UOW Procedures

OUTBOUND STUDENT MOBILITY CRITICAL INCIDENT PROCEDURE

Date first approved:

Dec 2014

Date Policy will take effect:

Dec 2014

Date of Next Review:

Dec 2017

First Approved by:

Joe Chicharo (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Student Mobility)

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Ashley Tanks (Manager, Student Mobility) atanks@uow.edu.au

Author:

Ashley Tanks

Responsible Faculty/
Division & Unit:

Office of Global Student Mobility

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:

Student Services Division: Critical Incident Guidelines & Procedures

University of Wollongong: Privacy General Consent & Disclosure Statement

References & Legislation:

Not Applicable

Audience:

Public

Expiry Date of Policy:

Not Applicable

Submit your feedback on this policy document using the Policy Feedback Facility.

Contents

1 Introduction / Background

    • 1. The purpose of these procedures is to provide a clear position so that when a UOW staff member or a member of staff from an overseas university; becomes aware of a critical incident/situation involving a student participating in an outbound student mobility program while overseas, they can alert the relevant person(s).
    • 2. “This will minimise the risk of independent action and assist in ensuring that each case is managed effectively and compassionately. It will also protect the institution from conflict or ill will with those involved, including the family of the student, and emergency services.” (Critical Incident Guidelines and Procedures, SSD, page 3, 2006)
    • 3. This procedure is for outgoing students and should be referred to, alongside the Student Services Critical Incident Guidelines and Procedures (April 2006). http://www.uow.edu.au/about/policy/UOW058610.html

2 Scope / Purpose

    1. These Critical Incident Procedures apply to all participants of the outgoing University of Wollongong International Exchange Program attending partner universities for semester programs or Short Courses coordinated by the UOW Office of Global Student Mobility

3 Definitions

    • 1. Not applicable

4 Instructions

    CRITICAL INCIDENT INVOLVING AN INDIVIDUAL STUDENT PARTICIPATING IN AN OUTBOUND MOBILITY PROGRAM COORDINATED BY THE OFFICE OF GLOBAL STUDENT MOBILITY

    • 1. If an overseas emergency or critical incident occurs involving a University of Wollongong student or group of students participating in an outgoing mobility program, the University of Wollongong needs to be informed as quickly as possible, as it has a duty of care to the students participating in such a program.
    • 2. It is likely that if there is a critical incident involving a University of Wollongong student(s) participating in a mobility program, the University of Wollongong will be informed by the overseas university partners, parents or Consulate Officials.
    • 3. Emergencies can include a/an:
      • Serious illness or death
      • Family crises
      • Accidents and injuries
      • Natural disasters
      • Extreme political disturbance or civil unrest
      • Outbreak of infectious disease
      • Acts of terrorism or war
      • Arrest
      • Being a victim of crime
      • Missing persons
    • 4. Given the range of time zones for UOW’s Mobility partners, it is quite realistic that an emergency, as described above, may occur outside normal Australian office hours. To cover this situation, students participating in a Mobility Program are provided with both the Office of Global Student Mobility office hours contact numbers and the after hours emergency number for the University of Wollongong Security Office. Overseas partner universities have the contact details for the Office of Global Student Mobility and the after hours emergency contact number for the UOW Security office +61 2 4221 4555.
    • 5. Whilst each emergency situation will require unique action, the following broad guidelines should be adopted.
    • 6. In any situation that occurs after hours, the UOW Security will be the first point of contact. Security Services have the after hours contact details for key staff at UOW. In this instance as the student(s) involved are participants in an outgoing Mobility Program and Security Services have been advised by the host university or Consulate Official, Security Services will alert in the first instance, Student Services Division who will then alert other relevant stakeholders in accordance with the UOW Critical Incident Guidelines and Procedures (Section 5) including the Manager, Student Mobility.
    • 7. The responsible staff member who is the first to learn of the situation should take the following actions:
      • 7.1. Access the relevant student records to verify the student’s particulars, including contact information. The Study Abroad & Exchange Emergency Contact Report contains all relevant contact information for students participating in the International Exchange Program.
      • 7.2. Gather all relevant information from the informing source in regard to the situation.
      • 7.3. The Office of Global Student Mobility will pass on all relevant information to SSD for the incident/situation to be handled as per UOW Critical Incident Guidelines and Procedures.
      • 7.4. Where circumstances are considered to have some implications in relation to the public profile of the University of Wollongong, the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Student Mobility) & Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) are to be briefed by SSD and/or Manager Student Mobility (where applicable).
      • 7.5. Confirm if parents/guardian or the emergency contact nominated by the student are to be notified.
        • In the case of an arrest or medical emergency or any other situation where the student is able to communicate, the student will need to advise if it is their wish for their nominated emergency contact to be advised of the situation.
        • In the case of death, SSD would arrange for a consular official or police to inform the family. Where the student involved is not an Australian citizen the embassy or consulate from the relevant country must be involved.
      • 7.6. Manager, Student Mobility in conjunction with SSD to determine if Procurement Manager, UOW Financial Services should be contacted to seek advice of the appropriate steps in relation to the ongoing well-being of the student and to ensure any further necessary action is inline with the UOW Business Travel Insurance Policy that the student is covered by. Procurement Manager provides advice as to the actions for insurance claim purposes.
      • 7.7. Manager Student Mobility may liaise with student and host university, if requested by SSD, to provide advice of the plan of action and document all actions in student records in CRM for reference.
      • 7.8. SSD will manage the case in liaison with Office of Global Student Mobility Depending in the scale and nature of the incident the Manager Student Mobility, may take responsibility for managing the case and ongoing liaison with:
        • Host University contact
        • Procurement Manager
        • Student and their Family (ongoing contact)
      • 7.9. If appropriate, prepare correspondence (email, letter etc.) to advise of actions and relevant follow up to be sent to relevant person(s).
      • 7.10. Final assessment of incident/situation. Determine that all actions have been communicated, assumed and completed.
    • 8. In the event of a student death, please refer to UOW Critical Incident Guidelines and Procedures (Section 9).

    EMERGENCY EVACUATION OF STUDENTS BY THE UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG

    • 9. The University of Wollongong will follow advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to the safety of Australian citizens in the event of terrorism, extreme political disturbance or outbreak of infectious disease. In addition, advice will be sought from in-country Resident Directors or host universities and country specialists on the University of Wollongong campus.
    • 10. If the University of Wollongong determines that the students must leave the study site/location, the Manager Student Mobility in conjunction with SSD and in line with the University of Wollongong’s Business Travel Insurance Policy, would work with the staff at the host university and the Australian Diplomatic staff in-country to contact the student/s, coordinate the student/s to move to a safe haven and either transport them home or to an alternate program site.

    PROCEDURES FOR MISSING PERSONS

      • 10.1. From time to time, parents or other family members of a student participating in the Mobility program may contact the Office of Global Student Mobility to report that the student has not been in contact. These enquiries should be forwarded to the Manager, Student Mobility.
      • 10.2. The Manager, Student Mobility will verify the student particulars and confirm if student has submitted a Confirmation of Enrolment to the Office of Global Student Mobility upon arrival at the host university.
      • 10.3. Depending on the advice provided by the family, Manager, Student Mobility should contact the host university to ascertain whether it has had any contact with the student and/or has a current contact address for the student, to which a message can be passed. The Manager, Student Mobility may also request the host university to confirm if the student has enrolled at their institution.
      • 10.4. If a current address at the host university is either on the SOLS system or available from the Confirmation of Enrolment Form, the Manager, Student Mobility may offer to send correspondence on behalf of family to the email address/mailing address or, if necessary, contact the student by telephone, using the last known contact numbers on the student’s record.
      • 10.5. If the student has made no contact is made with family within a reasonable amount of time after these actions, family should contact Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Emergency Helpline for further assistance:

          24-hour Consular Emergency Centre:
          1300 555 135 within Australia (local call cost) or
          +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia.

5 Student role & responsibilities for participating in the international mobility program

    • 1. Students participating in a Mobility Program are required to attend a pre-departure session which includes discussion on travel and safety issues and the student obligations as a representative/student of the University of Wollongong. Students are advised about the general safety precautions to be observed whilst travelling. They are provided with DFAT website travel information and advised to check DFAT travel warnings and other general information issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Students are advised to register their travel with DFAT.
    • 2. Students participating in a Mobility Program are required to read and complete a series of quizzes on the UOW student mobility Moodle site. This site provides comprehensive information regarding health and safety and the travel insurance coverage they are provided with.
    • 3. Students also receive the 24 hour contact number for University of Wollongong security staff, as well as the 24 hour ACE Assistance (Insurance) reverse charge phone number.
    • 4. All students are covered by the UOW Business Travel Insurance for the first 180 days and if they will be undertaking a program over 180 days, they are required to take out additional insurance at their own expense (to include travel/medical insurance, repatriation, medical evacuation and personal liability insurance).
    • 5. Prior to departure from Australia all students participating in a Mobility Program are required to submit a Travel Plan document and travel itinerary. The purpose of collecting this information is to ascertain departure dates from Australia, as well as any proposed travel worldwide.
    • 6. Upon arrival at the host university, semester exchange students are required to advise the Office of Global Student Mobility of their contact address, phone number and email at the host university. The students are required to submit a Confirmation of Enrolment Form signed by the host university to confirm that the student is enrolled overseas. This information is kept by the Office of Global Student Mobility. Students are also advised to update their session address details at their host university on the UOW SOLS system.
    • 7. All students are required to include emergency contact information in their application for the Mobility Program and on the Insurance Acknowledgment form. Students are advised to ensure that their emergency contact information is updated on the UOW SOLS system.

6 Roles & Responsibilities

    1. The University Security Service plays a pivotal role and may be the first point of contact.

    2. SSD and where applicable the Manager, Student Mobility will take responsibility when an incident occurs that involves a student participating in the international exchange program. They are responsible for disseminating information to the appropriate people within the University of Wollongong and responding to any special needs or requests that may emerge.

7 Version Control Table

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

24/3/2011

Peter Day, Manager, International Student Recruitment

Reflects changes from 2005 version

2

17 Jan 2013

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Formatting changes. Updated to reflect title change from DVC(A) to DVC(E).

3

1 Dec 2014

Joe Chicharo (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Gloval Student Mobility)

Updated to reflect changes to nomenclature and roles.

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