Higher Education Support Act 2003 - Amendment No. 1 to the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines 2013

Link to law: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013L01164

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Commonwealth of Australia
 
Higher Education Support Act 2003
 
Amendment No. 1 to the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines 2013
 
Amendments to Guidelines made pursuant to section 238-10 of the
Higher Education Support Act 2003
 
 
 
I, Sharon Bird, Minister for Higher Education and Skills, under section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, make the following amendments to the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines dated 7 December 2011 (F2011L02726) which were registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 16 December 2011 and commenced on 1 January 2012.
 
Dated:   24 June                                                                               2013
 
 
 
 
 
 
___________________________________________
SHARON BIRD
Minister for Higher Education and Skills
 
 
 
 
 
Commonwealth of Australia
 
Higher Education Support Act 2003
 
Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines
 
Amendment No. 1
 
 
1          Name of Instrument
 
This legislative instrument may be cited as Amendment No. 1 to the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines 2013.
 
2          Authority
 
This legislative instrument is made under section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
 
3          Commencement
 
This legislative instrument commences on 30 June 2013.
 
4          Amendment
 
This legislative instrument amends the Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines dated 7 December 2011 (F2011L02726) which were registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 16 December 2011 and commenced on commenced on 1 January 2012.
PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislative instrument is to make the following technical amendments to the Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines (Representation Guidelines) in accordance with the Representation Guidelines Review Panel’s recommendations that these technical amendments correct inconsistencies identified following the implementation of the Representation Guidelines.
The Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines are amended as follows:
ITEM 1
After paragraph 2.1.1, insert the following:
2.1.2   The National Access to Services Benchmarks outline the requirements of a HEP to provide certain services to students enrolled at the HEP.  Noting the different circumstances of HEPs and the students enrolled at the HEP, the Benchmarks are intended to set a minimum standard and do not preclude HEPs from offering a broader range of services as appropriate to the needs of students enrolled at the HEP.
ITEM 2
Omit and substitute paragraph 2.2.1 with:
2.2.1   HEPs must provide an orientation program and orientation information for all students enrolled at the HEP.
a)         An orientation program and information should be accessible to all students enrolled at the HEP, allowing for those enrolling at different entry points. The orientation program should be designed to assist students to transition to study. It should enable them to become familiar with the HEP, the campuses, and the available support services, including in relation to safety. As part of this orientation program, students should be provided with information about the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), the services it enables, and how they can access those services.
b)         An orientation program may provide relevant information to students enrolled at the HEP in a number of ways. This might be in written or oral form, or by electronic means such as via the HEP’s website, email, SMS broadcasts or pod casts.
 
ITEM 3
Omit and substitute paragraph 2.2.2 with:
2.2.2   HEPs must ensure that all students enrolled at the HEP are provided with information on how to access:
a)         Health services
These will include medical and emergency health services, mental health services and health-related counselling. HEPs must not charge students for the referral if making a referral to an external provider.
b)         Welfare services
These will include services to assist with accommodation, financial matters, legal concerns and employment. HEPs must not charge students for the referral if making a referral to an external provider.
c)         Advocacy services
These will include independent provision of information, advocacy and referral services for all students enrolled at the HEP across a range of academic, procedural and administrative issues. These include, but are not limited to, issues relating to equity, discrimination, harassment, grievances, complaints, disputes, exclusion, discipline and misconduct, supervision, and unsatisfactory progress. HEPS must not charge students for access to advocacy services.
d)         Career Services
These will include, but are not limited to, services to assist students to develop their Curriculum Vitae and/or Resume, interview skills, and career management skills; to search for jobs, graduate programs, vacation work and work experience.
Information may be provided to students about these services in a number of ways. This might be in written or oral form, or by electronic means such as via the HEP’s website, email, SMS broadcasts or pod casts.
ITEM 4
Omit and substitute paragraph 2.2.3 with:
2.2.3   HEPs must ensure that where they provide health, welfare, advocacy or career services directly to students enrolled at the HEP, trained and qualified staff are engaged to meet the needs of students enrolled at the HEP. Where these services are provided by a third party engaged by the HEP, the HEP must ensure that the third party engages trained and qualified staff to meet the needs of students enrolled at the HEP.
ITEM 5
Omit and substitute paragraph 2.2.4 with:
2.2.4   HEPs must ensure students enrolled at the HEP have access to advocacy officers for services set out in clause 2.2.2 (c). Advocacy officers should act in the best interest of students and be independent from the HEP’s decision-makers and other staff who administer the HEP’s academic and procedural rules and regulations. Advocacy officers must avoid potential or actual conflicts of interest in carrying out their duties.
ITEM 6
Omit and substitute paragraph 2.2.5 with:
2.2.5   HEPs must consider the varying and differing circumstances of students enrolled at the HEP in determining what would be a reasonable and appropriate level of support at a particular campus. HEPs should consider factors including, but not limited to, the composition of the student cohort with regard to undergraduate students, postgraduate students, international students, part-time students and distance education/on-line students, course delivery mode and the campus location.
ITEM 7
After paragraph 3.1.1, insert the following:
3.1.2   Student engagement underpins quality teaching and learning. HEPs should support student engagement and representation through the provision of clear consultative arrangements, including with student representatives and major student organisations recognised by the HEP where appropriate. 
3.1.3   These Guidelines do not preclude student representatives at a HEP forming an organisation that represents students enrolled at the HEP.
ITEM 8
Omit and substitute paragraph 3.2.1 with:
3.2.1   HEPs must establish and maintain a clearly defined and effective process by which students enrolled at the HEP are consulted that is reviewed and approved annually by the governing body of that HEP after being made available to the students enrolled at the HEP for comment.
 
ITEM 9
Omit and substitute paragraph 3.2.2 with:
3.2.2   a) HEPs must advise students enrolled at the HEP of avenues available for students to be involved in decision making processes generally, including by publishing the details of the consultation mechanisms on their website and in their annual report.  These mechanisms must include consultation with democratically elected student representatives.
b) HEPs must consult with students enrolled at the HEP regarding the specific uses of proceeds from any compulsory SSAF, as outlined in Clause 3.2.5 below.
ITEM 10
Omit and substitute paragraph 3.2.3 with:
3.2.3   a) Many HEPs currently recognise independent student organisations that have student representatives who are democratically elected by students enrolled at the HEP. Where such organisations exist, students in relevant elected positions should be included in the HEP’s normal consultative arrangements.  Students in these positions may also be consulted in meeting the requirements of Clause 3.2.2 (a) and (b), provided they are representative of the composition of students enrolled at the HEP.
b) Many HEPs already have, in their establishing legislation, provision for democratically elected student representation on governing and related bodies. Where they exist, students in relevant positions may be consulted in meeting the requirements of Clause 3.2.2 (a), provided they are representative of the composition of students enrolled at the HEP. Students in these positions may also be consulted in meeting the requirements of Clause 3.2.2 (b), provided that their election envisaged this role.
c) Where 3.2.3 (a) or (b) are not the case, HEPs must provide for student representatives to be democratically elected for the purposes of meeting the requirements of clause 3.2.2 (b) with at least one representative elected from, but not limited to, the following categories:
                      i.        students enrolled in an *undergraduate course of study;
                    ii.        students enrolled in a *postgraduate course of study; and
                              iii.            *overseas students*.
d) HEPs may use additional mechanisms for student consultation as appropriate.
 
ITEM 11
Omit and substitute paragraph 3.2.4 with:
3.2.4   a) In meeting the obligation under Clauses 3.2.3 b) or c), a HEP is to meet the necessary and reasonable costs of conducting democratic, valid and transparent polls.
b) In meeting the obligation under Clauses 3.2.3 b) or c), a HEP must provide adequate and reasonable support, resources and infrastructure for democratically elected student representatives to carry out their functions on behalf of students enrolled at the HEP. Resources and infrastructure might, for example, include office space and IT equipment.
c) A HEP may also provide support for other student representatives elected as part of their approved consultation mechanisms.
ITEM 12
Omit and substitute paragraph 3.2.5 with:
3.2.5   In relation to decisions regarding the specific uses of the proceeds from any compulsory SSAF, HEPs must establish and maintain a clearly defined and effective process by which students enrolled at the HEP are consulted that is reviewed and approved annually by the governing body of the HEP.
a)         Consultation must be undertaken through a formal process of engagement with the democratically elected student representatives identified in clause 3.2.3, and/or where appropriate representatives of major student organisations recognised by the HEP.
            b)         Consultation must be timely, form part of the HEP’s annual financial planning, and must include notifying students enrolled at the HEP and democratically elected student representatives referred to above of:
                        i. the purpose of the SSAF;
ii. the amount of revenue anticipated;
iii. the mechanisms to establish priorities for expenditure; and
iv. the timing and mechanism available to comment on the proposed priorities.
c)         Once consultation has been undertaken, and the HEP has determined through consultation how the revenue will be spent, information on the established priorities, proposed heads of expenditure and projects to be funded must be made publicly available to students enrolled at the HEP.
d)         At the completion of the annual budget cycle HEPs must provide a publicly available report on actual SSAF expenditure for the year.