Manual of Policies and Procedures

E/4.5 Leave of absence

Contact Officer

Director, Student Business Services

Approval Date

15/09/2017

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

30/09/2020

4.5.1 Purpose
4.5.2 Application
4.5.3 Roles and responsibilities
4.5.4 Determining applications
4.5.5 Consequences of taking leave of absence
4.5.6 Definitions
4.5.7 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

4.5.1 Purpose

Leave of absence provides a mechanism for students to interrupt their studies in response to various external circumstances that may affect their capacity to undertake their studies.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the procedural information provided on the HiQ website (QUT staff and student access only).

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4.5.2 Application

This policy applies to domestic and international students, postgraduate and undergraduate students and award courses.

International students are strictly limited in the circumstances in which they can apply for leave of absence, and are required to meet conditions other than those specifically described in this policy.

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4.5.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility

University Academic Board

  • specifies the circumstances in which a student may take leave of absence from an award course

Vice-President (Administration) and Registrar

  • determines the student's application for leave of absence
Director, Student Business Services
  • manages the leave of absence process on behalf of the Vice-President (Administration) and Registrar
Students
  • ensure they:
    • maintain satisfactory academic progression to ensure completion of their course within specified time limits; and
    • apply for leave of absence when not enrolling in a teaching period
In the case of international students, the student must also comply with any requirements for enrolment or study at the university specified in the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth).

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4.5.4 Determining applications

(a) General conditions for leave of absence

Leave will not be approved if the student will breach the maximum time limits for completing an award course in the time limits for completion of an award course (E/4.4).

Any period of deferment of commencement of study (E/4.1.5) is not taken into account in determining whether the conditions described in this policy for approval of leave of absence have been met.

A student may need to return before the end of a period of approved leave in order to meet professional accreditation or recognition associated with their course of study. The relevant faculty will advise students of this requirement.

Leave of absence applications from undergraduate students will normally be approved without referral to faculty where:

  • the student is enrolled in an undergraduate award course, and
  • the student is applying for leave of absence for a period of no more than two years, and
  • the student has completed at least one teaching period of enrolment in the award course, and
  • the leave period requested, when combined with earlier periods of leave in the same course, does not exceed two years.

Leave of absence applications from postgraduate students will normally be approved without referral to faculty where:

  • the student is enrolled in a postgraduate award course, and
  • the student is applying for leave of absence for a period of no more than one year, and
  • the student has completed at least one teaching period of enrolment in the award course, and
  • the leave period requested, when combined with earlier periods of leave in the same course, does not exceed one year.

(b) Leave of absence after commencement of studies but prior to completion of first teaching period of enrolment

If the student has commenced studies, but has not completed at least one teaching period of enrolment in the award course, leave of absence may be approved if the student has demonstrated exceptional circumstance for taking the leave. All other conditions listed in (a) above must be met before leave may be approved. Depending on the time of application, commencement of the student's course may be delayed, or financial and/or academic penalties may apply.

(c) Approval of leave of absence in other circumstances

Other circumstances include:

  • for leave in excess of two years for undergraduate students and one year for postgraduate students, or
  • where the leave period in the application combined with earlier periods of leave in the same course exceeds two years for undergraduate students and one year for postgraduate students.

If the student seeks leave of absence they must demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist which necessitate taking the leave. In these cases, the application will be referred to the faculty for a decision.

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4.5.5 Consequences of taking leave of absence

Where leave of absence is approved:

  • students are invited to re-enrol in the place that has been held for them at the end of the period
  • a student will return to the version of the course they were enrolled in prior to leave but may be required to return to a new version or replacement course for professional accreditation or recognition requirements
  • the enrolment program followed by a student on return may be impacted by professional accreditation or recognition requirements associated with their course of study
  • a student is deemed to have withdrawn from enrolment in all units. In cases where leave of absence is granted after the published withdrawal date for the relevant teaching period, failing grades are assigned unless the student demonstrates exceptional circumstances for the proposed period of leave (E/4.3.10 (b) Withdrawing from units)
  • the applicant is not an enrolled student of the university for the approved period of absence.

Where the student fails to re-enrol at the conclusion of an approved leave of absence the student must apply to return to study in a subsequent period. Students returning to study may be admitted to an alternative course and may need to complete additional units to meet course requirements (E/4.1.19 Readmission).

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4.5.6 Definitions

Award course means a program of study leading to the award of a degree, diploma or certificate accredited by QUT's Courses and awards policy (C/3.1).

Deferment period means domestic applicants offered admission to an undergraduate award course may apply to defer the commencement of their studies for one year and after the first year request, for up to a further 12 months (E/4.1.15).

Enrolment means the units which define a program of study, the amount and timing of that study and the fees and charges that will be applied.

International student has the same meaning as "overseas student" in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth).

Leave of absence means a place in the course will be held for the student for the approved period.

Time limit means the maximum amount of time to complete a course.

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4.5.7 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (C115).

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Related Documents

MOPP D/5.3 Higher degree research candidates (D/5.3.7 (iv))

MOPP E/4.1 Student admission

MOPP E/4.3 Enrolment programs

MOPP E/4.4 Time limits for completion of an award course

Deferment - offers (QUT staff and student access only)

Leave of absence - Taking a break from study (QUT staff and student access only)

Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth)

Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)

Migration Act 1958 (Cth) and Education provider obligations

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

15.09.17 All University Academic Board Revised and simplified policy
20.09.13 All University Academic Board Revised policy - effective 01.01.14

13.11.09

All

University Academic Board

Periodic review – no change required

01.07.05

All

University Academic Board

New policy effective from 01.01.06 (approved subject to Council approval of revised Student Rule 18 � approved by Council 26.10.05); replaces former policy E/4.3.5

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