Program discontinuation and transition – Higher Education (Melbourne and RMIT partners) instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction applies to discontinuations of higher education programs at Australian campuses or delivered in partnership with approved RMIT partners.

The process for these types of discontinuation has the following stages:

  1. Registration of the decision to discontinue a program
  2. Consultation with stakeholders
  3. Planning of the discontinuation
  4. Where the program has active students, preparation of a transition plan and letters to students
  5. Approval of the discontinuation, and of the transition plan if any
  6. Actioning of the discontinuation and transition plan.

Exclusions

This instruction applies only to discontinuations of higher education programs at Australian campuses or delivered in partnership with approved RMIT partners.

It does not apply to discontinuations of vocational education programs, or to discontinuations of programs offered at an RMIT campus outside Australia or via Open Universities Australia.

Instruction steps and actions

Step/s

Responsibility

Timeline

1. Registration of the decision to discontinue a program

1.1 Decisions to discontinue programs or program offerings emerge from review and planning processes.

1.2 To discontinue an offering with an approved RMIT partner outside Australia, first follow the Partnered delivery of coursework awards instruction (rescinded 15 June 2015 and replaced by the GPAP pilot). Once the decision to discontinue has been endorsed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) (DVC(I)), continue with step 1.3 below.

1.3 Register intentions to discontinue programs or program offerings on the Program Life-cycle Register to provide early warning of these intentions to senior management committees. See the Program Life-cycle Register instruction for this process.

[Note: Under the ESOS legislation a program discontinuation is considered a provider default: the School may have to pay reasonable compensation to applicants who have accepted their future offer or current students if these must be transitioned into a replacement program.

It is essential that discontinuations are planned and registered at least 18 months in advance, so that marketing materials can be updated, international applicants can be issued with alternative offers, and there is adequate time for consultation with students affected by the discontinuation.]

College Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) or nominee

At least 18 months before planned discontinuation of intakes.

2. Consultation with stakeholders

2.1 Consultation occurs with the following groups to explain the rationale for the change and to gauge support:

  • relevant industry groups including the Program Advisory Committee, and
  • students with current enrolments including those on leave of absence.

[Note: details of student consultation need to be included in the transition plan, in point 5 of Section B of the Discontinuation of higher education program form.]

[Note: if the program has international students in Melbourne and is to be replaced with a new program, international students can be told that the new program is the reason for the discontinuation, but the new program cannot be marketed or officially promoted until it has received CRICOS registration.]

Program team/Dean/Head of School

As soon as the intention to discontinue is registered on the PLR.

3. Planning of the discontinuation

3.1 Complete the Discontinuation of higher education program form to ensure that all impacts of the discontinuation are identified.

School or College nominee(s)

3.2 If the discontinuation includes an offering at an RMIT partner outside Australia, the discontinuation coordinator consults the Assistant Director, Transnational Education to ensure that the partner is aware of the discontinuation and informed about the transition plan for active students. Any communication to the partner about the discontinuation must have the endorsement of the PVC and DVC(I).

PVC, DVC(I)

4. Where the program has active students

4.1 Where there are applicants to the program and/or active students in the program, complete Section A and Section B (Transition plan) of the Discontinuation of higher education program form.

School or College nominee(s)

4.2 Draft letters to students and attach to Section B of the form. See Discontinuation template letters.

4.3 If the discontinued program has an offering at an RMIT partner outside Australia, seek the input of TNE in drafting the letters.

School or College nominee(s)/TNE

5. Approval of the discontinuation, and of the transition plan if any

5.1 Complete and submit the Discontinuation of higher education program form and transition plan, and letters to students if required, to the College Academic Development or Academic Services Group (AD/SG).

School or College nominee(s)

By the first week of April for cessation of intakes in Semester 1 of the following year*; by the first week of October for cessation of intakes in Semester 2 of the following year.

[*Note: it is desirable to submit Semester 1 discontinuations by December (15 months before) so that these programs do not appear in marketing publications.]

5.2 Review the documentation and either recommend it to the College Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) for approval or refer back to the School or College nominee(s) for adjustments or further information.

AD/SG

5.3 If the discontinuation includes an offering at an RMIT partner, the ADG/SG submits the discontinuation form to the RMIT manager of the partner contract for endorsement before it is submitted to the PVC for approval. In the case of partner programs outside Australia, this is the Assistant Director, Transnational Education. The partner contract manager endorsement must be received before the form can be submitted to the PVC for approval.

AD/SG/RMIT partner contract manager (or Assistant Director, TNE)

5.4 Approve the discontinuation, or require adjustments to the transition plan, or decline to approve the discontinuation.

PVC

5.5 Submit the discontinuation to Policy and Programs Committee (PPC) for noting, and the transition plan and student letters (if any) to PPC for approval. [For the documentation required in a PPC submission, see the Program proposals checklist (PDF 125KB, 17p).]

AD/SG

By the July PPC meeting for cessation of intakes in Semester 1 of the following year*; by the October PPC meeting for cessation of intakes in Semester 2 of the following year.

[*See note above.]

5.6 Note the discontinuation and approve the transition plan and letters to students, or request improvements to these before approval.

PPC

5.7 Record the dates of noting of the discontinuation on the Program Proposal Tracking List (PPTL). Include a recommendation that Academic Board note the discontinued award, in the cover sheet for the PPC minutes submitted to Academic Board.

PPC Secretariat

5.8 The following units of the University are expected to monitor the PPTL, to ensure that they are aware of impending program/plan discontinuations:

  • ARG Admissions
  • ARG Enrolments and Records
  • College Marketing Managers
  • College Admissions
  • Global Quality, Regulation and Compliance (GQRCG)
  • International Admissions
  • TNE
  • University Marketing
  • Web Services

5.9 On approval of the discontinuation by the PVC and (if required) approval of the transition plan by PPC, forward the approved Discontinuation of higher education program form to Course and Program Administration (CPA) in the Academic Registrar’s Group (ARG) and to International Admissions.

AD/SG

6. Actioning of the discontinuation and transition plan

6.1 On approval of the transition plan by PPC, the following actions occur.

6.1.1  Discontinue the program for admissions and notify Web Services to remove the program summary.

CPA/International Admissions

August of year before discontinuation takes effect

6.1.2  If the program has a CRICOS code and if the transition plan involves teaching out currently enrolled students, the CRICOS code is suspended. If students are being transitioned to replacement programs, the CRICOS code is cancelled.

GQRCG

6.1.3  Make the required changes to the program guide for the discontinued program/plan and (if there is one) the replacement program/plan.

AD/SG

Before Open Day

6.1.4  Where the program/plan is to be discontinued without replacement, send the PPC-approved letters to students stating the end-date of the program.

School

August

6.1.5  Where students are to be transitioned to a replacement program or plan:

  • send the PPC-approved letters to students and hold information sessions as per the transition plan
  • ensure international students complete a Change of Program form (at information session or via email)
  • indicate domestic students’ acceptance of the replacement program/plan on School form (at information session or via email): provide a copy of this to students and retain on student file.



School


School


School






September


September

6.1.6  Immediately following completion of Change of program forms by international students and recording of domestic students’ acceptance of replacement program/plan:

  • email to the ARG Higher Education Records (HE Records) team (at he.records@rmit.edu.au) a spreadsheet of active domestic students in the program whose enrolment is to be transferred to the replacement program/plan. [Note: it is essential that this step occurs before commencement of re-enrolment.]
  • send Change of program forms signed by students and approved by School to International Admissions
  • issue current international students a new offer and automatic acceptance into the replacement program; issue them a new eCoE.

[Note: all current offers to international applicants for the discontinued program, will be honoured as offers of the replacement program irrespective of differences in entry requirements.]

  • transfer enrolment of domestic students to the replacement program.




School





School


International Admissions




HE Records





September/early October

6.1.7  Once there are no more active students in the program/plan, inactivate it.

CPA

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