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Support for Students Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) QUT is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students to enable them to fulfill their potential and succeed in their studies. While the University accepts that ultimately students remain responsible for their own education, it acknowledges it also has a partnering role in providing support services to all students during their study, as well as proactively identifying and assisting students at risk of failure.

(2) This Policy sets out the framework of services by which QUT supports its students to progress and successfully complete their studies (including priority group cohorts). It also details the processes by which the University identifies and assists students at risk of academic failure.

(3) This Policy is supported by the Support for Students Protocol (Student support – QUT staff access only), which addresses in detail the compliance requirements of the Higher Education Provider Amendment (Support for Students Policy) Guidelines 2023, made under section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003. It is also supported by the University’s suite of student-centred policies which may be accessed in the Manual of Policies and Procedures and is in compliance with Section 19.43 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

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Section 2 - Application

(4) This Policy applies to all QUT students enrolled at the University.

(5) This Policy does not apply to any student not undertaking a unit of study at the University.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Position Responsibility
Executive Director, Student Services and Wellbeing
Monitoring, reviewing and reporting on access to non-academic support services.
Develops and evaluates the delivery of inclusive, appropriate non-academic support.
Develops and evaluates strategies for proactive promotion of specific support services to at risk students.
Director, Student Success and Teaching Advancement
Monitoring, reviewing and reporting on access to academic support services.
Develops and evaluates the delivery of inclusive, appropriate academic support.
Develops and evaluates strategies for proactive promotion of specific support services to at risk students.
Executive Dean of faculty
Academic and administrative leadership and management of the faculty to provide quality learning experiences and high-quality teaching.
Raising awareness with students of the supports available.
Referral of students at risk of failing a unit to supports available, in a timely manner.
Director, Student Administration Provide administrative support for students.
Director, Student Services Provide services to support the health and wellbeing of students.
Director, Student Engagement Provides services and programs that support the student journey and enhance the student experience.
Director, Equity Provides advice, services and assistance to students through delivery of a range of support initiatives, programs and support options.
Director, Graduate Research Centre
Provides support to all Research Higher Degree students across the student life cycle.
Assists faculties in identification of at-risk students.
Considers and approves Tuition Fee Sponsorship requests for students in financial hardship.
Director, Oodgeroo Unit Leads the provision of support and the academic success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people studying at QUT.
Students Responsible for seeking relevant support.
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Section 4 - Principles

(6) The principles by which QUT fulfills its obligations to students are as follows:

  1. the University provides an inclusive, safe and supportive learning environment for students;
  2. the University’s support services are offered in an equitable and fair manner to all students, regardless of their individual circumstances;
  3. University staff will respond promptly and sensitively to requests from students for support;
  4. the existence of support services will be widely communicated to all students; and
  5. the University will proactively seek to identify and assist students at risk of failure.
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Section 5 - QUT Responsibilities

(7) The University will maintain and utilise strategies and processes to identify students needing additional support and to assist students to successfully complete their studies, so that the intervention is equitable and consistent with university policies and completed in a timely and respectful manner. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Implementation of processes for the monitoring of the progression of students (Academic Progress Policy, Higher Degree Research Candidates Policy, Assessment and Feedback Policy).
  2. Provision of support for students’ mental health and wellbeing through a range of services, including educational programs and initiatives as well as access to information and procedures about internal and external services available to students.
  3. Implementation of procedures for dealing with student critical incidents.

(8) The University is committed to providing a reasonable level of support to individual students, complementary to other support services that already exist in the community.

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Section 6 - Faculty Responsibilities

(9) The Faculty will:

  1. Promote and support engagement through staff-student interactions that enhance student experience.
  2. Partner with the Learning and Teaching Unit and Student Services and Wellbeing to implement systems for assessment of students’ progress to identify where further support may be required to improve student outcomes.
  3. Promote to students the academic and non-academic support services available, including referral pathways when a student is identified as requiring additional support.
  4. Engage with University-wide programs to support first year students and other cohorts as necessary to improve retention (First year Experience and Retention Policy).
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Section 7 - Student Responsibilities

(10) Positive expectations for student behaviour are detailed in the Code of Conduct – Student and Academic Integrity Policy.

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Section 8 - Identification of Students in Need of Support

(11) QUT will implement mechanisms to identify students who require additional assistance, ensuring that early intervention is provided in a consistent and appropriate manner.

(12) In the event of a student critical incident, support is provided by the Faculty and specialist support (eg Harassment and Discrimination Advisor, Counsellor, Welfare, Chaplaincy, and Security).

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Section 9 - Academic Support

(13) Students in need of academic support are identified in a number of ways, including key retention milestones, referral by a staff member, self-identification, or through referrals from other support services and platforms (Academic Progress PolicyAssessment and Feedback PolicyLeave of Absence Policy).

(14) Student Success and Teaching Advancement deliver academic support services encompassing:

  1. Language and learning;
  2. Careers and employability;
  3. STEM;
  4. Student success coaching; and
  5. Active monitoring of priority group students’ engagement and initiation of communications offering support.

(15) QUT’s Graduate Research Education and Development (GRE+D) provides support for QUT’s Research Higher Degree students.

(16) QUT Library provides scholarly information resources, services and spaces to support Undergraduate and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students.

(17) Faculties provide a wide range of academic supports which are detailed within each unit of study’s Canvas site (Unit and Module Information Policy). 

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Section 10 - Non-Academic Support

(18) A student may self-identify or be identified as requiring non-academic support and assistance where their health and/or wellbeing is reasonably considered to warrant some form of intervention by the University (Suitability to Study PolicySuitability for Professional Experience Policy, Student Critical Incident Management Policy).

(19) University staff can refer students to support services such as:

  1. Accommodation;
  2. Career and Employability;
  3. Chaplaincy;
  4. Student Success Coaching;
  5. Counselling and Psychological services;
  6. Disability and Accessibility;
  7. Discrimination and Harassment;
  8. Health and Medical Services;
  9. Oodgeroo Unit;and 
  10. QUT Guild.

(20) Staff who are concerned about the wellbeing of a student can refer them directly to Student Services or through HiQ where they are unable to offer any further support or for complex cases. For student support relating to critical incidents, refer to the Student Critical Incident Management Policy.

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Section 11 - Communication of Student Support Services

(21) QUT actively promotes support services through a range of multi-model channels available to all students regularly across a range of channels. These channels include but are not limited to, emails, social media, QUT app, SMS, physical and digital signage on both campuses, merchandise, e-newsletter, and dedicated support for students internal web pages.

(22) The Student Retention team provide targeted outreach communication to priority cohorts and students who have been identified as benefiting or potentially benefiting from additional support, including proactive contact at identified vulnerable moments in the student lifecycle.

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Section 12 - Monitoring and Reporting

(23) It is crucial that students are able to obtain appropriate assistance once a need has been identified so that intervention and support strategies can be implemented prior to students becoming at risk of academic failure.

(24) Student Success and Teaching Advancement in partnership with Student Services and Wellbeing monitor engagement with support services and report annually to the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic). This includes an analysis of priority group students’ engagement with services, and progression and outcomes.

(25) The Oodgeroo Unit will be responsible for monitoring and reporting on Indigenous Students.

(26) All Research Higher Degree students annually complete either a milestone or an Annual Progress Report, which enables the student or their supervisor to identify any areas for improvement or concerns, with a referral to the appropriate area of the University being made when appropriate.

(27) A report on support services is sent to the University Academic Board and Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar.

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Section 13 - Definitions

Term Definition
 Priority Groups
Underrepresented or educationally marginalised groups including:
  1. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander;
  2. Low SES;
  3. Culturally and linguistically diverse;
  4. Religiously diverse;
  5. International students;
  6. Regional and remote Australia;
  7. Disability;
  8. Women in non-traditional subject areas; and