Policy Academic Governance Withdrawal from Subjects without Financial and Academic Penalty

Withdrawal from Subjects without Financial and Academic Penalty

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This procedure supports the Student Special Circumstances Policy in providing students with an avenue to apply for a withdrawal from subjects after census date has passed without financial and academic penalty due to Special Circumstances.


This policy applies to students enrolled in coursework subjects at all JCU campuses including JCU Singapore and JCU Brisbane who meet the definition of Special Circumstances.

This procedure does not apply to:

  • students requiring ongoing reasonable adjustments unless there has been an unforeseen event or experience that has temporarily worsened a pre-existing condition; or
  • JCU students enrolled in subjects at other institutions; or
  • A commencing student as defined in the International Tuition Fee Payment and Refund Procedure


Except where otherwise indicated in this procedure, the definitions used in this procedure are found in the Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy or the Policy Glossary.


1. Application

1.1 Students must apply using the Withdrawal from Subjects without Financial and Academic Penalty Application form and provide supporting documentary evidence.

1.2 Supporting documentary evidence must:

1.2.1 be independent. Evidence signed by family members will not be accepted. A statutory declaration from the student may be accepted for compassionate or emergency grounds or unscheduled or unexpected events relating to religious or cultural consideration if no independent evidence exists.

1.2.2 identify the circumstances; and

1.2.3 include dates and / or the period of the circumstances that did not make their full impact until on or after census date; and

1.2.4 explain the severity and impact of the circumstances; and

1.2.5 describe how the circumstances have adversely affected the student’s capacity for effective study to which an assessment/examination relates; and

1.2.6 if relevant include the date(s) on which the student was seen by a professional providing evidence.

1.3 Where students are providing supporting documentation for medical or psychological reasons students should use the JCU Medical Certificate. If this certificate is not used or correctly completed, students may be asked to seek additional information from their medical professional.

1.4 Supporting documentation for medical or psychological reasons must have resulted from a face to face or online consultation with a medical practitioner.  Medical certificates where there has been no consultation (e.g., receiving a medical certificate based on a questionnaire a student has submitted) will not be accepted.

1.5 Students may be asked to provide original documents or to authenticate any documentary evidence provided as part of their application.

1.6 Students must apply within 12 months of the date of withdrawal from the subject, or if the subject is not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the study period in which the student was enrolled in the subject.

1.7 Late applications for Withdrawal from Subjects without Financial and Academic Penalty will only be accepted by the decision maker where the student can demonstrate with independent supporting evidence that Special Circumstances prevented the student from applying within the timeframe under Clause 1.4.

2. Application Assessment and Outcome

2.1 For students studying at campuses except Singapore the decision maker for all withdrawal without financial and academic penalty applications is the Manager, Student Finance.

2.2 For students studying at the Singapore campus the decision maker for:

2.2.1 withdrawal without financial penalty applications is the Student Finance team; and

2.2.2 withdrawal without academic penalty applications is the Academic Head.

2.3 The decision maker must base their assessment on the evidence available to determine if the Special Circumstances:

2.3.1 were beyond the student’s control to prevent or overcome, and unforeseen (i.e., unexpected, unusual or uncommon) and relevant to the student; and

2.3.2 occurs before or on census date but worsens after census or occurs after census date; and

2.3.3 made it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements for the subject during the study period in which the student undertook, or was to undertake, the subject including that it was not possible for the student to meet the subject requirements by accessing the adjustments available through the Special Consideration Procedure..

2.4 Decision makers may seek further information on the student’s progress being compulsory attendance, submission of assessments and participation in examinations in the affected subjects, from Subject Coordinators or other academic or professional staff associated with the administration of the subject.:

2.5 Decision makers must record any decisions in the University’s record management system.

2.6 Within 40 University working days of the receipt of the application the student will be notified in writing:

2.6.1 of the decision and the reasons for the decision; and

2.6.2 the student’s right for a review of the decision if the student is not satisfied with the outcome.

2.7 Outcomes will be sent to the student’s JCU email address.

2.8 If approved, the University will make arrangement for any re-credit of tuition fees (including refunds where requested) and/or removal of HELP debt.

Related policy instruments

Student Special Circumstances Policy

Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy

Learning Teaching and Assessment Procedures

Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy

Domestic Fee Payments and Refunds Procedure

International Tuition Fee Payments and Refunds Procedure

Charter of Responsibilities for Academic Quality and Governance


Appendix 1 Special Circumstances Supporting Documentation

Related documents and legislation

Higher Education Support Act 2003

Disability Discrimination Act – Education Standards 2005

Human Rights Act (Qld) 2020

Information Privacy Act (2009)


NOTE:  Printed copies of this Procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Domain

Student Matters

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Procedure established

Deputy Director, Student Services


financial penalty, academic penalty

Contact person

Deputy Director, Student Services