Deferral, Suspension and Cancellation of Student’s Enrolment Deferral, Suspension and Cancellation of Student’s Enrolment Policy and Procedure | Gold Coast Learning Centre


GCLC supports ‘Standard 13 – Deferring, Suspending or Cancelling the Student’s Enrolment’ of the ‘National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities & Providers of Education & Training to Overseas Students 2007’ which states: ‘Registered providers may only enable students to defer or temporarily suspend their studies, including granting a leave of absence, during the course through formal agreement in certain limited circumstances.”


The purpose of this procedure is to define the system used to manage student initiated and provider-initiated deferral of commencement, suspension of studies and cancellation of enrolment.

Requirements (policy)


To defer or suspend enrolment means to temporarily put studies on hold (adjourn, delay, postpone). Providers do this by notifying the Department of Education and the Department of Home Affairs through Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) of the deferment or suspension of enrolment.

A student may request a temporary deferment or suspension to his or her enrolment on the grounds of compassionate or compelling circumstances. A provider may also initiate suspension of a student’s enrolment due to misbehaviour of the student.

It is important to note the meanings of the terms for this context – suspension of enrolment is not necessarily due to misbehaviour – suspension of enrolment may also be initiated by the student.


  1. The decision to defer commencement of studies, suspend studies or cancel enrolment will be made by the Manager. In making this decision the Manager may consult with other staff in GCLC. The Manager will be responsible for initiating any action required under this procedure including notification on PRISMS.

  2. All documents relating to a decision to defer, suspend or cancel a student enrolment must be placed on the students file including copies of warning letters and documentation explaining how the application was assessed and the decision made by GCLC and the evidence provided to support the decision

  3. Students wishing to defer the commencement of studies, suspend their studies or cancel their enrolment must apply to do so in writing to GCLC. This can be done using the student deferral suspension or cancellation application form available from GCLC or by email, or post.

  4. GCLC may decide to accept an application from a student for deferral of commencement or suspension of study on the compelling or compassionate grounds. Judgement has to be exercised in determining what compassionate or compelling grounds are and documentation of the details and evidence must be retained in the student’s file. As a guide some examples of compelling or compassionate grounds are:

    • serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the student was unable to attend classes;

    • bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (Where possible a death certificate should be provided);

    • major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel and this has impacted on the student’s studies; or

    • a traumatic experience which has impacted on the student (these cases should be supported by police or psychologists’ reports) which could include:

      • involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident; or
      • witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime,
    • where GCLC is unable to offer a pre-requisite unit; or

    • where there is an inability to begin studying on the course commencement date due to delay in receiving a student visa

  5. If a student requests cancellation of their enrolment the refund arrangements in the Written Agreement between GCLC and the student will be triggered. Students who cancel their enrolment and think they are due for a refund must also apply for a refund according to the provisions in the Written Agreement.

  6. GCLC may decide to suspend or cancel a student’s enrolment on its own initiative as a response non-commencement of a course or to misbehaviour by the student. Student misbehaviour will be deemed to have occurred if the student breaches the requirements of the Student Code of conduct as defined in the Student Behaviour policy and procedure.

  7. Students must be informed in writing that deferral of commencement, suspension of enrolment and cancellation of enrolment has to be reported to the Department of Education and the Department of Home Affairs via PRISMS and may affect the status of their student visa. This will be done using the deferral, suspension or cancellation warning letter.

  8. If GCLC intends suspending or cancelling the student’s enrolment where it is not at the student’s request, the student must be informed they have 20 working days to appeal to GCLC. If the appeal is not upheld or the student withdraws from the appeal process then GCLC must report the student to the Department of Education and the Department of Home Affairs via PRISMS. The suspension or cancelling of the student’s enrolment cannot take effect until the appeal process is completed unless there are extenuating circumstances relating the student’s welfare. May include, but are not limited to the following. The student:

    • is missing
    • has medical concerns, severe depression or psychological issues which lead GCLC staff to fear for the student’s wellbeing;
    • has engaged or threatens to engage in behaviour that is reasonably believed to endanger the student or others; or
    • is at risk of committing a criminal offence.
    • Any claim of extenuating evidence needs to be supported by appropriate evidence.

  9. Student initiated deferral of commencement or suspension of enrolment cannot be granted retrospectively (after the event) or if it was taken by the student without authorisation.

  • If students have taken unauthorised leave then they will be recorded as absent and may have their enrolment suspended or cancelled. Suspension or cancellation is reported to the Department of Education and the Department of Home Affairs via PRISMS and may affect the status of a student’s visa.

  • If a student wishes to discontinue their studies are free to do so, but there is no obligation on the part of GCLC to reinstate to any student who has withdrawn. A student who has with drawn may reapply at a later date, subject to any relevant immigration restrictions that may apply. Any re-application will be considered through the normal application processes.

  • Where GCLC approves an application to defer commencement, suspend studies or cancel an enrolment or makes a decision to defer commencement, suspend studies or cancel an enrolment the Manager is responsible for notification of this on PRISMS and issuing the appropriate warning letter to students.

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