Academic progress is the way the University supports students who are failing courses and not making satisfactory progress towards completing their program.

Schools offer academic advice and support to students who meet criteria to be considered ‘at risk’ of unsatisfactory academic progress, to help them improve their performance. The University provides support services to students in difficulties or who need to improve their study skills.

The University has a responsibility not to allow students to go on studying if they continue to fail courses and don’t look like finishing their program in the required time-frame. This can seem harsh to some students, but is necessary to ensure that students don’t continue to incur fees and debt when it seems unlikely that they’ll complete their qualification.

For international students studying on a student visa in Australia, maintaining satisfactory academic performance is a visa condition: see International students and academic progress.

For these reasons, students who meet ‘at risk’ criteria repeatedly are asked to ‘show cause’ – to explain why they should be permitted to remain in the program, and to provide documentation of any circumstances that may be impairing their performance. Higher degree by research candidates who don’t improve their performance by carrying out a candidate action and support plan may be required to make a written submission to a Research Candidature Progress Committee and attend the committee.

If the student doesn’t persuade the Program Assessment Board or Research Candidature Progress Committee that they have a reasonable likelihood of improving their academic performance, the board/committee may recommend that the student be excluded from their program for a minimum period of 12 months.

Students who are excluded have a right to appeal the decision: see Appealing against an exclusion decision.

The academic progress process is defined by the Assessment: academic progress (coursework programs) procedure. For higher degree by research students, it is defined by the Supporting HDR progress process.

At risk criteria

The criteria for defining unsatisfactory academic progress are set out in these schedules.