The University of Western Australia
This policy sets out the principles underpinning international academic and experiential programs undertaken by students at an overseas tertiary institution or other place of learning for recognition towards their course at the University.
This document comprises a framework of policies which govern the following aspects of international academic programs:
the University means The University of Western Australia
credit transfer means the process of granting credit for a unit or units up to a specified limit towards an award course at the University on the basis of previous studies or prior learning
exchange agreement means a formal agreement established between the University and an overseas tertiary institution for a bilateral exchange of students according to agreed protocols which specify number of students, level of study of students, fields of study, timeframes, admission requirements and other details of cooperation.
exchange period means the duration of the academic program undertaken under the terms of the exchange agreement
exchange program is a generic term used to describe the activity which takes place under the framework of all exchange agreements
exchange student means a student of the University involved in an exchange program
fee-waiver refers to a program where tuition fees are waived at the host institution
fee-paying refers to a program where tuition fees are paid at the host institution
higher degree by research requires a project of supervised but independent enquiry at an advanced level, resulting in the submission of a research thesis (or equivalent production) to be examined by experts in the field
host institution means the institution where a student from the University undertakes a program or other learning experience
independent academic program means a program at an overseas institution or other place of learning which has been independently initiated by a student of the University where no formal agreement is in place with the University
international students means non-Australian resident students studying at the University
language immersion means a program of study specifically for the purpose of language acquisition
non-exchange program means an international learning experience that is not encompassed as part of the exchange program
non-exchange students means students who are engaging in overseas experiences recognised by the University, which are not exchange programs
offshore students means students of the University studying outside Australia
overload means to enrol in units with a total credit point value greater than 48 points in a year, or greater than 24 points in a semester, or the equivalent calculated on a proportional basis for a teaching period other than a semester
program means an academic course of study or experiential learning activity for more than one student and includes exchange and non-exchange programs
relevant board(s) means a board of the University relevant to the case in point. The relevant board(s) may include a position or a body of people with authority to carry out the function concerned
short-term academic program means a program of less than one semester established under the framework of a formal agreement and managed through the faculty for credit towards a student's course at the University. The programs may take place under the terms of a bilateral exchange agreement or a unilateral (one-way) agreement
study plan means documentation of agreement between the student and the relevant faculty that states the University credit and/or recognition to be awarded upon successful completion of an overseas program of study
PART 1: General Principles
This part of the policy sets out the general principles underpinning international academic programs approved by the University. The general principles provide the context in which the subsequent sections of the policy are read.
1.1 The University is committed to providing open access to its international student mobility programs.
1.2 The University is committed to promoting and encouraging participation by its students in approved international academic and experiential programs comprising:
1.3 Exchange programs are formal academic programs that operate on the principle that equal numbers of students are exchanged between institutions over the lifetime of an agreement with exceptions being negotiated on a case by case basis.
1.3.1 Exchange agreements between the University and a host institution must be current and approved in line with the University's bilateral relations establishment process and must be in place prior to the commencement of the exchange program.
1.3.2 Students approved to participate in an overseas program are expected to:
1.3.3 Exchange students must maintain their student contribution or international student fees at the University, and tuition fees at the host institution are waived.
1.3.4 The University may take measures to ensure balance in the numbers of incoming and outgoing students over the life of individual exchange agreements to ensure cost neutrality.
220.127.116.11 If the agreed number of fee-waiver places has been filled, additional fee-waiver places or fee-paying places may be negotiated between the University and the host institution on a case by case basis.
18.104.22.168 Increasing the number of fee-waiver places is at the discretion of the host institution.
1.4 Non-exchange programs comprise a range of formal and informal arrangements.
1.4.1 Formal arrangements can include short term academic or experiential programs.
1.4.2 Informal arrangements include:
1.4.3 Non-exchange students incur student contribution or fee liability to the University in accordance with their enrolment status and make any tuition or other fee payments to the program provider in accordance with the program provider's fee requirements and policies.
1.5 Exchange programs and formal non-exchange programs:
Part 2 of this policy ensures that the application and selection processes for students of the University participating in approved international academic programs are administered consistently and equitably.
2.1 Exchange programs or non-exchange programs may be applied for by the University's domestic/international/offshore students enrolled either on a full-time/part-time basis, where relevant, in:
2.2 To be considered for an exchange program students must be in good standing at the University and may require a minimum weighted average mark (WAM), where stipulated in the individual student exchange agreements.
2.3 Students must have sufficient space within their course of study to undertake an international program, and must normally successfully complete at least 24 points in their current course of study at the University at the time of application, unless an exception to this is stipulated in the individual mobility program.
2.4 The eligibility requirements specified in 2.2 and 2.3 may be varied at the discretion of the relevant board(s) for:
1. Non Language Exchange Program
1.1 Weighted average mark is normally determined based on a student's current enrolled course.
1.2 Where the exchange partner requires a full year of study and the student has not achieved this in their current course, the weighted average mark is determined based on previous study at the University.
2. Language Exchange Program
2.1The language weighted average mark is determined as the weighted average of the student's language units undertaken in the language relevant to the exchange destination.
3.1 The selection process for an exchange program is:
3.2 Placements for an exchange program are subject to:
3.3 Placements for non-exchange programs, including short-term academic programs, are determined through a selection process arranged by the relevant board.
3.4 The placement for a student on an international student visa may occur in their home country, subject to agreement by the host institution.
3.5 A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of a decision arising from the selection process specified in 3.1 or leading to a placement specified in 3.2 may request a review of the academic decision under the University Policy on Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions relating to Students UP15/1.
1. Selection and Placement for Exchange Institution
1.1 Students are required to submit a preferential application to the Global Learning Office, completing all components by the advertised deadline.
1.2 Students are assessed against the eligibility criteria for the exchange program generally and the listed preferences specifically.
1.3 Students ineligible for the exchange program are notified.
1.4 The Global Learning Office makes every effort to place a student at the highest possible preference.
1.5 Where there are more applicants for a place than places available, places are allocated on the basis of weighted average mark, including the most recent semester.
1.6 Where placement is not possible due to the limitations of a particular exchange program, efforts are made to accommodate the student at their next available preference, provided time allows.
1.7 Where a placement at a particular exchange partner is not possible due to inadequate research on the part of the student, an alternative placement may be denied at the discretion of the relevant board.
1.8 Where a student is not successful in obtaining a placement at any of their preferences, due to limited places, the Global Learning Office may provide options of available institutions for the student.
1.9 Once the student has been placed at an exchange program, the student follows instructions from the Global Learning Office.
4.1 The University provides a range of scholarships to help students meet the costs associated with undertaking an international academic or experiential program.
4.1.1 All exchange students considered for a study abroad scholarship are subject to the conditions of the particular scholarship.
4.1.2 Students in a non-exchange program including a short-term program may apply for a travelling scholarship if:
4.1.3 Scholarships are awarded by the relevant board and are primarily based on academic merit, university internationalisation priorities and available funding.
4.1.4 Financially disadvantaged students, identified by an established mechanism, may be eligible for a supplementary scholarship.
4.1.5 Indigenous students may be eligible for a supplementary scholarship.
4.1.6 Students are not eligible to receive more than one University scholarship from the University's Student Travelling Fund for participation in an international academic or experiential program during their entire university life at the University.
4.1.7 Where available, students may seek external sources of funding relevant to their individual mobility program.
4.1.8 Where available, the relevant board may offer a student an external scholarship in the place of a University travelling scholarship.
4.1.9 Students must not concurrently hold another travel award without approval from the relevant board.
4.2 The University provides a range of loans to help students meet the costs associated with undertaking an international academic program.
4.2.2 Applications for continuation of Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance must be accompanied by certification from the University.
4.2.3 To be considered for a study-related loan, students of the University must meet Commonwealth Government requirements for the OS HELP loan
(a) be engaging in an overseas program counting towards their current course of study at the University;
(b) have already completed at least one year of full-time study or 36 credit points towards a course at the University in Australia; and
(c) have at least one 6 credit point unit remaining in their course at the University upon completion of the overseas study period.
4.2.4 Students who are not eligible for the OS-HELP loan or where OS-HELP funding is unavailable or insufficient to meet the overseas study costs may apply for the University Overseas Study Loan.
1. Procedures for Awarding Funds from the Student Travelling Fund
1.1 Students lodge a complete application to the Global Learning Office by the advertised deadline.
1.2 Students are ranked based on their weighted average mark, proposed academic credit of the overseas study and points achieved in their current course, and whether they are receiving other travelling scholarships for the same overseas program.
1.3 Students eligible for equity-based travelling funds are identified and awarded.
1.4 Funds are allocated to students based on this ranking until all student travelling funds for the overseas study period are awarded.
1.5 Students are allocated the highest valued scholarship they may be eligible for from the student travelling funds.
1.6 Successful students are notified of the amount awarded and the payment process by the Global Learning Office.
1.7 Unsuccessful students are notified by the Global Learning Office.
PART 3: Student Obligations
The following principles inform students of their obligations and responsibilities during their period of study overseas undertaken as part of an international academic or experiential program.
5.1 Students participating in an approved international academic or experiential program (including practical work) must complete (where relevant) appropriate documentation which provides for adherence to, but is not limited to, the following:
1. For Students Participating in Exchange Programs:
1.1 Students submit a complete application by the deadline to the Global Learning Office.
Students commit to complying with requests for any additional documents during the Global 1.2 Learning Office's assessment of the application.
1.3 After the selection of the exchange partner programs, students are required to submit all (but not limited to) the following documents.
(i) An application to the proposed host institution;
(ii) Information regarding their overseas study so the Global Learning Office may generate letters for government departments (Border Protection, Centrelink);
(iii) Signed agreement to book all travel through the University's preferred travel supplier;
(iv) Complete the University's enrolment requirements;
(v) Approval of proposed units of study at host institution from allocated office for course advice;
(vi) Students submit any information regarding pre-existing conditions to the University's Insurance Office for assessment; and
(vii) Conditions of participation related to their participation in the exchange program.
1.4 Students are committed to attending information and pre departure sessions run by the Global Learning Office.
1.5 While abroad, students must seek approval for any change to the units they are enrolled in with their allocated office for course advice as per 1.3V.
5.2 All students participating in approved international programs are responsible for paying any fees including, but not limited to:
5.3 Students must book all related travel for University recognised international activities through the University's preferred travel supplier.
5.4 Students are committed to providing accurate and complete physical and mental health information and any other information that may be necessary for the University to plan for a safe and healthy overseas learning experience, and promptly communicate any health or safety concerns whilst overseas to program staff.
5.5 Students must:
5.5.1 Assume responsibility for their personal and academic circumstances and physical and mental capabilities which may impact upon their acceptance and completion of a program;
5.5.2 Fully inform themselves of the political, legal, social, economic, cultural and academic characteristics of the overseas learning environment(s), including safety, health and security conditions, and assume responsibility for them after acceptance of the program offer;
5.5.3 Obtain and maintain health insurance to the standard required by the University and the host institution;
5.5.4 Comply with the University's Acceptance Contract and conditions of their Australian Student Visa;
5.5.5 Attend orientation programs both before departure and in the overseas learning environment(s);
5.5.6 Obey the laws of the host country, and the policies and Codes of Conduct of the University and the program;
5.5.7 Accept responsibility for their actions and decisions prior to the program commencing and for the duration of the program, including the transit;
5.5.8 Notify the University if they are involved in a critical incident overseas. The University may in turn liaise with the host institution; and
5.5.9 Not seek to hold the University accountable for any risks present in the overseas learning environment(s), or for the costs of legal representation when incurred, or for their behaviour or the behaviour of other participants, agents of the host institution, contractors or subcontractors.
Part 4 of the policy deals with the principles underpinning the transfer of credit achieved as part of an exchange or non-exchange program to a student's course at the University. It aims to ensure that enrolment and credit transfer policies are applied consistently for students of the University participating in approved international academic programs.
6.1 Exchange students must normally maintain a full-time enrolment and full academic load (determined as 24 points per semester) at the University and at the host institution, unless:
6.2 An exchange period is normally a maximum of two consecutive semesters.
6.3 Students with a reduced enrolment may be required to enrol in additional units to fulfil the full-time academic load at the host institution or visa requirements, even though they may not receive credit from the University for the additional units.
6.4 The enrolment status of a non-exchange student at the University depends on the program funding model of the overseas course of study, with the final decision being made by the student's home faculty.
6.5 Non-exchange students must normally enrol in the required academic load at the host institution as specified by the particular program.
6.6 Students undertaking exchange or non-exchange programs are normally not permitted to overload unless specifically approved by both the allocated faculty course advising office at the University and the host university.
6.7 Students enrolled in combined courses (pre-2012) must have obtained approval from the relevant boards to undertake their international academic program.
7.1 The maximum number of points that is normally credited from study via a single exchange or non-exchange program is 48 points and is subject to the University Policy on Credit Transfer, Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning UP11/34.
7.2 Credits achieved as part of an exchange or non-exchange program are transferred to a student's course at the University provided:
7.3 Students commencing an undergraduate degree course of the University:
(i) are required to take at least one Level 3 unit of their major, or two in the case of double majors at the University;
(ii) may gain credit towards their degree specific major, second major, complementary units, options or elective units subject to faculty approval; and
(iii) satisfy 'Category A' broadening unit requirements provided that the unit(s) is/are not contributing to their degree-specific major.
7.4 Results from the host institution are normally recorded by the University on the student's academic transcript on an ungraded pass/ungraded fail basis in accordance with the University Policy on Ungraded Passes and Fails UP09/10.
7.5 Actual results achieved in an approved academic program at the host institution are recorded as a footnote on the student's University academic transcript and may not be included for any calculations for admission into postgraduate or honours courses, or prize calculation.
1. Procedure relating to the enrolment of students undertaking an exchange program:
1.1 The Global Learning Office provides documentation and instruction on how to complete the enrolment requirement to the students participating in the program.
1.2 Nominating EXCH coded units that represent the disciplines and credit loading of the subjects that are planned to be undertaken by the student on exchange.
(a) Where possible, the EXCH coded units are weighted at 6, 12, 18 or 24 points. If the overseas unit is not a one to one relationship with the University's unit and the EXCH subject or credit loading does not exactly match, the student seeks advice from the relevant board(s) as to how best represent this using the EXCH coded units available.
(b) The student signs and submits the relevant enrolment forms to the Global Learning Office.
1.3 In the event that a student changes their enrolment once at a host institution, they must notify the Global Learning Office and their allocated office for course advice so the appropriate EXCH codes can be modified.
2. Procedure relating to the credit granted for an exchange program:
2.1 Upon receipt of the official transcript from the host university, the Global Learning Office begins the credit transfer process.
(a) The student is notified that the transcript is available for collection.
2.2 The transcript is forwarded to the relevant allocated office(s) for course advice, where the appropriate amount of credit is annotated against the EXCH codes the student has enrolled in for the exchange period. Where possible:
(a) Credit shall be awarded or denied in sets of 6, 12, 18 or 24 University credit points;
(b) Appropriate EXCH code units are suggested if the current codes do not reflect the student's (approved) study undertaken at the host institution;
(c) Where a portion of credit for an EXCH coded unit was achieved, but a portion also failed, two EXCH coded units reflecting the proportion passed and the proportion failed is annotated on the transcript to replace the code the student was originally enrolled;
(d) If c) is not possible, only partial points are awarded for that EXCH unit, to reflect a portion of the academic load overseas was failed; and
(e) Unless specified by the relevant board, each EXCH unit is awarded an ungraded pass (UP) or ungraded fail (UF).
2.3 Student Administration reflects these changes in the University's system(s) to reflect the credit achieved. Student Administration also annotates details of the exchange on the transcript including but not limited to the following information:
(a) The name of the overseas institution;
(b) The year and equivalent semester to that of the University that the student studied at the partner institution; and
(c) The name of each subject studied at the institution and the mark achieved in the host university's own grading system.
This part of the policy outlines the principles relating to the deferral, withdrawal and extension of the exchange period within an approved international academic program.
8.1 Extension of an exchange period either at the same or a new host institution is subject to consideration and approval by the relevant board(s), and the host institution.
9.1 Deferral of exchange may be permitted for one semester by the relevant board(s) for students who are unable to continue with their exchange in a particular semester. In exceptional circumstances deferral may be permitted for more than one semester.
9.2 Continuation of an exchange after deferral is subject to confirmation of approval by the relevant board(s) applying the usual eligibility criteria, however, students may be required to reapply and take part in a new competitive selection process.
9.3 Any academic marks received from studies at the University during the period of deferral are considered and are used to recalculate the student's weighted average mark.
10.1 Students who withdraw from an international academic program:
PART 6: University Obligations
This section of the policy deals with the principles underpinning the management of risk and critical incidents associated with students undertaking an international academic or experiential program. It aims to ensure that the appropriate risk management mechanisms are implemented consistently where the University has formal international agreements in place.
11.1 The University is committed to:
11.1.1 Disseminating Codes of Conduct, University policies and program expectations to prospective participants;
11.1.2 Providing information relating to medical services, professional services, accommodation services, safety and security of the overseas learning environment(s) to prospective participants to aid them and their families in decision-making and preparation;
11.1.3 Considering health and safety issues in evaluating the appropriateness of an individual's participation in an overseas learning activity, providing such information has been made available;
11.1.4 Providing orientation to students prior to their departure which includes health and safety issues and emergency response measures;
11.1.5 Monitoring changes in country conditions and communicating them to participants and prospective participants;
11.1.6 Recording students' whereabouts, activities and level or type of funding source within the appropriate IT systems;
11.1.7 Communicating its expectations to contractors, vendors and service providers in overseas learning environments with respect to its formal agreements;
11.1.8 Ensuring program directors and staff accompanying students on the overseas learning experience undergo appropriate health and safety training;
11.1.9 Conducting periodic assessments of health and safety conditions for programs offered to students of the University, and developing and maintaining:
(a) emergency preparedness processes;
(b) a risk management register; and
(c) a crisis response plan.
11.1.10Ensuring that any mechanism established for the management of risk and critical incidents be applied consistently for all approved international academic programs.
12.1 The University may recall students from their study program in the event of unforeseen circumstances which result in a critical or potential incident/emergency situation including, but not limited to:
12.2 The University maintains good communication with students, program sponsors/agents and the students' family/guardians during the program where the student is experiencing or has experienced:
(a) a health problem;
(c) natural disaster;
(d) disruption to a nation's security or rule of law;
(e) critical incident;
(f) or any other incident that may negatively affect the student or hamper the student from successfully completing their study in a safe manner in the overseas learning environment(s).
12.3 On being informed of a critical incident the relevant office:
12.4 Where a student's ability to complete academic requirements at the host institution is impeded by a critical incident or incidents specified in 12.2, the University Policy on Special Consideration UP11/23 may take effect.
1. Emergency Response Process for Students Involved in a Critical Incident in an Exchange Program:
1.1 Following a publicised critical incident abroad, the University first identifies any students that may be affected using its risk registries. If the incident is brought directly to the University's attention, questions may be asked to gather the following information:
(a) Location and current safety of the student(s);
(b) Information regarding what happened, what injuries were sustained, when it happened, who was involved and who witnessed the incident; and
(c) Confirmation of who the student has contacted to date.
1.2 Once initial contact has been made, the following staff may be contacted and liaised with at the University:
(a) Manager, Global Learning Office/Associate Director, Student Support Services
(b) Risk Management
(c) Campus Security
(d) Public Relations Office
(e) Academic Departments/Deans
(f) University Executive
1.3 In the case of death or life-changing injury, the following roles may be liaised with:
(a) Director, Student Life
(b) Legal Counsel
(c) UWA Sports
(d) Human Resources
1.4 The following contacts overseas may be contacted and liaised with:
(a) Host institution (or other partners) where the student is studying
(b) Local embassy or consulate
(c) Local emergency and medical services
(d) Local police
(e) Crisis counsellor or psychologist
(f) Translation services
(g) Local Lawyer
(h) Housing officers/landlords
(i) Travel agents and airlines
(j) Local weather resources
1.5 Following a critical incident, there may be follow up actions including but not limited to:
(a) Debriefing of staff that have been involved with the student or the critical incident;
(b) Counselling for staff, friends and family; and
(c) Written report summarising the critical incident and actions taken.
This final section sets out the specific principles underpinning international academic programs approved and administered by the Graduate Research School for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students.
13.1 HDR students may participate in formal approved exchange programs, and informal arrangements at overseas institutions for purposes including (but not limited to):
13.2 HDR students enrolled in Joint PhD programs either as an exchange program or as an approved program with an overseas institution must meet the eligibility and candidature requirements pertaining to joint/double-badged programs as stated in the University's Doctor of Philosophy course rules.
13.3 HDR students may travel overseas to carry out fieldwork, as related to their degree.
13.4 All HDR students intending to travel overseas must have approval from their Coordinating Supervisor, Graduate Research Coordinator and the Graduate Research School prior to making arrangements for travel.
13.5 Approval of international travel is normally subject to:
(a) receipt of the Research Proposal by the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office; and
(b) the relevant Scholarship conditions (if applicable).
13.6 Approval of periods of travel for overseas research or fieldwork is subject to nomination of an external supervisor, or submission of a supervision plan for extended periods of absence.
13.7 Research undertaken as part of an approved exchange program with an international institution, an informal arrangement, or fieldwork normally counts towards the credit for the degree in which the student is enrolled.
13.8 The Graduate Research School is committed to its duty of care to HDR students and lodges details of the approved international travel arrangements with the relevant office.
1.1 The Graduate Research School records student's whereabouts within the appropriate IT systems.
TRIM File No:
Manager, Global Learning Office
Related Policies or legislation: