Policy Welfare and Support Arrangements for Under 18 International Students Procedure

Welfare and Support Arrangements for Under 18 International Students Procedure


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Intent

This procedure establishes the principles which must be applied in relation to an international student who will be or is under 18 years of age while enrolled in any course at the University, in accordance with the requirements of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, Standard 5.

Scope

This procedure applies to international students studying at James Cook University’s Townsville and Cairns campuses on a student visa who are under 18.

Definitions

Except as otherwise specified in this Procedure or the Child Safety Policy, the meaning of terms used are as per the Policy Glossary.

Approved Accommodation Provider

means an accommodation provider with which the University has an agreement in respect of the accommodation of Under 18 Students. In Townsville, this is the Australian Homestay Network, and in Cairns, the Cairns Student Lodge

Under 18 Student

means an international student studying on a student visa who is under the age of 18 when they enrolled in their University course

Welfare Period

means the period for which the University accepts responsibility for approving welfare, support and accommodation arrangements and as advised to the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in accordance with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code)

Procedure

Admission of Under 18 Students

1.   The University will only admit an Under 18 Student to a course provided the Under 18 Student has accepted an Offer under the Admissions Policy and has arrangements in place for their welfare, support and accommodation as set out in this Procedure.

2.   An Under 18 Student must, until they turn 18, reside:

(a)  with their parent or legal guardian;

(b)  with a suitable relative nominated by the parent or legal guardian who satisfies the requirements of the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs (DHA); or

(c)   with an Approved Accommodation Provider under a suitable welfare and accommodation arrangement approved by the University in accordance with this Procedure.

University approval of welfare and accommodation arrangements

3.   The University will only accept responsibility for approving the welfare, support and accommodation arrangements of Under 18 Students where:

(a)  an Under 18 Student applies to the University to accept responsibility for approval of welfare, support and accommodation arrangements;

(b)  an Under 18 Student’s parent or legal guardian has agreed in writing to the University accepting responsibility for approving the welfare, support and accommodation arrangements for the students; and

(c)   the Under 18 Student lives with an Approved Accommodation Provider until they turn 18, and does not change accommodation unless they first obtain written agreement from their parent or legal guardian and the University.

4.   The University will only approve welfare support and accommodation arrangements that comply with the requirements of Standard 5 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code).

5.   The University will not enrol an Under 18 student who has welfare arrangements approved by another registered provider unless appropriate alternative arrangements are made in respect of the Under 18 Student which comply with this Procedure.

6.   Where the University has accepted responsibility for approving welfare, support and accommodation arrangements for the Welfare Period, obligations as part of that acceptance will only cease if:

(a) the Under 18 Student transfers to another education provider and that provider takes over responsibility for approving the student’s welfare, support and accommodation arrangements;

(b) the Under 18 Student leaves Australia;

(c) other suitable arrangements are made that satisfy the Australian Migration Regulations (such as residing with a parent); or

(d) the University notifies DHA that it can no longer approve the Under 18 Student’s arrangements, in accordance with this Procedure.

7.   The University will continue to monitor the suitability of welfare, support and accommodation arrangements for Under 18 Students whose enrolment has been terminated, suspended or cancelled until:

(a) the Under 18 Student has alternative welfare arrangement approved by another registered provider;

(b) the Under 18 Student leaves Australia;

(c) other suitable arrangements are made that satisfy the Australian Migration Regulations (such as residing with a parent); or

(d) the University notifies DHA under clause 5 that is no longer is able to approve the Under 18 Student’s welfare arrangements or that it has taken the required action after not being able to contact the Under 18 Student.

Approved Accommodation Providers

8.   The University will only approve an accommodation provider under this Procedure if it is satisfied that the provider meets the minimum requirements set out in Schedule 1. The Manager, International Student Support will assess potential accommodation providers having regard to the matters in the Schedule, and will identify appropriate providers for approval by the Pro Vice-Chancellor International.

9.   The University will monitor the suitability of all Approved Accommodation Providers at least every six months. Monitoring will include, but is not limited to:

(a) liaising regularly with Approved Accommodation Providers,

(b) visiting accommodations no less than twice a year,

(c) meeting homestay hosts where the accommodation comprises a homestay arrangement, and

(d) seeking regular feedback from students including during fortnightly meetings between University staff and the student.

10.  The University will ensure that any adults involved in or providing accommodation and welfare arrangements to Under 18 Students have Working With Children checks (Blue Cards).

11.  The University will monitor the suitability of an Under 18 Student’s accommodation prior to their initial placement of the student in that accommodation, and at least every six months thereafter to ensure that the accommodation remains appropriate having regard to the Under 18 Student’s age and needs.  Monitoring will include visits to the relevant homestay or Cairns Student Lodge and meeting host families at least every six months.

Accommodation Agreements

12.  If an Under 18 Student requires the University to approve their welfare, accommodation and support arrangements, the Under 18 Student and their parent or legal guardian must enter into and provide the University with a copy of a binding agreement with an Approved Accommodation Provider.

13.  The agreement must, at a minimum, require the Under 18 Student to continue living in the approved accommodation until they turn 18, unless alternative accommodation is approved in writing by the University and a parent or legal guardian and contain an acknowledgement that the University is:

(a) not responsible for any fees or charges associated with the accommodation;

(b) not legally responsible for any acts by the Under 18 Student while in Australia; and

(c) entitled to withdraw approval for the accommodation if the student is found to have breached these terms.

14.  The University will maintain up to date records of the Under 18 Student’s contact details as required by Standard 5 of the National Code.

Welfare of Under 18 Students

15.  For Under 18 Student’s that the University takes welfare responsibility for, International Student Support staff will:

(a) meet all Under 18 students within 48 hours of their arrival and, if necessary, meet the students at the airport;

(b) maintain regular personal contact with Under 18 Students including speaking with them at least fortnightly;

(c) ensure that Under 18 Students have and know how to use 24/7 telephone emergency advice and assistance contacts;

(d) provide an age appropriate orientation to Under 18 Students as required by Standard 6 of the National Code;

(e) provide all ongoing assistance as the Under 18 Student may require from time to time including in relation to personal or welfare matters; and

(f) report to the Under 18 Student’s parents or legal guardians within 30 days of the Under 18 Student’s arrival outlining, as a minimum, an overview of the Under 18 Student’s accommodation and contact details for emergency matters (both at the University and at the Approved Accommodation Provider).

16.  The University will take all reasonable steps to ensure that any grievance or complaint raised by an Under 18 Student in relation to their Approved Accommodation Provider is resolved expeditiously and having regard to the best interests of the Under 18 Student. Other obligations for notifications under the Child Safety Policy may be required.

Withdrawal of University Approval

17.  The University will use all reasonable efforts to assist an Under 18 Student to maintain appropriate accommodation, support and welfare arrangements.

18.  The University’s approval of welfare, support and accommodation arrangements will be withdrawn if:

(a) the Under 18 Student refuses to remain in University approved accommodation; or

(b) the Under 18 Student’s living arrangements are no longer approved by the University.

19.  The Manager, International Student Support will make the decision whether or not to withdraw the University’s approval.

20.  The University will notify the Under 18 Student in writing (emailed to their my.jcu email address) of its intention to withdraw its approval of their accommodation arrangements. A copy of the notice will be provided to the Under 18 Student’s parent or legal guardian. The University will make all reasonable efforts to provide such notification to the Under 18 Student’s parents or legal guardian immediately.

21.  The Under 18 Student will have 20 working days to appeal the decision to withdraw approval. An appeal must be lodged in writing addressed to jcicompliance@jcu.edu.au and setting out the reasons why the University should not withdraw its approval. The appeal will be determined by the Pro Vice-Chancellor International as soon as practicable, and in any event, within 10 working days.

22.  If the Under 18 Student does not appeal or the appeal is unsuccessful, the University will notify DHA via PRISMS that it no longer approves the student’s welfare, support and accommodation arrangements within 24 hours.

23.  The University’s obligations under this procedure remain in place until internal appeal rights are exhausted/finalised.

Other Reporting obligations

24.  Where the University takes on the responsibility of approving of welfare, support and accommodation arrangements it will nominate the dates for which it accepts that responsibility and advise DHA via the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS). The University will issue the Under 18 Student a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare letter to be lodged with their visa application. The Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare letter will be issued by International Student Support.

25.  Where the University is unable to contact an Under 18 Student and has concerns for their welfare, it will make all reasonable efforts to locate the Under 18 Student, including notifying Police and any other government agencies as soon as possible, and implement the University’s incident management procedures.

Confidentiality and Record Keeping

26.  Staff, students and affiliates must respect confidentiality and comply with JCU’s Information Privacy Policy when dealing with private and confidential information regarding Under 18 International Student’s welfare and living arrangements. Only the staff directly involved in the management of Under 18 student and responsible for meeting the reporting obligations are to be involved in any discussion involving the student’s welfare arrangements.

Related policy instruments

Admissions Policy

Child Safety Policy

Child Safety and Child Abuse Response and Reporting procedure

Working with Children Check (Blue Card) procedure

Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure for Staff and Affiliates

Code of Conduct

Explanatory Statement to the Code of Conduct

James Cook University Enterprise Agreement (staff only)

Student Code of Conduct

Student General Misconduct Procedures

Academic Misconduct Procedures

Related documents and legislation

Child Protection Act (Qld) 1999

Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018Standard 5: Younger Overseas Students

AHRC National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018, Chapter 4.2: Children and Young People

Schedules/Appendices

  1. Minimum Standards for Accommodation Providers

Administration

Approval Details

Procedure sponsor:

Vice Chancellor

Version no:

19-1

Date for next review:

27/09/2022

Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Procedure Author

19-1

27/09/2019

01/10/2019

New procedure

Julianne Cox

Keywords

International student, child, children, under age, under 18, welfare, support, National Code of Practice