Benefits of inherent requirements
Clearly articulated program inherent requirements provide students with:
- A greater understanding of what activities they will be expected to undertake during a program.
- A greater understanding of what abilities are required to undertake these activities to successfully complete a program of study.
- An opportunity to consider what reasonable adjustments they may require and to plan for these.
- An opportunity to make informed decisions as to whether the program is suitable at this time given their personal circumstances / disability, long term illness or mental health condition.
This allows students to be proactive in managing the impact of their condition on their studies. Further, it can support student decision making and may avert prospective students from committing to a program which it may not be possible for them to successfully complete, whilst additionally avoiding the possibility of students accumulating excessive debt.
For continuing students, information about inherent requirements may serve as a prompt whereby they can “check in” around their need for supports. This is particularly important in cases where students may be recently diagnosed with a new condition, have acquired a condition (through an accident, for example) or have an exacerbation of, or escalation in the severity of an existing condition which impacts upon their capacity to undertake essential aspects of the program.
Academic and teaching staff
Clearly defined inherent requirements can improve student outcomes by providing a consistent reference point from which all program staff can have informed and meaningful discussions with students regarding reasonable adjustments.
Student retention may be improved as students arrive with a greater understanding of what to expect from their program.
Developing inherent requirements provides program staff with an opportunity to examine the curriculum and develop a more inclusive curriculum, benefitting all students.
Clearly articulated program inherent requirements provide the University with the means to proactively manage institutional risk in relation to claims of discrimination where students may not, due to their disability or medical condition, be able to complete a program of study. This is achieved through:
- Program inherent requirements being made explicit to prospective students at the point of selecting a program of study (pre-entry) and at key stages during their studies (post-entry).
- Prospective and enrolled students being directed to seek support in the form of reasonable adjustments early in their program.
With these measures in place, the University can be deemed to have proactively managed student expectations across the student lifecycle.