Student progress

Successfully progressing through your course is a basic requirement for studying at Victoria University (VU).

If you have been notified that your progress is not satisfactory, please carefully refer to the steps listed below under unsatisfactory progress (with specific advice for Melbourne & Sydney students, and Malaysia students).

Unsatisfactory progress

Your progress is considered unsatisfactory if, while enrolled in the same course of study, you:

  • fail 50% or more of the units you were enrolled in for the study period; and/or
  • fail the same unit more than once.

Academic progress is reviewed by the University twice each year for Higher Education coursework students. For students at the Melbourne or Malaysia campuses it happens in July and December, for those at the Sydney campus it happens in July and November.

If you are identified as making unsatisfactory progress for the first, second or third time, you will be sent an official notification in writing via your VU email address. It is important that you follow the instructions in this letter carefully as it may affect your enrolment in your course.

Further information is available from the Academic Progress - Student Retention and Progress policy, as well as the Academic Progress - Unsatisfactory Academic Progress procedure.

Melbourne & Sydney students

If you have received a notification via your VU email address advising that you are making unsatisfactory academic progress, please ensure you follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Complete sections 1 & 2 of the Academic Action Plan. You’ll need to bring this with you to the appointment you make in Step 2 or 3.
  • Step 2: View the support services available to you. Would any of these services help you improve your academic performance? For example, if you need to work on your study skills or need personal support, please book an appointment with the relevant service.

If none of the options at Step 2 apply, please go to:

You may also like to view our video outlining what to do if you’re making unsatisfactory progress.

Note: If you are going to be excluded from your course you need to carefully follow the instructions in your letter. Do not book an appointment with a Student Advisor.

Sydney campus students - make an appointment to see an Academic Coordinator.

Malaysia students (Sunway College)

If you have received a notification via your VU email address advising that you are making unsatisfactory academic progress, please ensure you follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Complete sections 1 & 2 of the Academic Action Plan, and make an appointment to discuss your situation.
  • Step 2: If you are going to be excluded from your course – and would like to attend a Show Cause Panel to explain your circumstances – you have 10 working days from the date of the email to submit a Request to Show Cause.

If you are in Johor Bahru, book an appointment with (and submit your Request to Show Cause):

Ms Vera Lim, Assistant Manager
Email: siewfengl@sunway.edu.my
Tel: 607 – 3596 880 (extension 210)

If you are in Kuala Lumpur, book an appointment with (and submit your Request to Show Cause):

Ms Yanna Perera, Executive Administration
Email: yannap@sunway.edu.my
Tel: 03-7491 8622 (extension 3165)

Getting help

Getting help - Unsatisfactory Academic Progress transcript

Progress requirements for International students

If you are an International student, you are expected to complete your course within the time stated on your eCoE. Failure to do so will put you at risk of having your eCoE cancelled and student visa revoked.

By law (under the ESOS Act), the University is required to report you to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) if you breach the conditions of your student visa.

Attendance at classes & tutorials

Victoria University monitors all student attendance, as required by Australian law (Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) requirements, National Code 2007) and the University Procedure for Monitoring International Student Attendance.

If you are an ELICOS student, you are required to attend at least 80% of classes each study period. You need to contact your program coordinator immediately or request an intermission if you are away for more than five consecutive days.

Unsatisfactory progress levels

Level 1: Notification of being 'at risk' of unsatisfactory progress

This means you have been identified as being ‘at risk’ of unsatisfactory course progress. It is important that you follow the instructions in the official notification via VU email carefully. You will be invited to meet with a student advisor to develop an academic action plan to help you get back on track with your progress next study period.

You can also seek assistance from VU student support services.

Level 2: Failure to maintain satisfactory progress

This means you are making unsatisfactory course progress and have either failed 50% or more of your units or the same unit three times. It is important that you follow the instructions in the official notification via your VU email.

  • If you have failed 50% or more of your units you will be directed to meet with a student advisor to develop a second academic action plan, discuss support and other options.
  • If you have failed the same unit three times you will be prevented from re-enrolling in the same unit until you have met with a student advisor.
  • You will also be advised that if you do not meet satisfactory progress requirements for a third time, you may be excluded from your course.

You can seek assistance from VU student support services.

Academic Action Plan: Level 1 & 2

If you are level 1 or 2 unsatisfactory progress you need to meet with a student advisor to develop an Academic Action Plan.

The Academic Action Plan summarises what you have agreed to do to improve your studies. Some of the actions you will be asked to consider will include:

  • Seek assistance with your study skills.
  • Talk to your college about reducing your enrolment load or changing your major.
  • Reduce your working hours or other non-university commitments.
  • Take an intermission (take a break from your studies).
  • Get assistance from VU support services.
  • Enrol in a 'better fit' course (we recommend you consult with our Careers team for advice).

When you commit to do something, make sure you really can complete it. For example, if you agree to reduce your working hours, make sure you are able to follow through. You may be asked to sign the Plan, which is then kept on your student file.

Level 3: Failure to maintain satisfactory progress - could result in exclusion from your course

This means you are making unsatisfactory course progress for the third time. You will be sent an official notification via VU email advising that you will likely be excluded from your course. If you are an International student, you will also receive information about the implications for your visa.

It is very important that you read through the instructions in the official notification carefully. You will be given the opportunity to indicate within ten working days, whether you wish to be heard or 'show cause' – that is, to explain why this outcome should not apply. See show cause hearings.

If you do not indicate that you intend to 'show cause' within ten working days you will be deemed to have made unsatisfactory progress and will be excluded from your course. You will also be advised when the exclusion will take effect.

Visa alert

If you do not respond to the formal letter or fail to comply with the plan of action, Victoria University will then inform you of its intention to report information about the breach of your student visa to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

You have 20 working days to appeal. If you do not access the appeals process, or the appeals finding is against you, the University will make its report to DIBP. You will then have 28 days to respond to the University's intention to report you to DIBP. This may result in the cancellation of your student visa.

Show cause hearings

If you decide to 'show cause' you will need to complete the official form which will include an explanation about the documentation you will be allowed to include. For example, medical certificates or proof of other extenuating circumstances which have affected your academic performance. The information you submit will be assessed by the Show cause panel which will be made up of two or more senior academic staff from your College.

If you wish to show cause you are required to attend the hearing at the time specified by the University, This is your opportunity to meet with the Show cause panel to explain your circumstances. If you have a compelling reason why you are not able to attend in person you can request an alternative arrangement - for example via telephone or video link.

If you require assistance with preparing and presenting your case for your hearing, contact Student Advocacy.

Process & outcome of Show cause hearings

Preparing for the show cause hearing

Prepare your documentation. Write down some dot points to take to the hearing, outlining the factors that have impacted on your course progress, for example:

  • Health issues – present evidence such as a medical certificate or report.
  • Financial issues – consider current work commitments. One option may be to work less hours or reduce your study load next study period.
  • Relationship difficulties – if possible, provide a letter of support from your doctor or counsellor.
  • Academic support – if you have sought help from Academic Support and Development at VU or external sources (for example, tutoring) then provide evidence of the help you have received.
  • Other – some examples may include disability, family or work. Explain how these external factors have affected your studies.

Once you have stated the reasons why you have been making unsatisfactory progress you need to offer solutions for continuing in your course. This includes outlining to the College how you plan to continue successfully, for example seek counselling, reduce working hours, or receive extra tutoring.

If you require assistance to prepare for your hearing, contact Student Advocacy. In certain cases, an Advocate may be able to accompany you to the hearing. You can also bring a friend or family member to the hearing with you as personal support if needed.

At the Show cause hearing

At the hearing you will be asked about the reasons for your unsatisfactory academic progress. You should:

  • Tell the truth and include all relevant information relating to your case
  • Address all reasons for your unsatisfactory progress with solutions and provide evidence
  • Demonstrate your commitment to complete your course.

After they hear from you the Show cause panel will consider all available information and will determine whether you have made unsatisfactory progress in your course. If you are found to have made unsatisfactory progress the panel will determine whether the exclusion decision is warranted in the circumstances.

If you don't agree with or understand the outcome of the hearing, you can contact Student Advocacy for advice.

Outcome of the hearing

If the Show cause panel finds you have made unsatisfactory progress and the exclusion decision is warranted you will receive official notification in writing via your VU email that the exclusion will proceed and the date it will take effect.

Where the Show cause panel does not consider exclusion to be appropriate, they may:

  • allow you to continue without conditions
  • impose conditions on your continued enrolment (such as a reduction in study load, a change to stream or major, a requirement to obtain study skills assistance, etc); or
  • require you to transfer into a different course.

If you don't agree with or understand the outcome of the hearing, you can contact Student Advocacy for advice.

You can also seek assistance from VU student support services. See also Appeals.

Contact us

Ask questions & find answers through Ask VU.