Leave of Absence Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: Chair, Quality Assurance Committee
  • Policy category: Academic: Academic Administration
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Academic Board
  • Endorsement body: Quality Assurance Committee
  • Last amended: 22nd June 2022

Purpose

This policy sets out the principles and procedures for managing leave of absence from an Alphacrucis (AC) University College course of study.

Scope

VET and HE

Policy

Leave of absence (LOA) relates to a suspension of study for a period of time after enrolment has taken place.. Domestic students may apply for LOA through their Student Gateway. LOA can only be granted for a total of two periods of not greater than six months each; the duration of the approved LOA shall not count towards the student’s course duration. International students must apply to the International Student Officer (ISO) for LOA to confirm whether they entitled under the National Code 2018. International students must consider any impact LOA may have on their visa. Students may be asked to provide documentation to support their request.

Eligibility for Leave

In the case of LOA, the student:

  • has the approval of the Student Experience Department;
  • is granted leave in periods of six months (or standard teaching semesters);
  • is not enrolled in any subject during the period granted;
  • is not engaged in any activities related to their studies;
  • retains restricted access to AC facilities during the period of leave.

In circumstances where a course or subject is being phased out, students are required to complete a course plan taking into account these constraints before an application for LOA could be approved.

Students on LOA will not be permitted to undertake studies towards another tertiary course. Exceptions may be made for those wishing to undertake study abroad for credit towards their course.

Applications for Leave of Absence (LOA)

Students will be notified of the outcome of their application in writing, within ten (10) working days from the date of the decision.  Students will be advised of the period for which the LOA has been granted.

Students are advised to apply for LOA prior to the commencement of the relevant semester and must submit their application prior to the census date. Applications for LOA submitted after the relevant census date will only be considered where compelling personal, medical or compassionate grounds exist.

If LOA is approved after the census date, students will remain financially liable for their subject enrolments at the census date. In exceptional circumstances (e.g., late withdrawal) a student may be eligible for a refund for the relevant subjects, even after a late application for LOA.

LOA will not be approved retrospectively unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Unapproved Leave

Students who fail to re-enrol and do not have LOA approved may have their candidature terminated on the grounds that they have abandoned their studies. Students who withdraw from all their subjects in a semester either before or after the census date, and do not apply for LOA, are considered to have taken unapproved leave.

Additional Leave

Students may be permitted to take up to one year of additional LOA where there are compelling personal, medical or compassionate grounds. Students who have taken the maximum LOA permitted and are still unable to return to their studies upon completion of their approved LOA period will be suspended and must re-apply for entry if they wish to return to study.

Student Visas

AC may grant LOA to international students holding student visas, but the reason for taking leave may have an impact on the student's visa. The grounds on which student visa holders may be granted LOA without cancellation of their visa are set out in the Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code 2018.

AC is required to report students who have taken leave from their studies to the Department of Home Affairs. Students who have taken leave for reasons not permitted under the legislation will be deemed to have discontinued their studies and will have to apply for a new visa in order to re-enter the country as a student. 

Responsible for implementation

Chair, Quality Assurance Committee

Key stakeholders

Students


Procedures

Leave of Absence (LOA) Procedure

Application Process

Students should lodge their application through the Student Gateway, including all required supporting documentation.

Response to Application

  • Students will receive a written response to their application for LOA, including instructions for any further action that may be required.
  • Where an application is denied, students will be given an explanation of the reason for the decision.
  • Where applications are approved, the LOA for the approved period will be entered in the student management system.

Cancellation of Leave

If a student has been placed on LOA it may be possible to cancel the leave and enrol in subjects, depending on the timing of the request for cancellation. Requests for cancellation of LOA should be made in writing to the Student Experience Department to be reviewed by the Head of Student Progression. A student who requests cancellation of LOA may be required to discuss their request with the Head of Student Progression or Program Director (or equivalent) before a final decision is made.

Implications of Leave for Students

Students who take LOA will normally be required to lengthen the duration of their program by the period for which they are on leave. Temporary entrant visa holders permitted to take LOA are recommended to seek immigration advice. This requirement applies for all types of leave, including unapproved leave. It is the responsibility of each student who takes LOA to ensure they re-enrol after their period of leave. Failure to comply with these instructions may result in termination of enrolment on the grounds that the student has abandoned their studies. Students shall be made aware of these implications when their leave of absence application is approved.