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Study Abroad and Exchange Programs Policy
1. Purpose:
  1. This policy sets out principles for the University of Canberra's international mobility programs for students.
2. Scope:
  1. This policy applies to UC students undertaking mobility programs internationally for credit towards their University of Canberra award course. It also applies to inbound students from overseas who enrol in exchange, study abroad or short-term programs at the University. The policy is intended for students and academic and administrative staff involved with study abroad and exchange programs for students. This policy does not apply to Australia Awards students undertaking reunion travel.
  2. An international mobility program is defined as an international study experience involving travel to another country that has associated pre-approved academic recognition and has been approved by the University’s Study Abroad Office or the Placement Office. Programs include student exchange, study abroad, and short term study experiences of less than one semester that may be taken for academic credit.
  3. International mobility programs that do not have pre-approved academic recognition or are not approved by the Study Abroad Office are outside the scope of this policy.
3. Principles:
  1. The University recognises the value of mobility programs to the overall academic, professional and personal development of students. Providing students with opportunities for academically relevant international experiences as part of their course of study is a strategic priority for the University.
  2. The University supports and strongly encourages students to participate in student mobility programs, and welcomes inbound exchange and study abroad students to promote cross-cultural awareness, understanding and partnerships.
  3. International study experiences provide opportunities for students to:
    1. expand academic learning opportunities to gain an internationalised degree;
    2. develop cultural and global competencies as graduate learning outcomes;
    3. enrich professional learning and skills;
    4. enhance personal development including leadership skills, social awareness, and global citizenship; and
    5. improve employment opportunities.
  4. The University offers a range of international mobility programs including student exchange and study abroad for one or more semesters, and short programs offered by faculties, third parties, university partners or independent providers. Short-term programs may include industry-based study tours, work-integrated learning and internships, intensive language and culture programs, international field trips, student volunteering, conference participation and research activities.
  5. International mobility programs will be available to all students including international students subject to eligibility criteria in this policy and conditions of particular programs.
  6. International programs will be developed with a focus on demonstrable and course-relevant learning outcomes. Wherever possible programs are academically recognised and students receive pre-approved formal credit.
  7. Programs will be academically rigorous and appropriate for the level and type of course in which the student is enrolled.
  8. Credit for international experiences will be assessed by academic staff in the relevant discipline and faculty.
  9. The University will provide support to staff and to students on student exchange and mobility programs through clear, comprehensive information, transparent processes, administrative and welfare assistance before, during and after programs are undertaken.
  10. The health and safety of students travelling on approved international mobility programs is paramount. The University considers risk and appropriate management strategies as part of any authorised international program.
  11. The University will search for opportunities to develop mobility programs for students including the development of collaborative partnerships with international universities and organisations that enhance the University’s reputation. Programs will be widely promoted to maximise student access.
  12. The University will endeavour to provide financial support to assist students to participate in an international mobility program through internal and external sources.
  13. Students on international mobility programs are regarded as ambassadors for the University. Students must respect the culture and customs of their host community. Students whose conduct is unsatisfactory may be recalled to Australia.
  14. Students undertaking mobility programs must abide by:
    1. the rules and requirements of the partner institution, program provider or host party and the laws and regulations of the country in which the program is held; and
    2. University of Canberra Student Conduct Rules and all other rules and policies applicable to UC students.
  15. Students who complete an approved international mobility program and receive academic recognition for the experience will have their participation recorded on their Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS).
  16. Student complaints and appeals relating to student mobility programs will be dealt with under the Student Grievance Resolution Policy.
4. Responsibilities:
Roles and responsibilities
Further details on specific responsibilities may be in relevant sections above.
Role Responsibilities
Director, UC International
  • Encourage international student mobility
  • Approve and sign Student Exchange Agreements with international partners and institution-to-institution agreements where applicable for study abroad programs, on behalf of the University
  • Consider safety and risk matters relating to mobility programs in accordance with the relevant University resilience and risk management framework, policies and procedures and in consultation with the Governance and Development unit
  • Manage and monitor safety and security for staff and students overseas and deal with crisis management as required.
Study Abroad Office
  • Seek opportunities, develop/initiate/coordinate, advertise and promote all types of international mobility programs, to increase and encourage growth in participation and actively market programs to attract inbound and outbound students to further internationalise the University
  • Advise students on eligibility and all aspects of the application process
  • Review applications, select and accept students and make placements, dependent on the type of program
  • Manage mobility programs for participating students before, during and after programs
  • Administer inbound programs and student participation
  • Provide pre-departure briefing sessions and advice for students, faculties and research centres as appropriate
  • Facilitate inbound/outbound integration activities from a student experience standpoint
  • Monitor programs and students involved in international mobility programs
  • Liaise with third parties ensuring that programs involving third party providers comply with University policies
  • Advise and assist faculties and academic staff with developing mobility programs, use of third party providers, program and student management and all related matters  
  • Liaise with and provide information to other staff and units to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities
  • Keep records and report against student mobility targets
  • Manage website content.
Admissions Office Assess and process overseas students’ applications for study abroad, student exchange and short-term inbound programs at UC in accordance with University requirements and this policy.
Placement Office
  • Assess and process applications for international work-integrated learning (WIL) placements and internships, monitor, and advise and assist staff and students with relevant requirements
  • Liaise with faculties and the Study Abroad Office on relevant matters.
Student Progress and Graduation Office On advice from the Study Abroad Office:
  • Process credit transfer for students who have completed mobility programs
  • Record student participation in mobility programs on AHEGS.
  • Encourage international student mobility and work with the Study Abroad Office to develop and manage programs including short-term and faculty-specific programs
  • Maintain clear staff responsibilities relating to mobility programs in the faculty including delegations
  • Approve faculty-led mobility programs ensuring that design, academic content and implementation comply with UC policy and relevant standards
  • Ensure proposals or programs involving third parties comply with Course Delivery by Third Party Providers Policy and Course Delivery by Third Party Providers Procedure
  • Monitor mobility programs in the faculty and staff compliance with this policy and procedures.
Associate Deans (International)
  • Encourage international student mobility, identify and develop new opportunities to expand options for students to take a portion of their study internationally and increase international mobility overall for the faculty
  • Consider international study opportunities as part of curriculum reviews (open electives, major and minor options)
  • Set up faculty process to gain endorsement for proposals from dean and head of discipline before developing programs in consultation with Study Abroad Office
  • Act as dean’s nominee for relevant responsibilities if so delegated
  • Liaise with Study Abroad Office on relevant issues
  • Monitor mobility programs, operational matters and student participation in the faculty.
Faculty-led program leaders
  • Initiate opportunities to lead students on an international program recognised for UC credit and develop programs with information and advice from the Study Abroad Office
  • Discuss proposal with your associate dean (international) to review and obtain faculty approval
  • Ensure that program development and operations comply with this policy, the Course Delivery by Third Party Providers Policy and Procedures if applicable, and relevant University resilience and risk management framework, policies and procedures
  • Select students in accordance with program requirements
  • If accompanying students, provide appropriate supervision and ensure participants comply with all obligations
  • Brief students before departure on international study using information prepared by the Study Abroad Office.
Course conveners or program directors
  • Advise students on suitable times for a student exchange or study abroad, and short-term mobility programs during their course
  • Make an academic assessment of requests for credit towards units in students’ courses in accordance with this policy; determine requests for unspecified credit and unit conveners’ recommendations for specified credit; approve Course Credit Transfer Agreements before departure, and negotiate and approve any changes to agreements
  • Consider student requests to extend time overseas on a student exchange or study abroad, in conjunction with the Study Abroad Office and the host institution
  • Consider individual applications for short-term mobility programs in consultation with the Study Abroad Office
  • Work with the Placement Office to negotiate international WIL placements for students if applicable, advise students and ensure all requirements are met
  • Inform students undertaking international work-integrated learning or internships, volunteering or conference attendance, and other short-term mobility programs as required about seeking pre-departure advice and attending briefings from the Study Abroad Office.
Unit conveners
  • Consider applications for specified credit for their unit in accordance with this policy and make recommendation to the course convener for determination
  • Negotiate international WIL placements for students if applicable in consultation with course conveners and Placement Office, advise students and ensure all requirements are met.
  • Follow required application procedures for mobility programs after checking feasibility of undertaking their preferred program during their course with the faculty and eligibility for the relevant program, comply with conditions of the relevant program once accepted, and successfully complete the academic requirements of the program in order to receive credit
  • Fulfill commitments and responsibilities specified for each kind of program or individual program.
5. Legislation:
Governing framework or legislation
  1. This policy is governed by the University of Canberra Act 1989 and its Statutes and Rules.
  2. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and the National Code apply where mobility programs involve international students in Australia on student visas. The University aims to act in accordance with national and international standards for student mobility programs such as the AIM Overseas Outward Mobility Best Practice Guide for Australian Universities.
Related documents
  1. University documents related to this policy include:
  2. Relevant external frameworks, standards and resources include the following:
Forum on Education Abroad Standards of Good Practice for Short Term Education Abroad Programs
6. Definitions:
Terms Definitions
International field trip International field trips are approved learning activities undertaken at an overseas destination. Academic staff generally accompany students.
International Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Placement International work integrated learning refers to a placement or internship undertaken in an international location with the prior approval of the course or unit convener.
Overseas exchange partner An overseas exchange partner is an overseas institution with which the University holds a current Student Exchange Agreement.
Short term study abroad A short term study of a few weeks duration may be undertaken through organisations such as the Australian Institute for Mobility Overseas (AIM), overseas partners or independent providers.
Student Exchange Program A Student Exchange Program is a period of study undertaken at an international university with which the University has a formal partnership. Units undertaken at the host institution are credited to the student’s course and students pay their home university fees.
Study Abroad Study Abroad refers to study undertaken at an international education provider for one semester or one year in which students are responsible for paying fees. Units undertaken may be credited to a student’s course subject to the academic course convener’s approval.
Study tour or faculty led program A study tour or faculty led program would normally be organised by an academic staff member(s) who may accompany students. Programs are approved by the faculty and may be offered in conjunction with a partner university, third party provider or independently.