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English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Academic Progress Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Policy sets out the University's approach and processes to support:

  1. English Language Program students achieving satisfactory course progress; and
  2. Compliance with the requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, Standards 8.7 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 and ELICOS Standards 2018.


(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. International students on Australian government student visas studying a University ELICOS Program; and
  2. Staff members responsible for teaching, supporting and administering students in ELICOS Programs.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) The Definitions (Academic) Policy applies to this Policy.

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Section 3 - Monitoring Academic Progress

(4) The University systematically monitors course progress.

(5) Throughout each teaching period, the SCU College Director, English Language Programs (ELP) and relevant unit assessors monitor and record course progress and identifies students who are:

  1. achieving satisfactory progress;
  2. at risk of making unsatisfactory progress;
  3. have failed to make satisfactory progress.

Satisfactory Progress

(6)  A student achieves satisfactory progress when:

  1. they pass each item of on-course assessment; and
  2. they attend at least 80% of their scheduled classes, as set out in the Attendance Policy for ELICOS Programs; and
  3. they participate appropriately in class and complete coursework and homework on a regular basis; and
  4. they make satisfactory progress on tests of their English proficiency.

At Risk of Making Unsatisfactory Progress 7

(7) A student is deemed at risk of making unsatisfactory progress when one or more of the following circumstances arise:

  1. their ELP intake test writing test is significantly lower than their pre-arrival English language assessment;
  2. they are identified as having ongoing difficulty with coursework or are failing to do homework on a regular basis;
  3. they show poor attendance as set out in the Attendance Policy for ELICOS Programs;
  4. they fail assessment tasks.

Managing At Risk of Making Unsatisfactory Progress

(8) Any student deemed at risk of unsatisfactory course progress must be advised by the SCU College Director, ELP or unit assessors by written means and a face-to-face meeting of:

  1. the areas of challenge;
  2. recommended ways to improve proficiency and performance, including:
    1. any opportunity to be reassessed in assessment task/s they have failed;
    2. any learning resources available to assist their performance, including exam preparation classes and self-study materials;
    3. any support services available to assist with personal and administrative issues;
    4. any additional study plans that may be put in place

Failure to Make Satisfactory Progress

(9) A student fails to meet satisfactory progress requirements when:

  1. they fail (receive less than 49%) the in-course assessment;
  2. they do not achieve the required English proficiency score for their principal course of study at SCU.

Managing Failure to Make Satisfactory Progress

(10) Where a student fails to make satisfactory progress by the end of the period of ELP study, they will meet with the SCU College Director, ELP or unit assessors to discuss whether:

  1. they will re-enrol in the unit; or
  2. they will look for alternative entry options to their principal course of study at Southern Cross University; or
  3. they will return to their home country

Monitored students

(11) A student will be monitored by International Student Support and agree to an Intervention Strategy for an fixed period, as set out in the Course Progress and Completion Within Expected Duration of Study Procedures if:

  1. they achieve the required overall entry score in the SCU College English Language Test to commence their principal SCU course, but have up to two sub-scores 0.5 lower than the required score; or
  2. they are taking the English Language Program for a second or third time, after receiving a Fail grade in their previous attempt/s.

(12) An ELICOS student will be required to show cause to avoid exclusion from their English language program where one or more of these circumstances arise:

  1. they fail to satisfactorily meet the requirements of the program after attempting the program three times;
  2. they fail to comply with attendance requirements, as set out in the Attendance Policy for ELICOS Programs.

(13) In the case a student is deemed by the SCU Director, ELP to meet either, or both, of the conditions set out in Clause 12, they will issue them with a Notice of Consideration of Exclusion.

(14) A student who receives a Notice of Consideration of Exclusion may provide a show cause response as to why they should not be excluded from the University on the grounds that:

  1. clause (12) was inappropriately applied; or
  2. there were compassionate or compelling circumstances in accordance with the Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances for Onshore International Students - Guidelines which contributed to the student’s poor academic performance, and the student has a reasonable chance of successfully completing the course in which they are enrolled.

(15) The student’s show cause response must:

  1. be submitted within 20 business days of the date of the Notice of Consideration of Exclusion to the Dean, SCU College.
  2. provide details of the grounds on which they say they should not be excluded and attach any supporting documents.

(16) The Dean, SCU College may consider a late show cause response if the student is able to demonstrate that circumstances beyond their control prevented them from submitting the response on time.

(17) Within 5 business days of receipt of the show cause response, the Dean, SCU College will consider the information provided by the student and any other relevant information, and will provide written notice advising the student of the decision whether to:

  1. exclude them;
  2. not to exclude them.

(18) If the decision is to exclude the student, the written notice will inform the student:

  1. the reasons for the decision to exclude them;
  2. their right to appeal according to the processes set out in the Rules Relating to Awards - Rule 2 - Coursework Awards - General Provisions; and
  3. the need to seek advice from the Department of Home Affairs on the potential impact on their student visa.

(19) Students who submit a show cause response will remain enrolled during the show cause process and any subsequent appeal period.

(20) A student will be excluded if any of the following circumstances occur:

  1. they do not submit a show cause response to a Notice of Consideration of Exclusion to the Dean, SCU College;
  2. the Dean, SCU College considers the show cause response decides that the student should be excluded and the student does not lodge an appeal within the required timeframe; or
  3. the appeal against exclusion is not successful

(21) An excluded student will:

  1. have their CoE cancelled and exclusion recorded in PRISMS; and
  2. be withdrawn from any units in which they are enrolled; and 
  3. provided with a full refund of unspent tuition fees.
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Section 4 - Record Keeping 

(22) All information relevant to a student's unsatisfactory academic performance, assistance offered, appeal outcomes and PRISM reporting is retained on the student's record.

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Section 5 - Reporting Requirements

(23) Under section 19 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, the University reports international onshore students who have breached their course progress requirements. Students will be made informed of the consequences they may face if they do not maintain satisfactory course progress and the potential impact this may have on their student visa