Committee. See 1.1.4 Step 4 below for how to do this.

 

1.1.4      Step 4: Appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your complaint and the grounds for its appeal.
  • Send it to the ACT’s Director of Academic Services (for the Academic Appeals Committee) within 15 days of receiving the ACT Dean’s written response.

Note: The membership of the Academic Appeals Committee is decided on a case-by-case basis (explained in the Committees of the Academic Board Policy, available at  www.actheology.edu.au). Therefore you should send your complaint through the ACT’s Director of Academic Services.

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for the Director of Academic Services

Academic Appeals Committee’s action

  • Acknowledge the formal appeal in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including:

− setting out the reasons the final grade was awarded

− advising the student that if they do not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to an independent external agency

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

 

Advice to students

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this appeal, you can make a final appeal free of charge to the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE), which is an independent third party.

Please see 3.  External dispute resolution for how to proceed with this step.

 

1.2    Concerns about other academic matters

In this policy, ‘other academic matters’ means matters relating to student admission or progression, the curriculum and awards in a course of study, and marks for intra-semester assessments.

 

1.2.1      Step 1: Informal resolution with the lecturer

Student’s action

  • Discuss your concern informally with the relevant lecturer at your college of enrolment.
  • If the concern is about the result of an intra-semester assessment, ask that the assessment be reviewed by the lecturer of the unit of study.
  • You must do this within 25 days of the academic decision.

 

Lecturer’s action

  • Respond to and deal with the matter promptly, giving a full explanation of the reasons for the action, inaction or academic decision.
  • If the student’s concerns are not resolved, explain the next step, as set out below.
  • Give the student a copy of this policy and instruct them to read it.

 

Advice to students

If your concerns are not resolved by the lecturer, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may contact the Academic Dean of your college of enrolment. This may be done on an informal or a formal basis. See 1.2.2 Step 2 below for how to do this.

Note 1: If you choose to approach the Academic Dean informally, this does not prevent you making a formal appeal later if necessary.

Note 2: There might be a fee for a formal appeal.

 

1.2.2      Step 2: Appeal to the Academic Dean

INFORMAL COMPLAINT

Student’s action

  • Contact the Academic Dean to discuss your concern in person.
  • You must do this within 15 days of the outcome of your discussion with the lecturer.

Academic Dean’s action

  • Respond to the student’s concern promptly, giving a full explanation of the reasons for the academic decision, action or inaction.

FORMAL COMPLAINT

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your complaint and the grounds for its appeal, and send it to the Academic Dean.
  • You must do this within 15 days of the outcome of your discussion with the lecturer.

Academic Dean’s action

Note: If the Academic Dean was involved in the original decision, the college Principal must appoint another person of appropriate rank and expertise to review the matter.

  • Acknowledge the grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • If the grievance relates to the mark for an intra-semester assessment, arrange for the assessment to be marked by another lecturer in the same college.
  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including:

− setting out your reasons

− advising that if the student does not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to the Dean of the ACT

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

Advice to students

If your concerns of an informal complaint are not resolved by the Academic Dean of your college, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may lodge a formal complaint to the Academic Dean under this section of the policy. See 1.2.2 Step 2 above below for how to do this.

If your concerns of a formal complaint are not resolved by the Academic Dean of your college, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may contact the Dean of the ACT. See 1.2.3 Step 3 below for how to do this.

 

1.2.3      Step 3: Appeal to the Dean of the ACT

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your complaint and the grounds for its appeal, and send it to the Dean of the ACT.
  • You must do this within 15 days of receiving the Academic Dean’s written response.

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for the Dean of the ACT

 

Note for students

If your complaint relates to the mark for an intra-semester assessment, the Dean may appoint an independent assessor who will re-mark the assessment script. A fee may apply for these appeals.

 

Dean of the ACT’s action

Note: If the Dean of the ACT was involved in the original decision that has become the matter in dispute, the Chair of the ACT Board must appoint another person of appropriate rank and expertise to review the matter.

  • Acknowledge the grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • If the grievance relates to the mark for an intra-semester assessment, consider having the assessment re-marked by another lecturer in a different college.
  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including:

− setting out your reasons

− if the grievance relates to the mark for an intra-semester assessment, advising that your decision is final

− on other academic matters, advising the student that if they do not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

 

Advice to students

If your concerns are not resolved by the Dean of the ACT, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may approach the Academic Appeals Committee. See 1.2.4 Step 4 below for how to do this.

 

1.2.4      Step 4: Appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your concern and the grounds for its appeal.
  • Send it to the ACT’s Director of Academic Services for the attention of the Academic Appeals Committee.
  • You must do this within 15 days of receiving the Dean of the ACT’s written response.

Note: The membership of the Academic Appeals Committee is decided on a case-by-case basis (explained in the Committees of the Academic Board Policy, available at  www.actheology.edu.au). Therefore you should send your complaint through the ACT’s Director of Academic Services.

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for the Director of Academic Services

 

Academic Appeals Committee’s action

  • Acknowledge the formal grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • Advise the student of the Committee’s decision in writing, including:

− setting out their reasons

− advising the student that if they do not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to an independent external agency

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

 

Advice to students

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this appeal, you can make a final appeal free of charge to the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE), which is an independent third party.

Please see 3. External dispute resolution for how to proceed with this step.

 

2. Grievances about non-academic matters

In this policy, ‘non-academic matters’ means various administrative and other matters related to fees, withdrawals, expulsion, allegations of bullying or harassment, etc, and any other action, inaction or decision that students may consider are interfering with the progress of their studies or with the granting of an award.

Students may lodge grievances without fear of reprisal, and the appeals process provides for review by an independent third party if internal processes do not resolve a grievance.

 

2.1    Step 1: Informal resolution with the Registrar

Student’s action

  • Discuss your concern informally with the Registrar of your college of enrolment.
  • You must do this within 25 days of the decision, action or inaction.

Registrar’s action

  • Notify the student promptly of any action taken or any decision made in relation to the grievance.
  • If the student’s concerns are not resolved, explain that they may take the matter further, as set out in 2.2a and 2.2b below.
  • Give the student a copy of this policy and instruct them to read it.

Advice to students

If your concerns are not resolved, or if you believe the process has not been followed, you may proceed as follows:

  • If the matter relates to the college, contact the Principal (Step 2a).
  • If the matter relates to ACT policy or regulations, contact the ACT Director of Academic Services (Step 2b).

 

2.2a Step 2a: Appeal to the Principal

Guidance for students

Take this step (Step 2a) if your grievance relates to the college you are enrolled in.

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your concern and the grounds for its appeal, and send it to the Principal of your college.
  • You must do this within 15 days of the outcome of your discussion with the Registrar.

Principal’s action

Note: If the Principal was involved in making the original decision, action or inaction that has become the matter in dispute, the Chair of the college council (or equivalent) must appoint another person of appropriate rank and expertise to review the matter.

  • Acknowledge the grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including:

− setting out your reasons

− advising the student that if they do not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to the Dean of the ACT

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

 

 

2.2b Step 2b: Appeal to the ACT’s Director of Academic Services

Guidance for students

Take this step (Step 2b) if your grievance relates to ACT policy or regulations.

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your concern and the grounds for its appeal, and send it to the ACT’s Director of Academic Services.
  • You must do this within 15 days of the outcome of your discussion with the Registrar.

Director of Academic Services’ action

Note: If the Director of Academic Services was involved in making the original decision, action or inaction that has become the matter in dispute, the Dean of the ACT must appoint another person of appropriate rank and expertise to review the matter.

  • Acknowledge the grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including

− setting out your reasons

− advising the student that if they do not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to the Dean of the ACT

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for the Director of Academic Services

 

2.3    Step 3: Appeal to the Dean of the ACT

Guidance for students

If your concerns are not resolved by the Principal or the Director of Academic Services, as applicable, or

if you believe the process has not been followed, you may contact the Dean of the ACT. This may only be done on a formal basis, as follows:

Student’s action

  • Put your grievance in writing, explaining clearly the nature of your concern and the grounds for its appeal, and send it to the Dean of the ACT.
  • You must do this within 15 days of receiving the written response from the Principal or Director of Academic Services.

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for the Dean of the ACT

Dean of the ACT’s action

Note: If the Dean of the ACT was involved in the original decision that has become the matter in dispute, the Chair of the ACT Board must appoint another person of appropriate rank and expertise to review the matter.

  • Acknowledge the grievance in writing within 5 days.
  • Try to resolve the grievance within 15 days.
  • Advise the student of your decision in writing, including:

− setting out the reasons for the decision

− advising the student that if they do not agree with the decision, they have the right of formal appeal to an independent external agency

− enclosing a copy of this policy and instructing the student to read it.

Advice to students

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this appeal, you can make a final appeal free of charge to the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE), which is an independent third party.

Please see 3. External dispute resolution for how to proceed with this step.

 

Note for Colleges

If an affiliated college is dissatisfied with the ACT Dean’s decision, they should refer to the Affiliated College Appeal Policy.

 

3. External dispute resolution

Students who remain dissatisfied with the outcome of any appeal, except those related to a mark for an intra-semester assessment, may make a final written appeal – free of charge – to the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE).

Affiliate colleges and the ACT office may also make representations to COPHE regarding the matter. COPHE is an independent third party, and its decisions are final and binding on all parties.

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for the Council of Private Higher Education

 

Part 3: The Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency

If a student has a complaint about the ACT’s actions, they may raise concerns with the Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency (TEQSA) regarding the ACT’s registration as an education and course provider.

TEQSA does not deal with students’ academic or non-academic grievances. Those grievances are dealt with under this policy.

 

See Part 4 of this document for Contact details for TEQSA

 

Part 4: Contact and administration details

Contact details

Dean of the ACT                                                  Rev Dr Mark Harding

Dean & CEO

Australian College of Theology Level 10, 257 Clarence Street Sydney NSW 2000

Ph: 02 9262 7890 mharding@actheology.edu.au

 

ACT Director of Academic Services                Mr Simon Davies

Director of Academic Services Australian College of Theology Level 10, 257 Clarence Street Sydney NSW 2000

Ph: 02 9262 7890 sdavies@actheology.edu.au

 

Tertiary Education Quality & Standards

Agency (TEQSA)

TEQSA

GPO Box 1672

MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Ph: 1300 739 585 www.teqsa.edu.au enquiries@teqsa.gov.au

 

COPHE                                                                  Mr Adrian McComb

Executive Officer

Council of Private Higher Education Suite 59, 47 Neridah Street Chatswood NSW 2167

Ph: 02 8021 0841

 

Administration

Policy owner  Academic Board of the ACT
 Location of the policy  The policy is published in the ACT’s handbooks and on the ACT website www.actheology.edu.au.
Applicable legislation and standards  TEQSA: Provider Registration Standard 6.4

TEQSA Act 2011, section 26 (delivery of courses through affiliate colleges must comply at all times with the Threshold Standards)

 Review of policy Every two years
 Last update October 2015

 

Part 5: Principles of natural justice

All staff involved in resolving a grievance have a duty to observe the principles of natural justice (or ‘procedural fairness’). In summary, they encompass the following elements:

  1. The right of the student to a fair hearing.
  1. The right to an independent, unbiased decision-maker.
  1.  A final decision that is based solely on the relevant evidence with all submissions considered.

AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF THEOLOGY

Student Appeals under Higher Degree Rules


Approval Resolution No.: DEL 0705-024     Date: 21 May 2007

Revision Approval Resolution No.: DIR1106-18.1B        Date: 24 June 2011


 

PART A: POLICY

1. Purpose and Scope

This policy will establish:

(a)  the grounds on and procedures by which a research higher degree candidate may appeal against a decision of the Research and Research Studies Committee:

  • not to award a research degree, or
  • not to allow resubmission of a thesis for re-examination, or
  • to terminate candidature; and,

(b) the procedures for receiving, handling and seeking to resolve a complaint about the conduct or to appeal a decision of the ethics review body of the ACTh in reviewing research proposals from a higher degree candidate; and,

(c) the principles to be applied in the determination of an appeal and the resolution of complaint.

Appeals under (a) are within the functions of the Academic Appeals Committee of the Academic Board.  Should the Academic Appeals Committee become involved in an appeal under this policy the rules specified in this policy will guide their involvement.

Complaints and Appeals under (b) are within the responsibilities of the Dean since the ethics review body of the ACTh is a Statutory Committee of Advice to the Dean.

Grievance matters arising from other academic and non-academic issues related to higher degree candidature, including matters relating to unsatisfactory supervision, inadequate facilities, disputes relating to candidate progress, are to be handled according to the dispute resolution procedures of the ACTh.   Students wishing to make an appeal on such matters are referred to the existing policies Dispute Resolution Policy for Domestic Students and Dispute Resolution Policy for International Students [See 7(A) below].

  • In respect of (a) this policy will apply to candidates enrolled in the degrees of DMin, MTh and ThD.
  • In respect of (b) this policy will apply to candidates enrolled in the degrees if MA(Th), MA(Min), MA(ChrStuds), DMin, MTh and ThD.

2. Policy Level

Governance/Academic/Management/Operational: Governance/Academic/Management

3. Background

This policy recognises the distinctive nature of the candidature of higher degree students and the gravity of the decisions that are the basis for appeals or complaints under this policy.  Consequently, it is appropriate for this policy to be independent of the other Dispute Resolution Policies of the ACTh that relate to Domestic and International students since these policies address matters of concern to coursework students unrelated to ethics approval of projects and research students on matters not peculiar to research candidature.

This policy is designed to ensure that:

  • principles of procedural fairness and natural justice are applied in the appeals process; and
  • persons comprising the various appeals panels are as independent as possible of the original person(s)/body making the original decision or making the recommendations leading to the original decision.
  • This policy takes account of the expectations of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research in relation to the handling of complaints, particularly about the conduct and decisions of the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).  The Guidelines in Chapter 5.6 Handling Complaints include the following sections:
  • Institutions  should  also  establish  procedures  for  receiving,  handling  and  seeking  to resolve complaints about the conduct of review bodies in reviewing research proposals.
  • Where these complaints cannot be readily resolved by communication between the complainant and the review body that is the subject of the complaint, complainants should have access to a person external to that review body to handle the complaint.
  • Institutions should identify a person or agency external to the institution to whom a person can take a complaint that has not been resolved by the processes referred to in paragraphs 5.6.1 to 5.6.5.
  • Institutions should publicise their complaints-handling procedures.

4. Definitions

  • ACTh – Australian College of Theology
  • Appeals Committee – the Appeals Committee of the ACTh Academic Board
  • Appellant – the higher degree research candidate against whom the original decision was made. Associate Dean – the Associate Dean of the ACTh who has oversight of research studies matters Complainant – the higher degree candidate aggrieved by the conduct of the HREC
  • HREC – Human Research Ethics Committee of the ACTh – the statutory committee of the Dean with the responsibility for ethics review of research thesis and major project proposals
  • Higher Degree Research candidates – candidates enrolled in the MTh, DMin and ThD degrees
  • Higher Degree candidates – candidates enrolled in the MA(Th), MA(Min), MTh, DMin and ThD degree
  • Research Co-ordinator – the academic staff member in an affiliated college who has responsibility for oversight of research student training in the college.
  • R&RSC – the Research and Research Studies Committee of the ACTh Academic Board

5. Principles

(A) Principles underpinning this policy

A1. Actions within the process will be undertaken in a timely manner and timelines for responses will be specified at each stage of the process

A2. The process will be as simple as possible and easily accessible to appellants and complainants

A3. The process will not victimise or discriminate against the appellant or complainant or any other involved party

A4. As part of the process, reasons and full explanations will be given for decisions and actions taken

A5. Appropriate records of the handling of an appeal or complaint under this policy will be kept for a minimum of 5 years and treated as confidential, with appropriate access available to involved parties

A6. Components of the process within the ACTh or an affiliated college shall be at no cost to the appellant or complainant, apart from travelling expenses.

A7. The appellant or complainant may withdraw the appeal or complaint at any stage in the process.

If the appeal or complaint is withdrawn, the matter will be deemed to be closed

A8. The appellant or complainant shall be informed in detail of the outcome of the appeal or the resolution of the complaint.

 

(B)  Principles of Natural Justice

B1. All staff involved in considering an appeal under this policy have a  duty to observe the principles of natural justice, which involve the following elements:

  • the right of the appellant to a fair hearing
  • the right of the appellant to attend hearings with a friend or support person, if desired, provided the person is not a practising solicitor or barrister
  • the opportunity for all parties involved to be heard
  • the appellant having full knowledge of the reasons for the original decision
  • the appellant or complainant not determining the outcome, but may be a party to it
  • the right to an independent, unbiased decision-maker
  • a final decision that is based solely on the relevant evidence with all submissions considered.

 

(C) Standard of Proof

C1. Consistent with the requirements of administrative law, the standard of proof for determining an appeal is on the balance of probabilities. This means that the decision-maker must be satisfied that the original decision being incorrect is more probable than not. This differs from the criminal law standard of proof which is beyond reasonable doubt.

 

(D) Disclaimer

D1. This Policy does not limit the student’s right to pursue alternative legal remedies.

 

(E)  Variation of insubstantial matters in Part B: Procedures

E1. To take account of special circumstances concerning an Appellant or Complainant or other unusual  issues  that  may  arise  during  the  appeal  or  resolution  process,  the  Dean  has  the discretion to vary the time limits and other insubstantial matters of procedure in Part B: Procedures.

6. Policy Content

(A) Eligibility to appeal

A1. Higher degree research candidates against whom one of the decisions in Section 1(a) has been made by the Research and Research Studies Committee may appeal against this decision.

A2. Higher degree candidates who have a complaint about the conduct or a decision of the HREC in relation to their review of a research or major project proposal may seek resolution of their complaint or appeal against the decision.

 

(B) Grounds for appeal against a decision of the R&RSC

B1. Appeals based solely on the rejection of the academic assessment of work submitted for the award of the degree will not be permitted.

B2. The grounds for appeal against a decision not to award a research degree or not to allow resubmission of a thesis for re-examination include:

  • procedural irregularities in the conduct of an examination;
  • significant evidence of circumstances substantially affecting the student’s performance of which the Research and Research Studies Committee was not aware.

B3. The grounds for appeal against a decision to terminate candidature include:

  • demonstrably incorrect record keeping in the affiliate college and/or the ACTh
  • a justified difference of opinion arguing that progression to completion of candidature is satisfactory
  • documented experience of special circumstances impacting progress unreported during the period of candidature

 

(C) Grounds for appeal against a decision of the HREC

C1. Appeals based solely on the rejection of the academic assessment of the ethical content of a research or project proposal will not be permitted.

C2. The grounds for appeal against a decision to not endorse the ethical content of a research or project proposal shall be procedural irregularities in the review of the ethical content.

 

(D) Grounds for complaint about the conduct of the HREC

D1. Given that there can be justifiable differences opinion as to whether a research or project proposal meets the requirements of the National Statement, students may complain about the process of the review of their research or project proposal.

 

7. Associated Documents

(A) Related External Documents

(B) Related Internal Documents

  • Committees of the Academic Board Policy – (E) Academic Appeals Committee
  • Dispute Resolution Policy – Domestic Students
  • Dispute Resolution Policy – International Students
  • Duties of Candidates as found in the Rules for each research award

8. Responsibility and Authority

Body/Position with authority to initially approve the policy and procedures and amend the policy:

         Board of Directors                  

 

Body/Position with delegated authority to amend the procedures consistent with the policy:

                  Dean                            

 

Body/Position(s) accountable for:

Responsibility Position
Development of the policy Quality Manager
Provision of advice in development of the policy Research & Research StudiesCommittee
Distribution of the policy Quality Manager
Implementation of/Advice concerning the policy Associate Dean/College Research Co-ordinators
Monitoring of and compliance with the policy Associate Dean
Evaluation and recommending amendment of the policy Quality Manager/Associate Dean/Research & Research Studies

Committee

9. Approvals

DocumentTitle: Student Appeals Policy under ResearchDegree Rules DocumentNumber: RAB0705/4/3DEL0705/10/2
ApprovalAuthority: Board of Delegates Approval Date: 21 May 2007
Resolution No: DEL 0705-024 Effective Date: 01 June 2007
DocumentAdministrator Quality Manager Review Date: June 2013
Revision History

 

Authority Action Resolution No. Date
RAB Recommendation to BofD for approval RAB 0705-002 4 May 2007
DEL Approval of Policy and Procedures DEL 0705-024 21 May 2007
QualityManager Insertion of Table of Contents and otherformatting as per current policy template 5 July 2007
 

Directors

Rename to “Policy on Student Appealsunder Higher Degree Rules” and revision of scope to include HREC actions and outcomes  

DIR1106-18.1B

 

24 June 2011

10. Communications

Date Recipient Purpose Mode
4 May 07 Members ofRAB Notice of new format of policy after approval inoriginal format by RAB and requesting advice of improvements – 1 response Email
25 May 07 Principals andRegistrars Distribution of version of policy approved by BofDson 21 May 07 Email

 

 

PART B: PROCEDURES

1. Introduction

(A) Appeals or complaints made where the supporting material is Highly Confidential.

A1. Where an appellant or complainant lodges an appeal or complaint and the supporting material is of a highly sensitive or personal nature, the appellant/complainant may submit that material in a sealed envelope clearly marked “confidential”. The Board of Directors, the Dean, the Appeal Review Panel, the Academic Appeals Committee and involved staff of the ACTh will treat the material with the utmost confidentiality.

 

(B) Quality Manager as observer

B1. The  Quality  Manager  (or  nominee)  shall  attend  meetings  of  any  Panel  and  Committee addressing matters under this policy as an observer.

2. Procedures

(A) Appeal against a decision of the R&RSC

A1. The student must make the appeal in writing to the Chair of Academic Board through the Associate Dean within twenty (20) working days of the date on the written document from the ACTh advising the decision that is the subject of the appeal. The student must set out fully the grounds for appeal and provide documentary evidence in support of the appeal.  Within five (5) working days, the Associate Dean shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal.

A2. Within ten (10) working days, the Chair of the Academic Board shall appoint an independent nominee and a Research Co-ordinator from an affiliated college other than the appellant’s to constitute an Appeal Review Panel to determine whether the appeal is  against a  decision covered by this policy and does accord with the grounds for appeal above, in which case the appeal will be heard.

A3. Should the Panel determine the appeal should not be heard, the Panel shall so advise the Chair of Academic Board, including a full explanation for their determination, and the Associate Dean will  advise  the  appellant  within  five  (5)  working  days  of  the  determination  with  a  full explanation of the determination.

A4. If the Appeal Review Panel determines the appeal should be heard, the appeal will be referred to the Academic Appeals Committee within ten (10) working days of the determination. The committee shall be composed by the Chair of the Academic Board in accord with the Committees of the Academic Board Policy and may include:

  • Two Research Co-ordinators from affiliated colleges other than the one from which the appeal originated and different to the Research Co-ordinator in A2.

A5. The Academic Appeals Committee will consider documents relevant to the appeal including all material submitted by the appellant, and call before it any person deemed relevant. The Committee may consult the Chair of the R&RSC.  The committee will not consider academic judgements made as part of any examination process.  The appellant will be invited to present a case. The person assisting the student may provide the appellant with advice, but may not act as an advocate nor make direct comment to the meeting without permission of the Chair.

A6. At the completion of the hearing everyone present, with the exception of the members of the Committee, will be excused from the hearing to allow the Appeals Committee to reach a decision on the appeal.

A7. Within  five  (5)  working  days  of  the  meeting  of  the  Appeals  Committee,  the  Chair  will communicate in writing the decision, with reasons, through the Associate Dean to the Chair of the Academic Board and the Chair of the R&RSC.

A8. Within five (5) working days of receiving the Committee’s decision, the Chair of the Academic Board will notify the appellant, through the Associate Dean, of the outcome of the appeal and provide the reasons for the decision.

A9. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final and a confidential report will be provided to the next meeting of the Academic Board.

 

(B) Appeal against a decision of the HREC

B1. The student must make the appeal in writing to the Dean through the Associate Dean within twenty (20) working days of the date on the written document from the ACTh advising the decision that is the subject of the appeal. The student must set out fully the grounds for appeal and provide documentary evidence in support of the appeal.  Within five (5) working days, the Associate Dean shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal.

B2. Within ten (10) working days, the Dean shall invite the Deputy Chair of the R&RSC to advise whether

(a) the appeal is against a decision covered by this policy, and

(b) the appeal accords with the grounds above, in which case the appeal will be heard.

B3. Should the Deputy Chair of the R&RSC determine the appeal should not be heard, the Deputy Chair  of  the  R&RSC  shall  so  advise  the  Dean,  including  a  full  explanation  for  the determination, and the Associate Dean will advise the appellant within five (5) working days of the determination with a full explanation of the determination.

B4. If the Deputy Chair of the R&RSC determines the appeal should be heard, the Dean shall appoint an independent expert on ethics in human research and invite the Chair of the R&RSC to constitute an Appeals Advisory Panel within ten (10) working days of the determination – the Chair of the R&RSC shall Chair the Panel.

B5. The Appeals Advisory Panel will consider documents relevant to the appeal including all material submitted by the appellant, and call before it any person deemed relevant. The Panel will consult the Chair of the HREC.  The appellant will be invited to present a case. The person assisting the student may provide the appellant with advice, but may not act as an advocate nor make direct comment to the meeting without permission of the Chair.

B6. At the completion of the hearing everyone present, with the exception of the members of the Panel, will be excused from the hearing to allow the Appeals Advisory Panel to reach a recommendation on the appeal.

B7. Within five (5) working days of the meeting of the Appeals Advisory Panel, the Chair will communicate in writing their recommendation, with reasons, through the Associate Dean to the Dean.

B8. Within five (5) working days of receiving the Committee’s decision, the Dean will notify the appellant of the outcome of the appeal and provide the reasons for the decision.

B9. The Dean shall provide a confidential report of his decision to the next meeting of the HREC and the R&RSC.

B10. Should the appellant not be satisfied with the decision of the Dean, the appellant may request in writing to the Dean a review of the Dean’s decision by the Chair of the Sydney College of Divinity HREC, whose decision will be final.

 

(C) Complaints against the conduct of the HREC

C1. Students may lodge a complaint about the conduct of the HREC with the Dean through the Associate Dean.  The student must set out fully the grounds for the complaint and provide any documentary evidence supporting the complaint.  Within five (5) working days, the Associate Dean shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint.

C2. Within five (5) working days of receipt of the complaint, the Associate Dean shall invite the Chair of the HREC to respond to the complaint in writing.   The Chair of the HREC shall respond within ten (10) working days.

C3. The Associate Dean shall review the complaint and the response of the Chair of the HREC and consult the complainant with a view to resolving the matter informally.

C4. Should the consultation of the Associate Dean with the complainant resolve the matter, the Associate Dean shall write to the complainant outlining the accepted resolution and closing the matter.

C5. If  the  matter  is  not  closed  informally  the  Associate  Dean  shall  so  advise  the  Dean  and recommend to the Dean the appointment of an external expert on ethics in human research or other relevant expert to advise on possible ways to resolve the complaint.

C6. When the Dean appoints an external expert, the expert shall consider the material, consult such persons as considered appropriate, including the complainant, and prepare advice to the Dean within ten (10) working days of appointment.

C7. Within five (5) working days of receipt of the advice from the external expert the Dean shall consult the complainant and advise on the resolution of the complaint.

C8. The Associate Dean shall report to the HREC on the resolution of the complaint.

C9. Should the complainant not be satisfied with the resolution of the complaint by the Dean, the complainant may request in writing to the Dean a review of the Dean’s resolution by the Chair of the Sydney College of Divinity

All approved colleges are required to publish this policy in their student handbooks and to provide a copy of the policy when students submit their enrolment form.

Census Dates and FEE-HELP Debt

If a student who has requested FEE-HELP assistance withdraws from a unit of study on or before the census date for that unit of study, the student will not incur a FEE-HELP debt for that unit of study.

If a student who has requested FEE-HELP assistance withdraws from a unit of study after the census date for that unit of study the student will incur a FEE-HELP debt for that unit of study.

 

Re-crediting a Person’s FEE-HELP Balance

The student may apply after the census date to have their FEE-HELP balance re-credited if the student has been unable to complete the requirements of a unit of study and the student believes that this was due to special circumstances. Where a request to re-credit a person’s FEE-HELP balance is granted, a student’s FEE-HELP debit is removed and the amount of FEE-HELP paid to the College on behalf of the student will be refunded.

A person can apply to the College to have their FEE-HELP balance re-credited if he or she withdraws from his or her studies after the census date and/or the person has not completed the requirements for the unit of study. The person must apply in writing, within 12 months of the withdrawal date, or if the student has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the period of study in which the unit of study was or was to be undertaken.  The College can exercise the discretion to waive this requirement if it is satisfied that the application could not be made within the time limit.

The College’s FEE-HELP Re-crediting Officer will consider the student’s application within 28 days of receiving the student’s written application.

The College will re-credit a person’s FEE-HELP balance if it is satisfied that special circumstances apply to the person that are:

  • beyond the person’s control;
  • do not make their full impact on the person until on, or after, the census date; and
  • make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for the unit during the period in which the person undertook, or was to undertake the unit.

The College will be satisfied that the person’s circumstances are beyond the person’s control if a situation occurs which a reasonable person would consider is not due to the person’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the person is not responsible.  The situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal.
The College will be satisfied that a person’s circumstances did not make their full impact until on or after the census date for the unit of study if the person’s circumstances occur:

(a)  before the census date, but worsen after that day; or

(b) before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become apparent until on or after that day; or

(c)  on or after the census date.

Special circumstances would make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for the unit of study would include:

(a)  medical circumstances; or

(b) family circumstances; or

(c)  personal circumstances; or

(d) employment related circumstances; or

(e)  course of study related circumstances.

Each application will be examined and determined on its merits. The FEE-HELP Re-crediting Officer will consider a person’s claims, together with independent supporting documentary evidence that substantiates these claims.

The FEE-HELP Re-crediting Officer will notify the person of the decision and the reasons for making the decision.  The Officer will advise the applicant of their rights for a review of the decision if the applicant is unsatisfied with the outcome.

If the decision is made to re-credit the FEE-HELP balance, the College will notify the Department of Education, and will repay to the Commonwealth any FEE-HELP assistance received from it on the person’s behalf.  The Department of Education will inform the Australian Taxation Office that the debit has been removed.

 

Review of the Original Decision

Where a student is not satisfied with the decision made by the FEE-HELP Re-crediting Officer, they may apply in writing for a review of the decision.  The Review Officer, as appointed by the Board of Directors, is the Dean of the College.

The time limit for applying for a review of the decision is 28 days from the person receiving notice of the decision.  The person must state the reasons why he or she is applying for a review.  The Review Officer will notify the applicant of his decision and the reasons for making the decision.

The Reviewer Officer’s available options are to:

  • confirm the decision;
  • vary the decision; or
  • set the decision aside and substitute a new decision.

The Review Officer will advise the applicant of his or her right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the Reviewer’s decision if the applicant is unsatisfied with the outcome and will provide the applicant with the contact details and address of the nearest AAT registry.

The Review Officer must acknowledge receipt of an application for a review of a decision in writing and will inform the applicant that, if the Reviewer has not advised the applicant of a decision within 45 days of receiving the application for review, the Reviewer is taken to have confirmed the original decision.

Where a student is not satisfied with the reviewed decision made by the review officer, they may apply to the AAT for a further review of the decision not to re-credit a person’s FEE-HELP balance.  The student may supply additional information to the AAT that he or she did not previously supply to the College (including the College’s Review Officer).

 

Contact Persons

The current FEE-HELP Re-crediting Officer is the Director of Academic Services of the Australian College of Theology, Mr Simon Davies. His contact details are—

The Australian College of Theology

Level 10 / 257 Clarence Street Sydney NSW 2000

ph. 02 9262 7890

fax: 02 9262 7290

email: sdavies@actheology.edu.au

 

The Board of Directors of the College has appointed the Dean of the College, Dr Martin Sutherland, as the Review Officer of decisions made by the Director of Academic Services.

The Australian College of Theology

Level 10 / 257 Clarence Street Sydney NSW 2000

ph. 02 9262 7890

fax: 02 9262 7290

email: msutherland@actheology.edu.au

Simon Davies

Director of Academic Services

April 2016

 

policies/FEE-HELP re-crediting policy

1. Overview

Once students enrol in a course of study their progression through to graduation will be dependent upon them achieving identified academic benchmarks. This policy describes the ways in which Australia Christian College will attempt to identify students who are not making satisfactory progress and direct them to appropriate sources of assistance. It recognizes that students may struggle to achieve their academic capacity for a range of reasons, including poor academic skills, personal welfare issues, and issues with social barriers. It also identifies the process that the college may take if satisfactory academic progress is consistently not achieved.

 

2. Scope and Applications

This Policy concerns all staff and students regarding their responsibilities to ensure that adequate support is provided to meet student needs. The Policy also aims to assist in the identification of students who require additional personal or academic support and to ensure appropriate interventions are implemented to enable such students to realize their full academic potential.

 

3. Policy Principles

1) Academic Support

  • This policy distinguishes between two classes of student who are at risk of not achieving satisfactory academic progress. (The largest percentage of students will not be in either of these two classes.  This majority of students have access to all the college’s support resources but they are not being actively supported in the use of these resources.)  The larger of the two classes is that of a student “at academic risk”; this student needs additional resourcing in order to improve their chances of academic success.  A separate class of students are those “on probation”; this student needs to achieve identified goals in order to continue their enrolment.  Most often, students on academic probation will also be classed as academic risk but only a part of those at risk will be on probation.
  • Progress in an award requires students to meet all the requirements of their award as identified in the accreditation documentation (and appropriately communicated to students).  However, students on academic probation may have additional requirements identified relating to their particular study progress. (For example, students who continue to fail subjects may not be allowed to enrol in any further subjects.) Australian College of Christianity believes it must exercise a duty of care to students who incur fees and who are not well suited to tertiary study, rather than to permit poorly performing students to continue to study at inappropriate levels.

2) Personal Support

  • Identification of Students Requiring Personal Support. Australian College of Christianity will seek to identify students requiring additional personal support, ensuring that early intervention is provided in a timely, equitable and consistent manner.
  • Staff and students are encouraged to be alert to the possibility of unstable psychological states and aggressive behaviours or tendencies of some students.
  • A student may be identified as requiring personal support and intervention, for the purposes of this policy, where their psychological welfare is reasonably considered to warrant some form of intervention by the College. Management of Students who are Identified as Requiring Additional Personal Support While all College staff should take action in cases where students are exhibiting possible signs of distress, how staff respond to the individual student will depend upon the nature and level of their distress. Staff should be aware of their own personal and professional limitations.  Academic and professional staff members are encouraged to consult with ACC counselling service staff for advice about the appropriate management of any student.
  • If, following an encounter a staff member is concerned about the welfare of a student, it is recommended that they notify the Course Coordinator by email of the circumstances. Staff will also complete a critical incident form if they have been contacted regarding the incident.

3) Australian College of Chriatianity recognizes that there may be extenuating circumstances for unsatisfactory performance and students have a right to appeal decisions made under this policy.

 

4. Procedures

  • Students at academic risk
    • A student is considered to be at “academic risk” if they are finding it consistently difficult to achieve subject learning outcomes and/or achieve the appropriate level of graduate attributes.
    • The lecturers are usually the first to identify students at academic risk although there may be times when a student is identified at the point of enrolment as requiring the additional support provided to students at academic risk. Recommendations for identifying a student at academic risk are made to the relevant Course Coordinator via the academic support helpdesk.
    • The relevant Course Coordinator, on the advice of those working with the student, identifies a student as being at academic risk. (This is recorded on the registry to ensure the appropriate college staff are made aware of the student’s status.)
    • The appropriate School will contact a student identified as being at academic risk in order to offer them the support of an “Academic Support Officer.” This academic Support Officer will work with the student to devise a “learning plan,” which will provide guidance on how to best use the academic and/or personal support resources provided by the college.
    • The progress of each student at academic risk will be assessed at a faculty meeting convened after the end of each semester. Heads of Schools (or the relevant Course Coordinator) may remove a student from “academic risk” status, continue them as students at “academic risk,” or move them to “on probation.” Normally, a student would not be at academic risk for more than two consecutive semesters.
  • Students on probation
    • A student will be put “on probation” status if it appears that they will have difficulty achieving successful progression in their course of study. Students “on probation” will need to meet additional benchmarks in order to be eligible for re-enrolment.
    • Normally, a student would be put “on probation” following a sustained pattern of failed grades. However,  the relevant Course Coordinator may have sufficient concern about the student’s academic progress to consider that the student may not be able to continue successfully and place them directly on probation. (This is recorded on the registry to ensure the appropriate college staff are made aware of the student’s status.)
    • Students on academic probation will be notified by the the relevant Course Coordinator in writing as to the cause for them being put on probation, what will be required for them to be released from probation, and the consequences for failure to achieve these required benchmarks.
    • Students on probation will normally be identified as “at academic risk” and provided with the support of an “academic support office.” (See above.)
    • No student on academic probation will be allowed to re-enrol without the approval of the relevant Course Coordinator.  Students on academic probation will not be permitted to take more than a full-time study load and may be required to take a lesser workload.
    • At the end of a semester, each student on academic probation will be reviewed at a School Faculty meeting. One of the following will then be decided:
  • The student’s progress has improved and the period of academic probation will be discontinued.
  • The student is to continue with academic probation status for another semester.
  • The student may be counselled to study towards another, more achievable, course of study.
  • The student may be refused further enrolment (this would normally only occur after 2 consecutive semesters of academic probation).
    • The academic support process is the responsibility of the relevant Course Coordinator to which the student belongs. While any particular aspect of the support and monitoring process may be delegated to other appropriate staff, the Head of School remains ultimately responsible for the implementation and oversight of the entire academic support process for students.
    • Referral to Academic Support Services
  • Making learning Plan with Academic support officer (ASO)
  • Academic skill development sessions (face to face, online)
  • Computing support
  • Library support

Referral to Non-academic Support Services

  • Pastoral caring
  • Counselling
  • Life/Time management
  • Disability support service
  • Orientation courses and Transition Support
    • Appeals Process
      • Students have a right to appeal against decisions made by College authorities.
      • Refer to the Student Grievance Policy for further information about appeals procedures and timeframes.

 

5. Communication / Training

  • This policy statement will be made available to all staff, volunteers, students and persons seeking to enrol as students at Australia Christian College.
  • All staff will be expected to comply with it in relation to all aspects of Australia Christian College’s operations and staff with designated special responsibilities will be given appropriate training, guidelines and professional development opportunities in relation to their roles and responsibilities.