Withdrawing without penalty

Withdrawing without penalty

Withdrawal Without Penalty is available for students who have experienced serious and unavoidable disruption to their studies and who have received academic and/or financial penalty for a unit(s).

For an application to be considered for withdrawal without academic penalty, the condition or circumstances must have been first evident after the Census date or become substantially worse after Census date such that it made it impractical to complete the unit.

In submitting an application for withdrawal without penalty, a student must demonstrate that their level of competence has been impaired to a significant level in which it is impractical to complete studies in the designated unit(s) and have this supported by an independent professional.

Passed and Enrolled units are not eligible for withdrawal without penalty. To be eligible to apply, the unit(s) must have a grade of either F, FA, FW, or W.

Applications for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty (WWAP) and Withdrawal Without Financial Penalty (WWFP) are assessed independently as two separate procedures.

A student will submit the one application in order to be assessed for both WWAP and WWFP.

Information

Current Macquarie University students are able to withdraw from unit(s) via eStudent until the last date to withdraw from the study period. The timing of a unit’s withdrawal will determine whether academic and/or financial penalty apply. If you are considering withdrawing from a unit, please refer to the University Important Dates for the relevant Census date and/or last date to withdraw without academic penalty.

For students who have been substantially impacted by a serious and unavoidable disruption during the study period please refer to the WWAP section of the webpage.

Ongoing and pre-existing conditions

For pre-existing or ongoing conditions or circumstances, there must be a clear demonstration of unforeseen deterioration, exacerbation, or worsening on or after the Census date of the study period, to such an extent that it prevented successful completion of the unit.

The University has services available for students with a disability or an ongoing condition. For information on support available or to register for accessibility support please refer to the Campus Wellbeing website.

Fit to Sit

The Fit to Sit model states that by completing your assessments you are declaring you are fit and able to do so.

If you have completed all assessable tasks in the unit(s) and/or completed the final examination, to be eligible for Withdrawal Without Penalty, you will need to demonstrate:

  • You were unfit to make reasonable judgement on your fitness to undertake the assessment, due to mental illness or other exceptional circumstances; or
  • You were taken ill during the assessment (in the case of an examination or test) and this can be independently corroborated.

Special Consideration

Where a student has experienced a short term disruption to their studies impacting assessment task(s) or exams they can consider applying for Special Consideration.

A student may be recommended to apply for Withdrawal Without Penalty as a result of their Special Consideration application. It is important to note that a student will need to apply for Withdrawal Without Penalty and meet the requirements in order to be considered. By receiving an outcome of “recommendation to withdraw” as part of a Special Consideration application does not mean that you will automatically be approved for Withdrawal Without Penalty.

Any documentation that a student wishes to be considered as part of a Withdrawal Without Penalty application must be submitted with their application.

iLearn

Where a student is self-withdrawing from a unit during the current study period in order to apply for Withdrawal Without Penalty it will be important to note that access to iLearn will be removed for the unit(s) that the student withdraws from. It is the student’s responsibility to download any materials they wish to keep from the unit(s) iLearn site prior to withdrawing.

Academic Standing

Where applicable, an approved application for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty may result in a change to the academic standing for a student. This will be communicated to a student with the final outcome of their application.  You can find more information about Academic Progression on our website.

WWAP

Students who have been substantially impacted by a serious and unavoidable disruption during the study period, may apply for Withdrawal without Academic Penalty (WWAP). The timing of the impact of the event or circumstances must have been evident after the census date or become substantially worse after the census date such that it made it impossible to continue in your studies.

Serious and unavoidable disruption criteria

Macquarie University defines academic serious and unavoidable disruption as an event or circumstance that meet the following criteria:

  1. Could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student, and
  2. Was beyond the student's control, and
  3. Caused substantial disruption to the student's capacity for effective study and/or the completion of required work, and
  4. Occurred during an event critical study period and was at least three consecutive days in duration, and/or
  5. Prevented completion of a final examination.

Circumstances that are not considered serious & unavoidable

Circumstances often encountered by students that are not considered serious and unavoidable grounds for withdrawal without penalty include:

  • Routine demands of employment
  • Family or customary obligations
  • Routine need for financial support
  • Pre-planned travel
  • Childcare
  • Demands of sport, clubs and social or extracurricular activities
  • Was not aware of the important academic dates that impact their enrolment/withdrawal
  • Did not follow recommended academic advice

Timing of WWAP application

For a request to Withdraw Without Penalty to be considered, the application should be submitted before the date for the final examination for that unit. If there is no final examination an application should be submitted before the date of the final assessment item.

Once a grade has been ratified by the Academic Senate it will not be changed. In exceptional circumstances the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may approve an application submitted at a later date.

Where you are applying after the official release of results for a study period you must  address why you were unable to apply earlier as part of the application and how your circumstances should be deemed exceptional.

You must  address the following in your application:

  • If you have successfully met the learning outcomes for unit(s) within the same study period that you are applying to withdraw from, you must explain why the unit(s) that you passed were not similarly impacted?
  • If you have completed all assessable tasks in the unit(s), in the unit(s) that you are applying, and/or completed the final examination you will need to demonstrate, with supporting documentation, that you were unfit to sit. Further information on the Fit to Sit model can be found in the Special Consideration Policy.

Example scenarios of serious and unavoidable disruption

Below you will find examples of scenarios where students are eligible to apply to WWAP:

Health Reasons

Where your health condition existed prior to the census date, continued past that date and deteriorated to the extent that you are unable to continue your studies OR your medical condition only became known after the census date.

Example 1:

Your health condition existed prior to the census date. Your condition continues past the census date and worsens to such an extent that you cannot continue with your studies.

Example 2:

Your health condition only occurs after the census date and prevents you from being able to successfully complete your studies.

Family/Personal reasons:

Due to unforeseen personal/family reasons that are beyond your control you are unable to continue with your studies.

Example 1:

A member of your family suffers from a severe medical condition, which is either diagnosed OR worsens after the census date and requires you to provide full time care and as a result you are unable to continue with your studies.

Example 2:

A member of your family or close friend passes away and you are affected to the extent that you are unable to continue with your studies.

Example 3:

You or your family's financial circumstances change unexpectedly after the census date to such an extent that you are unable to continue with your studies.

Employment related reasons

Where your employment status or employment arrangements change unexpectedly after the census date due to circumstances beyond your control and you are unable to complete your studies

Example 1:

You are engaged in employment out of necessity and studying. Your employer unexpectedly increases your hours of employment after the census date, in circumstances where you are unable to object. As a result, you are unable to continue with your studies or complete your course requirements.

Example 2:

You are engaged in employment out of necessity and studying. After the census date your employer directs that you be transferred to a different state. Your institution does not offer distance education and as a result you are unable to continue with your studies or complete your course requirements.

WWFP

The Withdrawal Without Financial Penalty (WWFP) process is for students who wish to be considered for one of the following:

  • remission of a HECS-HELP debt and/or refund of upfront student contributions;
  • re-crediting of a FEE-HELP balance; and
  • remission of a FEE-HELP debt
  • refund or reversal of fees for tuition fee payments

Please make sure you read the information below before applying.

Students wishing to apply for Withdrawal Without Financial Penalty will first need to be considered for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty.  Once you have received an outcome for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty, your application will then be considered for Withdrawal Without Financial Penalty. Please make sure you read the information below before applying.

Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)

If you withdrew from a unit(s) after the census date, you will still remain liable for the Student Services and Amenities Fee as its liability is based on your enrolment load at census date . This applies even if a refund has been given for withdrawal due to special circumstances.

If you wish to have this fee refunded, please withdraw from the unit(s) via eStudent by the relevant study period census date.

Students who wish to apply for Withdrawal Without Financial Penalty should visit the Remission and re-crediting of fees website. This website provides information on:

  • who is eligible to apply,
  • definition of the Special Circumstances criteria
  • what documentation is required

Important: Once a remission/reversal of fees has been approved there can be no changes towards the academic grades for the unit(s).

Apply

Before applying for Withdrawal Without Penalty please make sure that you have read the information provided on this website.

Once you feel you are ready to apply you can refer to the below checklist to ensure that you are ready to submit an application.

Application checklist

1.

Check that your circumstances meet both academic and financial definitions of Serious and Unavoidable disruption and Special circumstances if you are seeking removal of both academic and financial penalty.

  • If you already have a Withdrawn status for the unit(s) in which you are applying you will only be required to meet the Special Circumstances requirements for WWFP.
  • If you are a domestic fee paying OUA student, please ensure you have first received the outcome of your financial penalty assessment prior to submitting an application to Withdraw Without Academic Penalty. Once you are ready to submit an application for withdrawal without penalty, you will only be required to meet the Serious and Unavoidable Disruption requirements for WWAP.

2.

If you are still enrolled, self-withdraw from the unit you wish to apply to withdraw without penalty from via eStudent or for OUA students via the OUA Student Hub.

  • International Students must ensure that they have been approved for a Reduced Study Load prior to self-withdrawing from units.
  • Applying for withdrawal without penalty indicates that you can no longer continue with a unit(s) due to your circumstances.
  • If you require assistance withdrawing from your units, please use the eStudent tutorials for assistance, or contact Student Connect.

3.

Prepare a detailed statement explaining how your circumstances meet the criteria for serious and unavoidable disruption (WWAP) and Special Circumstances (WWFP) for the study period you will be applying to Withdraw without Penalty from.

4.

Prepare the supporting documentation for your application – See the “Documentation” tab for more information on what will be required.

  • If you have completed all assessable tasks in the unit(s) and/or completed the final examination you will need to demonstrate, with supporting documentation, that you were unfit to sit. Further information on the Fit to Sit model can be found in the Special Consideration Policy.
  • Supporting documentation must confirm the information you write in your personal statement.

5.

If you are applying to withdraw without penalty for units after the release of results it will be important to prepare a statement that demonstrates how your circumstances were exceptional in order to be considered for a late application.

Important: If you have successfully met the learning outcomes for unit(s) within the same study period that you are applying to withdraw from, it will be important to provide an explanation as to why the passed unit(s) were not similarly impacted?

For example: Your circumstances took place during the final examination period and the unit(s) that you passed did not have final examinations and you had already submitted all assessable work for those unit(s) prior to your circumstances taking place.

6.

Log in to eStudent and send yourself a copy of your current transcript ready to upload to your application.

Applying

Once you have complied your statement and have your supporting documentation for Withdrawal Without Academic and Financial Penalty simply click on the “apply” button below.

Apply now

If you are unable to complete this online form, please contact Student Connect (Ph: +61 2 9850 6410) to discuss alternative submission methods.

After you apply
Stage 1:

Once you submit your application you will receive a confirmation which will outline the expected timeframe for the WWAP process.

This email will also include a unique link in order for you to access your application, upload any further documentation or to add any notes to your application if you need to ask a question or respond to the University.

Stage 2:

Sometimes you may be contacted for further supporting documentation if on review of your application your supporting documentation is deemed not to meet the Serious and Unavoidable Disruption requirements for WWAP.

Failure to provide sufficient documentation at this stage may result in an unsuccessful WWAP.

Stage 3:

Once an outcome is available for WWAP you will receive an email confirmation.

Where an application is unsuccessful at this stage, a student will be provided with an opportunity to appeal within 28 days. The grounds for an appeal will be outlined in the outcome email. Note that you only have one opportunity to appeal the outcome of your WWAP application.

Once this date has passed, the  application will subsequently be sent to be reviewed for Special Circumstances (WWFP).

Stage 4:

Your application will undergo an independent review for WWFP, an outcome emailed to you.

Sometimes you may be contacted for further supporting documentation if on review of your application your supporting documentation is deemed not to meet the Special Circumstances requirements for WWFP.

Failure to provide sufficient documentation at this stage may result in an unsuccessful WWFP.

Where an application is unsuccessful for WWFP, a student will be provided with an opportunity to appeal within 28 days.

Important: All communication will only be sent to your student email and will also be available when you log in online to view your application.

Supporting Docs

Guidelines for supporting documentation

It is the responsibility of a student to provide supporting documentation that they wish to be considered as part of their application to withdraw without penalty.

Where a student has previously submitted documentation to the University as part of a separate application, and where this documentation may assist with an application to withdrawal without penalty, a student will be required to attach this to their application to withdraw without penalty.

The below guidelines have been put together to assist students with what independent supporting documentation will be required with their application.

Applying due to:

CIRCUMSTANCE

EVIDENCE REQUIRED

New or ongoing medical condition

A Professional Authority form, medical certificate or official letter or from an independent registered *Health Professional that must include:

  • the health professional’s provider number; and
  • the date of consultation(s); and
  • the date your medical condition or circumstances began or changed, including the nature, severity and duration (where appropriate); and
  • the impact that your condition or circumstances had on your ability to study; and
  • the severity (serious/not serious) of the condition; and
  • when it became apparent that you could not continue with your studies
  • For ongoing conditions – date in which your condition exacerbated and the extent to which it affected your study

Personal/family reasons

A Professional Authority form, medical certificate or official letter or from an independent registered Health Professional that must include:the date your personal circumstance began or changed; and

  • how your circumstance affected your ability to study; and
  • the duration of the change in circumstances; and
  • when it became apparent you could not continue your studies.

Or, where relevant

  • Death Certificate – this applies to the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, child or spouse.
  • proof of your relationship to the deceased (eg. birth or marriage certificate)

Where a student is unable to provide supporting documentation from a Health Professional, we may accept a letter from an Independent Community Member (ie. Minister of Religion, Lawyer, Accountant, Police Officer etc) explaining the above points.

Employment related reasons

a signed letter from your employer with the following:

  • Contact details of your employer
  • Independent employer advice that your work arrangements changed unexpectedly, the dates they changed and were due to take effect from and the duration.
  • the extent of the impact that the change in circumstances had on your ability to study
  • a statement from your employer that must include:
    • your previous work hours and location;
    • your current work hours and location; and
    • the reason for changed hours and location.

Course related reasons

  • Statement from Faculty/Department of changes to the arrangements for your unit or course and extent that you were disadvantaged from completing the requirements of the course

Other

Where the unavoidable disruption is neither medical nor a consequence of employment, documentation must be attached to the application, indicating:

  • the date these circumstances first became evident and made their impact
  • the type of and impact that the circumstances may have had on your ability to continue tertiary study
  • the duration of the change in circumstances including the date it first became evident.

Documentation that you should not include as part of your application:

  • Photos of injuries
  • Medical reports
  • Prescriptions
  • Pathology reports
  • X-Rays
  • Referrals
  • Statutory Declaration (unless supplemented by additional independent supporting documentation)

Please note: the University will not contact a Health Professional or other agents on a student’s behalf in order to obtain supporting documentation.

All documentation relating to Withdrawal Without Penalty applications will be treated in accordance with the University’s Privacy Framework.

Supporting documents should also:
  • Be written in English.
    On occasion, documentation written in another language may be accepted, for example illness or death of a family member. Where this occurs, a student will be required to have this supporting documentation translated into English by a certified NAATI translator.
  • Be a professional’s true opinion of the student’s ability to continue with their studies. Professionals should NOT state what a student advises but what they observe to be correct.
  • For ongoing conditions - a professional should support that there was an exacerbation of the condition and it was this occurrence that made completion of studies impractical.
  • For limited ability to study – an independent professional must state the capacity of the student to study. If a student is able to complete some units but not others the professional must clearly state the reason why.
  • A Health Professional must state all consultation dates with the student and the timeframe in which the condition would make studies impractical to complete.
  • Not contain any pictures of x-rays etc or medical reports (such as Psychological assessment journals) which do not clearly mention the impact of the condition on the students ability to study the specific units in question.  Please obtain a written statement from the independent professional as to when the condition began or was exacerbated to the point that it made it impractical to complete your studies in the relevant unit.

* Please note that medical documentation will normally be required to be completed by a registered health professional registered with a National Board of Australia that is accredited by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

The following is a list of registered health professionals:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Chiropractic
  • Dental
  • Medical
  • Medical Radiation Practice
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Social workers

Verification of Documentation

The University reserves the right to request and retain the originals of supporting documentation and will conduct regular audits of supporting documentation submitted electronically.

Students must retain all original documentation for a six (6) month period and must supply original documents to the University within ten (10) working days of such a request being made.

Where documentation is believed to be fraudulent, it may be referred for disciplinary action.

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