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Support for Students Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University’, ‘CDU’) believes in putting our students at the centre of what we do. We are welcoming, inclusive, and responsive and we aim to provide an outstanding student experience.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This policy outlines the support available for students of the University.

(3) This policy fulfils the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2023 by outlining how the University will identify and support higher education students at risk of not successfully completing their units of study (‘at-risk students’).

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This policy applies to higher education students of the University, academic employees, and employees involved in student progression and student support.

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Section 4 - Policy

Student support services

(5) The University provides academic and wellbeing support services to students. The University website provides up-to-date details of support services and how students can access them, including (but not limited to):

  1. Study skills and online tutoring;
  2. Language and learning support;
  3. First Nations tutorial support;
  4. Regional university centres;
  5. Counselling and the wellbeing support line;
  6. Disability and health support;
  7. Complaints;
  8. Student advocacy;
  9. Careers and employability support;
  10. International student support; and
  11. Accommodation support.

Part A - Support for higher education students

Providing information to students

(6) The University will provide information about support services to commencing students as part of orientation.

(7) The University will email all higher education students enrolled at the beginning of week 1 and the beginning of week 3 to advise them of this policy and the support services that are available. 

(8) Lecturers and unit coordinators will remind students of available support services regularly throughout the semester.

(9) Throughout the year, the University will look for other ways to disseminate this policy and ensure students are aware of support services available to them in their studies.

Information about the census date

(10) From the first week of semester until the census date, identified support services will alert students who contact them that the census date is the date they will incur a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt.

(11) Identified support services may use the following means to alert students about the census date, as applicable:

  1. Automatic replies to emails;
  2. Voicemail recordings;
  3. Information on the University website; and
  4. Messages acknowledging bookings or receipt of queries.

Identification of at-risk students

(12) The University will identify at-risk students in higher education units by:

  1. identifying students who have previously failed a unit in their course; and
  2. monitoring student engagement in units.

(13) Lecturers and unit coordinators will monitor student engagement through indicators such as:

  1. Class attendance (online and/or in-person);
  2. Logging into Learnline and accessing unit content within the first two (2) weeks of the study period; and
  3. Failure to participate in, or failure of, their first assessment item.

(14) When reviewing and assessing student work, lecturers and unit coordinators will consider whether students require literacy, numeracy, or other academic support.

(15) The University will communicate with at-risk students to ensure that they are aware of support services available to assist them to complete their subjects.

  1. If a lecturer or unit coordinator judges that a student’s literacy, numeracy, or other academic skills are below the standard required for successful completion of the unit, they will provide the student with information about relevant support services.

Supporting students

(16) The University recognises the important role of academic staff in providing academic support to students and referring students to non-academic support services.

(17) Academic staff are essential to the student journey and lecturers and unit coordinators will support students enrolled in their units by providing feedback, answering questions, and assisting students to engage with their studies and progress academically.

(18) Staff to whom a student reports academic or non-academic issues will advise the student of other supports that are available for their studies and wellbeing.

(19) The University has a number of services in place for students experiencing critical harm or distress. Support services, and how to access arrangements are listed on the CDU Life Health and Wellbeing support page. 

(20) CDU's emotional distress and crisis response protocol outlines the arrangements in place for anyone experiencing distress, and guides anyone providing immediate support to someone in distress. 

Provision of responsive and appropriate support services

(21) To ensure student support services are responsive and appropriate to CDU student needs, the University will assess on an annual basis:

  1. student demand for and feedback in relation to support services;
  2. whether student support services are culturally appropriate and trauma-informed; and
  3. staffing levels of student support services.

(22) The University recognises that certain cohorts of students may require additional support and puts in place a comprehensive support system to cater to the diverse needs of students. Specific cohorts may include:

  1. First Nations students;
  2. Students with disability;
  3. Students who have experienced family or domestic violence;
  4. Students who have experience sexual harm or other traumatic events;
  5. Elite athletes;
  6. Students who are pregnant, breastfeeding or requiring postnatal support;
  7. Students with religious or cultural needs; and
  8. Students with parenting or caring responsibilities.
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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(23) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct - Employees or the Code of Conduct - Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct - Students.

(24) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedure - Employees and Complaints Policy - Students.

(25) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.