The ESOS Act
The Commonwealth government regulates the education and training sector’s involvement with overseas students who hold an Australian student visa through the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and associated legislation. which. This legislation protects the interests of overseas students by mandating a nationally consistent approach to registering education providers so that the quality of the tuition and associated services offered to students remains high. The professionalism and integrity of the industry is further maintained by the ESOS legislation’s interface with immigration law. This imposes visa related reporting requirements on both students and providers.
CHC is registered with the Commonwealth government to provide higher education courses to overseas students and complies with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the National Code)
CHC is also registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) which administers the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS is a searchable database managed by the Department of Education and Training. The CHC courses that are available to overseas students are listed on the CHC CRICOS page.
Genuine Student Requirement
To be a student at CHC, you must demonstrate that you are a genuine student. This means that, if you have accepted an offer of admission to a CHC course, and have signed and returned your Written Agreement and been issued with a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) certificate, you may change the details of this offer in limited circumstances only.
The National Code 2018allows for the deferment of your commencement of study at CHC, or the suspension of your enrolment while you are studying at CHC, only where there are compassionate or compelling circumstances. This means that, if you have accepted an offer of admission to CHC based upon the completion of a prior course, but you then want to undertake another course before coming to CHC, you can defer the commencement of your course at CHC only if the subsequent course:
- contributes to your meeting of the course entry requirements for your course at CHC; and/or
- contributes to or enhances the likelihood of success in your CHC course, where your academic record indicates a lack of success.
If you have already commenced your course at CHC but want to take leave of absence to enrol in another course, you can suspend your enrolment at CHC course at CHC only if the subsequent course:
- contributes to or enhances the likelihood of success in your CHC course, where your academic record indicates a lack of success.
These conditions are considered as meeting the requirement of ‘compelling circumstances’.
Circumstances where the ‘genuine student’ requirement might be demonstrated include but are not limited to:
- if you have been approved to enter CHC upon the basis of a VET Diploma but then wish to undertake the subsequent Advanced Diploma prior to commencing at CHC;
- if you have been approved to enter CHC upon the basis of a VET qualification but then wish to undertake further studies in the English language prior to entering CHC; and
- if you have commenced your course at CHC but then wish to engage in further English language studies before returning to your course at CHC.
Circumstances where the ‘genuine student’ requirement would not be demonstrated include but are not limited to:
- if you have been approved to enter CHC upon the basis of a VET course (eg Diploma) but then wish to undertake studies at a lower AQF level than the original prior course (eg Certificate IV);
- if you have been approved to enter CHC upon the basis of a VET course who then wish to undertake studies in a different field to the original prior course, regardless of the AQF level; and
- if you are currently studying at CHC and wish to take leave of absence to study in any course other than an English language course.
Where the ‘genuine student’ requirement is demonstrated, CHC will defer your enrolment and will issue an amended Written Agreement and amended CoE certificate (if required) and the Amended Written Agreement fee will apply, or CHC will suspend your enrolment and will issue an amended CoE certificate (if required).
Where the ‘genuine student’ requirement is not demonstrated and you have not yet commenced your course at CHC, CHC will not issue an amended Written Agreement and amended CoE certificate to defer your commencement at CHC and you must commence your course at CHC according to the terms of your original offer of admission. If you are not willing to abide by your original offer, the offer will be forfeited. In such cases, the provisions of CHC Policy: Refunds for Overseas Studentswill apply to any determination regarding the repayment of the non-refundable deposit that was paid to accept your original offer of admission. Where ‘special circumstances’ as defined in this policy cannot be demonstrated, the non-refundable deposit will be forfeited to CHC.
Where the ‘genuine student’ requirement is not demonstrated and you have commenced your course at CHC, CHC will not suspend your enrolment and you must continue in your course at CHC. If you insist on undertaking the course, you must withdraw your enrolment at CHC and CHC will cancel your CoE certificate. In such a case, the provisions of CHC Policy: Refunds for Overseas Studentswill apply to any determination regarding the repayment of tuition fees.
Courses and Units
At CHC, students enrol in a course, which is the complete award with which a student graduates upon the completion of the requirements for that course. Courses consist of units, which are individual components of a course which are usually one semester in length. The academic year is divided into two compulsory semesters, each of 16 weeks (excluding holidays): Semester 1 runs from February to June, and Semester 2 from July to November. CHC also offers a Semester 3 (summer) for a limited number of its courses. This is a non-standard, non-compulsory teaching period in the academic year, running between December and mid-February, which has fewer teaching weeks than Semesters 1 or 2 and in which selected units are available in Intensive or External modes.
All units in CHC courses carry 10 credit points (cp), unless otherwise indicated. Each credit point indicates an expected student involvement of one hour per week for one semester in both formal contact hours and individual study. Therefore, for each 10 credit point unit, a student is expected to complete 10 hours of study per week for a full semester of 16 weeks.
Completion Within the Expected Duration of Study
Each course at CHC has an expected duration of study based upon the number of units required to complete the course and the full-time study load in each semester (compulsory study periods only) associated with that course. For example, a course which requires 24 units for completion with a full-time study load of four units per semester (compulsory study periods only) will have an expected duration of study of six semesters, or three years.
The expected duration of study of a course is used to determine the course end date which is specified on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
CHC is able to extend the expected duration of your course in a limited number of circumstances only. These include:
- compassionate or compelling circumstances (for example, illness where a medical certificate states that you are unable to attend classes or if CHC is unable to provide a prerequisite unit); or
- CHC has implemented its intervention strategy for students who are at risk of failing to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements; or
- an approved period of deferral has been granted due to compassionate or compelling circumstances, or CHC has suspended your enrolment due to misconduct.
Where any of these circumstances result in the expected duration of your course being increased, CHC will report this extension through the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS) and will issue you with a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) which indicates a revised expected course end date. Please note that any such change to your expected course end date will require you to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a new student visa.
Australian student visa conditions require that overseas students maintain a study load thatresults in the completion of their course within the expected duration of study. In general, as an overseas student you will need to undertake a standard full-time study load in each semester (compulsory study periods only) in order to complete your course within this timeframe.
However, the conditions of your student visa allows some flexibility in your study program by permitting you to vary your study loads across semesters – that is, to undertake a normal, reduced or increased study load in each study period – as long as you complete your course by the course end date specified on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
In advising you of a study program to ensure that you complete your course within the expected duration of study, CHC will assume that you will undertake a standard full-time load in each semester (compulsory study periods only) as applicable to your course. Any variations you wish to make to your study load are to be discussed with and approved by your Course Coordinator as early as possible after your enrolment to ensure that you are able to undertake the remaining units in your course in such a way that your course end date is not affected – for example, by enrolling in Semester 3, or by enrolling in an increased or reduced study load in Semesters 1 and/or 2 of a year. In proposing any such variations to your study program, you should be aware that not all units are offered in each study period and, consequently, that the schedule of units may not facilitate a variation to your study load.
Modes of Study
Overseas students must generally undertake units of study in the Internal mode: that is, classes which are conducted on campus in a face-to-face context for which classes are scheduled weekly across the semester. Where appropriate, overseas students may also enrol in units which are offered in the Intensive mode, in which the total number of contact hours for the semester are condensed into a number of whole days. These may be scheduled together as consecutive days, or as a series of one- or two-day sessions at various points during the semester, and may be held both at weekends and during holiday periods. All arrangements regarding Internal and Intensive units are advertised prior to the beginning of the semester in which they are being offered.
Student visa conditions also allow overseas students to undertake up to one-third of their total course in the External mode: that is, where a unit is offered off campus by distance education. While overseas students must not enrol exclusively in distance education units in any compulsory study period (at CHC, this is Semester 1 and Semester 2 of a year), they may study entirely by distance education in any non-compulsory study period (at CHC, this is Semester 3).
If you wish to undertake units in the External mode, you will need to consult your Course Coordinator for information regarding which of the units in your course are available in this mode and also to ensure that you do not exceed the maximum number of units which you are able to undertake by distance education.
If you reach the final semester of your course and have one unit complete and wish to remain in Australia for this unit, you must undertake it in the Internal mode, unless it is undertaken in Semester 3. If this final semester is either Semester 1 or Semester 2 of a year, and the unit is available in the External mode, you may ask CHC to cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and return to your home country to complete the unit by distance education.
As a provider of higher education courses, CHC is not required to monitor your attendance visa compliance purposes. However, you should be aware that CHC does have minimum attendance requirements for units which are offered by Internal mode. These requirements are determined by the School from which the unit is offered, as follows:
- School of Christian Studies: 80% of scheduled classes for each unit
- School of Business: 80% of scheduled classes for each unit
- School of Education and Humanities: 80% of scheduled classes for each unit
- School of Ministries: 90% of scheduled classes for each unit
- School of Social Sciences: 80% of scheduled classes for each unit
You are expected to meet these attendance requirements unless a reason for absence, such as illness, traffic delays, vehicle breakdown or family responsibilities, has been accepted by the unit lecturer. Absences for more than two consecutive days are to be substantiated by a medical certificate for that period.
You should be aware that you may place your results for units in jeopardy, and may even fail a unit, if you are unable to satisfy attendance requirements.
Attendance policies which relate to specific School requirements, such as attendance requirements during practicum or professional experience placements, are contained in the relevant Courses Handbooks.
Satisfactory Course Progress
It is a condition of your student visa that you maintain satisfactory course progress. At CHC, if you fail two or more units in a semester, or if you fail the same unit more than once, you will be identified as being at risk of failing to maintain satisfactory course progress, and a Review of Academic Progress (RAP) will be implemented. The aim of this intervention strategy is to assist you to identify the reasons for you being at risk of failing to maintain satisfactory course progress and to develop an Action Plan to avoid its repetition. This intervention strategy may include reducing your study load to assist you to achieve satisfactory course progress. In the case that this intervention strategy results in an extension to your course end date, CHC will report this extension through the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS) and will issue you with a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) which indicates the revised course end date. In such a case, you will need to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a new student visa.
The Review of Academic Progress for Overseas Students policy can be found on the CHC website.
Course Assurance Arrangements
The Commonwealth government has introduced the Tuition Protection Service to assist students in circumstances when an education provider is unable to fully deliver a course of study. Details of this service are available on the TPS website.
Student Code of Conduct
In accordance with its foundation on Christian principles, CHC is concerned to maintain the highest levels of personal and professional, moral and ethical conduct. Further, CHC aims to create a constructive environment for academic achievement, for Christian community and for personal growth. The Scriptures establish basic principles of behaviour and respect, and the basis for dealings among members of the CHC community should be one of mutual respect. The CHC Student Code of Conduct aims to engender a commitment to these values.
The Student Code of Conduct encourages all members of the CHC community to recognise the potential of each individual for personal growth and transformation, and acknowledge, with grace, the varied life journeys of individuals. It promotes academic integrity and seeks to allow reasonable freedom for students to pursue study and research and to participate in community life at CHC, as well as respect the property of CHC, the wider COC campus and members of the CHC community. The Student Code of Conduct also provides clear guidelines regarding the grounds on which any suspension or cancellation of enrolment at CHC may occur.
The CHC Student Code of Conduct can be found on the CHC website.
The courses at CHC use a variety of assessment methods including term and research papers, seminar presentations, group work, examinations, field work, practicums and internships. The particular assessment methods which are to be employed in individual units are included in the unit outlines which are distributed to all students at the beginning of each semester. These unit outlines also indicate assessment task due dates and the unit outcomes to which each assessment task relates.
Text Books and Other Materials
Each unit undertaken as part of a course at CHC will have required text books which form the basis of the reading to be completed by students. These requirements are outlined in the Text Book Lists which are published on the CHC website prior to the beginning of each semester of study. Students may also be required to purchase other unit materials where these are part of the learning to be undertaken.
Students are to supply their own stationery and consumable items, such as paper and writing equipment.