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Academic Progress Policy

Category Academic
Type Policy
Approved by Council, 14 December 2004
Date Policy Took Effect 1 January 2006
Last Approved Revision 1 January 2014
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International)
Responsible Officer Manager Policy and Planning, Academic Services
Review Date 1 October 2016

Purpose

The Academic Progress Policy set out below balances the need to assist those students who are not performing well academically with the University’s necessity to maintain the high quality of its qualifications.

Students attending the University of Otago are expected to perform at a satisfactory academic level. The Policy sets out a transparent and equitable process for students with academic performance problems. Students who are not achieving satisfactorily will receive specifically targeted advice and assistance at an early stage. If they fail to show improvement over a specified period of time, however, they will not be permitted to re-enrol. The Academic Progress Policy is intended to provide a benchmark for students of minimal academic achievement, in tandem with a constructive system of support to help students to achieve that benchmark.

The Policy’s staged processes give students who are having difficulties the opportunity to be involved in the identification of problems restricting achievement and in planning their future study carefully with an Adviser of Studies.

Organisational Scope

The Academic Progress Policy applies to study from 100-level through to 400-level, with the exception of specialised undergraduate Health Science programmes which have exclusion clauses in their own regulations. It is applied to students transferring from other universities as if their previous study had been undertaken at the University of Otago. Students suspended under the academic progress policies (or equivalent) of other universities will not be permitted to transfer to the University of Otago until such time as that suspension has passed.

Definitions

For the purposes of the policy,

  • Conditional Enrolment - defined as not having made satisfactory academic progress and following a prescribed course of study;
  • Designated Adviser of Studies - a member, or members, of staff with expertise in the course approval process;
  • Enrolled - means course-approved and continuing in the paper after the final withdrawal date for that paper;
  • Personal circumstances - personal circumstances taken into account in approving an application for impairment of performance, for internal assessment or examinations purposes, will not normally be able to be considered again in an application for a restricted course.
  • Prescribed course of study - defined as a number of papers chosen by the student in consultation with and approved by the designated Adviser of Studies. Usually no more than 108 points may be taken over the first and second semester of conditional enrolment. Part-time enrolment will be permitted;
  • Recommencing student – a student who has previously been enrolled at the University of Otago, but not within the last two years;
  • Returning student – a student who has been previously enrolled at the University of Otago within the last two years;
  • Summer School – Summer School counts as one semester;
  • Year - means the calendar year in which a student is enrolled.

Policy Content

Summary

A student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress (i.e. pass half or more of the points enrolled for in a calendar year) will be placed on Conditional Enrolment and may enrol for a prescribed course of study only. Such a student who passes fewer than half of the points of the prescribed course will be suspended from enrolment from the University for the subsequent two calendar years. Students suspended under the Academic Progress Policy will be regarded as Recommencing Students if they register to return to study at the University of Otago after their suspension period.

Policy

  1. This policy applies to undergraduate study of papers from 100-level through to 400-level, with the exception of specialised Health Sciences programmes which have exclusion clauses in their own regulations.
  2. "Satisfactory academic progress" is defined as passing half or more of the points enrolled for in a calendar year.
  3. Those students who do not pass half of the points enrolled for in a calendar year will be advised that they will be placed on ‘Conditional Enrolment’ the next year they enrol.
  4. Students placed on Conditional Enrolment will be required to consult a designated Adviser of Studies, and enrol for a prescribed course of study over that year.
  5. Each student placed on Conditional Enrolment will need to make formal application to enrol for a prescribed course of study.
  6. The prescribed course of study will be approved by the designated Adviser of Studies, taking into account the student’s previous academic record, disabilities (if any) and personal circumstances.
  7. If a student placed on Conditional Enrolment has already been approved for Final Examination Only enrolment in one or more papers, the designated Adviser of Studies may review that approval in consultation with the relevant Head(s) of Department.  Such approval may be rescinded, if the Adviser and Head of Department concerned consider that to be appropriate.
  8. Disagreements that cannot be resolved between a student on Conditional Enrolment and the designated Adviser of Studies will be referred to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor concerned for resolution.
  9. The prescribed course of study shall be reviewed after the first semester of the year under consideration.
  10. If less than half of the points of the prescribed course of study is passed (in the Conditional Enrolment year), the student will be suspended from the University for a period of two years.
  11. Any Final Examination Only approvals granted prior to to suspension, and still to be taken up, are cancelled upon suspension.
  12. If half or more of the prescribed course of study is passed, the Conditional Enrolment will be lifted.
  13. Students suspended under the Academic Progress Policy will be regarded as Recommencing Students if they register to return to study at the University of Otago after their suspension period. (For details on the admission requirements for Recommencing Students, see the Admission to the University Statute.)
  14. The provisions of this policy shall be applied to students transferring from other tertiary institutions, with the academic record of such students being assessed at the point of transfer and the Academic Progress Policy being applied as if the academic record were a University of Otago record.
  15. Students suspended or excluded under the academic progress policies (or equivalent) of other tertiary institutions will not be permitted to transfer to the University of Otago until such time as that suspension has passed.

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