Policy 058: Student Withdrawal, Interruption and Internal Transfer Policy

  1. Purpose and Scope

1.1 This Policy outlines the open, transparent and accessible way in which ACM approaches student requests to change pathway or leave the course early via temporary interruption or withdrawal on to Higher Education Programmes (Degrees) and Further Education Courses (Diplomas).

1.2 Definitions of the terms used in this policy are:

  • Withdrawal – Student decides to leave the course earlier than the official course end
    date without achieving the formal qualification applied for.
  • Interruption – Student leaves the course temporarily for a period of up to a year and returns at the point they left study on the same course.
  • Transfer – To change route of study from the course at application to a new course specialisation or later course intake that results in a period of repeat of teaching level.
  • Repeat – Students undertake a period of study at a level they have already undertaken to either as a result of a pathway change or to ensure academic progression.
  • Cancellation – Students are classed as cancelled if they confirm to ACM they will not be attending the induction week and are therefore not enrolled on the course or do not meet the entry requirements for the course.
  • Terminated – Students are classed as terminated when ACM instigates a students removal from the course due to a students failure to meet academic progression requirements or has failed to adhere to ACM’s academic or student facing policies that result in a major disciplinary.

1.3 The principles of this policy apply to students at ACM Guildford and ACM Birmingham, undertaking study on the Middlesex University validated programmes. Students at ACM London, studying under a franchise agreement with Falmouth University, should refer to the relative Falmouth University policy.

  1. Policy Statement

2.1 A student is deemed as enrolled and registered on a course, if they have attended their induction day and been issued with their ACM ID card and as such should adhere to ACM’s Student and academic Policies.

2.2 A student’s status on a specific course is changed to current and considered as enrolled as a result of attendance at induction and is only changed when a formal request is submitted from the student in writing.

2.3 All changes to a students status or pathway are not automatic or guaranteed. They will be subject to approval by ACM academic and support staff, except any request to permanently withdraw from study.

2.4 Student requests to make a change to their pathway or cease studying at ACM either temporarily or permanently need to be submitted to the following

Prior to course start – Admissions@acm.ac.uk

After Induction – Studentengagement@acm.ac.uk

The written request must state the students name, Individual learner Number and
details of the change being requested and any reason behind the request.

2.5 Students will normally be asked to complete a Student Change Request Form to formalise any change request. A Student Change Request Form may not be required in cases where ACM is terminating a student’s enrolment, for example due to academic failure or student misconduct or where a place has been cancelled prior to course start.

2.6 For Undergraduate students, the date of any change or last date of attendance will be set by the date the Change Request Form is received by the Student Engagement team. For Further Education Students, studying a diploma, the last date of attendance will be taken as the last date the students attended a formal study session.

2.7 Backdating of the Change Request Form is not permitted. A request to be considered for an earlier withdrawal or interruption date will be covered under the relevant sections of this policy and if agreed would result in an earlier date used for any withdrawal or interruption which may result in a change to the annual fee liability.

Withdrawals

2.8 A Students fee liability with ACM is set by ACM’s own Finance policy or where the student is studying at ACM London, Falmouth’s fee policy depending on the last date of attendance.

2.9 Once a student has formally withdrawn from their course by completing a withdrawal form, ACM is legally obliged to inform their student funding body and withdrawal may result in the loss of part or all of the funds that are paid on their behalf.

ACM will also inform any Academic and Validation partners of the withdrawal to ensure all academic records for an individual are updated accurately.

2.11 When a student withdraws/is withdrawn, the student is no longer registered with the University. As such the student loses any rights they held as a student.

2.12 If the student has completed enough work to be awarded a lower qualification than the qualification they applied for, the student will be awarded an exit qualification at the next available finalist exam board.

2.13 Once a student has formally withdrawn from a specific course, they cannot re-engage or be re-enrolled on to that course in the same academic year. They may however make a fresh application to resume studies on the same course or a different course in a subsequent academic year. Such applications will be considered on their individual merits and will take previous academic standing into account

Interruption and subsequent return to study

2.14 The Fee liability for the current period of study will be set in accordance with ACM’s own fee policy or where the student is studying at ACM London, Falmouth’s fee policy depending on the last date of attendance.

2.15 Any overpayment of Tuition fees will be held by ACM and allocated to the new course fees upon return.

2.16 If a Student interrupts mid year, any fees for the current year that the student is not liable for will be forward dated one year. The student will not be required to pay the fees for the remaining year of study until their return. Should a student not return these fees will never become payable.

2.17 Upon return to study, if the student progresses into the next academic year, the fee for the next year of study will be set by the cohort the student has returned to. This may result in the fees going up or down for future years of study.

2.18 A student who is in poor academic standing may not be allowed to interrupt their studies unless there are extreme and/or prolonged extenuating circumstances.

2.19 A student who is interrupting is, by definition, expecting to return to their studies and their place on the course is held open for them to return to the next course intake.

2.20 The maximum period of interruption will be one year. Students unable to return to the course of study at that point will need to submit a further request for interruption to be considered by the Registrar and Heads of Education. Consideration will be given for the reason behind the additional request, whether the student will be able to return in the future and the academic impact of taking a further year out, on the students ability to successfully complete the course.

If a student interrupts within the first 4 weeks of the module start, a student can return at the beginning of the trimester. Outside of this time, a student should return at the same point; to resume the teaching at the point they left previously.

2.22 Requests to return to the course earlier than set out in this policy, will incur an additional tuition fee to cover the repeat period of study. The fee would be set based on the fee for the cohort you will join, the period of study to be repeated and the amount of modules being repeated. See paragraph 2.30 and 2.31 within the transfer and repeat study section for more information on what teaching students will be asked to repeat and the costs attached.

2.23 Students can apply for consideration for backdated interruption and to return to the course earlier that the date they left. Requests need to be sent to studentengagement@acm.ac.uk and will be put forward to the Registrar. Consideration will be given to the reason why interruption was not requested at this earlier time and the reason for the interruption; independent evidence may be requested as part of this process. If agreed, the fee liability will reflect the date of the request in the current year, however the student will not be charged additional fees to return to the course at an earlier date.

2.24 Where an interrupted student does not return to study after one year or a request for extension is not granted, the Student Engagement Team will update the students record to be withdrawn and all academic and funding parties will be informed of the change of status and use the last date of attendance as the withdrawal date.

2.25 A student will resume study on the same course and route that they left. Requests to change this would be a transfer request and detailed in the relevant section below.

2.26 Interrupted students will be contacted by ACM at least 6 weeks prior to that date of expected resumption. Students will be provided with a new contract, details of fee charges and also what teaching is required to be undertaken. Students will be able to request any route transfer or continued interruption at that point.

Transfer and repeat study

2.27 Students may transfer from one pathway to another during stage 0 (level 3), stage 1 (Level 4) or stage 2 (Level 5) within the first four weeks of each trimester. Students must be in good academic standing and transfers will only be allowed 3 times during a student’s enrolment period.

2.28 Due to different validating partners, students are currently unable to transfer between ACM London and our other locations or vice versa. Students that wish to undertake this move will be withdrawn from the original course and will need to submit a new application for the new course (consideration will be given to previous study that has been completed and the level a student will need to start at).

2.29 Internal route transfers will be referred to APL Panel for consideration. Students may be asked to undertake an audition as part of this transfer request.

2.30 Students may change the electives for which they are registered within the first two weeks of a study block, provided they continue to meet the regulations for the course. Such changes must be notified to the program team. Where changes are not confirmed by the program team a student remains registered for their original choices.

2.31 Where a students transfer request is between cohorts and results in a period of repeat level teaching, the student will incur an additional charge for the period of repeat teaching.  Mid year transfers will result in the fees for teaching that has already been undertaken remaining the same. Fees that a student is not yet liable for will be replaced by the fee for the new course for that same period.

2.32 Periods of repeat study may also result from failure to academically progress or resumption after interruption. The same processes will be applied as in 2.31 above.

2.33 Where a repeat period occurs, a student is only required to retake teaching that they have not already passed or secured credit for. Therefore any Annual fee charges would reflect the amount of teaching being undertaken for the repeat period based on the overall annual tuition fee.

Cancellation

2.34 Cancellation happens in cases where an undergraduate student:

  • Opts to cancel their place on the course prior to course start date;
  • Where a student doesn’t attend the initial induction in year 1 of the course;
  • Where a student confirms that they do not hold the expected grades or have the required residency status within the UK when arriving for induction.

For Further Education students cancellation happens up until 42 days after the formal course start date due to funding regulations.

2.36 Cancellation requests should be submitted in writing to the following department in the cases above: Admissions@acm.ac.uk

2.37 Cancellation requests that are received in accordance with the list above will not incur any Annual Tuition Fees. However should a cancellation be received after course start, Undergraduate students may be charged a pro-rata fee to cover the teaching cost and materials provided to that student.

Termination

2.38 ACM may terminate a student’s enrolment where a student does not adhere to the policies listed below

  • Term and Conditions including the academic regulations
  • Finance Policy
  • Criminal Conviction Policy
  • Student Progression and Achievement
  • Academic Integrity
  • Student Disciplinary
  • Fitness to Study

Please refer to the individual policies for more information on each process.

2.39 A students last date of attendance will set any Fee Liability in accordance with the relevant fee schedule. The last date of attendance for an Undergraduate student will be taken as the date the Termination has been put in writing by ACM or for Further Education students it will be taken as the last date the student attended a scheduled teaching session.

2.40 Further Education students should note that government funding will be withdrawn and a student will be terminated if a student is not seen as attending for a 4 week period, without valid reason or previous approval.

2.41 Where a terminated student has shown a valid reason that the removal date should be taken as earlier in the course, the case will be put to the Student Risk Committee for review and consideration.

Duration of Study

2.41 The maximum periods during which students may be registered for courses at ACM are as follows (this includes any periods of intermittence, suspension or other absence):

Award title                                                                               Maximum FT years

Certificate of HE (Diploma)                                                                  2 years

Diploma of HE  (Extended Diploma)                                                     4 years

3 yr Bachelor’s Degree with Honours                                        6 years

Bachelor’s Degree with Honours (accelerated with Foundation)            6 years

Bachelor’s Degree with Honours (accelerated)                          4 years

  1. Responsible Parties

3.1 The lead committee for this policy is responsible for the cyclical monitoring and review of the policy. The Reasonable Adjustments lead committee is:

  • Student Risk Committee
  1. Reference Points

4.1 Internal:

  • Academic Integrity Policy
  • ACM Terms and Conditions
  • Criminal Convictions Policy
  • Finance Policy
  • Fitness to Study Policy
  • Student Disciplinary Policy
  • Student Progression and Achievement Policy

4.2 External:

  • Middlesex University Regulations 2019/20
  1. Date of Approval

Version:                       1.0

Approved by:               Education Executive

Date:                            4th September 2019

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Posted in: Falmouth Policies, Middlesex Policies, UOTA Policies