International course progress policy

TAFE South Australia is committed to supporting all international students to reach their potential and have a successful academic experience while they are studying.

TAFE South Australia will monitor, record and assess the academic performance of all international students to ensure they are given every opportunity to achieve the required satisfactory academic progress for each unit of the course they are enrolled in. Academic progress is reviewed each study period. TAFE South Australia is required to report an international student via Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS) to the Department of Home Affairs if the student has been assessed as not achieving satisfactory course progress in two consecutive study periods.

Satisfactory course progress is defined as:

  • Higher Education Student (studying an Associate Degree or Bachelor program) – successful completion of 50% or more of enrolled subjects within each study period

  • Vocational Education & Training (VET) and ELICOS student (all other programs) – successful competency in 70% or more of enrolled units of competency within each study period.

TAFE South Australia will employ an intervention strategy (also known as Learner Contract), where necessary, to ensure that a student who is identified as being at risk, completes their training and education within the duration of the study in TAFE South Australia, and graduates with the qualification they are enrolled in.

International students are encouraged to contact or speak with their lecturer or TAFE South Australia International Student Consultant if they are experiencing difficulties in their studies at the earliest possible opportunity. Upon receipt of receiving a Student at Risk letter, students should act on the advice in the letter and seek support and appointment with relevant staff.

Upon the start of semester

International students are to be provided with a TAFE SA Study Guide by their relevant program area staff that details (but not limited to):

  • course outline
  • workload for the study period
  • scheduling of classes
  • delivery and assessment modes
  • deadline for submission of assignments, projects, essays etc.

The program areas will also set up an individual student training plan for each student in order to monitor, record and assess the student's course progress. Assessment will occur at the end of each compulsory study period (semester) in accordance to the schedules and modes detailed in the Study Guide.

Monitoring course progress

  • Lecturing staff will use a variety of assessments to deem whether a student is ‘at risk’ of, or is making unsatisfactory progress.  These may include, but are not limited to the review of:

    • The student’s attendance record
    • Class participation
    • Late submissions of assignments
    • Resubmissions
    • Requests for extension of class work or assignments
    • Requests for additional help with assignments or class work
    • Feedback from other lecturers
    • Not yet competent or fail grades on assignments
    • English ability or ability to articulate their message
    • Log in records of TAFE SA systems
    • Results of assignments and units/subjects
  • If a student is identified for the first time as not making satisfactory course progress (in at least 50% of competencies) the relevant Educational Manager must be advised and the TAFE South Australia International Course Intervention Strategy must be implemented.
  • If a student is identified as at risk of making unsatisfactory course progress before the end of the study period, the program area will make contact with the student, including sending a Student at Risk Letter (#1), if necessary Letter #2 is also to be sent to enable a meeting to be scheduled and an Intervention Strategy to be put into place with the student’s acceptance. This should be done as early as possible and practicable.  Lecturers are to continue to monitor the academic progression of the student and review their results at the end of the semester. 
  • If a student is identified as not making satisfactory course progress in a second consecutive compulsory study period in a course, the program Educational Manager will be notified, who will then notify TAFE South Australia International. Letters are to be sent as per above and further advice from the International Unit.
  • TAFE South Australia International must then notify the student of its intention to report the student to the Department of Home Affairs for unsatisfactory progress. TAFE SA International will issue the student with a letter of intention to report for unsatisfactory progress (warning letter) informing the student of their breach, and that he/she is able to access TAFE South Australia's complaints and appeals process and the student has 20 working days in which to do so


Before a student is reported to the Department of Home Affairs for unsatisfactory progress, they will have 20 days to appeal. Students are allowed to appeal for the following reasons:

  1. The student believes TAFE South Australia has failed to record or calculate their marks accurately
  2. The student believes that they have compassionate or compelling reasons for not making satisfactory progress
  3. The student believes that TAFE South Australia has not implemented its Intervention Strategy and other policies according to its documented policies and procedures that were made available to the student.

Appeals will be considered by a TAFE SA Appeals Committee in accordance to the appeals procedure outlined in the TAFE SA Student Complaint Resolution Policy.

If a student chooses to access the complaints and appeals process, the TAFE SA program area must maintain the student’s enrolment and ensure that the student continues to attend classes while the complaints and appeals process is ongoing. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, the student may or may not be reported to the Department of Home Affairs for unsatisfactory course progress.

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