SYDNEY POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

SPI Student Email

STUDENT HANDBOOK

STUDENT HANDBOOK
Home / Student Handbook

The Student Handbook provides essential information to students about their studies and overall student experience at SPI. This includes academic information relating to course information, student progression, academic integrity, examinations and assessments, alongside administrative information such as terms of enrolment. The Student Handbook also outlines information referring to student life, including student rights and responsibilities at SPI, as well as general information about living and studying in Sydney. It is a condition of enrolment that students read this handbook and agree to comply with the policies and procedures contained within this document.

The full content of the student handbook is available here.

Welcome to the Sydney Polytechnic Institute (SPI).

You will find all the essential information you need to successfully study at SPI in this Handbook. The Handbook includes an overview of key academic and administrative information to assist you in your studies and adjust to life as a student in Australia. While every attempt is made to present you with up-to-date information, it is ultimately your obligation to double-check any information provided. The Handbook is solely intended to serve as a guide. As a condition of enrolment, you must read this Handbook and agree to study at SPI under the policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook. Please note the SPI website SPI Policies portal.

It is important that you become familiar with the titles of policies so that you can quickly locate the one that applies to your circumstance. From time to time, you may need to fill out a form. All forms can be found at this portal too.
Please contact the Student Services Office if you have any questions about the content in this Handbook.

1. Contact Details

  • Business Name: Sydney Polytechnic Institute.
  • Administration Office and Address: level 4 at 191 Thomas Street, Haymarket NSW 2000.
  • Phone: +61 2 90576409
  • Email: info@spi.nsw.edu.au
  • Website: https://spi.nsw.edu.au/
  • Office Business Hours: Monday To Friday 09:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Contact: TBA.
1.1 Map of Campus

1.2 Facilities

SPI has a wide variety of online and in-person facilities available to staff and students in order to assist with their educational responsibilities and opportunities.
The Internet access is available for all students on campus. Also, online learning system (i.e. Moodle) is accessible that allows for students to communicate with staff and peers, receive educational material and interact with resources. The Wisenet Student Management System provides access to information regarding students’ own academic progress, assessment results and personal information. Students may use the plagiarism detection online platform (i.e. Turnitin) to check the similarity of the assignment before submission. In the Administrative Office, photocopying and faxing services are also available.

2. Mission Statement

The Mission of the Sydney Polytechnic Institute (SPI) is to provide quality higher education in Data Science. SPI seeks to equip all students with a solid, comprehensive knowledge base on which they can receive advanced, systematic training in their respective disciplines, and are encouraged to exercise individual freedom of intellectual thought and curiosity. By encouraging students to think independently and critically, and to develop research skills, SPI prepares students for success in their chosen careers and postgraduate fields of study.

3. Course Information

3.1 Course Design

Sydney Polytechnic Institute offers three postgraduate coursework degrees in Data Science:

  • The Master of Data Science
  • The Graduate Diploma in Data Science
  • The Graduate Certificate in Data Science.
3.1.1
The Master in Data Science (MDS) provides students with a comprehensive mastery of all aspects of knowledge and skills in data science and an opportunity to focus on specialised technical, theoretical or managerial streams through the choice of one specialisation. The MDS has an emphasis on professional practice, effective communication, and project management using technical and non-technical approaches. See the Course Proposal for further information.

The course structure of MDS is based on six trimesters (each of 10 weeks duration) to complete 96 credit points. It is comprised of:
  • 9 core units which provide fundamental theories to the key areas of data science, mathematics, programming, machine learning, artificial intelligence, ethics and professional practice.
  • 6 specialization core units of which 3 units are default specialisation units taken by those who did not have a nominated specialisation, 3 units are attributed to AI specialization, providing fundamental theories and algorithms to the advanced units.
  • 8 elective units which provide a broad range of knowledge and applications to the area of data science and artificial intelligence.

To qualify for the award of the Master of Data Science, the candidate must:
  • Complete 9 degree core units with accrued an aggregate of 66 credit points, including 18 credit points of capstone project unit or industrial experience project unit; and
  • Complete 3 specialization core units with accrued an aggregate of 18 credit points; and
  • Complete 2 elective units with an accrued an aggregate of 12 credit points.
3.1.2
The Graduate Diploma in Data Science (GDDS) provides students with a solid and extensive understanding of the techniques and practicalities for data science related theories and application and equips them to meet the challenges of working in industries requiring specific data science knowledge and skills, such as data visualisation, deep learning, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. See the Course Proposal for further information.

The course structure is based on three trimesters (each of 10 weeks duration) to complete 48 credit points. It comprises:
  • 5 degree core units which expose students to extensive theories and applications in the key areas of data science, mathematics, programming, database, machine learning and data mining.
  • 9 elective units which provide a broad range of specific but essential knowledge and skills in data science.

To qualify for the award of the Graduate Diploma in Data Science, the candidate must:
  • Complete 5 degree core units with accrued an aggregate of 30 credit points; and
  • Complete any 3 elective units with accrued an aggregate of 18 credit points
3.1.3
The Graduate Certificate in Data Science (GCDS) provides students with a solid understanding of the fundamental theories and applications of data science, mathematics, programming and database. See the Course Proposal for further information.

The course structure is based on two trimesters of 10 weeks duration to complete 24 credit points. It comprises:
  • 4 degree core units which equip students with the knowledge and skill of fundamental theories and applications in key areas of data science, mathematics, programming and database.

To qualify for the award of the Graduate Certificate in Data Science, a candidate must:
  • Complete 4 degree core units with accrued an aggregate of 24 credit points.
3.2 Student Progression
Please consult the Student Progression, Exclusion and Graduation Policy for details about the information below. All enrolled or admitted students must meet the academic requirements and standards of progress expected from their courses and enrolment at SPI. Further specific details regarding requirements for international or overseas students can be found in the ESOS Act and National Code 2018. Prior to the commencement of each study period, students will be informed about the requirements to achieve satisfactory course progress and attendance via the orientation for new students and via the SPI Learning Management System. If you are at risk of not progressing in your course the following processes are in place.
3.2.1 Intervention Strategies

Following the initial intervention and in the situation where you are still not achieving satisfactory progress (you do not achieve the 50% pass grade) further intervention will be required. You will be contacted by the Course Coordinator and will be required to attend an interview where you will discuss your progress and agree to a formal Learning Contract.

If there is no improvement in your progress in the next study period, you will be advised that your case will be reported to the Academic Dean. In this situation you have the right to an appeals process. See the Student Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure to understand the process and your rights in this situation.

Please note that for international students, SPI has an obligation to report unsatisfactory course progress or attendance to relevant regulatory agencies where the process and appeal has concluded in SPI’s favour.

3.2.2 Further intervention strategy

Following the initial intervention and in the situation where you are still not achieving satisfactory progress (you do not achieve the 50% pass grade) further intervention will be required. You will be contacted by the Course Coordinator and will be required to attend an interview where you will discuss your progress and agree to a formal Learning Contract.

If there is no improvement in your progress in the next study period, you will be advised that your case will be reported to the Academic Dean. In this situation you have the right to an appeals process. See the Student Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure to understand the process and your rights in this situation.

Please note that for international students, SPI has an obligation to report unsatisfactory course progress or attendance to relevant regulatory agencies where the process and appeal has concluded in SPI’s favour.

3.2.3 Exclusion

You may be excluded from a course if certain conditions occur. This can include that you exceed the maximum period of candidature, you fail a core unit twice or you fail more than 50% of your units for two study periods. You have the right to an appeals process. See the Student Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure to understand the process and your rights in this situation.

If you have no previous exclusions, an exclusion period of one year will apply.

If you have one recorded exclusion period, an exclusion of up to 5 years may be applied.

You may apply in writing to the Academic Dean for special permission to sit a core unit for the third time if you have failed it twice.

3.3 Special Consideration
3.3.1 Alternative athways to Admission

Please consult the Student Admissions and Enrolment Policy for details about the information below.

SPI recognises that under some circumstances an applicant’s ability to demonstrate their potential against defined admission criteria might be impacted by a range of circumstances. An applicant who does not meet the minimum admissions criteria for a course may apply in writing to the Academic Dean requesting special consideration for admission.

Some of the circumstances where special consideration may be granted include where the applicant has a disability; a learning or language difficulty; or has suffered some other disadvantage in relation to their access to education.

3.3.2 Deferred Exam

Please consult the Examinations Policy and Procedure and the Student Assessment Policy and Procedure for details about the information below.

You may apply for a deferred exam noting that only circumstances that could not have been reasonably planned for will be considered. Requests for a deferral made after the exam date will not be considered.

If you become unwell immediately prior to an exam or other unavoidable and/or unforeseen circumstances occur that prevent you from attending the exam, you must submit a Special Consideration form as soon as reasonably practicable. If you become unwell during the exam you should notify the exam supervisor before leaving the venue and submit a Special Consideration form within 24 hours of the exam accompanied by a certified medical certificate.

3.4 Unit of Study Retake

Please consult the Student Assessment Policy and Procedure for details about the information below.

SPI accepts that, for a variety of circumstances, a student may fail to meet the requirements to pass a Unit of Study. Where a student achieves a mark of between 45% and 49% in a unit, you may apply for a retake. The retake can consist of one or more conditions at the discretion of the Course Coordinator including resubmitting an assignment or re-sitting an exam. If you successfully pass the retake your mark will be upgraded to a maximum result of 50% Pass.

3.5 Work Integrated Learning

Work Integrated Learning (“WIL”) provides students with opportunities for authentic experiential learning relevant to your course and provides opportunities for the host organisation, the student, and SPI to develop partnerships. Students might be required to attend worked integrated learning activities for the successful completion of that course. Prior to your WIL placement, you should make yourself familiar with the relevant WIL guidelines, including Work Integrated Learning Policy and Procedures, the WIL student handbook. During your WIL placement, you must participate in any orientation, or any specific meeting or seminar arranged by the host organisation such as online learning or manual handling.

4. Fees, Charges and Enrolment

4.1 Tuition and Non-tuition Fees
Postgraduate Course No. of Units Total Tuition Fees
Graduate Certificate in Data Science 4 Units of Study

$11,000 (Domestic Students)

$13,200 (International Students)

Graduate Diploma

in Data Science

8 Units of Study

$22,000 (Domestic Students)

$26,400 (International Students)

Master of Data Science 14 Units of Study

$44,000 (Domestic Students)

$52,800 (International Students)

Other Compulsory Fees
Enrolment Fee $250 for International students – once only
Materials Fee $100 (non-refundable)
Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)[1] $104.3 per Trimester for full-time students
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)[2]:
Varied according to course duration (international students are required to obtain OSHC for the proposed
duration of their study)
Ancillary Fees
CoE Variation Fee $200 for International students – once only
Airport Transfer Service $150 (one way)
Late Payment Fee $100
Re-Assessment Fee $250 per re-assessment (only applies when a student needs to be re-assessed)
Replacement of certification documentation
–          Production of
Replacement Documentation
$70
–          Postage Within Australia $15
–          International Postage $40
The tuition fees only cover the cost of tuition, which do not include other expenses related to studying (i.e. textbooks) and living. The tuition fees and other charges may vary each year. International students’ fees are protected by the Australian Government Tuition Protection Services (TPS). More information is available at www.tps.gov.au.
[1] SSAF rates are determined by the Australian Government, https://www.education.gov.au/student-services-and-amenities-fee.
[2] The Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a compulsory health insurance program for overseas students studying in Australia and lasts for the duration of their student visa. This program ensures that students have access to affordable health care and can be organized by SPI with the permission of the student. For more information, please consult the student handbook or contact SPI Student Services.
4.2 Payment of Tuition Fees

Please consult the Tuition Fees Payment and Refund Policy for details about the information below.

4.2.1 Fees Upon Commencement

On commencement, before the CoE will be issued, international students entering a

Course will be charged;

a) The Enrolment and Materials Fees, which will be set annually;

b) the first teaching period fees (i.e. no less than fees equivalent to three subjects); and

c) students in a packaged course will be required to pay SPI the fees for their first teaching period in the SPI course prior to receiving a CoE.

 

Any student who receives any form of discounted initial payment/deposit will not be

eligible for the refund of this deposit if they do not commence their study unless for the

reason that their visa is rejected.

After commencement, students will be charged the trimester fees at each enrolment period.

 

SSAF rates are determined by the Australian Government, https://www.education.gov.au/student-services-andamenities-fee.

Payment Method

All fees must be paid only in Australian dollars (AUD), payment options can be:

a) Cash payment at the SPI Office;

b) Electronic Fund Transfer

c) Credit Card Payment, Credit Card Surcharge will be applied.

Once the payments are made, a receipt will be issued at the time of payment.

4.2.2 Non-Payment of Fees

SPI will issue a fees reminder where payment has not been made by the due date (which will be

earlier than the census date) of the Fees stated in the offer or the enrolment statement.

 

After the Census Date of each Study Period, a Student Finance Officer will be responsible to

identify all students who have not met their payment obligations by the payment due date and

therefore send an overdue notice.

 

The information will be advised in the overdue notice to the student, as follows:

  • The outstanding fees and the Statement of Account summarise the amount the student has paid and the overdue balance.
  • The penalties of non-payment.

 

A Student Finance Officer will identify if any outstanding fees remained following the overdue notice and send the list of debtors to the Admission Officer who will apply the appropriate sanctions or penalties for students who remain as debtors.

Where a student has an overdue debt to SPI as of the Census Date, a range of exclusions and service restrictions will be applied to the student until the debt is paid. Exclusions and service restrictions include:

  1.  Denied access to the Institute’s services and facilities (e.g. the library, computer laboratories, online resources, student management systems etc.);
  2. Withholding the release of academic or examination results and access to academic records;
  3. Withholding the release of transcripts and official documents;
  4. Restricting enrolment to any new units or courses during and after the current teaching session;
  5. Restricting adjustments to the student’s enrolment (eg. leave, deferral, course variation, etc.);
  6. Exclusion from graduating or formally completing the course.

 

Students have to clear all outstanding fees before the exclusions and service restrictions are removed.

4.3 Refund of Tuition Fees

Students may be granted a refund of tuition fees where the applicant has a valid reason with the

required supporting evidence. Students are advised to carefully read this Tuition Fees Payment and Refund Policy which is also available on SPI’s website.

4.3.1 Provider Default

A provider default occurs when:

  1. The course in which the student is enrolled does not commence on the agreed-upon date as is stipulated on the Letter of Offer; or
  2.  The course in which the student is enrolled ceases to be provided following the
    commencement of studies; or
  3. The course in which the student is enrolled cases to be provided due to sanctions or restrictions imposed by a government regulator.

 

If in the unlikely scenario that SPI cannot meet its agreed-upon obligations to the student and
provide the course in full, the student will be offered a place in an alternative course, pending availability and satisfaction of the entry requirements. If this option is not offered or available, an offer will be made to refund the unspent pre-paid tuition fees by the Tuition Protection Services
(TPS) Director
. Students are entitled to, in such a scenario, decide whether they would prefer a
refund or an alternative course.

 

Should the student accept a place in an alternative course, a written document will be issued to formalise the agreement of both parties regarding the placement. If the student chooses this option, SPI will not be liable to refund the tuition fees incurred by the original enrolment.

 

In the unlikely scenario that SPI cannot provide either a refund or a placement in an alternative course, the TPS Director will arrange for a refund or placement in an alternative course.

4.3.2 Visa Rejection or Cancellation

If the student is unable to obtain an approved Student Visa for any reason except for criminal

activity or the provision of fraudulent documents, a refund of 100% of the total tuition fees paid

minus $500 administrative fee will be made. No refund will be offered if the student’s Visa was not

approved due to criminal activity or the provision of fraudulent documents. Documentary

evidence to prove the rejection of the Student Visa must be included in the refund application

process, a valid refund application will be processed within 20 working days.

4.3.3 Student Withdrawal

For a refund to be issued, a valid Refund Request Form must be completed and submitted. The amount refundable will be calculated based on when the written notice is received by SPI.

For a refund request to be considered valid, the Refund Request Form must be completed, signed and have sufficient documentation or evidence attached. Valid refund requests will be processed within 20 working days from the date the request was received by SPI.

If a refund request was due to an unsuccessful or rejected Student Visa, a copy of the official rejection letter from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) must be included with the Refund Request Form.

4.3.4 Student Default

A student default occurs when:

  1. The student violates conditions or terms of their student visa; or
  2. The student’s enrolment is cancelled due to a violation or breach of relevant the Institute Policy or Student Code of Conduct; or
  3. The student fails to attend the commencement of their course without prior arrangements or withdrawal from the said course and the provider successfully delivers the course as per the agreed-upon date and location in the Letter of Offer; or
  4. The student, following the commencement date, withdraws from their course; or
  5. Participation and course requirements are not met and result in the termination of their enrolment; or A Letter of Offer was issued on the basis of false or fraudulent documentation; or
  6. The student does not meet their financial obligations to the Institute and is unable to pay their agreed-upon tuition fees to the provider, directly or indirectly.

All international students with a student visa must purchase OSHC for the length of their visa to maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of their study time in Australia, in accordance with Australian Government visa requirement, including the instances that students must extend their student visa. For the health insurance arranged by SPI on behalf of international students, the data of the OSHC will be entered into Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

 

Overseas Student Health Cover will be refunded by SPI if the applicant is unable to complete the course in the following circumstances:

(i) if SPI has not disbursed funds to SPI’s nominated Overseas Health Care provider.

(ii) according to the ESOS framework, if funds have been disbursed to the OSHC provider, the student will be responsible to contact the provider directly to apply for their OSHC refund.

 

In a case of a refund request for the OSHC, students must provide the following information to the OSHC provider: full name, date of birth, membership number accompanied by the reason for requesting the refund and evidence that demonstrating the reason, such as transferring to another Institute, or the date of departure from Australia.

4.3.6 Fee Refund Procedure
(1) To request a refund, students must:
  • submit a refund request form (available on the SPI website) in person to Student Service or email it to fees@spi.nsw.edu.au, and all the supporting documents have to be attached to the request.
  • The refund request form must be fully completed (i.e. student details, reasons for the request and whether partial or full refund requested), signed and all relevant evidence have to be provided in English and attached to be a valid request.
  • Where the student has requested a release letter, the refund request may not be submitted until the release letter is attached.
  • Once the Student Service receives a request, it will be checked for completeness. Students will be contacted if the form is incomplete or there is missing information/documents. Only valid requests will be assessed.
  • If an applicant’s student visa is rejected, a certified copy of the official rejection letter from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) must be attached to the refund requests.
  • In the case of the request meets the requirements under the refund policy, refunds will be processed within 20 working days of receiving a valid request.
  • In the case of provider default, refunds will be processed in accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 which outlines minimum payment requirements in these circumstances.
(2) Additional information:
  • If the signature is invalid and does not match other signed documents provided by the student, the Refund Request Form will be invalidated.
  • If there are outstanding fees or costs that the student has not paid to the Institute at the time of refund request, it will be deducted from the amount refunded, including deposits for courses that the student has not yet commenced.
  • Refunds will be paid in Australian Dollars or converted to a foreign currency at the rate of conversion on the date of payment, should the beneficiary’s bank does not accept Australian Dollars.
  • For the fees paid by credit card, any applicable credit card surcharge will be retained by the University and not refunded.w
4.3.7 Summary

All refund payments will be accompanied by a Statement of Account, setting out any amounts that have been deducted from the approved refund and reasons.

 

A summary of the main scenarios or reasons for refund and their corresponding amounts payable is set out in the table below. The table does not include any fees other than tuition fees. The refund of other fees is dependent on a third-party service provider. Students who wish to claim a refund of other fees must seek the refund directly from the relevant third-party provider.

Reason for Refund Refund Payable
Provider Default
· If SPI is unable to provide the course at its campus prior to commencement of the teaching period 100% of the tuition fees paid for SPI will be refunded; or Student to accept the offer of an alternative course or institution.
Visa Rejection or Cancellation
· Visa rejected prior to course commencement (Students must supply evidence of their visa refusal with the refund request)
100% of the tuition fees paid to SPI minus $500 administrative fee will be refunded
· Visa rejected/cancelled prior to commencement due to provision of false or fraudulent documents by students or student default. No refund
· Visa rejected/cancelled after the commencement of the teaching period but before the census date (Students must supply evidence of their visa refusal/cancellation with the refund request) Unspent tuition fees
· Visa rejected after the census date of the teaching period (Students must supply evidence of their visa refusal with the refund request) Unspent tuition fees for the following teaching period/s
Student Withdrawal
· Where a student gives notice of withdrawal in writing at least four (4) weeks before the course commencement date 80% of the tuition fees paid to SPI minus $200 administrative fee will be refunded
· Where a student gives notice of withdrawal in writing less than four (4) weeks before the course commencement date 60% of the tuition fees paid to SPI minus $200 administrative fee will be refunded
· Student withdraws after commencement of the teaching period, but before the relevant census date 50% of the tuition fees paid to SPI minus $200 administrative fee will be refunded
· Student withdrawal after the census date in the current teaching period No refund
Student Default
· Breach of visa conditions or rules of the provider and the student is terminated No refund
· The terms and conditions of the written agreement between the student and the Institute are breached No refund
· If student defers the enrolled units before the commencement of the teaching period Where a student, after accepting an offer of a place, gives written notice prior to the Census date of their intention to defer their place in the course to the next available intake, all tuition fees will be transferred to the next available intake. The next available intake may be the following trimester or following year. A place may be deferred for up to 12 months. If after deferring, a student gives written notice that they do not intend to take their deferred place, a refund will be processed in accordance with the timeframes and circumstances relevant to the original deferral and minus $200 administrative fee.
· If student defers the enrolled units after the commencement of the teaching period, but before the census date 50% of the tuition fees paid to SPI will be refunded; or a credit for the next fee instalment equivalent to 100% of the paid tuition fees for the current teaching period minus $200 administrative fee
· If student defers the enrolled units after the census date No refund
· If fraudulent information is provided by the students in the applications with the result and the offer is withdrawn by SPI No refund
If student defers the enrolled units after the commencement of the teaching period, but before the census dateIf student defers the enrolled units after the census dateIf  fraudulent information is provided by the students in the applications with the result and the offer is withdrawn by SPI

5. Deferral, Suspension & Cancellation

Please consult the Student Deferral, Suspension and Cancellation policy for more details about the information below.

5.1 Deferral Initiated by the student
You may defer commencement of your course where there are compassionate or compelling circumstances (see section 9 for definition) and for international students, where this is a delay in obtaining your student visa. Note that documentary evidence must be provided.

Your request for deferral must be submitted in writing prior to the commencement date of your course.
5.2 Suspension or Cancellation initiated by the student
You must have successfully completed at least one unit of study before you are eligible to suspend your enrolment and any approval of suspension will be for a maximum of 6 months except in extenuating circumstances. You must obtain written approval from SPI for the suspension or cancellation. Please read the policy to learn more about extenuating circumstances.

Note that any deferral or commencement or suspension of enrolment cannot be granted
retrospectively, that is after you have already had a period of absence, or if it is taken without
authorisation.  Also note that for international students, there are visa conditions attached to suspension of
enrolment so please read the policy carefully to understand your obligations.

5.3 SPI Initiated Deferral, Suspension or Cancellation

SPI may defer the commencement of your enrolment if a decision is made not to offer the course you have enrolled in. SPI may suspend your enrolment in the case of student misbehaviour as defined in the Student Code of Conduct or due to unsatisfactory course progress. Cancellation of your enrolment can occur in the case of serious misconduct, continued unsatisfactory course progress, and/or failing to meet attendance requirements and failure to pay course fees.

You will be notified in writing in the case of suspension or cancellation and provided information about your right to access the student grievance process (please refer to the Student Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy to read further details about this process.

6. Incoming (transferring into SPI) students

Please consult the Overseas Student Transfer Policy and Procedure for more information about transfers.

In accordance with the ESOS National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and
Training to Overseas Students
2018, you may not transfer from another registered Australian higher education
provider if you have not completed 6 months of your prior course. There are some exceptions to this rule including if
SPI is deregistered or has sanctions imposed, or if the other provider has agreed to the release and recorded their
reasons in the Government PRISMS system. Please refer to the policy for details.

7. Outgoing (transferring out of SPI) students

As noted above, the ESOS Act places constraints on international students transferring prior to the completion of the first six months of their principal course of study. If you apply for a transfer out of SPI within the first six months, SPI will assess your transfer request. Please submit a written Request to Transfer to Student Services addressed to the SPI CEO. The Request to Transfer should clearly state the reasons or grounds for the request and if applicable, have a valid offer of enrolment from another registered Australian higher education provider attached.

8. Release refused

SPI has the discretion to refuse a release request, and when doing so SPI will inform the student in writing (email and postal services mail) of the reason for the refusal within at least 10 working days from the receipt of the transfer request.

9. Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances

Extenuating circumstances on compassionate/compelling grounds refer to situations where the student’s wellbeing, study and/or academic progress is significantly impacted by factors beyond your control. Valid documentary evidence must be provided in support of these claims and can include signed personal statements. Additionally, if applicable, documentary evidence from independent professionals must be provided. This includes, but is not limited to, medical certificates and/or evidence of legal counsel. Compelling or compassionate grounds include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe illness, injury or medical condition which warrants a medical certificate, stating that you will not be able to attend classes; or;
  • Loss or bereavement of immediate family members and, where possible, the provision of a death certificate for supporting documentary evidence; or;
  • Emergencies within your home country, necessitating emergency travel; or;
  • Experience or involvement in a traumatic event, documented in police or psychological reports.

10. Student Support

Please consult the Student Support policy for more information about the information below.

10.1 Support
SPI provides a range of support for students with a view to ensuring your welfare and wellbeing. Support will be available via the Student Services office during business hours and a range of further information about community-based support services is available on the SPI website.  

Academic and learning support, includes learning support from academic staff, early intervention for students at risk and language, literacy and numeracy support.

Administrative support, including pre-enrolment information about student rights and obligations and a Student Orientation that includes information about student support services such as legal services, emergency and health services, our facilities and resources, the complaints and appeals processes student visa conditions, student safety, and assistance with enrolment, unit registration and your timetable.

Technology support includes providing all students with secure access to the internet and SPI network and learning systems via your student ID. You will be able to use your own laptop as a BYOD (bring your own device) arrangement or you can utilise computers available in the SPI computer lab. IT and software support for resources will be provided by the Institute.

Personal support includes counselling for non-academic matters, health issues and welfare and wellbeing support. SPI will set up arrangements with relevant specialised counselling services for our students to access their services.

Disability support includes making reasonable adjustments to assessment or teaching for students with a disability and ensuring that our facilities and online resources are compliant with all disability access and requirements.

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students includes pastoral care and advocacy support and tuition services via the Government’s ITAS (Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme).  Also see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy for additional information.

Professional support includes career development consultation (including resume-writing and consultation services.

10.2 Other Welfare and Wellbeing Support for Students

The Institute provides the opportunity for you to access welfare and wellbeing-related support services to assist with issues that may arise during your study. These services are provided at no cost to the student. If SPI refers you to an external support service, SPI will not charge for the referral.

SPI has Student Support Officers who will provide initial counselling and support services to all students. This assistance can relate to difficulties in any aspect of your life including issues of an academic or personal nature.

Students will have access to the Student Representative of the Academic Board who has several responsibilities including: Listening to student views and concerns, and actively representing them in an objective manner. Providing independent support, advice, and advocacy to students. Maintaining confidentiality and independence when representing students. Clarifying and explaining SPI’s Policies and Procedures to students. Raising student concerns with the SPI Academic Board and Governing Council.

11. Grading System

During each unit of study, you will be provided with an evaluation of your individual performance with reference to the criteria for each assessment task, in accordance with the following guidelines:

Grade Descriptions
High Distinction 85% – 100% Excellent Achievement. Complete and comprehensive understanding of the unit content; development of relevant skills to an outstanding level; demonstration of an extremely high level of interpretive and analytical ability and intellectual initiative; and excellent achievement of all major and minor. objectives of the unit.
Distinction 75% – 84% High level of achievement and understanding. The student exhibits a high level of competence.
Credit 65% – 74% Sound achievement. The student has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the unit content and objectives. The student is competent in the processes and skills of the course.
Pass 50% – 64% The student has an adequate understanding of most of the basic unit content and objectives. However, some minor objectives not achieved.
Fail 0 – 49% Limited achievement in the unit. The student has an inadequate level of competence.
Threshold Fail 0 – 49% The student has failed the unit as a result of failing a required threshold assessment activity.
Withdraw Without Failure Code: WW Cancelled enrolment in the unit after the Census Date, deemed without failure due to special consideration. 

12. Academic Intergrity

Please consult the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure for more information and detail.

All students have responsibilities in relation to Academic Integrity. You must familiarise yourself with SPI’s Academic Integrity Policy and undertake Academic Integrity education as required by SPI.

Academic misconduct is behaviour that intentionally or unintentionally infringes the values
and/or principles of Academic Integrity. Academic misconduct includes both unintentional misconduct and academic dishonesty.
Unintentional misconduct includes but is not limited to unintentional plagiarism.

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to negligent plagiarism; dishonest plagiarism;
recycling, collusion; contract cheating; falsification and/or fabrication of data or other information or
sources;
cheating in examinations and bribery.

Irrespective of whether an intention to deceive can be established, any matter of potential misconduct must still
be handled in accordance with the procedures specified in the policy. It is important that you make yourself familiar with the policy.

Plagiarism means presenting another person’s work for assessment or publication as your own work
without appropriate acknowledgement of the source. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable in academic work,
irrespective
of whether it is intentional or not.

Plagiarism includes presenting phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, or longer extracts from published or
unpublished
work without appropriate acknowledgement of the source, or the work of another person, without appropriate
acknowledgement of the source.

Plagiarism may be:

  • Dishonest: where you have knowingly committed plagiarism with the intent to present others’ work as your own and/or attempted to deceive those reviewing your work.
  • Negligent: where you have unknowingly committed plagiarism through a lack of understanding of acceptable practice, arising from your negligence in developing this understanding.
  • Unintentional: where you have unknowingly committed plagiarism through a lack of understanding, and where this lack cannot be attributed to your negligence.

Examination cheating is another form of Academic Dishonesty. It includes, but is not limited to; communicating, by any means, with another candidate during an examination, except where this is permitted; attempting to read another student’s work during an examination; writing an examination paper, or consulting with another person about the examination, outside the confines of the examination room without permission; copying from another student during an examination; inappropriately using an electronic device to access information during an examination and bringing into an examination or other assessment forbidden material or devices;

Process for determining an allegation of Academic Misconduct
A staff member will report a potential case of Academic Misconduct to the Course Coordinator. You will be notified in writing of any potential allegation and have the opportunity to meet with your Course Coordinator to discuss the situation. The Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure outline the steps that will be taken to determine the case.

Penalties for Academic Misconduct
When a case of Academic Misconduct is confirmed, the Registrar will determine the penalty based on the schedule approved by the Academic Board.
Where the appropriate penalty is not defined in the schedule of penalties then the Registrar will determine an appropriate penalty consistent with those in the schedule. This penalty shall then be proposed to the Academic Board for ratification and addition to the schedule of penalties.

13. Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Please consult the Academic Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy for details.

When you apply to enter a SPI course, you can indicate if you are seeking Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) on the Application Form. An initial RPL assessment will be conducted by the Academic Dean and the outcome of this assessment will be included in your Offer Letter. If you are an international student applying for RPL after your admission to SPI, note that this may have an impact on the time duration specified in your Confirmation of Enrolment resulting in the need for it to be adjusted in accordance with TEQSA, CRICOS and any other relevant requirements. Note that no RPL will be granted for prior learning that was completed more than 5 years from the time of your initial enrolment.

14. Legislative and Regulatory Obligations

All SPI students should familiarise themselves with the Institute’s rules, policies, and procedures in relation to their course of study and expectations of conduct. The rights and obligations of international students as stipulated by the Australian Government are outlined by the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. Prior to enrolment, please consult the International Students Factsheet.

ESOS refers to a legislative framework provided by the Australian Department of Education and sets out the regulations for the education and training sector when working with international or overseas students in Australia. This framework and the legislation under it protect the interests of international students through tuition and financial assurance, such as the Tuition Protection Service (TPS). Additionally, this framework creates rights, processes, and provisions for overseas students to submit complaints and appeals in relevant circumstances. Students are also covered by Australian Consumer Law. Further information can be found on the ESOS website.

15. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

Please consult the Health and Safety policy for more information.

SPI will ensure that its premises and processes meet the Australian Occupational Health and Safety guidelines. Staff and students must take all practicable steps to ensure their own safety while at the SPI premises. By providing a safe and supportive environment in which to work and study, Sydney Polytechnic Institute meets its duty of care to staff, students, and visitors.

First Aid officers and facilities will be in place for the immediate treatment of any illness or injury that might occur on the premises.

SPI will provide students, staff and affiliates with sufficient Health and Safety training modules and each staff, student or affiliate must complete the training within a designated time frame. Additional localised face-to-face training may be required for staff and affiliates in relation to specific information requirements for their job or work area.

SPI is a smoke-free environment. There are no assigned smoking areas within the Institute.

Where students, staff or affiliates refuse to abide by the SPI’s emergency and evacuation procedures this will be regarded as misbehaviour and subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Staff and Affiliates Code of Conduct and the Student Code of Conduct.

16. Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure

Please consult the Student Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure for more detailed information.

The SPI Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy is intended to provide you with a transparent framework by which you may submit complaints or grievances and understand the process to have them resolved. You have the opportunity to consult confidentially with support staff or an adviser of your choosing.

A Complaint is an expression of discontent that arises out of an act, decision or omission which the complainant considers inappropriate and is handled under this policy.

A Grievance is a conflict that arises out of an act, decision or omission which the grievan considers unjust, wrongful or discriminatory and is handled under this policy.

Complaints can be made formally or informally whereas a Grievance is more commonly dealt with as a formal process. In some circumstances where the issue cannot be resolved internally, an independent external arbiter may be engaged. Note that there is no charge to the student for the first engagement with an external independent arbiter. A range of external review bodies is included in the policy document.

17. Student Rights and Responsibilities

Please consult the Student Code of Conduct for more detailed information.
17.1 Students at SPI must understand their Responsibilities
  • You must read, understand and conform to SPI policies and procedures associated with expectations of conduct, and should familiarise yourself with relevant policies when commencing your studies.
  • You shall work to the best of your ability and make genuine attempts to progress successfully through your course of study by fulfilling the course
  • You are encouraged to seek assistance from SPI staff where required.
  • You must act with integrity in regard to your studies and towards staff and each other. Please reference the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure.
  • You must treat all students and staff with courtesy and respect.
  • You must respect SPI’s facilities, property and support services as a shared resource, please see the Access and Usage of Resources Policy.
  • You shall take reasonable steps to address your personal safety and wellbeing, as well as secure your personal property while on the SPI
  • You should inform SPI where reasonable adjustments may be needed due to a disability or health condition that could impact your ability to participate in activities, including the emergency drill and Work Integrated Learning activities.
17.2 Students Rights

Students at SPI have rights afforded to them by the Institute and their peers in
order to protect their best interests. Students can expect the following at SPI:

  • To be treated with respect and courtesy.
  • To be free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment.
  • To study in a safe and supportive learning environment.
  • To have access to mechanisms for the appropriate resolution of complaints and/or grievances.
  • To be able to seek support services.
  • To receive quality education and opportunities as outlined in your Certificate of Enrolment and
    Letter of Offer and in accordance with Australian laws and standards.
  • To have your privacy protected in accordance with the relevant SPI policy and Australian law.
  • To have reasonable access to the necessary information in relation to assessment, including all
    assessment tasks with rubrics and feedback on assessment tasks, in line with Student Assessment Policy and Procedure.
17.3 Student Non-Academic Misconduct

Please consult the Non-Academic Misconduct Policy and Procedure for more information.

Non-Academic Misconduct means all forms of misconduct that are not covered by the definition of Academic Misconduct. This can include a range of behaviour that contravenes the provisions of a number of SPI policies such as Access and Usage of Resources Policy; Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Policy; Student Code of Conduct; Conflict of Interest Policy; Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure; Records and Information Management Policy; Health and Safety Policy; and Student Support Policy.

Non-Academic Misconduct can be categorised as non-serious and serious and the procedure for responding to, investigating and determining an allegation of non-academic misconduct is outlined in the policy document.

A range of penalties can be imposed based on the findings. Penalties for a finding of non-serious non-academic misconduct can include a reprimand or a warning, a formal apology or payment of costs or damages. Penalties for serious non-academic misconduct may include suspension from the Institute and payment of damages. You have a right to lodge an appeal with this process governed by the Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedure.

18. Visa Conditions

International students must adhere to certain guidelines, and it is critical for students to be aware of their visa conditions. International students must ensure that their student visa is valid prior to the commencement date for the Letter of Offer to be valid.


In some instances, SPI is required to notify the Department of Home Affairs if there are violations of student visa restrictions. You should familiarise yourself with the relevant requirements by visiting the Department of Home Affairs website.


To ensure the appropriate and smooth transition into SPI, you must:

  • Within seven days of arrival in Australia, advise SPI of your current Australian address and contact details. You must inform SPI within five working days of any change of address or contact details.
  • Maintain adequate Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) throughout the term of your student visa.
  • Continue to be enrolled in a full-time educational programme (8 units per year) and attend classes in accordance with the Student Admissions and Enrolment Policy and Student Assessment Policy and Procedure.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • International Students are allowed to work for a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during teaching sessions.

19. Support Services Resources

The Sydney Polytechnic Institute offers a variety of student support services to help students with academic, personal, financial or technological matters. Additionally, SPI has provided the contact details of external support services below. For information regarding who to contact, please consult this Student Handbook or talk to a staff member at the SPI campus. If you are unsure about which staff member to contact, please consult the front desk and/or reception first.

19.1 Internal
Student Services [Insert contact details]
Registrar [Insert contact details]
Student Counsellor [Insert contact details]
Academic Dean [Insert contact details]
Course Coordinator [Insert contact details]
ICT Staff [Insert contact details]
Librarian [Insert contact details]
19.2. External
24 Hour Emergency Contacts
  • NSW Emergency (Police/Medical/Fire) Number: 000
  • Rape and Crisis Centre: 1800 424 017
  • Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000

Drug and Alcohol Counselling
  • Alcoholics Anonymous NSW (24 hours): 02 9799 1199
  • Family Drug Support: 02 4782 9222 or 1300 368 186

Victims of Crime Support
  • 24-hour information, support and referrals: 02 9374 3000
  • Interpreting Services: 131 450

Mental Health Service
  • NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  • Lifeline: 131 114

Rape Domestic Violence
  • NSW Rape Crisis: 1800 424 017
  • Sexual Assault Counselling Australia: 1800 211 028
  • Domestic Violence Impact Line: 1800 943 539

NSW International Student Legal Service [Free]
Cultural Support Services
  • Anti-Discrimination NSW: 1800 670 812

Aboriginal Legal Service
  • For police and court matters: 1800 765 767
  • For care, protection and family matters: 1800 733 233

20. Living in Sydney

(Sydney) Bank Account and Money Matters

On George Street in Sydney, all major banks have a branch. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available in most retail malls.

Shopping

World Square Shopping Centre and Broadway Shopping Centre are the closest shopping malls. There are numerous convenience stores within walking distance of the institute’s Sydney campus.

Medical Centre

The institute aims to provide the opportunity for students to access welfare-related support services to assist with issues that may arise during their study. Students can consult the GP if assistance is needed.
Sydney Medical Centre
580 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: 9261 9261

Safety

Sydney is a safe location to live in general. However, you must be cautious of potential dangers and risks while travelling around the city, avoiding lonely or gloomy places, especially at night – walk with a friend or stay with a crowd, avoid empty train carriages, and take an aisle seat.

Mailing Services

In Sydney, at the crossroads of George and Market Streets, and in Alexandria, at the corner of Henderson and Mitchell Roads, there is a local post office.

Driving in Australia

Overseas students are allowed to drive with their home country’s driver’s licence. Students from other countries can also take the driver’s licence test to gain an Australian driver’s licence. The Roads and Traffic Authority of Sydney, NSW, has a traffic rule guide available. The RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority) can be reached at 13 22 13.

Transport in Sydney

Sydney’s primary modes of transportation are cars, buses, trains, and ferries. TripView App can be downloaded on the phone, which displays the Sydney public transport timetable data. The websites listed below may be of assistance to you.


Accommodation in Sydney

There is a range of accommodation options available to students in Sydney. These include living in a shared house arrangement, often with other students, living in purpose built student accommodation or renting or purchasing your own property.

Student accommodation options throughout the city and close to the SPI campus include:

Iglu Student Accommodation – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane

Student Accommodation & Housing Sydney | Scape

International Student Accommodation & Housing | BelongHere

Urbanest Sydney Central Student Accommodation | Unilodgers

Book Student Accommodation in Sydney | Student.com

Shared accommodation sites such as these can be used to find share house accommodation.

Find share accommodation in Sydney on Flatmates.com.au | Flatmates.com.au

The following sites can be used to locate your own rental accommodation or property.

Domain.com.au | Real Estate & Properties For Sale & Rent

Search for Real Estate, Property & Homes – realestate.com.au


For further assistance please contact our Student Support Officers.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Sydney is estimated based on your lifestyle. Rent, food, and eating out account for between A$325 to $720 per week for the average international student in Australia.

Depending on the course you choose to study, where you reside, and your lifestyle, your cost of living will vary.

Culture and Commerce

Cultural diversity defines Sydney’s way of life, people from over 180 nations speak 140 languages; Sydney’s present population is over 5 million. As a result, Sydney residents have access to a diverse selection of ethnic cuisine, clubs and festivals, films and theatres, Aboriginal arts and culture, museums, and music venues. Sydney is a popular shopping destination as well as a big city. For further information about Sydney’s wide range of culture and entertainment, you can visit the NSW tourism board website at: www.sydney.com/.

Climate

Sub-tropical is the best way to define Sydney. Sydney, unlike the rest of Australia, never gets too hot or cold. Winters are pleasant and summers are hot. great source of information for international students is the Insider Guides Website: https://insiderguides.com.au

For further details in regard to living in Australia, you can find the relevant information via https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au/english/live-in-australia.

Disclaimer: All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information provided in this document is accurate at the time of publication. SPI reserves the right to change or remove information. Created August 2021.