Enrolment: missing student (Vietnam) instruction

Instruction statement

The purpose of this instruction is to enable the University to respond quickly and sensitively when advised of a student who is missing without explanation.

A student will be deemed missing as soon as information comes to hand which indicates that the student may be ‘at risk’ in some capacity or after a period of unexplained absence of two to three weeks.

International students studying in Vietnam in programs where attendance is monitored may be deemed missing after five consecutive days of absence without contact with RMIT.

The formal part of this instruction should be implemented where there is information from next of kin, friends, emergency contact or flatmates that a student’s health, safety and/or wellbeing is potentially at risk or compromised.

Exclusions

Any student who is not enrolled in a RMIT program delivered in Vietnam

Instruction steps and actions

Process step/action

Responsibility

Time-frame

Preliminary process

1. From time to time concerns can arise that a student may be missing. Such concerns might be raised via a range of means, including a staff member noting a student’s ongoing unexplained absence or failure to submit assessments by due dates.

2. Due to Privacy considerations, RMIT staff are normally prohibited from sharing a student’s personal information with any third party, including the student’s parents.

Specific circumstances may arise, however, where student information can be accessed and disclosed. Any such access to personal student information and associated activities undertaken in the context of this instruction must be handled in a manner consistent with the authority levels and principles of the RMIT Privacy policy and the Release of information from academic student files procedure.

The relevant principles of the RMIT Privacy policy are Principle 2 – Use and disclosure, Principle 9 – Trans-border data flows and Principle 10 – Sensitive information.

The relevant part of the Release of information from academic student files procedure is section 2. Emergency Release.

RMIT staff will share information as appropriate where a privacy waiver release has been signed.


All staff


Manager, Wellbeing and Counselling Services,
Executive Director (Students),
Registrar,
or under the authority of the Vice-Chancellor or President

3. Check the student’s academic record, class attendances, and latest email/MyRMIT/Learning Hub contact and all relevant databases to ensure that the student has not:

  • cancelled their enrolment
  • applied for leave of absence
  • transferred provider
  • changed their address

Senior administrator in the Centre/program

4. Where a concern is raised of a potentially missing student, it should initially be assessed and investigated informally by an appropriate staff member from the Centre/program in which the student is enrolled. This might involve attempting to contact the student by telephone/SMS and/or email in an effort to advise them that there are concerns about their welfare, and seeking a response from them.

Messages conveyed to the student could include:

  • A request for the student to contact the sender,
  • Advice to the student to correct their enrolment records if they are no longer studying the course or program,
  • Advice that the missing student process may be activated if no response is received from them within five working days,
  • Notification that activating the missing student process might involve RMIT contacting their emergency contact, the police and relevant government departments.

The student’s classmates and associates could also be asked if they have had any recent contact with the potentially missing student. These people could be asked to request the student in question to contact their Centre/program.

Senior administrator in the Centre/program

5. Where contact is made, if the student is no longer studying the course or program, provide advice to amend their enrolment records. If assessments have been missed, provide advice about special consideration.

Where appropriate, notify other relevant staff that contact has been made and provide advice of the status.

Senior administrator in the Centre/program

6. If the student indicates that social, welfare, family and/or personal difficulties are affecting their ability to attend university, refer the student to counsellor@rmit.edu.vn (Saigon South) or rmithncounsellor@rmit.edu.vn (Hanoi) for follow-up. Where the student discloses depression/ self-harm or mental health issues, contact the counselling service for advice.

Any staff member who identifies potential personal, social, welfare or mental health risk to a student

Immediately

7. Notify Senior Administrator in the Centre/program of any emerging concerns

RMIT staff member who believes a student may be missing


Immediately

Formal Process

8. When a staff member receives information from next of kin, partner, friends, classmates, emergency contact or other person known to a student that the student is at potential personal, social, welfare and/or mental health risk, email the wellbeing and counselling service at counsellor@rmit.edu.vn (Saigon South) or rmithncounsellor@rmit.edu.vn (Hanoi) to advise of the situation. Include the following details:

  • student name
  • student number
  • program enrolled
  • date of birth
  • nature of concern
  • contact details of person who has raised concern


Staff member who receives information that student is at potential personal, social, welfare or mental health risk



Immediately

9. The wellbeing and counselling service will:

a. ascertain whether the student is a current client of wellbeing and counselling or any other support service in Student services, and if so, which service should make contact with the student; or

b. attempt to make contact with the student via telephone, e-mail, and/or SMS and complete the Checklist (available under ‘supporting documents’);

Manager, Wellbeing and Counselling Services

Within one working day

c. If the student is an international student and is:

    • a sponsored student, inform Channel Relationship Manager;
    • an Education Abroad student, inform Executive Director (Students);
    • an international student studying in Vietnam, inform Executive Director (Students)

Manager, Wellbeing and Counselling

d. Inform the police if the student is still missing after attempting but failing to make contact for three working days and serious concerns exist for the student’s welfare. Request police to check immigration records to ascertain if the student has left Vietnam; Disclose to police as permitted by law.

e. Contact Student Administration and arrange copy of photo to be provided to police.

f. Inform Registrar’s office of student information disclosure to police.

Manager, Wellbeing and Counselling

After three working days

g. If the student is an International student studying in Vietnam and if available information indicates that they are at risk or their safety and wellbeing has been compromised, request the relevant consulate/ embassy to offer support to the student’s family and keep RMIT informed of any pertinent information provided by the family

Executive Director (Students)

After three working days

10. Advise/update the Executive Director (Students)

11. When the student has been located provide appropriate Wellbeing and Counselling Services support

Manager, Wellbeing and Counselling Services

Within one working day of the police/family being informed

12. Advise Centre/program, Executive Director (Students) and where appropriate other offices within RMIT Vietnam of outcome.

Manager, Wellbeing and Counselling Services

Within one week of the police/family being advised

13. In the event that the student has been reported as a fatality following investigation by the police, take action as per the Enrolment: Death of a student instruction.

Registrar, Executive Director (Students)

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