International students can apply to defer (or temporarily suspend) their studies.  This can be done either prior to commencement/arrival at TAFE SA or during their studies. 
For continuing students, absences of less than two weeks are considered a leave of absence and can be approved by the relevant program area.  Absences of more than two weeks are considered a deferral and require approval by both the program area and the International Unit (using the required form indicated below). Typically, students with an approved deferral of longer than two weeks, would recommence their studies at the next available term or semester for their course. 

An administration fee may be charged for a deferral application, see Refunds for details.

Requesting a deferral (or suspension) of studies

New students: If a student needs to defer their start date before arriving in Adelaide, they must contact the International Unit to have their application re-assessed and Letter of Offer re-issued.  There is no guarantee that a place can be held, particularly in courses with competitive entry.   Students can request a maximum of 2 deferrals, no further requests will be accepted.
Current students: Approval is required from the program area and international unit and is only granted in limited circumstances.  Submit this completed Withdrawal / Deferral / Release form to the International Unit for assessment.

The allowed circumstances for deferrals are, but not limited to:

  • compassionate and compelling circumstances out of control of the student and may have an impact on course progress;
  • serious illness or injury – a medical certificate must state clearly that the student was unable to attend classes;
  • bereavement – the death of close family members such as parents or grandparents. Where possible a death certificate should be supplied;
  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country which requires the student to return (emergency travel) and this has impacted on studies;
  • traumatic experience – for example, being involved in or witnessing an accident or witnessing an accident or a crime and this had had a negative impact on studies (in these cases police or psychologist’s reports are required);
  • where TAFE SA cannot offer a student a pre-requisite unit;
  • inability to begin studying on the course commencement date due to a delay in receiving a student visa.

A deferral may result in changes to the duration of your course/s, fees, or course offerings, and in cases where the course end date extends beyond the original course, a revised eCOE/s.  It may also affect the student visa. Students should always seek advice from the Department of Home Affairs about their specific requirements.

TAFE SA will inform the student of the deferral request outcome in writing, via email.  A student may seek to appeal the decision where the deferral has not been granted and must do so in accordance to the appeals procedure outlined in the Customer Resolution and Feedback Policy.

TAFE SA initiated suspensions and cancellations of enrolment

TAFE SA may suspend or cancel the enrolment of a student on the grounds of:

  • Unsatisfactory course attendance (ELICOS students only) under the International Students – Attendance and Course Progress Policy;
  • Unsatisfactory academic progression under the International Students Attendance and Course Progress Policy, including:
    • Where a student is deemed to be disengaging with their studies and an intervention strategy has been implemented to support and improve their academic progress;
    • Where a student is under-enrolling (taking less than a normal load without good reason) despite advice from TAFE SA;
  • Where the student is absent from their course without approval for more than two consecutive weeks in a semester;
  • There are compassionate and/or compelling circumstances;
  • Where a student has a rejected application for deferral of studies but ceases to continue participation;
  • Academic and Non-Academic misconduct under the TAFE SA Assessment Policy, or TAFE SA Student Conduct and Disciplinary Policy;
  • Non-payment of Tuition fees;
  • Where it becomes evident that the student has behaved improperly or provided false documentation as part of the international application and enrolment process;
  • All subsequent enrolments will be cancelled where a student’s enrolment in any course has been cancelled regardless of who initiated the cancellation (TAFE SA or the student); and
  • The student is deceased.

Passive withdrawal situations which may also result in a student’s enrolment to be cancelled are:

  • A student’s non-commencement of studies; and
  • A student failing to return to studies after an approved semester break, deferral (or suspension) of studies, or holiday without notifying TAFE SA.

In most cases, to notify students that TAFE SA intends to cancel their enrolment, a student will be issued with an Intention to Suspend or Cancel Enrolment Letter (or email).  Students will be given 20 days in which to appeal this decision as per the Customer Resolution and Feedback Policy.

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