Policies and Regulations

Policies

Academic Credit

Academic credit principles

When determining academic credit the University should be guided by the principles of:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Maintenance of academic integrity
  • Evidence-based decisions, including the use of precedence
  • Eliminating unfair or unnecessary barriers for student access to Swinburne courses
  • Enabling flexible qualification pathways
  • Reasonable prospect of success for the student
  • Regular review, monitoring and continuous improvement processes

Granting of academic credit

Swinburne Vietnam is committed to the provision of access through a range of qualification and articulation pathways that reflect the diverse learning experiences of applicants.

Students may be granted academic credit on the basis of:

  • Previous post-secondary studies
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training.

Applications for academic credit may be considered from:

  • Prospective or potential students who are seeking entry into a Swinburne course
  • Current students who are enrolled in a Swinburne course (subject to University defined deadlines for submission of applications)

When making decisions on applications for academic credit, factors that the University should consider include:

  • The relevance, nature, currency and authenticity of the evidence provided by the applicant
  • The equivalency of learning or competency outcomes in the relevant unit or module curriculum documents for any matched exemptions
  • Regulatory requirements for international students
  • Minimum studies requirements for a Swinburne award.
  • Time limits for past studies
  • Requisites relating to core units in the students course
  • Professional body accreditation requirements
  • Regulations relating to credit for conceded passes or previous fails
  • Comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications

In addition to the above, when making decisions on applications for academic credit through RPL, the University should consider:

  • Previous credentialed and uncredentialed learning
  • Evidence including interviews, written tests, resumes, letters of endorsement and other supporting documentation
  • Government requirements

Academic credit may be granted as block credit specified as a number of credit points or as matched exemptions for particular units. Partial credit for a unit is not permitted for Higher Education.

Matched exemptions are not normally provided on the basis of competency-based assessed units from TAFE qualifications.

Matched exemptions are generally not granted for Higher Education Outcome Units.

The University and Academic Senate monitor the implementation of academic credit, including the performance of students through various academic credit channels. The validity of academic credit decisions that form precedence should be reviewed by the University at least every 3 years.
Changes to academic credit arrangements must not disadvantage any students with a current offer.

Articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements

Articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements that document formal agreements for provision of academic credit or qualification recognition for previous post-secondary studies or prior learning (through RPL) may be made between:

  • Swinburne Higher Education courses and Swinburne Vocational Education courses
  • Swinburne and other recognised Australian educational institutions
  • Swinburne and other recognised international educational institutions
  • Swinburne and providers of employer-based programs, professional bodies, employers and recognised private institutions in recognition of non-award programs

When making decisions on the approval of articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements, factors that the University should consider include:

  • The strategic importance of the proposed arrangement, and the appropriateness of the proposed partner
  • The relevance, nature, currency and authenticity of the evidence
  • The equivalency of learning or competency outcomes in the relevant unit or module curriculum documents for any matched exemptions
  • Regulatory requirements for international students
  • Minimum studies requirements for a Swinburne award
  • Prerequisites relating to core units in the students course
  • Professional body accreditation requirements
  • Comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications

Articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements may be specified as block credit arrangements and/or as matched exemptions for particular units.

Matched exemptions are generally not granted for Higher Education Outcome Units.

The University and Academic Senate monitor articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements by reviewing the performance of student cohorts. The validity of articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements should be reviewed by the University at least every 3 years.

Changes to articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements must not disadvantage any students with a current offer.

International exchange programs

Applications from current Swinburne students for an International Exchange program must be submitted in the form and by the date specified by the University.

Granting of approval for an International Exchange program will be guided by the following requirements:

  • Studies are to be undertaken at an overseas partner institution approved by the University
  • The student has a proven academic record
  • The student has completed all requisites for the studies to be undertaken at the partner institution
  • The student has completed at least 50 credit points of studies with Swinburne in their enrolled course (not including any exemptions or RPL) or similar course specific requirements for Vocational Education
  • The student will have at least 50 credit points of studies to complete their enrolled course when they return from the International Exchange program, or similar course specific requirements for Vocational Education
  • Any Higher Education Core Units and/or Outcome Units in the student’s enrolled course to be replaced by International Exchange studies must have a study plan approved by the University to ensure that the International Exchange studies contribute to the course learning outcomes in an equivalent manner.

The University may determine other eligibility requirements and conditions of enrolment in an International Exchange program.

The maximum amount of academic credit for an International Exchange program is 100 credit points for a student enrolled in a Higher Education course, and no more than 50% of a Vocational Education course.

When making decisions on the approval of an application for International Exchange, the factors that the University should consider include:

  • The learning or competency outcomes in the relevant unit curriculum documents
  • Regulatory requirements for international students
  • Minimum studies requirements for a Swinburne award
  • Professional body accreditation requirements
  • Comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications

International exchange studies may be granted as block credit and/or as matched exemptions for particular units.

The University and Academic Senate monitor the academic performance of students undertaking International Exchange programs.

Complaints, reviews and appeals

A person dissatisfied with a decision under this policy may lodge a complaint (or in some instances students may apply directly for a review), subject to the requirements of the complaints, reviews and appeals provisions of the People, Culture and Integrity Policy and the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.

Academic Progress

Student progression principles

The University is committed to the maintenance of academic standards and high-quality graduate outcomes for all courses. Students are expected to maintain a satisfactory level of academic performance to be permitted to progress through a course. Students who do not meet the required levels of academic performance will be identified and offered advice and support and may be required to demonstrate why they should be allowed to continue in the course. In accordance with the Academic Courses Regulations (Chapter 6), unsatisfactory progress may have consequences for students, such as conditions imposed on enrollment or exclusion from a course.

The University adheres to the principles of natural justice when making decisions regarding academic progress, including:

  • Students have access to clearly defined processes regarding academic performance and progress review
  • Students are provided with clear and timely information regarding any unsatisfactory progress
  • Students are given the right and opportunity to present their case
  • Academic progress issues are considered in a timely and efficient manner
  • Students are treated impartially and equitably during all stages of a progress review process

Academic progress

The Academic Courses Regulations (Regulation 63) outlines the criteria for the identification of students who are “at risk” of unsatisfactory progress (‘at risk’ status).

The University provides reasonable advice and support through early intervention processes to students who are identified as being ‘at risk’ of unsatisfactory progress.

The Academic Courses Regulations (Regulation 64) outlines the criteria for the identification of students whose progress is unsatisfactory (‘unsatisfactory’ or ‘show cause’ status).

A student who has unsatisfactory progress may be required to show cause in the manner and form determined by the University as to why they should not be excluded from his or her course.

The University may impose different academic progress requirements on students by category (Academic Courses Regulation 62(b)) (for example, specific courses may have different academic progress requirements and consequences due to alternative learning modes and locations or particular scholarship requirements).

The University and Academic Senate monitor the academic progress and status of students and the effectiveness of early intervention processes.

Progress review

A student who has been requested to show cause why they should not be excluded from their course will be subject to a progress review process.

The University will determine:

  • Roles and accountabilities of staff in relation to progress review processes and decisions
  • Procedures to manage academic progress decisions and outcomes that are consistent with the natural justice principles outlined in this policy.

When making academic progress review decisions, the University should consider:

  • Whether the student can continue to undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success
  • The relevance, nature, currency and authenticity of any evidence provided by the student to support their case
  • Compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • Regulatory and legislative requirements for international students on student visas
  • Special requirements of courses
  • Scholarship requirements
  • Professional accreditation or registration requirements
  • Maximum duration of studies

Possible consequences of unsatisfactory progress are outlined in the Academic Courses Regulations (Regulation 65).

The University may impose different consequences on students by category (Academic Courses Regulation 62(b)).

The University and Academic Senate monitor the outcomes of academic progress decisions.

Complaints, reviews and appeals

A person dissatisfied with a decision under this policy may lodge a complaint (or in some instances students may apply directly for a review), subject to the requirements of the complaints, reviews and appeals provisions of the People, Culture and Integrity Policy and the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.

In particular, where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of a progress review decision, the student may apply for a review of the decision in accordance with the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.

Admissions & Enrollment 

Eligibility and selection

Minimum entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements are set to ensure that a student is only admitted to a course when the University believes that the student can undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success.

Minimum entry requirements are specified in the course accreditation instrument approved by Academic Senate, or the relevant national or State training authority.

When setting minimum entry requirements the University should be guided by the principles of:

  • Clear and consistent admission requirements that are appropriate to Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  • Evidence-based admissions requirements
  • Eliminating unfair or unnecessary barriers for student access to Swinburne courses
  • Enabling flexible qualification pathways
  • Facilitating recognition or credit for entry into Swinburne courses

The criteria for minimum entry requirements are inclusive and are set out in the Academic Courses Regulation 6 as follows:

  1. Academic merit;
  2. English language proficiency;
  3. Equivalency;
  4. Prior learning;
  5. Other experience and attainments;
  6. Special factors, including residency, performance at interview, folios and auditions;
  7. Other matters that the Academic Senate considers relevant to the reasonable prospects of success of applicants in a course.

When making decisions on the equivalence of grounds for entry with the minimum entry requirements, the University may consider whether applicants have achieved the required level of knowledge and skills to have a reasonable prospect success in the course. Decisions must be evidence based, transparent and fair.

Changes to minimum entry requirements must not disadvantage any students with an existing, open offer from Swinburne.

Minimum entry requirements are published on the Swinburne website.

The University and Academic Senate monitor the effectiveness and appropriateness of minimum entry requirements.

Selection, offer and acceptance

Under the Academic Courses Regulations 2013, selection is at the University’s discretion. Whilst maintaining this discretion, the University sets specific selection criteria, entry scores or quotas for each course to manage and facilitate the administration of admissions into courses. When setting selection criteria the University should be guided by the principles of:

  • Clear and consistent information for applicants, including regulatory requirements, Police checks and Working With Children checks where required
  • Evidence-based selection criteria, including the use of equivalence and precedence.

Where an applicant presents grounds for selection outside of the approved selection criteria and entry scores, the University will consider:  

  • A person’s previous studies or conduct at the University or other institutions
  • Other relevant information provided by the applicant or otherwise known to the University
  • Requirements relevant to the delivery of a course
  • Regulatory or administrative requirements or guidelines.

The University assesses all applications and makes one of the following selection decisions:

a) Full offer;
b) Conditional offer;
c) Packaged offer of qualifying course/s leading to the principal course;
d) An offer into an alternative course; or
e) No offer

The University will provide all information necessary for applicants to accept an offer.

When making decisions on requests to defer an offer, factors that the University should consider include:

  • Restrictions or conditions applying to any scholarship held by or offered to the candidate
  • Course specific criteria as documented in the course accreditation instrument
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Enrolments in Open Universities Australia (OUA) courses or units, or in single units of study may not be deferred.

The maximum period for deferment is two years for a higher education course and one year for a vocational education course.  When considering a request to extend a deferment period beyond the maximum period, the University should consider whether the student is facing exceptional circumstances, including

  • Students from a low socio economic background
  • Australian Indigenous students
  • Students from regional and remote areas
  • Students endeavouring to secure financial independence towards general education and accommodation costs through eligibility for youth allowance
  • Students who are Australian Defence Force Reservists where the normal maximum periods of deferral provided to students will be extended to ensure that they are not adversely affected by a period of call out regardless of the duration.

Admission and re–enrollment

Initial admission

The University will provide all information necessary for applicants to be admitted to the University and complete their enrolment. 

Students may request to study full-time or part-time.  When making decisions on applications to vary study load, factors that the University should consider include:

  • Maximum duration requirements
  • Course specific requirements
  • Scholarship requirements
  • Regulatory requirements

When making decisions on applications to transfer between courses, factors that the University should consider include:

  • Availability of places
  • Prerequisites and other admission requirements for the course
  • Any regulatory requirements

Re-enrolment, amendments and transfers

The University will provide all information necessary for students to maintain their enrolment.  
Enrolments in units are subject to published requisites. Higher Education students may request a waiver of a requisite.  When making decision on applications to waive a requisite the University should consider whether:

  • A student has completed an equivalent unit from another institution;
  • A student is able to demonstrate achievement of the relevant learning outcomes of the requisite unit from prior relevant work experience.  In Higher Education this process is not equivalent to RPL where all learning outcomes must be demonstrated.

Students may request an amendment to their enrolment.  When making decisions on applications to amend enrolments, factors that the University should consider include:

  • Requisites for units of study
  • Availability of places in units of study
  • Scholarship requirements
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Academic progress requirements

Students may request to vary study load.  When making decisions on applications to vary study load, factors that the University should consider include:

  • Maximum duration requirements
  • Scholarship requirements
  • Course specific requirements
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Academic progress requirements

International students holding student visas are required to complete their course within the original expected duration except in limited circumstances.  Onshore international students holding student visas can only take less than a standard full-time load if they have approval from the University and one or more of the following apply:

  1. They have received credit or RPL such that they will not have to extend their course;
  2. They have compassionate or compelling circumstances; 
  3. An early intervention strategy has been activated under the Swinburne’s academic progress requirements; or 
  4. They agree to study units in non-compulsory teaching periods or vocational education blocks so they will not have to extend their course.

Higher Education students must complete their course within a 10 year duration (Academic Courses Regulation 32).  When making decisions on an exemption from the maximum duration requirement, factors that the University should consider include:

  • That the student can undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success
  • Compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • Scholarship requirements
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Availability of courses and/or units

Students may request to take leave of absence.  When making decisions on applications to take leave of absence, factors that the University should consider include:

  • Maximum duration requirements
  • Whether the student has outstanding fees
  • Scholarship requirements
  • Regulatory requirements

When making decisions on applications to transfer between courses, factors that the University should consider include:

  • Availability of places
  • Prerequisites and other admission requirements for the course
  • Any regulatory requirements

Complaints, reviews and appeals

A person dissatisfied with a decision under this policy may lodge a complaint (or in some instances students may apply directly for a review), subject to the requirements of the complaints, reviews and appeals provisions of the People, Culture and Integrity Policy and the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.

Assessment & Results

Swinburne’s assessment principles

Swinburne’s approach to assessment practice is guided by the following principles designed to enhance the learning experience and achievement of learning outcomes:

  • Assessment and feedback are designed to align with effective learning and teaching and enhance student engagement and achievement
  • Assessment design and practice assists students to develop their critical thinking skills, capacity for evaluative judgement and/or demonstrate practical competence to a required standard
  • Assessment is based on informative and transparent criteria, validity and measuring achievement against learning outcomes
  • Assessment is designed to ensure academic integrity of attainment of learning
  • Assessment is designed to be fair, valid, reliable and achievable
  • Assessment design and practice enables constructive and timely feedback to students to help them make judgements about the quality of their learning

Assessment structures for units

When designing, planning and approving assessment structures and items for units the University should be guided by:

  • Swinburne’s Assessment Principles
  • Requirements of professional or regulatory bodies
  • Alignment with relevant and current discipline, professional and/or industry standards
  • Flexibility to accommodate variations for alternative learning modes and locations providing the equivalence requirements of the Academic Courses Regulations are met
  • Comparability of assessment structures and loads across units

Assessment structures must be consistent with the accredited requirements for units as outlined in the accreditation instrument approved by Academic Senate or in the requirements of the Training Package or State Accredited Course.

The University will provide students with a Unit Outline prior to or at the commencement of the teaching period. The Unit Outline must contain details of the assessment structures and all requirements for a student to successfully complete the unit. 

Assessment structures should generally include both formative and summative assessment items, and should generally include the opportunity for feedback to be provided to students at an early stage in the teaching period to allow students to monitor their progress towards the unit learning outcomes and to determine where improvements can be made to enhance their learning.

Assessment structures for a Unit of Study include features such as number, type, due dates and where applicable the weighting of assessment items. 

Assessment structures may include one or more in-semester assessment items and/or a final examination.
Assessment structures may include hurdle assessment items that are mandatory assessment items that are required to be completed and/or passed in order to achieve a pass result in the unit.  Hurdle assessment items or requirements must be clearly identified in the assessment structure information in the Unit Outline.

Changes to assessment structures for a unit after the commencement of a unit must not disadvantage any student.

The University determines:

  • Roles and accountabilities of academic staff in relation to setting and approving assessment structures
  • Processes to review assessment structures prior to approval (For example, review by a Unit Moderator, Unit of Study Panel or Unit Review Panel).

Assessment items

An assessment item is a single component of the overall assessment structure for a unit of study.  Assessment items may also be referred to as assessment tasks or tools.  An assessment structure for a unit of study will contain one or more assessment items.

The University will provide students with details of each assessment item including the following:

  • Performance criteria and standards of knowledge, skills, competencies and/or capabilities
  • Due dates for completion
  • Demonstration of the alignment to the relevant learning outcomes
  • Details of how results and feedback will be provided

The University maintains a record of assessment structures, items and marking criteria for a period of 7 years.

The University determines:

  • Roles and accountabilities of academic staff in relation to setting and approving assessment items
  • Processes to ensure the validity and reliability of assessment items
  • Processes to ensure that assessment items are consistent with relevant academic standards, including the requirements of professional bodies.

When approving assessment items for units of study, the University should ensure:

  • Consistency with Swinburne’s Assessment Principles
  • Alignment with the accredited unit learning outcomes
  • Equivalency of assessment in variations for alternative learning modes or locations
  • Clarity of the information provided to students regarding the assessment criteria, requirements and processes

Marking and results

The University determines:

  • Roles and accountabilities of academic staff in relation to marking and grading assessment items and tasks
  • Processes to ensure consistency and integrity of marking and grading practices as well as the review and approval of final results
  • Processes to ensure that marks and grades are consistent with relevant academic standards

The University and Academic Senate monitor the academic performance of students, the integrity of assessment practices and consistency with academic standards.


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