Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Director's Office - International Centre
Date Approved
Approving Body
Vice-Chancellor "Policy Under Review"

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Refund of Tuition Fees for International Students

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy deals with the refund of fees for international students.


the University means The University of Western Australia;

ESOS Act means the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Commonwealth);

ESPRA means Education Service Providers (Full Fee Overseas Students) Registration Act 1991 (Western Australia);

National Code means The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007.

Policy statement:

1 General principles

1.1 The University's refund policy must adhere to:

1.1.1 Commonwealth legislation (ESOS Act), associated Regulations and National Code;

1.1.2 Western Australia Legislation (ESPRA) and Department of Education Services (State Government) [DES] Policy Guidelines; and

1.1.3 Operate within the framework of Universities Australia (UA) Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) Code of Practice.

Note: The legislation, regulations, policy and guidelines are available at the following:


ESOS Regulations:

ESOS National Code:


DES Policy Guidelines:

AVCC Code of Practice:

1.2 The Director, International Centre is responsible for developing, modifying and approving the refund contract, as required.

1.3 The International Centre must submit a copy of its refund policy including the contract, upon request, to relevant State and Federal organisations.

1.4 International students are strongly advised to discuss any decision to withdraw with the International Centre where possible.

2 Applications for refunds

2.1 All applications for a refund must be sent in writing to the Director, International Centre.

2.2 Refunds are made in accordance with this policy and the refund contract signed by the student, content of which is located

3 Withdrawal due to exceptional circumstances

3.1 A notice of withdrawal due to exceptional circumstances may be accepted as grounds for partial or total refund of fees in the relevant year of study.

3.2 Exceptional circumstances may include:

  • inability to obtain a student visa;
  • illness or disability;
  • failure to meet English language requirements for admission;
  • death of a close family member (parent, sibling, spouse or child); or
  • political, civil or natural event which prevents full payment of fees or inability to continue study.

3.3 Written submissions in relation to exceptional circumstances are to be attached to the application for refund.

3.4 The Director, International Centre is responsible for determining submissions in relation to exceptional circumstances.

4 Appeals

4.1 A student may appeal a decision to refuse a refund or in relation to the amount of a refund, where the student believes the policy has not be correctly applied or where all relevant information has not been considered.

4.2 Appeals are dealt with under the University Students Complaints Resolution Policy (UP07/98):

4.3 This policy does not remove a student's rights under Australia's consumer protection legislation.

5 Payment of refunds

5.1 All refunds are paid within the guidelines established under the ESOS Act.

5.2 Unless otherwise stated, refunds will be paid within four (4) weeks from formal receipt of request for refund by the student.

Related forms:

Policy No: UP07/139

Approving body or position:

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date original policy approved:

Date this version of policy approved:

31 January 2012

Date policy to be reviewed:

1 January 2013

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Manager International Quality Assurance

International Centre

Tel: (61 8) 6488 8008

Related Policies or legislation:

Student Complaints Resolution Policy (UP07/98 )