International refunds

Before you request any refund, fee extension or fee waiver. Read the following Fee Adjustment information to determine whether you qualify, and how to apply.

If you qualify for a refund, you can apply by completing the refund for international student fees form.

This procedure applies to the refunding, waiving or adjusting of international fees and charges that are issued for:

  • Higher Education
  • TAFE
  • VU English
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Fee adjustments may apply in the following circumstances:

  • overpayment
  • withdrawal because student is going to another provider, returning overseas, or has permanent residency
  • visa issues such as visa refusal, visa not issued on time, student withdraws visa application or student does not submit visa application
  • University withdraws course or is not able to provide course (Provider Default)
  • adjustments on the grounds of exceptional circumstances of personal hardship
  • adjustments as determined by the relevant authorised officer to support business and market needs.

Where the student has cause to cancel their enrolment during the year the Vice-Chancellor, or their delegate, may approve or authorise the refunding of all or part of any fees and charges.

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Who needs to be involved in a refund, fee extension or fee waiver.

Role Responsibilities
Student Applies for a fee adjustment Supplies all relevant supporting documentation to demonstrate eligibility for the adjustment.
Student Welfare Officers Advises eligible students on criteria and eligibility for fee extensions Recommends extensions to the appropriate Authorised Officer.
Authorised Officer Approves the fee adjustment.
VU International Processes the fee adjustment.
VU Finance Pays any refund.

Part B - Refunds

Summary table

A brief summary of instances where you might be eligible for a refund.

Fee type Full Refund Partial Refund No Refund
Application Fee Provider Default Nil All other circumstances
Tuition Fees (including Deposit)
  • Withdrawal of offer
  • Provider Default
  • Failure to meet English level
  • Failure to progress
  • Illness or disability 
  • Death of close family member
  • Political or civil event 
Withdrawal of student before:
  • commencement English language course 
  • Census date

  • Visa not obtained 
  • Inadequate information provided
  • Offer withdrawn due to incorrect information
All other circumstances
Ancillary / Material Fees Withdrawal of student before materials provided Nil Withdrawal of student after materials provided
Overseas Student Health Cover Student has never arrived in Australia (the student manages refund) Student has arrived in Australia (student manages refund of unused portion of cover) Nil

Full refunds

An international student will be entitled to a full refund of tuition fees and any deposit paid for a study period at VU in the following circumstances:

  1. In the event that an offer is withdrawn by the University;
  2. In the event that the University is unable to provide the course. In this situation, new commencing students will also be eligible for a refund of the application processing fee;
  3. Where a student was unable to attain the level of English language required to commence a course, as set out in the Letter of Offer, and is able to prove that they made reasonable efforts to meet that condition. In this situation, the refund applies only to study periods that have not commenced;
  4. Where a student has been excluded by the University for failure to meet course progression rules and where tuition fees were paid in advance of notification of exclusion (the refund in this sub-clause will be only for those periods of study not yet started, and will not include the non-refundable deposit);
  5. When illness or disability prevents the student from enrolling in the course;
  6. When the death of a close family member (parent, sibling, spouse or child) occurs, and the Student withdraws from their course before commencement for VU English course, or Census Date for other courses, or after these dates at the discretion of the Vice President, International; or
  7. When a political civil or natural event prevents the student from studying or paying tuition fees, before commencement for VU English course, or Census Date for other courses, or after these dates at the discretion of the Vice President, International.

Other special or exceptional circumstances preventing a student from continuing with their enrolment may allow for full or partial refund at the discretion of the Vice President International, the General Manager VU English or their nominee, provided the request is made prior to the commencement of the course.

Students are required to provide documentary evidence in support of an application for a refund under all of the above.

Where the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) premium has been previously paid to the University, refund of any available premium will be managed in the following way:

  1. Where a student has not arrived in and has never resided in Australia, it is the responsibility of the student to claim  the OSHC refund from their insurer directly.
  2. Where the student has arrived or has resided in Australia, it is the responsibility of the student to claim the OSHC refund from their insurer directly.

Partial refunds

A student who has paid any tuition fees for a study period for an English language course, and gives written notice of a withdrawal or an inability to study before the commencement date, will be entitled to a refund of tuition fees paid for the study period, less any non-refundable deposit, as set out in the student's written agreement (signed Letter of Offer).

A student who has paid any tuition fees for a study period for course other than an English language course, and gives written notice of a withdrawal or an inability to study, before the census date (31 March or 31 August), will be entitled to a refund of tuition fees paid for the study period, less any non-refundable deposit, as set out in the student's written agreement (signed Letter of Offer)

Where a student's enrolment has been cancelled for non-payment of tuition fees, the student will be entitled to a refund of any partial payment made less any non-refundable deposit, as set out in the student's written agreement (signed Letter of Offer).

Any application fee paid will not be refunded, where:

  1. Australian Government authorities refuse to grant a student visa; or
  2. the student visa is not granted in time for the student to start the course; or
  3. a student withdraws their visa application with the Australian Government before the commencement of the Course; or
  4. the student does not submit a visa application; or
  5. the student fails to provide additional information to support their application, as requested by the University (e.g. statement of purpose or certified documents); or
  6. the University withdraws an offer based on incorrect, false or incomplete information provided by the student or their agent.
The student will be entitled to receive the total amount of the pre-paid fees the University received for the course in respect of the student minus the lesser of:
  • 5% of the total amount of pre-paid fees that the provider received in respect of the student for the course before the default day; or
  • $500.

Note: documentary evidence must be provided in support of an application for a refund under any of the above provisions.

No refunds

Any student who withdraws from their course after Census Date in a semester, or after the commencement of their VU English course, will not be eligible for any refund of Tuition Fees paid for that semester except on extraordinary humanitarian grounds at the discretion of:

  1. The Vice President, International, or
  2. In the case of VU English students, the General Manager, VU English.

A student who gives notice in writing of an inability to undertake a course, or withdraws from the course at any time, will not be eligible for a refund of the Application Processing Fee.

A student who is granted intermission or reduced study load will have any Tuition Fees paid held as a credit on their account and treated as a payment against future study periods.

International students who obtain permanent resident status

A student who is granted Permanent Resident status will be eligible for a refund of Tuition Fees paid for a semester, less a five hundred dollar ($500) service charge for the current semester, only if:

  1. The Permanent Resident status is granted on or before the Census Date for that semester, and
  2. The student presents evidence of their Permanent Resident status to VU International.

Permanent Resident status is recognised from the date officially recognised by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, not the date on which the application for status is made.

A student who is granted Permanent Resident status after the Census Date for a semester will not be eligible for a refund of tuition fees paid for that semester. The student will be classified as an international student for the remainder of that semester.

A student who is granted Permanent Resident status prior to Census Date in a semester will lose their full-fee student place and must re-apply for course entry in competition with other course applicants for either government-supported places, or for domestic fee paying places.

A continuing student who seeks to become a local fee paying domestic student following a grant of Permanent Resident status, may have their pre-paid tuition fees carried over in the appropriate semester.

Over-payments

Where a student makes an overpayment of tuition fees, the overpaid amount will be refunded upon application without financial penalty. The amount will be returned to the student as a cheque to the student's address in Australia. A memo is required from VU English to support English language over-payments.

Processing of refunds

Before a refund can be processed, the funds covering the tuition fee must be available to the University, i.e. cheques and drafts cleared and telegraphic transfers received.

Refunds will be processed within four (4) weeks of receiving a written claim, provided that all the relevant documentation has been received from the student.

Any notice given must be written in English and actually received by the University.

Lodgement of application

Students should print the Refund of International Student Fees form.

Complete and submit the form in person to the appropriate campus, post or email (details of each are contained on the form). Note that where the student has requested a release letter, the refund application may not be submitted until the release letter is attached.

Check Application

VU International receives the Application and checks the form for completeness and ensures that any required supporting documentation is included.

VU International contacts the student for any missing or further information .

Authorising applications and applying for review

Applications for refund are approved or refused by VU International.

If a student is dissatisfied with the refund determination, they may apply to have it reviewed. Reviews will be performed:

  1. By the Vice President International or their delegate in the case of all international students except for VU English students;
  2. By the General Manager, VU English, in the case of VU English students.

Note: Where a tuition fee has been paid by a sponsoring body or scholarship agency, any refund payable will be made to the sponsoring body or scholarship agency.

Part C - Fee extensions

International students studying in higher education courses are eligible to apply for fee extensions. International Vocational Education students are not eligible to apply for extensions.

Types of fee extension

Three kinds of extensions are available: Fee Extension A, Fee Extension B and Fee Extension C.

Fee Extension Part A allows students an additional 3 weeks to pay fees after the invoice due date provided they have:

  1. Contacted Student Services and explained their circumstances before the invoice due date;
  2. Paid $100 plus material fees on the day of enrolment or within 10 days of enrolment.

Fee Extension Part A does not require the submission of a form.

Fee Extension Part B allows students a lengthier extension if they are able to pay 50% of their fees on or before the due date provided they have:

  1. contacted Student Services and explained their circumstances before the invoice due date
  2. paid 50% of their total fees before the invoice due date.

Fee Extension Part B does not require the submission of a form.

Fee Extension Part C is available in exceptional circumstances to students who are unable to meet their extended payment deadline obtained via a Fee Extension A or B.

Fee Extension Part C is available to:

  • International higher education (undergraduate and postgraduate students)
  • International TAFE / Further Education students.

The form for applying for Fee Extension Part C is located on the Student Services website .

Students applying for Fee Extension C must make an appointment with a Student Welfare Officer to discuss their application and ensure that all required details are provided.

Student Welfare then consults with the College(s) in which the student is enrolled, Finance, and any other relevant University business unit to assist in making a recommendation regarding an extension.

The Student Welfare Officer applies the criteria used to assess Part C extensions (as stated on the relevant form and updated from time to time).

Recommendation and Approval

Student Welfare Officer makes a recommendation for a fee extension to the Manager, Student Welfare.

Manager, Student Welfare approves or does not approve the extension.

Student Welfare Officer notifies the student of the decision and, if relevant, arranges for the appropriate adjustment within the system.

Review

A student who is not granted an extension may apply to have the decision reviewed by the Director, Student Wellbeing.

The Student Welfare Officer will advise the student of their right to request a review and the process that they should follow in doing so.

The decision of the Director, Student Wellbeing is final and there are no further appeal avenues within the University. External appeals may be available depending on the circumstances.

Part D - Fee waivers

Student-led

Onshore international higher education students and onshore international FE students are eligible to apply for a Waiver of Tuition Fees on compassionate grounds.

Lodgement of Waiver Application

Student prints the Waiver/Extension of Tuition Fees on Compassionate or Humanitarian Grounds form.

Student support

Student makes an appointment with a Student Adviser Welfare to discuss their application and ensure that all required details are provided.

Student Support consults with the College(s) in which the student is enrolled, VU Finance, and any other relevant University business unit to assist in making a recommendation regarding a waiver.

Student Adviser Welfare applies the criteria used to assess waivers (as stated on the relevant form and updated from time to time).

The Senior Advisor Welfare provides the application to the Senior Coordinator Student Support for review.

Recommendation and approval

The Senior Advisor Welfare makes a recommendation for a fee waiver to the Director, Student Services.

Director, Student Services approves or does not approve the waiver.

The Senior Advisor Welfare notifies the student of the decision and, if relevant, arranges for the appropriate adjustment within the system.

Review

The Senior Coordinator makes a recommendation for the application to the Director Student Services which is submitted via the Manager Service Centres and Advising.

A student who is not granted a waiver may apply to have the decision reviewed by the Dean of Students.

The Student Welfare Officer will advise the student of their right to request a review and the process that they should follow in doing so.

The decision of the Dean of Students is final and there are no further appeal avenues within the University. External appeals may be available depending on the circumstances.

VU English

VU English students may apply to have fees waived in exceptional circumstances.

Applications for fee waivers for VU English students are assessed and approved by VU English.

A student who is not granted a waiver may apply to have the decision reviewed by the General Manager, VU English.

The decision of the General Manager, VU English, is final and there are no further appeal avenues within the University. External appeals may be available depending on the circumstances.

University-led

VU International, VU English or another relevant business unit of the University may opt at any time to waive all or part of any fees for a student or group of students if:

  • Doing so will assist in the effective promotion of a course;
  • Doing so will bolster the University's strategic objectives; or
  • Doing so is part of a general humanitarian or compassionate action.

Waivers issued by the University, VU International or VU English will be appropriately documented in order to maintain accountability and transparency.