Compassionate and compelling circumstances

Compassionate and compelling circumstances are defined as circumstances outside a student’s control that impact the student’s ability to study.

What are compassionate and compelling circumstances?

Compassionate and compelling circumstances are defined as circumstances outside a student’s control that impact the student’s ability to study. Students who are applying for a reduction of study load, leave of absence or transfer to another education provider are required to provide evidence to demonstrate that they are impacted by compassionate or compelling circumstances.

Examples of compassionate or compelling circumstances and evidence

Table 1: COVID conditions – Reduced Study Load and Leave of Absence (Semester 1 2022 only)

Circumstance Evidence for approval What you should apply for
You are overseas and not vaccinated.

A personal statement explaining why you could not get vaccinated. 

Please note, if it is your choice to not be vaccinated, your request will not be approved.

If online study is available, you should apply for a Reduced Study Load.

If online study is not available, you should apply for a Leave of Absence*.

You are overseas and vaccinated, but not with a TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved vaccine. A personal statement, including evidence of the types of vaccination available in your area.
You are overseas and don’t want to return to Australia.

A personal statement demonstrating that the situation is outside of your control and how it  has affected your ability to study.

You cannot find a suitable flight to Australia. A personal statement demonstrating that the situation is outside of your control, including evidence of flight cancellations where applicable.

*The total maximum period of leave for a student in a coursework program is 50% of the total duration of their program, unless exceptional circumstances apply and relevant approval is obtained. If the maximum period of leave has been reached and online study is not available, you have the option to seek an alternative program online or withdraw from your program in line with the RMIT Enrolment Policy - COVID-19 vaccination requirements procedure.

Note: The above conditions do not apply to Transfer to another education provider applications.

Table 2: Other circumstances

Circumstance
Evidence
Illness or injury
  • A medical certificate from the registered health practitioner who is treating your condition that includes the dates of consultation, the medical condition, impact of the condition on your ability to study, recommendation for a reduced study load or break from study, and treatment plan
Death, illness or injury or a close family member
  • Death certificate
  • Evidence of the illness from a doctor or hospital
  • Evidence of your relationship to them (e.g. birth certificate, passport, family record book, etc)
Permanent or temporary disability
  • Letter from RMIT Disability Liaison Unit recommending a reduced study load or a break from study
Incident or issue causing distress to student (e.g. political unrest, natural disaster, serious accident, witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime or incident)
  • Media reports of political unrest or natural disaster
  • Evidence of student’s residency in the affected area
  • Police report
  • Letter from psychologist that includes the dates of consultation, the outcome of the assessment, the impact on the student's ability to study, the recommendation for a reduced study load or break from study, and treatment plan
RMIT unable to offer full-time load of courses
  • Program plan from your School
Delay in receiving a student visa
Unforeseen delay to research (Higher Degree by Research students only)
  • Email/letter from supervisor outlining situation that was outside student’s control
Military service

     

  • Correspondence from military organisation
  • Note: Leave of absence can only be approved for up to 50% of the total registered duration of your program. If your military service exceeds this period, you may consider cancelling your program and re-applying for your program when you are ready to return to study

Other circumstances
  • Any relevant certified document attesting that the situation is outside student’s control and affects their ability to study

Examples of situations that are not considered compassionate or compelling circumstances

  • Work commitment​s.
  • Travelling overseas​.
  • Minor medical illness or condition.
  • Financial hardship.​

Need help?

For more information, please contact Student Connect.

Status and details

Last updated January 2022

By International Compliance (RAC)  

In accordance with National Code 2018 Standard 7, Standard 8, Standard 9

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