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1.0 Purpose and Scope

These procedures enact UQ’s Transfer of Provider – Overseas Students - Policy and establish the administrative processes for considering applications from overseas students to transfer between The University of Queensland and other registered providers prior to completing six calendar months of their principal program of study.

The procedures also determine responsibilities, requirements and timelines relating to these applications.

These procedures apply to all overseas students who:

  • hold a temporary student visa or who intend to apply for a student visa; and
  • have accepted a UQ offer, or an offer for a package of programs to study at the University (this includes packages with IES for the UQ Foundation Year and ICTE-UQ for English tuition).

2.0 Process and Key Controls

2.1 Students not required to request a release

The following overseas students are not required to request a release but must advise the University in writing of their cessation of studies at UQ:

  • students holding another visa type that is not subject to the ESOS Act and the National Code 2018;
  • students who have completed six or more calendar months of their principal program;
  • government sponsored students where the sponsor considers the change to be in the student’s best interests and has provided written support to the University for the transfer;
  • students wishing to return to their home country and who do not wish to continue studying in Australia;
  • students who are offshore and unable to commence their studies in Australia.

The University will then cancel the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and notify the relevant Australian Government departments that they are no longer enrolled at UQ.

2.2 Circumstances in which a release will be granted

Transfer to another provider will be permitted, and a release granted where it is in the student's best interests to do so, including but not limited to where the University has assessed that:

  • The UQ program accepted by the student is no longer offered in the student’s accepted intake or has ceased to be CRICOS registered.
  • The student provides evidence that their reasonable expectations about the current program are not being met.
  • There is evidence that the overseas student was misled by the University or an education or migration agent regarding UQ or its program, and the program is therefore unsuitable to their needs and/or study objectives.
  • The student is involved in an appeal (internal or external) on another matter that results in a decision or recommendation to release the student.
  • There is evidence of compassionate or compelling grounds. These would normally be unexpected and out of the control of the student.
  • The student will be reported because they are unable to achieve satisfactory progress at the level at which they are studying, even after engaging with UQ’s intervention strategy to assist the student in accordance with Standard 8 Overseas Student Visa Requirements of the National Code 2018.
  • The student has not met the conditions of their offer letter for the principal program. This includes the conditions of any pathway program, and offers involving packaged programs and articulations.

Students under 18 years of age must also provide the following:

  • written confirmation from their parent or legal guardian of their support for the transfer; and
  • if the student is not being cared for in Australia by a parent or suitable nominated relative, the offer from the new registered provider must also confirm that the provider will accept responsibility for approving the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements consistently with Standard 5 Younger Overseas Students of the National Code 2018.

2.3 Circumstances in which a release may not be granted

Despite Section 2.2 the University has discretion to refuse a transfer on reasonable grounds. The University will therefore take the following circumstances into consideration when assessing a request for release:

  • No firm offer from another CRICOS registered provider has been supplied.
  • The student has an outstanding debt to UQ.
  • The request is based on personal preference or change of mind only.
  • The student is not genuinely engaging with an intervention strategy.
  • The student has not accessed the support or academic services offered by the University.

3.0 Key Requirements – Transfer to Another Provider

3.1 Application Process

Students must request a release by applying to withdraw from the University and completing the relevant sections of the online withdrawal form found here: All applications must be accompanied by a letter of offer from the provider to which the student wishes to transfer, along with appropriate documentary evidence.

Students completing IES Foundation Year who have met the conditions for their UQ academic program should also apply in this way.

Applicants asking to be released by the University will receive an acknowledgement that their request has been received.

3.2 Consideration and Outcome

A student’s application will be assessed by the Deputy Director, Academic Services. During this time, the student may be asked to attend an interview to provide further information to assist with assessment of the request. Where a student is unable to attend an interview in person, a phone interview may be arranged.

Students will be notified of the outcome of their application in writing and within 10 working days of the receipt of the release request and supporting documents.

There is no charge for a release.

3.2.1 Successful Outcome

The student will be advised that the University has approved their request to transfer to another institution, their UQ CoE will be cancelled and their release from the University, along with the effective date and reason for the release, will be recorded in PRISMS. The student will be prompted to contact the Department of Home Affairs (previously the DIBP) to check whether a new student visa is required.

In addition, the student’s enrolment (if applicable) will be cancelled and the student may be asked to submit a refund request. Any refund of fees will be made in accordance with UQ’s Student Refunds procedures -

3.2.2 Unsuccessful Outcome

The student will be informed in writing of the following:

  • the reasons for this decision, including the factors taken into consideration, which will reflect the student's individual circumstances, and
  • that they may freely transfer between registered providers after they have completed six calendar months of their principal UQ program, and
  • that they may appeal the decision, within 20 working days, in accordance with Section 3.3 Review and Appeals of these procedures.

The reasons for refusal of the request will be sufficiently detailed to enable the student to make an informed decision as to whether to appeal the decision.

In all instances where a release is refused, the University will not finalise the student’s refusal status in PRISMS until the student has had the opportunity to appeal or, if the student has submitted an appeal, the appeal finds in favour of the University.

3.3 Review and Appeals

Where a transfer request from UQ has not been approved, and the student is not satisfied with the decision, they may appeal the decision within 20 working days of receipt of the application outcome in accordance with PPL 3.60.02 Student Grievance Resolution – Procedures. The student will be notified in writing of the outcome.

A student who is not satisfied with the outcome of an internal appeal may refer the matter to the Queensland Ombudsman (

4.0 Transfer to UQ from Another Provider

UQ will not enrol a student seeking to transfer from another registered provider prior to the student completing six calendar months of their principal program of study, except where a release is not required, as indicated in Section 2.1, and in the circumstances where the provider from where the student is transferring:

  • has ceased to be registered or the program in which the student is enrolled has ceased to be registered, or
  • has a sanction imposed on it that prevents the student from continuing their principal program.

Students seeking to transfer to UQ from another registered provider prior to completing six months of their principal program will be issued with a UQ CoE only if:

  • the student completes the required admissions processes, and
  • the student has been granted a release by the existing provider and this is evidenced in PRISMS (or they provide evidence that they have not met the entry requirements for their principal program with the other provider and so no longer hold an active CoE), and
  • if the student is under the age of 18, they provide written evidence that the student’s parent or legal guardian supports the transfer. If the student is not being cared for in Australia by a parent or suitable nominated relative, UQ will confirm it accepts responsibility for approving the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare in accordance with Standard 5 Younger Overseas Students of the National Code 2018.

Students must apply to UQ following the usual admissions processes for the University’s overseas applicants.

5.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

5.1 Deputy Director, Academic Services

The Deputy Director, Academic Services is responsible for the administration, assessment and approval of Transfer of Provider applications.

5.2  Academic Registrar

The Academic Registrar considers and assesses appeals against decisions made by the Deputy Director, Academic Services in accordance with PPL 3.60.02 Student Grievance Resolution - Procedures.

6.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Deputy Director, Academic Services shall monitor and provide reports to the Academic Registrar to demonstrate and provide assurance of compliance with these procedures.

7.0 Recording and Reporting 

The request for release and documents, the reasons for the University’s decision and all communications concerning the application and outcome will be filed in the student’s record in TRIM. The reasons for the University’s decision will be adequately supported and documented in accordance with PPL 1.60.04 Records Management.

8.0 Appendix

8.1 Definitions, Terms, and Acronyms

Compassionate: Family, medical or ‘wellbeing’ reasons for supporting a transfer.

Compelling: Circumstances that are involuntary and such that the applicant has little or no alternative.

COE: Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment.

Enrolled: Where a student is enrolled in courses or programs approved by an authorised officer and after fees and charges have been paid.

ESOS: Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act).

Government Sponsored: A student sponsored by an Australian or foreign Government for study in Australia.

ICTE: Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education.

IES: International Education Services Ltd.

National Code 2018: National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.

Overseas student: A student who is not a domestic student (also known as an international student).

Principal program of study: The main program of study to be undertaken by an overseas student where a student visa has been issued for multiple programs. The principal program of study is normally the final program of study covered by that student visa.

PRISMS: The Department of Education and Training’s Provider Registration and International Student Management System through which providers issue Confirmation of Enrolments (CoEs) to overseas students.

Registered provider: An approved provider that is registered on CRICOS as a provider for the program.

Release: Where a provider has agreed to the transfer of an overseas student to another provider, and has recorded the date of effect and reason for the release in PRISMS.

Student Visa: Student Visa (subclass 500) is a temporary visa which allows an overseas student to stay in Australia to study full-time in a recognised education institution.

Transfer between registered providers: An overseas student who applies to transfer to or from another CRICOS registered provider.

TRIM: The University’s electronic document and records management system (EDRMS).

Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson