A-Z Policy Listing

WITHDRAWAL FROM SUBJECTS GUIDELINES

Date first approved:

12 May 2014

Date of effect:

12 May 2014

Date last amended:
(refer Version Control Table)
Autumn Session 2015

Date of Next Review:

May 2015

First Approved by:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Director, Academic Quality and Standards Unit

Author:

Academic Quality and Policy Specialist, Academic Quality and Standards Unit

Responsible Division & Unit:

Academic Quality and Standards Unit, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Portfolio

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this guideline:

List of Session and Key Dates

Late Withdrawal Form

Student Academic Consideration Request Form

References & Legislation:

General Course Rules

Student Academic Consideration Policy

Student Academic Consideration Guidelines

Disability Policy

Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy

Fees Policy

Delegations of Authority Policy

Audience:

Public

Contents

1 Introduction / Background

  • 1. These guidelines support the provisions for withdrawal from subjects, as set out in the General Course Rules, Student Academic Consideration Policy and the Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy. For more information on the statements made in these guidelines, please refer to the relevant policy document.
  • 2. Withdrawal from subjects can occur in a number of different circumstances, for different reasons, and with different evidentiary requirements. These guidelines are intended to give staff and students an overview of what is required for staff to process withdrawal from a subject. This document follows a staged approach to withdrawal, mirroring the timelines contained in the policies.
  • 3. These guidelines are not intended to have a negative impact upon student’s rights under these policies. It is recognised that there may be circumstances which fall outside of the provisions of these guidelines.
  • 4. The rule of natural law underpins the provisions of these guidelines, and the policies which they support.

2 Scope / Purpose

  • 1. This document provides an outline of the timeframes, required evidence, and exceptions to the rules on withdrawal from subjects as provided by the above policies.
  • 2. This document relates only to withdrawal from subjects. Where applications are made for academic consideration, and where academic complaints are submitted that do not result in withdrawal from subjects, these guidelines are not intended to be used.
  • 3. The clauses of these guidelines, and the policy documents which they support, may only be exempted where the University Council has delegated the authority to do so.
  • 4. If these guidelines disagree with any policy provisions, it is the policy provisions which shall be applied.

3 Definitions

Word/Term

Definition

academic complaint

A complaint by a student concerning a decision, act or omission of a member of UOW staff or committee which affects the student's academic progress.

session

a period in which subject may be offered. Standard sessions are defined as Autumn and Spring.

student

a person enrolled to study or registered for a course.

study period

a period of not more than six months within a course in which a student must be enrolled unless the student has be granted a deferral or a leave of absence.

subject

a self-contained unit of study identified by a unique code.

withdraw

officially ceasing enrolment in a subject or subjects.

4 Policy Clauses

Under the General Course Rules, the following provisions apply to all students in all instances.

  • 1. A student may not, under any circumstances, be withdrawn from a subject for which they are being investigated for academic misconduct, unless the investigation and appeals process has been finalised and it is found that no misconduct has occurred. Where a finding of misconduct is recorded, the student will not be eligible for withdrawal at a later date.
  • 2. A student may not be withdrawn from a subject, or have their academic record amended in any way, if it has been over twelve months since the release of results for the subject from which withdrawal is being sought.
  • 3. No change may be made to a student’s academic record once that student has graduated from the University.

Student Self-Withdrawal

  • 4. Prior to the census date for a given session or study period, a student may withdraw themselves from a subject through SOLS. In these circumstances, the following provisions apply:
    • 4.1. The student will not be liable for the payment of fees in relation to the subject from which they are withdrawn; and
    • 4.2. The subject will not appear on the student’s academic record, and will not be used in the calculation of a weighted average mark (WAM).
  • 5. After census date, but before the end of week nine for a standard session (or the last date to withdraw without academic penalty for a non-standard session, as specified in the list of sessions and key dates), a student may withdraw themselves from a subject or subjects through SOLS. In these circumstances, the following provisions apply:
    • 5.1. The student will be liable for the payment of fees in relation to the subject from which they are withdrawn; and
    • 5.2. The subject will not appear on the student’s academic record, and will not be used in the calculation of a weighted average mark (WAM).
  • In these circumstances, the student is not required to seek approval to withdraw. There is no requirement to submit evidence to support the request. All such requests to withdraw are processed automatically.

Withdrawal Before the end of the Last Teaching Week (Late Withdrawal with Approval)

  • The terms of the General Course Rules apply to all clauses under this heading.
  • 6. After the end of week nine for a standard session (or the last date to withdraw without academic penalty for a non-standard session), but prior to the end of the final teaching week, a student may seek withdrawal from a subject provided the following requirements have been satisfied:
    • 6.1. The student must have consulted with, and sought approval to withdraw from the relevant Head of Students;
    • 6.2. The Head of Students must acknowledge the existence of exceptional circumstances that have prevented the student from submitting a request to withdraw from a subject within the self-withdrawal period (outlined in 4.4 - 4.5 above); and
    • 6.3. The student must have completed a request for withdrawal on the relevant form.
  • 7. As per the Student Academic Consideration Policy, examples of exceptional circumstances may include, but are not limited to, an accidental injury or sudden illness requiring the student’s immediate hospitalisation, or a student being homebound without access to a computer.
  • 8. If withdrawal is approved, the following will apply:
    • 8.1. The student may be liable for the payment of fees in relation to the subject from which they are withdrawn; and
    • 8.2. The subject will not appear on the student’s academic record, and will not be used in the calculation of a weighted average mark (WAM).

Withdrawal Before the Release of Results

The terms of the Student Academic Consideration Policy apply to all clauses under this heading.

  • 9. After the end of the final teaching week, students may not expressly request to withdraw from a subject. Rather, a student may seek academic consideration relating to an assessment task. As per the Student Academic Consideration Policy, the following apply:
    • 9.1. The student must have consulted with the relevant Head of Students/Associate Dean;
    • 9.2. The Head of Students/Associate Dean must be satisfied that the student had their academic progress for the subject in question impaired by the existence of personal (compassionate), medical or extenuating circumstances;
    • 9.3. The student must have supplied documentation to support the existence of circumstances described in 9.2 (above); and
    • 9.4. The Head of Students/Associate Dean must support the student’s request for academic consideration; and
    • 9.5. The request for academic consideration must be made within the timeframe outlined in section 9.2 of the Student Academic Consideration Policy.
  • 10. Outside of the timeframe outlined in the policy, an application may only be considered by the Head of Students/Associate Dean if the student can show the existence of exceptional circumstances (as outlined in 9.2 above) which prevented them from applying within the stated timeframe.
  • 11. The Head of Students/Associate Dean should consider whether withdrawal from a subject is the best measure to apply, or whether other potential courses of action available under the Student Academic Consideration Policy would be more appropriate under the circumstances.
  • 12. If it is felt that a measure other than withdrawal from a subject is more equitable given the circumstances, the student should be informed of this by the relevant Head of Students/Associate Dean.
  • 13. If withdrawal is the measure to be applied, it may be appropriate for the Head of Students/Associate Dean to consider the following issues:
    • 13.1. Whether the circumstances described apply only to the subject for which withdrawal is being sought, or whether they extend to all subjects attempted in the session in question;
    • 13.2. Whether allowing the student to withdraw is providing an unfair advantage to the student, or unfairly disadvantaging other students enrolled in the subject;
  • 14. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of their request for academic consideration, they may submit an academic complaint in respect of the decision made. Students must follow the procedure outlined in the Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy and must lodge their academic complaint with the faculty which owns the subject for which academic consideration is sought.
  • 15. Students are not able to request academic consideration for an assessment task which they have already completed.
  • 16. If withdrawal is approved, the following measures will apply:
    • 16.1. The student will be liable for the payment of fees in relation to the subject from which they are withdrawn; and
    • 16.2. The subject will be removed from the student’s academic record, and will not be used in the calculation of a weighted average mark (WAM).

Within Ten Days of Release of Results

The terms of the Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy apply to all clauses under this heading.

  • 17. Once results for a subject have been released, students may only have their academic record amended through the Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy if they have an academic complaint in respect of a grade or mark awarded to them. Students may not expressly request to withdraw from a subject.
  • 18. Where a student has submitted an academic complaint in respect of a decision made or mark awarded for an assessment task, once the results for that subject have been released a subject may only be removed from a student’s academic record if:
    • 18.1. The result of the academic complaint process finds in favour of the student; and
    • 18.2. The result states that the student should be allowed to withdraw from the subject in question; and
    • 18.3. The student is still enrolled in the course of study for which the subject is a component part; and
    • 18.4. Less than one year from the release of results has passed.

Later than Ten Days from Release of Results

  • 19. Any request for withdrawal from a subject submitted later than 10 days after the release of results for a subject are not governed by any withdrawal process. In such cases, the provisions of the Delegations of Authority Policy are applied; namely:
    • 19.1. All withdrawal requests must be submitted to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); and
    • 19.2. Evidence of exceptional circumstances preventing the student from submitting the request within the relevant timeframe must be supplied; and
    • 19.3. The withdrawal request must be supported by the relevant Associate Dean (Education) or Head of Students.

5 Roles & Responsibilities

  • 1. It is the responsibility of students seeking withdrawal from subjects to ensure that:
    • 1.1. They are aware of the timeframes for the submission of requests under the relevant clauses of the policies listed above;
    • 1.2. All requests comply with the requirements of the relevant policy clauses;
    • 1.3. They retain supporting documentation for a minimum of twelve months from the date of verification, and are able to supply such documents when requested;
    • 1.4. They understand their legal obligations when submitting documentation to support requests; and
    • 1.5. They behave ethically and honestly when submitting requests to the University.
  • 2. It is the responsibility of the relevant Head of Students/Associate Dean to:
    • 2.1. Provide advice to students that complies with the clauses of these guidelines, and the policy documents that they support;
    • 2.2. Ensure that student’s circumstances are understood, and that where required evidence can be submitted;
    • 2.3. Review student requests, and make determinations based on student equity, natural law, and all available information; and
    • 2.4. Make decisions based not just on the student’s best interests, but also in the best interests of the student body as a whole.
  • 3. It is the responsibility of the relevant administrative staff members to:
    • 3.1. Ensure that all requirements at each stage of the process are satisfied;
    • 3.2. Where required, verify the authenticity of support documentation and highlight any inconsistencies that exist;
    • 3.3. Process requests in a timely manner;
  • 4. Where submissions are made more than one year after the release of results for the subject for which withdrawal is sought, or after a student has graduated, the provisions of these guidelines, and the policies to which they relate, do not apply. In such instances, students are referred to the Delegations of Authority Policy.

6 TimelineImage

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7 Version Control Table

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

12/05/2014

Professor Eeva Leinonen,

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)

First Version.

2

Autumn Session 2015

University Council

Amendments to reflect the implementation of the new Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy, which replaces the previous Academic Grievance Policy (Coursework and Honours Students).

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