Financial Assistance for Employees Studying Policy
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Section 1 - Definitions
(1) For the purpose of this Policy:
- 'eligible employee' refers to a full time, part-time or fixed-term employee with an appointment term of 12 months or more and six months continuous paid service with the University at the time of application.
- 'formal study program' refers to a post-secondary course leading to the award of a recognised qualification at or above the level of a certificate.
Section 2 - Policy Statement
Part A - Policy Declaration
(2) The University is committed to developing employees' capabilities, encouraging them to engage in formal study programs that are relevant to their current or planned work responsibilities and offering various forms of financial assistance to help them meet their study obligations.
Part B - Policy Description
(3) This Policy outlines the conditions and arrangements under which an employee may receive financial assistance to help with study expenses.
(4) This Policy applies to eligible employees where their study program has been recognised as an approved course of formal study relevant to their current or future employment with the University.
(5) This Policy does not apply to casual employees.
(6) This Policy does not apply if an employee's current appointment concludes before the last day of the semester/trimester.
Part C - Content and Implementation
(7) Financial assistance is available through the following schemes:
- Study Assistance
- An eligible employee undertaking an approved course of formal study may be granted financial study assistance of $250 per semester/trimester. The assistance is intended to help with costs other than HECS or course fees.
- The amount of assistance is limited to the number of semester/trimesters it would normally take a part-time student to complete the course as indicated in the relevant Handbook. The rate per semester/trimester remains at $250 despite the number of units studied in that semester/trimester.
- Second and subsequent applications for assistance are to be accompanied by evidence of satisfactory completion of the previous semester/trimester's study before further study assistance will be approved.
- Where study assistance is provided and the employee withdraws from or does not pass the units of study undertaken in the semester/trimester, further assistance will not be available until the staff member satisfactorily completes a semester/trimester of study without the benefit of study assistance from the University.
- Upfront Payment of Student Contribution Fees
- An eligible employee who is enrolled in an approved formal study program can apply to have the University pay the up-front semester/trimester Student Contribution Fees and repay the University by instalment, during the semester/trimester in which the study is undertaken.
- The University will pay the fees to the institution in which the employee is enrolled as a student. Upfront fees will not be paid directly to the employee.
- As a condition of the payment of upfront fees, the employee must authorise deductions from their fortnightly salary to discharge the debt to the University. The debt must be repaid on or before the last day of the semester/trimester.
- The employee must agree in writing to repay any amounts outstanding should their employment with the University cease prior to the semester/trimester completion date.
- Full Fee Paying Postgraduate Courses
- The assistance offered for full fee paying postgraduate courses is intended to help with the cost of postgraduate fees. An eligible employee enrolled in an approved full fee paying postgraduate course may be granted financial assistance of up to a maximum of $1000 per unit. It is not intended that the University bear the full cost of formal study.
- Where assistance is granted, the eligible employee is required to meet the equivalent of the upfront HECS costs for each unit in which they are enrolled. The employee's Work Unit will meet the difference between the equivalent upfront HECS costs and the total postgraduate fee applicable to the employee's enrolment up to a maximum of $1000 per unit.
- Employees may also apply to have the University pay the equivalent of the upfront HECS costs on their behalf in return for agreeing to repay the amount to the University over the semester/trimester [see clause (7)b].
- The amount of assistance is limited to the number of semesters/trimesters it would normally take a part-time student to complete the course as indicated in the relevant handbook.
- An employee granted assistance with postgraduate fees under these provisions is not eligible for any other financial assistance from the University.
- Second and subsequent applications for assistance are to be accompanied by evidence of satisfactory completion of the previous semester/trimester's study before further assistance will be considered.
- Where financial assistance is provided and an employee withdraws from a unit of study, written advice must be provided to HR Services at the time of their withdrawal. Repayment of the financial assistance provided by the University takes priority if any refund of fees is granted.
- If the employee withdraws or does not pass the unit of study undertaken, further assistance will not be available until the staff member satisfactorily completes a semester/trimester of study without the benefit of study assistance from the University.