Procedures

Student Refunds - Procedures

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1.0 Purpose and Scope

This procedure outlines The University of Queensland’s (UQ’s) arrangements for assessing and processing student refunds and applies to all prospective, current and former UQ students.

1.1 Exclusions

The following types of refund are not covered by this procedure:

  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) – international students should consult their OSHC provider about refund provisions.

  • Course or program related incidental fees – students apply directly to the relevant school or faculty.

  • Removal of financial liability after the census date due to special circumstances.

2.0 Process and Key Controls

To process a refund request a student must have an amount in credit in their UQ student account.

Eligible students must apply in accordance with this procedure for a refund to be considered and processed by UQ.

The Student Fees team within the Academic Services Division has primary responsibility for managing the student fees function at UQ, including processing and authorising refunds.

Students have a right to seek a review of a refund decision in accordance with section 2.6 of this procedure.

2.1 Eligibility

Prior to applying for a refund, students must consider the following eligibility requirements:

2.1.1 Refunds before census date

A student who withdraws from a course before the census date will be eligible for a full refund of the tuition fee paid for the course.

Where a student withdraws from a program by the census date a full refund of tuition fees for the study period is payable, unless the student is a commencing international student.

Where a commencing international student (or a commencing international student granted Australian permanent residency or NZ citizenship in the first study period of enrolment in a program) withdraws from their program or their enrolment in the program is cancelled, before the end of the census date of the first study period of enrolment, a full refund is payable less an administrative charge for cancellation of enrolment, as outlined in the University’s fee schedule for administrative and miscellaneous charges.

2.1.2 Refunds after census date

Where a student is enrolled in a study period after the census date, a tuition fee paid for the study period is not refundable, unless:

  • The student is granted removal of financial liability in accordance with PPL 3.50.10 Removal of Financial Liability Due to Special Circumstances; or

  • The student’s provisional enrolment is cancelled following refusal of enrolment in that study period for unsatisfactory academic progress (show cause); or

  • The student’s provisional enrolment in the study period is cancelled due to non-payment of fees  by the study period’s census date; or

  • The student is an international student who is unable to continue study in the study period due to student visa refusal.

A student services and amenities fee (SSAF) is not refundable after the relevant SSAF payment date.

2.1.3 Refusal of enrolment

A full refund is not payable if the University cancels a student’s enrolment in the following circumstances:

a. The University withdraws an international student’s offer of a place or cancels an international student’s enrolment in the first study period due to the provision of incorrect or incomplete information in an application for admission. In this case the administrative charge for cancellation of enrolment, as outlined in the University’s fee schedule for administrative and miscellaneous charges will be applied.

b. The University cancels a student’s enrolment or suspends or expels a student from the University under PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct. In this case no fees paid by the student relating to the period are refundable.

2.1.4 Refunds of financial aid

Where a student’s fees are paid by Financial Aid, the amount payable as a refund is calculated in accordance with US Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program guidelines.

  • Where a student drops all course enrolments in a study period, having completed 60% or less of the study period, the unearned portion of funds provided for study purposes is repaid to the financial institution administering the US Government loan; or
  • Where a student withdraws from all course enrolments in a study period, having completed 61% or more of the study period, no refund will be directly payable to a student; unless the student is granted removal of financial liability in accordance with PPL 3.50.10 Removal of Financial Liability Due to Special Circumstances or the student withdraws as a result of a student visa refusal.

2.2 Applications for refunds

Students applying for a refund must submit an online student fee refund request via my.UQ.

Where a student cannot access my.UQ a completed Student Fees Refund Request form may be submitted to fees@uq.edu.au with verifiable proof of identity. A prospective international student who has paid a deposit to accept an offer of a place at UQ may submit the form to applicationstatus@uq.edu.au.

A commencing international student wishing to withdraw completely from a program in the first study period of enrolment must complete an Application to Withdraw before applying for a refund.

UQ will process refund requests within 28 calendar days of receiving a valid student refund request application, or within 14 calendar days in the case of University default where a refund request is received from an international student.

If information required from a student to process a refund request is not complete or correct, the processing timeframe will commence once the required information is received by Student Fees and Scholarships.

Refund request notifications to students will be sent to:

  • The student’s my.UQ Dashboard Notifications; or

  • The student’s UQ email address, where a PDF refund request is received; or

  • The email address provided with a student’s application to enrol, where an international student does not have a UQ Account.

2.3 Remittance of refunds

2.3.1 Currency

Refunds will be made in Australian dollars, with the exception of tuition fees for the UQ-Ochsner program which will be made in US dollars.

2.3.2 Refunds to payment source

Refunds are generally made to the original payment source, including:

  • Where an amount is paid under a University administered scholarship, third party contract (TPC) or loan arrangement, under the terms of which you are not eligible for a refund.

  • Where payment was made by someone else on your behalf.

  • Where payment was made via an authorised UQ agent.

2.3.3 Refunds to another account

In the following circumstances, refunds may be made to another account:

  • Payments made by Australian credit card more than twelve months prior to the refund may be refunded to a bank account specified by the student.

  • Where a student can provide documentary evidence from the payor's bank/card provider proving the originating account is closed, refunds can be made to a bank account specified by the student.

  • For payments made by BPay or bank transfer, refunds can be paid into a bank account specified by the student (Flywire may require proof of original payment transaction and bank account details).

  • Where payment is made via an authorised UQ agent, the student may specify a different account for payment of a refund in the refund request.

  • For circumstances not covered by these procedures, the student may apply in writing to the Academic Registrar to have a refund remitted to a different account.

2.4 Uncollected funds

An amount in credit on a student’s account which has been inactive for a period of 15 months is considered uncollected funds.

Students with uncollected funds will be contacted by the University, unless there are no contact details recorded in mySI-net or the amount of uncollected funds is less than $56.

If the student does not apply for a refund or contact Student Fees and Scholarships within 30 days of the date the University notifies the student of uncollected funds, the student agrees that the uncollected funds are transferred to a University fund to support students in hardship.

Uncollected funds which have been transferred to a University fund to support students in hardship will not be refunded except in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Director, Student Administration.

2.5 University default – International Students

2.5.1 Refunds where a program cannot be delivered

If the University is unable to deliver a coursework program in full it is considered a University default and a student will be offered:

  • A full refund of all tuition fees paid for the study period in which the default occurs and any tuition fees paid in advance for future study periods in the program; or

  • The student may be offered enrolment in another program by the University.

If the University is unable to deliver suitable advisory support to a Higher Degree by Research student, the student will be offered a full refund of tuition fees paid for the research quarter in which the default occurs and any tuition fees paid in advance for future study periods of the program.

Tuition fees paid for earlier study periods will not be refunded, except where a student is granted removal of financial liability for those study periods.

In accordance with the ESOS Act if the University is unable to deliver a program to an international student, the University is considered to be in default. In these cases, in the unlikely event the University is unable to offer the student an alternative program that the student accepts or pay the student a refund of the student’s unspent prepaid tuition fees, the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) will assist the student to find an alternative course of study or to get a refund, if a suitable alternative is not found.

2.5.2 Refunds where there is no compliant written agreement

Where an international student withdraws from their program or their enrolment is cancelled but there is no compliant written agreement between the University and the student which sets out the refund arrangements that will apply in those circumstances, the University will refund all tuition fees paid for the study period in which the student is withdrawn or cancelled.

2.6 Appeals

In accordance with the provisions of the University’s Student Grievance Resolution Policy:

  • A student may seek a review of a refund decision by writing to the Academic Registrar.

  • An international student can apply in writing to the Academic Registrar to request a variation of a charge for cancellation of enrolment.

Requests for the refund of uncollected funds which have been transferred to a University fund to support students in hardship will be considered on a case by case basis and are to be submitted in writing to the Director, Student Administration.

3.0 Key Requirements

Refunds applications must be made before uncollected funds are transferred to a University fund to support students.

Students must supply supporting documentation requested by the University:

i. Where a refund is not able to be made to the originating source;

ii. Where information is incomplete or incorrect;

iii. To verify the student as the refund initiator.

A refund request from an international student who is under 18 years of age must be authorised by the student’s parent or guardian who accepted the offer on behalf of the student.

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1 Student Fees and Scholarships

The Student Fees team has primary responsibility for the administrative systems and processes that are part of the fees function at UQ, including processing student refunds.
Student Fees and Scholarships is responsible for managing refunds including:

a. Confirming eligibility.

b. Confirming method of payment.

c. Confirming amount payable.

d. Authorising payment of refunds.

e. Processing refunds within the specified timeframes.

All student fee refund requests which have been verified as initiated by a student are processed by an Officer in Student Fees and Scholarships who will confirm the amount available for refund and identify the original payment source(s).

A Senior Officer in Student Fees and Scholarships must authorise a refund.

4.2 Finance and Business Services

Finance and Business Services (FBS) Division is responsible for:

a. Approving payments of refunds in accordance with the University’s schedule of financial delegations.

b. Remitting payments of refunds in a timely manner.

c. Contacting students with uncollected funds prior to transferring the funds to a fund for the benefit of students.

4.3 Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine is responsible for approving payments of USD refunds for the MD-Ochsner program in accordance with the University’s schedule of financial delegations.

4.4 Financial Aid

A UQ Financial Aid Officer is responsible for determining the refund payable to the student and the loan provider where the student’s fees are paid by the US Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The University will monitor refund turn-around times.

The Academic Registrar will ensure University processes for refunding fees are compliant with University policy and legislative requirements; including reviewing procedures annually and making required adjustments.

6.0 Recording and Reporting

The University will retain records of refund applications, transactions, communications and appeals in accordance with PPL 1.60.04 Records Management.

The University will report on the outcome of the discharge of the University’s refund obligations in cases of international student and University default, in compliance with Tuition Protection Service reporting requirements.

7.0 Appendix

7.1 Definitions, terms and acronyms

Agreed starting day – the day on which a program was scheduled to start, or a later day agreed between the University and the student.

Census date – the date in the University’s academic calendar by which all enrolment requirements must be finalised for a given study period (March 31 for semester 1; August 31 for semester 2; December 18 for Summer semester (this may change); the dates set annually for trimesters; intensive teaching periods and medical rotation periods; the first day of the second month of a research quarter).

Commencing student – for the purpose of this procedure, a student who has accepted a place in a program at the University including an international student who has accepted a package offer, or an international or domestic student enrolled in a program up until the census date of the first study period of enrolment at the University.

Course – a distinct unit of study for which a result is given, identified by its alphanumeric code, a title and a fixed unit value.

Credit – payments by or on behalf of a student, to a student's UQ account, which have not been applied to a debt related to a student's fees (also known as excess cash).

Deposit – the tuition fee deposit set for payment by an international student before the agreed starting date of the first study period of enrolment, to accept an offer of admission to a program at the University, which is credited to the student's UQ student fee account.

Domestic student – a student who is an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen, or Australian permanent resident (including Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visa holders).

First study period of enrolment – the study period in which the student commenced or was to commence a program at the University.

HESAHigher Education Support Act 2003.

Incidental fee – a fee for a good or service related to the provision of a course or program that is additional to a student contribution amount or tuition fee and which meets one of the criteria set out in chapter 7 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines and HESA.

International student – a student who is not a domestic student; also knows as an overseas student.

Program – a sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as a bachelor degree, graduate diploma or certificate, masters degree or Higher Degree by Research (HDR).

Provisional enrolment – under PPL 3.40.11 Enrolment, a person is not taken to be effectively enrolled in a program or course in a study period until all relevant fees and charges have been paid to the University.

Refund – the return of monies that were paid to the University.

SSAF payment date – the date on which a student services and amenities fee is payable and the last date on which an eligible domestic student is able to submit a request for SA-HELP for the period to which the SSAF relates.

Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) – the capped annual fee charged by the University for student services and amenities of a non-academic and non-political nature.

Study period – a semester, trimester, research quarter, medical rotation or teaching period.

Tuition fee – the fee the University receives, including a student contribution amount (SCA) for a Commonwealth supported place, either directly or indirectly from a student or intending student, or another person who pays the fee on behalf of a student or intending student that is directly related to the provisions of a program or course the University provides or is offering to provide.

Tuition Protection Service (TPS) - the TPS is a placement and refund service to assist an international student whose education provider is unable to fully deliver their course of study. The TPS ensures that international students are able to either:

  • complete their studies in another course of study or with another education provider or

  • receive a refund of their unspent tuition fees.

Uncollected funds – an amount in credit on a student’s account where the account has been inactive for a minimum period of 15 months.

University default – the University fails to start to provide a program to the student on the agreed starting date or the program ceases to be provided to the student at any time after it starts but before it is completed; and the student has not withdrawn before the default day.

UQ-Ochsner student - an overseas student enrolled in a medical program at the University under the partnership agreement between the University and the Ochsner Health System who is charged tuition fees in US dollars.

Withdraw – to cease study at The University of Queensland or to drop a course.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson