Discussion paper

Course progress and attendance

9 Jun 2015

This issues paper sets out the systemic issues we see in education providers’ monitoring and reporting of overseas students for unsatisfactory course progress and attendance.


The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training for Overseas Students 2007 (National Code) requires education providers to be proactive in warning and assisting students who are at risk of failing to meet course progress and/or attendance requirements.

If a student subsequently fails to achieve satisfactory course progress and/or attendance, the provider must notify the student in writing that it intends to report them. The written notice must inform the student that they are able to access the registered provider’s complaints and appeal process. If the student is not satisfied with the result or the process of the internal complaint handling and appeals process, the provider must advise the student in writing of his or her right to access the external appeal process.

The Overseas Students Ombudsman is a statutorily independent complaints and appeals body for overseas students with private registered providers. The third and fourth most  common type of complaints or appeals we receive are unsatisfactory course progress and attendance appeals.

After examining 169 course progress and 279 attendance external appeals, both good and poor practices have been noted. An understanding of what constitutes best practice for course progress and attendance monitoring has been developed. In many cases poor practices have resulted in us recommending that the provider not report  the student as the proper process had not been followed. In other cases, providers have followed all the required processes and we found the provider was required to report the student as their course progress and/or attendance was unsatisfactory.

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