Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Guides & Guidelines as made
This instrument revokes the Higher Education Support Act 2003 - Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2010 (DIISR) to broaden the circumstances in which students in receipt of an Australian Postgraduate Award can study part-time and remove the other income capping for recipients of a Joint Research Engagement-Engineering Cadetship.
Administered by: Education and Training; Prime Minister and Cabinet
Made 03 Dec 2012
Registered 18 Dec 2012
Tabled HR 05 Feb 2013
Tabled Senate 05 Feb 2013
Date of repeal 11 Oct 2016
Repealed by Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017
Table of contents.

Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012

Higher Education Support Act 2003

I, Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, pursuant to section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 ("the Act"), revoke the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2010 dated, 10 November 2010, and make the attached Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012 for the purposes of section 46-20 of the Act.

 

Dated 3 December 2012

_____________________________

CHRIS EVANS

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

 


Part 1                 Preliminary

1              Name of Guidelines

These Guidelines may be cited as the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012.

2              Commencement

                These Guidelines commence on the day after they are registered.

3              Authority

These Guidelines are made under section 238‑10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 for the purposes of Part 2‑4 of the Act.

4              Revocation

The Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2010, dated 10 November 2010, and all subsequent amendments to the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2010 are revoked.

5              Transitional Arrangements

The revocation of the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2010, dated 10 November 2010, does not affect the validity of a payment or decision made under those guidelines.

 

A decision made under those guidelines is taken to continue to have effect as if it were made under these Guidelines


Part 2                COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIPS GUIDELINES (RESEARCH) 2012

 

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

Higher Education Support Act 2003

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                                                page

 

1.1           PURPOSE. 5

1.5           INTERPRETATION. 5

1.10         GRANT FUNDING APPROPRIATION AND PAYMENTS. 6

CHAPTER 2        AUSTRALIAN POSTGRADUATE AWARDS. 7

2.1           PROGRAM OBJECTIVES. 7

2.1.1             Description of Scholarship. 7

2.1.5             Class of Commonwealth Scholarship. 7

2.5           GRANTS. 7

2.5.1             Total Grant Amounts and Indexation. 7

2.5.5             How Grant Amounts are to be Determined. 7

2.5.10           Conditions of Eligibility for APA Grants. 9

2.10         STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. 10

2.10.1           Basic Eligibility Requirements. 10

2.10.5           Equivalent Attainment to a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours. 10

2.10.10         Approval of a Part-time APA. 10

2.15         APPLICATION, SELECTION AND OFFER PROCESSES AND POLICIES. 11

2.15.1           Applications. 11

2.15.5           Selection Policy. 11

2.15.10         Offer Process. 11

2.20         PAYMENTS TO STUDENTS. 11

2.20.1           Value of Scholarships and Indexation Arrangements. 12

2.20.5           Relocation Allowance. 12

2.20.10         Thesis Allowance. 12

2.20.15         Duration of an APA. 12

2.20.20         Extension of an APA. 12

2.25         CONDITIONS OF SCHOLARSHIP. 13

2.25.1           Ongoing Eligibility. 13

2.25.5           Suspensions of an APA. 13

2.25.10         Transfer to another HEP. 13

2.25.15         Conversion of Degrees. 13

2.25.20         Leave Entitlements. 13

2.25.25         Work. 14

2.25.30         Termination of an APA. 14

2.25.35         Provision of False or Misleading Information. 14

2.30         MISCELLANEOUS. 15

2.30.1           Supervision and Facilities. 15

CHAPTER 3        INTERNATIONAL POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIPS. 16

3.1           PROGRAM OBJECTIVES. 16

3.1.1             Description of Scholarship. 16

3.1.5             Class of Commonwealth Scholarship. 16

3.5           GRANTS. 16

3.5.1             Total Grant Amounts and Indexation. 16

3.5.5             How Grant Amounts are to be Determined. 16

3.5.8             Conditions of Eligibility for IPRS Grants. 18

3.10         STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. 18

3.10.1           Basic Eligibility Requirements. 18

3.15         APPLICATION, SELECTION AND OFFER PROCESS AND POLICIES. 19

3.15.1           Applications. 19

3.15.5           Selection Policy. 20

3.15.10         Offer Process. 20

3.20         PAYMENTS TO STUDENTS. 20

3.20.1           Value of Scholarship. 20

3.20.5           Non-commencements and Withdrawals. 21

3.20.10         Duration of an IPRS. 21

3.20.15         Extension of an IPRS. 21

3.25         CONDITIONS OF SCHOLARSHIP. 21

3.25.1           Ongoing Eligibility. 21

3.25.5           Suspension of an IPRS. 21

3.25.10         Transfer to another HEP. 22

3.25.15         Conversion of Degrees. 22

3.25.20         Change of Research Area. 22

3.25.25         Work. 22

3.25.30         Termination of an IPRS. 22

3.25.35         Provision of False or Misleading Information. 23

3.30         MISCELLANEOUS. 23

3.30.1           Supervision and Facilities. 23

 


CHAPTER 1       INTRODUCTION

1.1     PURPOSE

The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide for Commonwealth scholarships under section 46‑20 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (the Act).

1.5     INTERPRETATION

1.5.1    Unless the contrary intention appears, the terms used in these Guidelines have the same meaning as in the Act

 

1.5.5    In these Guidelines, unless the contrary intention appears:

 

the Act                                                 means the Higher Education Support Act 2003

APA                                                     means an Australian Postgraduate Award as outlined at Chapter 2 of these Guidelines

AusAID                                               means the Australian Agency for International Development managed within the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

DIAC                                                   means the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Domestic student                                has the same meaning as defined in the Act

Full-time student load                          in respect of a scholarship, is at least 75 per cent of an equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) in the scholarship period for which the scholarship is being paid

Grant Year                                          means the year in respect of which the grant is made, and of which the Department has notified the relevant HEP

Guidelines                                           means these Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012

HDR                                                    means a higher degree by research which is a Research Doctorate or Research Masters course for which at least two-thirds of the student load for the course is required as research work

HEP                                                    means a higher education provider as specified in section 16-15 of the Act (Table A Providers) or section 16-20 of the Act (Table B Providers)

HERDC                                               is the Higher Education Research Data Collection which is managed by the Department

HESDC                                               is the Higher Education Student Data Collection which is managed by the Department

International student                           means an overseas student as defined in the Act and who is an IPRS holder commencing from 1 January 2011

IPRS                                                   means an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, as outlined at Chapter 3 of these Guidelines

 

JRE – Engineering Cadetship            means the Joint Research Engagement Grant – Engineering Cadetships component referred to in the Attachment to the Joint Research Engagement Conditions of Grant

 

Research Doctorate                           has the meaning as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework

Research Masters                              has the meaning as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework

SR                                                       is the stipend rate for a full-time student for the relevant current year as specified in paragraph 2.20.1(1) of these Guidelines

suspension                                         in respect of a scholarship, means a period of time during which a scholarship holder is not receiving scholarship payments

the Department                                   means the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

the Minister                                         means the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

 

1.5.10    Any reference to a part, division or section of the Act is a reference to that part, division or section as in force from time to time.

 

1.5.15    Terms used in these Guidelines that are in italics have the meaning stated in paragraph 1.5.5 of these Guidelines.

1.10   GRANT FUNDING APPROPRIATION AND PAYMENTS

1.10.1  The funding for the Commonwealth scholarships (research) grants are appropriated on a financial year basis but calculated and paid on a calendar year basis.

 


CHAPTER 2       AUSTRALIAN POSTGRADUATE AWARDS

2.1     PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

2.1.1      Description of Scholarship

APA scholarships are awarded to students of exceptional research potential undertaking a HDR. APAs are provided to assist with general living costs. 

2.1.5      Class of Commonwealth Scholarship

APAs are postgraduate research scholarships, in accordance with paragraph 46‑10(b) of the Act.

2.5     GRANTS

2.5.1      Total Grant Amounts and Indexation

Grants made through the APA scheme are indexed in accordance with Part 5-6 of the Act.

 

The Total Grant Amount will be the amount available to the Department for APAs for the Grant Year.

2.5.5      How Grant Amounts are to be Determined

Calculate number of new APAs

(1)     HEPs APA places for a Grant Year will be determined according to the total APA places available for the Grant Year multiplied by each HEPs share of the APA performance index which includes all eligible HEPs and is calculated according to paragraph 2.5.5(2).

 

(2)     The APA performance index

 

The APA performance index is a list of the relative performances of a group of HEPs defined for a particular purpose. 

 

The relative performances are expressed as a percentage of the sum of all performances within the defined group. Each HEPs percentage is known as a “share”.

 

A share is the sum of three performance components after each has been multiplied by a proportioning factor:

·      HDR student completions performance has a proportioning factor of 0.5;

·      Research income performance has a proportioning factor of 0.4;

·      Research publications performance has a proportioning factor of 0.1.

 

HDR student completions performance

 

HDR student completions performance for a HEP is equal to a HEPs weighted completions divided by total weighted completions of a defined group of HEPs.

 

Weighted student completions equals the sum of all categories of completions after each has been multiplied by the specified weighting factor:

·      Research Doctorate has a weighting factor of 2;

·      Research Masters has a weighting factor of 1.

 

Each category of data is the average of the most recent two years for which data is available and is sourced from the HESDC.

 

Research income performance

 

Research income performance for a HEP is equal to a HEPs weighted research income divided by total weighted research income of a defined group of HEPs.

 

Weighted research income equals the sum of the following categories of research:

·      Australian competitive grants income has a weighting factor of 1;

·      Other public sector research income has a weighting factor of 1;

·      Industry and other research income has a weighting factor of 1;

·      Cooperative Research Centre research income has a weighting factor of 1.

 

Each category of data is the average of the most recent two years for which data is available and is sourced from the HERDC.

 

Research publications performance

 

Research publications performance for a HEP is equal to a HEPs weighted research publications divided by total weighted research publications of a defined group of HEPs.

 

Weighted research publications equals the sum of all categories of research publications after each has been multiplied by the specified weighting factor:

·         Books have a weighting factor of 5;

·         Book chapters have a weighting factor of 1;

·         Journal articles have a weighting factor of 1;

·         Conference papers have a weighting factor of 1.

 

Each category of data is the average of the most recent two years for which data is available and is sourced from the HERDC.

 

(3)     Where the formula results in less than one but more than zero new APAs for a HEP, a default of one APA is awarded to that HEP.

 

(4)     For all other HEPs, their allocation of new APAs is rounded down to the next whole number. The difference between a HEPs rounded and unrounded number of new APA places is the remainder. The sum of all remainders is the unallocated number of new APA places for the Grant Year.

 

(5)     Each HEPs remainder is ranked in descending order based on its remainder’s closeness to one. One place is assigned to each HEP according to its ranking until all unallocated new places are exhausted.

 

Calculate grant amounts

 

(6)     The amount of APA grant payable to an eligible scholarship HEP under section 46-15(2) of the Act for the Grant Year will be determined using the number of new APAs allocated to the HEP for that Grant Year and the previous three years.

 

(7)     The amount of APA grant paid to a HEP for a Grant Year is the sum of the following amounts:

(a)       the number of new APAs allocated to the HEP for that Grant Year multiplied by [SR + $375 (relocation component)];

(b)       the number of new APAs allocated to the HEP for the year prior to that Grant Year multiplied by (SR x 0.9);

(c)       the number of new APAs allocated to the HEP for the year two years prior to that Grant Year multiplied by (SR x 0.75); and

(d)       the number of new APAs allocated to the HEP for the year three years prior to that Grant Year multiplied by [(SR x 0.4[1]) + $750 (thesis component)].

 

(8)     For the purpose of paragraphs (7)(b), (c) and (d), the number of new APAs allocated to the HEP for each of the three previous years is the number approved by the Minister for those years.

2.5.10    Conditions of Eligibility for APA Grants

(1)     Before the end of the year immediately preceding any particular Grant Year, the Department will contact all HEPs to seek written confirmation of their intention to comply with the requirements set out in these Guidelines for the APA for the Grant Year. The process for seeking confirmation and its timing will be determined by the Department and provided annually to HEPs.

 

(2)     Only HEPs that confirm their intention to comply with those requirements will be eligible for APA funding in respect of the Grant Year.

 

(3)     The HEP must provide the Department with the total number of APAs awarded to IPRS recipients for the Grant Year. The Department will contact all HEPs and seek written confirmation of the number of APAs awarded to IPRS recipients by 30 April and 30 September of that Grant Year.

 

2.10   STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

2.10.1    Basic Eligibility Requirements

(1)     To be eligible for an APA, a student must:

(a)     have completed a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours, or be regarded by the HEP as having an equivalent level of attainment in accordance with paragraph 2.10.5 of these Guidelines; and

(b)     be undertaking a HDR; and

(c)     be enrolled as a full-time student, unless the HEP has approved a part-time APA for the student under paragraph 2.10.10 of these Guidelines; and

(d)     be a domestic student, as defined in the Act or an international student, as defined in these Guidelines; and

(e)     if undertaking:

(i)    a Research Masters, not hold a Research Doctorate or a Research Masters or an equivalent research qualification; or

(ii)    if undertaking a Research Doctorate, not hold a Research Doctorate or an equivalent research qualification; and

(f)      must not previously have held a Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the scholarship’s payments commencing; and

(g)     must not be receiving an equivalent award, scholarship (excluding an IPRS) or salary providing a benefit greater than 75 per cent of the APA stipend rate to undertake the HDR. Income from sources unrelated to the course of study is not to be taken into account. This paragraph 2.10.1(g) does not apply to recipients of a JRE - Engineering Cadetship.

2.10.5    Equivalent Attainment to a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours

If a student does not hold a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours, then the HEP may determine that the student has demonstrated an equivalent level of academic attainment. In determining an equivalent level of academic attainment, a HEP may consider previous study, relevant work experience, research publications, referees’ reports and other research experience.

2.10.10  Approval of a Part-time APA

(1)     A HEP may approve a part-time APA if:

         (a)     the student has reasons acceptable to the HEP that preclude full-time study for part or all of the course of study; or

         (b)     the student is undertaking a JRE – Engineering Cadetship as specified in the Attachment to the Joint Research Engagement Conditions of Grant.

 

(2)     For the purpose of paragraph 2.10.10(1)(a), the HEP must be satisfied that the reasons relate to caring commitments, a medical condition, a disability or other circumstance which limits the student’s capacity to undertake full-time study.

 

(3)     A student who has a part-time APA may revert to full-time study at any time with the permission of the HEP.

2.15   APPLICATION, SELECTION AND OFFER PROCESSES AND POLICIES

A HEP is responsible for the APA application, selection and offer processes and must make information about the processes, policies and conditions of scholarship readily and publicly available.

2.15.1    Applications

(1)     HEPs must conduct a competitive application process for awarding APAs.

(2)     Applications for APAs must be submitted in the form approved and by the date determined by the HEP.

(3)     HEPs must include the following statement on the application form, immediately prior to the applicant’s signature block: “Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence under the Criminal Code (Commonwealth)”.

2.15.5    Selection Policy

A HEP must maintain an APA selection policy which accords with these Guidelines and the fairness requirements in Subdivision 19-D of Part 2-1 of the Act. A HEP must select students for an APA in accordance with the policy.

2.15.10  Offer Process

(1)     A HEP must offer as many APAs as it can support through its APA grant, taking into account any roll-over of grant amounts as provided for in section 46-35 of the Act and liabilities arising from additional scholarship offers, relocation and thesis allowances, paid leave provisions and extensions or suspensions of APAs approved by the HEP. The HEP is responsible for managing these liabilities.

(2)     A HEP must only offer a student an APA as a result of:

(a)     an application lodged as part of a competitive application process; or

(b)     the HEP agreeing to continue an APA for a student who is already in receipt of an APA and is transferring from another HEP under paragraph 2.25.10 of these Guidelines.

(3)     A HEP must offer an APA to a student in writing and advise the student in writing of the assistance to which they are entitled and the conditions of the APA.

2.20   PAYMENTS TO STUDENTS

(1)     A HEP must spend APA grant amounts only on the making of APA payments to students awarded an APA who are undertaking their HDR with the HEP.

(2)     Each year, a HEP must pay each student the full value of their APA stipend unless that student has commenced late or suspended their APA or the APA has been terminated. Where a student is not enrolled over the full period of the year, because of a late commencement or periods of suspension, the HEP must pay at least the proportion of the annual stipend for the period in which study is undertaken for that year.

(3)     A HEP must make fortnightly payments to students in respect of their annual stipend. Payments must be made directly to students. To avoid doubt, payment into an account in the student’s name with an Australian ADI (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001) is considered to be a payment directly to the student.

2.20.1    Value of Scholarships and Indexation Arrangements

(1)     The Department will advise HEPs in writing of the value of the full-time and part-time APA stipend rates for a year by 1 October of the preceding year.

 

(2)     The full-time APA stipend rate for any particular year may be the same as that for the preceding year, indexed in accordance with the method set out in Part 5-6 of the Act, or it may be a different amount, as determined by the Minister.

2.20.5    Relocation Allowance

Students may be eligible for a relocation allowance in addition to the annual stipend for the cost of relocating themselves, their spouse and dependants to a new place of residence where this is necessary to enable the student to undertake the HDR. A HEP must maintain and apply its relocation allowance policy. A claim for relocation allowance is assessed against a HEPs relocation allowance policy.

2.20.10  Thesis Allowance

Students may be eligible for a thesis allowance in addition to the annual stipend for the cost of producing a Research Masters thesis or Research Doctorate thesis. A HEP must maintain and apply its thesis allowance policy. A claim for thesis allowance is assessed against a HEPs thesis allowance policy.

2.20.15  Duration of an APA

(1)     The duration of a full-time APA is three years for a student undertaking Research Doctorate studies, and two years for a student undertaking Research Masters studies. The duration of a part-time APA is six years for Research Doctorate studies and four years for Research Masters studies.

(2)     The duration of an APA will be reduced by any periods of study undertaken:

(a)     towards the degree prior to the commencement of the APA; or

(b)     towards the degree during suspension of the APA (unless the study was undertaken overseas as part of a Commonwealth Government financially supported international postgraduate research scholarship or award – see paragraph 2.10.1(g)); or

(c)     previously while receiving an Australian postgraduate coursework award.

(3)     The duration of an APA will be increased by any periods of paid sick or maternity leave approved by the HEP.

2.20.20  Extension of an APA

(1)     A HEP may also approve an extension to the duration of an APA for a Research Doctorate student of up to six months provided the student is making satisfactory progress and the grounds for the extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the student. A HEP must not approve an extension to the duration of an APA for a Research Masters student.

(2)     If a part-time APA is converted to a full-time APA then the period of time that the student is regarded as having been in receipt of the part-time APA immediately prior to the conversion will be halved for the purpose of determining the duration the student is regarded as having been in receipt of a full-time APA immediately after conversion.

(3)     If a full-time APA is converted to a part-time APA then the period of time that the student is regarded as having been in receipt of the full-time APA immediately prior to the conversion will be doubled for the purpose of determining the duration the student is regarded as having been in receipt of a part-time APA immediately after conversion.

 

2.25   CONDITIONS OF SCHOLARSHIP

2.25.1    Ongoing Eligibility

The HEP must monitor students’ ongoing eligibility to ensure that each student continues to meet the eligibility requirements set out in paragraph 2.10 of these Guidelines.

2.25.5    Suspensions of an APA

Students may apply to their HEP for a suspension of their APA. The approval of a suspension will be at the discretion of the HEP.

2.25.10  Transfer to another HEP

Students who transfer to another HEP may continue to receive their APA only if their new HEP agrees to its continuation and subject to the new HEP having sufficient APA grant amounts of its own available. The new HEP must ensure that it has received information from the former HEP on any APA payment the student has received and the duration of the APA already consumed.

2.25.15  Conversion of Degrees

(1)     Students may convert from a Research Masters degree to a Research Doctorate degree or from a Research Doctorate degree to a Research Masters degree, and continue to receive their APA.

(2)     A student who completes a Research Masters may continue to receive their APA for a Research Doctorate provided there is no interval between the completion of the Research Masters and the commencement of the Research Doctorate, or that such an interval is covered by suspension of the APA.

(3)     The maximum duration of a converted APA becomes that for the new research degree minus periods of study undertaken towards the related degree prior to the conversion.

2.25.20  Leave Entitlements

(1)     Students are entitled to receive up to 20 working days’ paid recreation leave and ten working days’ paid sick leave for each year of the APA. These leave entitlements may be accrued over the life of the APA but will be forfeited when the APA is terminated.

(2)     Students are entitled to receive additional paid sick leave of up to a total of 12 weeks during the duration of the APA for periods of illness where the student has insufficient sick leave entitlements available under paragraph (1), provided that a medical certificate has been provided by the student to the HEP.

(3)     Sick leave entitlements (including additional sick leave) may also be used to cover leave for students with family caring responsibilities, subject to the usual practice of the HEP.

(4)     Students who have completed 12 months of their APA are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks paid maternity leave during the duration of the APA. Subject to the usual practice of the HEP, paid leave may also be approved if the student has adopted a child.

(5)     Students who are partners of women giving birth during an APA and who have completed 12 months of their APA, may be entitled to a period of paid parenting leave at the time of the birth or adoption, subject to the usual practice of the HEP.

2.25.25  Work

(1)      Domestic students may undertake work outside the HDR subject to the approval of their HEP. International students may undertake work as per paragraph 3.25.25 of these Guidelines.

(2)      The HEP may not approve a student undertaking work unless it is satisfied that the work will not interfere with the student’s study for their HDR.

(3)      Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for an extension of the duration of the APA.

2.25.30  Termination of an APA

(1)     A HEP must terminate an APA:

(a)     if the student ceases to meet the eligibility criteria specified in paragraph 2.10 of these Guidelines, other than during a period in which the APA has been suspended or during a period of leave in accordance with paragraph 2.25.20 of these Guidelines; or

(b)     when the student ceases to be a full-time student and approval has not been obtained from the HEP to hold the APA on a part-time basis; or

(c)     when the student completes the course of study, unless completing a Research Masters and undertaking a Research Doctorate studies under paragraph 2.25.15(2) of these Guidelines; or

(d)     if the HEP determines that:

(i)    the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence or in accordance with the offer of the APA; or

(ii)    the student has failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress; or

(iii)   the student has committed serious misconduct, including, but not limited to the provision of false or misleading information in terms of paragraph 2.25.35.

(2)     If an APA is terminated, it cannot be re-activated unless the termination occurred in error.

2.25.35  Provision of False or Misleading Information

(1)     If a HEP knows or has reason to believe that a student in receipt of an APA has provided false or misleading information to the HEP in relation to the APA, the HEP must immediately:

(a)     re-assess the student’s entitlement to the APA; and

(b)     notify the Department of the suspected offence and provide a copy of the student’s application and any other relevant information requested by Department.

2.30   MISCELLANEOUS

2.30.1    Supervision and Facilities

(1)     A HEP must:

(a)  ensure that adequate facilities and appropriate supervision are available for each student undertaking a HDR; and

(b)  establish, make publicly available, and abide by, a code of supervisory practice for students undertaking a HDR.

 


CHAPTER 3     INTERNATIONAL POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIPS

3.1     PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

3.1.1      Description of Scholarship

(1)     The IPRS scheme was established to maintain and develop international research linkages and specifically aims to:

(a)     attract top quality international postgraduate students to areas of research strength in the Australian higher education sector; and

(b)     support Australia's research effort.

3.1.5      Class of Commonwealth Scholarship

IPRS are postgraduate research scholarships, in accordance with paragraph 46‑10(b) of the Act.

3.5     GRANTS

3.5.1      Total Grant Amounts and Indexation

Grants made through the IPRS scheme are indexed in accordance with Part 5-6 of the Act.

 

The Total Grant Amount will be the amount available to the Department for IPRS for the Grant Year.

3.5.5      How Grant Amounts are to be Determined

(1)     HEPs allocation of notional IPRS places for a Grant Year will be determined according to the total notional IPRS places available for the Grant Year multiplied by each HEPs share of the IPRS performance index which includes all eligible HEPs, subject to provisions under paragraph 3.5.8, and is calculated according to paragraph 3.5.5(2).

 

(2)     The IPRS performance index

 

          The IPRS performance index is a list of the relative performances of a group of HEPs defined for a particular purpose.

 

The relative performances are expressed as a percentage of the sum of all performances within the defined group. Each HEPs percentage is known as a “share”.

 

A share is the sum of three performance components after each has been multiplied by a proportioning factor:

·         HDR student completions performance has a proportioning factor of 0.5;

·         Research income performance has a proportioning factor of 0.4;

·         Research publications performance has a proportioning factor of 0.1.


 

HDR student completions performance

 

HDR student completions performance for a HEP is equal to a HEPs weighted completions divided by total weighted completions of a defined group of HEPs.

 

Weighted completions equals the sum of all categories of completions after each has been multiplied by the specified weighting factor:

·         Research Doctorate has a weighting factor of 2;

·         Research Masters has a weighting factor of 1.

 

Each category of data is the average of the most recent two years for which data is available and is sourced from the HESDC.

 

Research income performance

 

Research income performance for a HEP is equal to a HEPs weighted research income divided by total weighted research income of a defined group of HEPs.

 

Weighted research income equals the sum of all categories of research income after each has been multiplied by the specified weighting factor:

·         Australian competitive grants income has a weighting factor of 1;

·         Other public sector research income has a weighting factor of 1;

·         Industry and other research income has a weighting factor of 1;

·         Cooperative Research Centres research income has a weighting factor of 1.

 

Each category of data is the average of the most recent two years for which data is available and is sourced from the HERDC.

 

Research publications performance

 

Research publications performance for a HEP is equal to a HEPs weighted research publications divided by total weighted research publications of a defined group of HEPs.

 

Weighted research publications equals the sum of all categories of research publications after each has been multiplied by the specified weighting factor:

·         Books have a weighting factor of 5;

·         Book chapters have a weighting factor of 1;

·         Journal articles have a weighting factor of 1;

·         Conference papers have a weighting factor of 1.

 

Each category of data is the average of the most recent two years for which data is available and is sourced from the HERDC.

 

(3)     Where the formula results in less than one but more than zero new IPRS for a HEP, a default of one IPRS is awarded to that HEP.

         

(4)     For all other HEPs, their allocation of new IPRS is rounded down to the next whole number. The difference between a HEPs rounded and unrounded number of new IPRS places is the remainder. The sum of all remainders is the unallocated number of new IPRS places for the Grant Year.

 

(5)     Each HEPs remainder is ranked in descending order based on its remainder’s closeness to one. One place is assigned to each HEP according to its ranking until all unallocated new places are exhausted.

 

(6)     The amount of IPRS grant to be paid to a HEP for any Grant Year is equal to:

(A + B + C + D) x E / F

          where:

A =       number of notional IPRS allocated to the HEP for the Grant Year multiplied by 0.925

B =       number of notional IPRS allocated to the HEP for the year prior to the Grant Year multiplied by 0.925

C = number of notional IPRS allocated to the HEP for the year two years prior to that year multiplied by 0.775

D = number of notional IPRS allocated to the HEP for the year three years prior to that year multiplied by 0.65

E =       the Total Grant Amount as specified in paragraph 3.5.1

F = sum of (A+B+C+D) for all HEPs.

 

(7)     For the purpose of the definitions of “B”, “C”, and “D” in paragraph (6), the number of new IPRS allocated to the HEP for each of the three previous years is the number approved by the Minister for those years.

 

3.5.8      Conditions of Eligibility for IPRS Grants

(1)     Before the end of the year immediately preceding any particular Grant Year,the Department will contact all HEPs to seek written confirmation of their intention to comply with the requirements set out in these Guidelines for the IPRS for the Grant Year. The process for seeking confirmation and its timing will be determined by the Department  and provided annually to HEPs.

 

(2)      A HEP may be excluded from the allocation of a notional IPRS place for the Grant Year if in the opinion of the Department; the HEP is unable to meet the objectives of the IPRS scheme.

 

(3)      For the purpose of calculating the IPRS performance index, data from an excluded HEP will not be included.

 

3.10   STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

3.10.1    Basic Eligibility Requirements

(1)     To be eligible for an IPRS, a student must:

(a)     be an overseas student as defined in the Act; and

(b)     meet international student visa requirements as specified by the DIAC, including the requirement to purchase and maintain a standard Overseas Student Health Cover policy approved by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing; and

(c)     be commencing full-time enrolment for the first time in a HDR at a HEP in Australia that is an eligible scholarship provider under section 46‑15 of the Act; and

(d)     be undertaking study in a subject area identified by the HEP as one of its areas of research concentration; and

(e)     not hold a research qualification regarded by the HEP to be equivalent to an Australian Research Doctorate or, if undertaking a Research Masters, not hold a research qualification regarded by the HEP to be equivalent to or higher than an Australian Research Masters; and

(f)      not have held an AusAID scholarship within the two years prior to commencing the IPRS; and

(g)     not be receiving a scholarship for which course tuition is a component under any other scholarship scheme to which the Australian Government makes a substantial contribution.

 

(2)     For the sake of clarity, paragraph 3.10(1)(c) does not preclude students from undertaking a component of their course of study outside Australia. Notwithstanding paragraph 3.10(1)(c), students who:

(a)     commenced their HDR in the previous year but who, due to the timing of their applications and subsequent enrolment, were unable to apply for an IPRS in that year; or

(b)     commenced a HDR and terminated that enrolment within six months of commencement,

are to be considered to meet the criterion in paragraph 3.10(1)(c).

 

(3)     International students holding a student visa must comply with the conditions of their visa.

3.15   APPLICATION, SELECTION AND OFFER PROCESS AND POLICIES

A HEP is responsible for the IPRS application, selection and offer processes and must make information about the processes, policies and conditions of scholarship readily and publicly available.

 

3.15.1    Applications

(1)     HEPs must conduct a competitive application process for awarding IPRS.

 

(2)     Applications for IPRS must be submitted in the form approved by the date determined by the HEP.

 

(3)     HEPs must include the following statement on the application form, immediately prior to the applicant’s signature block: “Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence under the Criminal Code (Commonwealth)”.

3.15.5    Selection Policy

A HEP must maintain an IPRS selection policy which is publicly available and which accords with these Guidelines and the fairness requirements in Subdivision 19‑D of Part 2‑1 of the Act. The HEP must select students for an IPRS in accordance with the policy.

 

3.15.10  Offer Process

(1)     Subject to paragraph 3.15.10(3), a HEP must offer as many IPRS as it can support through its IPRS grant, taking into account:

(a)     any rollover of grant amounts made in accordance with section 46-35 of the Act; and

(b)     liabilities arising from extensions and suspensions of IPRS approved by the HEP, and accepting students transferring from another HEP as specified in paragraph 3.25.10.

 

(2)     The HEP is responsible for managing any liabilities arising under paragraph 3.15.10(1)(b) and the Department will not reimburse any over-expenditure on that account.

 

(3)     A HEP may only offer an IPRS as a result of:

(a)     an application lodged as part of a competitive application process; or

(b)     the HEP agreeing to continue an IPRS for a student who is already in receipt of an IPRS and:

(i)      is transferring from another HEP under paragraph 3.25.10 of these Guidelines; or

(ii)     is converting their degree under paragraph 3.25.15 of these Guidelines; or

(iii)     has completed a Research Masters and is immediately proceeding to a Research Doctorate in a related field.

 

(4)     A HEP must offer a scholarship to a student in writing and advise the student in writing of the benefits to which they are entitled and the conditions of the scholarship. Where a HEP does not include the cost of any other compulsory fees in the cost of the course of study, the letter of offer must state that the prospective student will be responsible for the payment of these compulsory fees, unless the HEP chooses to cover those fees for the student.

3.20   PAYMENTS TO STUDENTS

A HEP must use IPRS grant amounts only on the making of IPRS payments in respect of students awarded an IPRS.

3.20.1    Value of Scholarship

(1)     The maximum value of an IPRS in a year is equal to:

(a)     the estimated annual course cost, as determined by the HEP in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines (Fees in respect of overseas students) managed by the Department, for the HDR being undertaken by the student; plus

(b)     the cost of a standard Overseas Student Health Cover policy approved by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and which covers the student and their spouse and dependants (if any) for the period of the IPRS.

 

3.20.5    Non-commencements and Withdrawals

(1)     A HEP may apply its usual policies concerning:

(a)     the non-refundability of course costs for students who withdraw after commencing study; and

(b)     administrative charges for students who do not commence their study after having received an offer of place.

 

(2)     A HEP may use IPRS grant amounts to:

(a)     discharge course costs, where the course fee is not refundable to a withdrawing student; or

(b)     pay administrative charges for a student who does not commence their study after receiving an offer of a place.

3.20.10  Duration of an IPRS

(1)     The duration of an IPRS is three years for Research Doctorate and two years for Research Masters.

 

(2)     The duration of an IPRS will be reduced by any periods of study undertaken:

(a)     towards the course of study prior to the commencement of the IPRS; and

(b)     during suspension of the IPRS.

 

3.20.15  Extension of an IPRS

A HEP may approve an extension to the duration of an IPRS, subject to paragraphs 3.15.10(1)(b), 3.25.10(4) and 3.25.20(1)(b).

3.25   CONDITIONS OF SCHOLARSHIP

3.25.1    Ongoing Eligibility

A HEP must monitor the ongoing eligibility of a student to ensure that the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements for an IPRS as set out in paragraph 3.10 of these Guidelines.

3.25.5    Suspension of an IPRS

A student may apply to the HEP for a suspension of their IPRS. The approval of suspensions will be at the discretion of the HEP.

3.25.10  Transfer to another HEP

(1)     If a student in receipt of an IPRS transfers to another HEP, the scholarship may be transferred with the student in exceptional circumstances only.

 

(2)     Students may continue to receive an IPRS only if the former HEP supports the student’s transfer and the new HEP agrees to continue the IPRS.

 

(3)     The new HEP must ensure that it receives information from the former HEP on any IPRS duration consumed by the student.

 

(4)     Change of HEP does not constitute sufficient grounds for a subsequent extension of the IPRS.

3.25.15  Conversion of Degrees

(1)     Students may convert from a Research Masters degree to a Research Doctorate degree or from a Research Doctorate degree to a Research Masters degree and continue to receive their IPRS.

 

(2)     The maximum duration of a converted IPRS becomes that for the new research degree minus periods of study undertaken towards the related degree prior to the conversion.

3.25.20  Change of Research Area

(1)     A HEP may approve a student's request to change from the research area indicated in the original placement or IPRS offer, providing:

(a)     the new research area is one of the HEPs areas of research concentration; and

(b)     there will be no extension to the duration of the IPRS arising from the change of research area beyond the period of the original placement or IPRS offer, including any previously approved extensions. The only exception is where the change of research area results from circumstances relating to the research which are outside the control of the student and the HEP.

3.25.25  Work

(1)     A student with a student visa who is receiving an IPRS may undertake work unrelated to their course requirements:

(a)     consistent with the conditions of the student visa; and

(b)     obtaining the approval of their HEP prior to undertaking such work.

(2)     A HEP may not approve a student undertaking work unless it is satisfied that the work will not interfere with the student’s study program. A HEP may approve work subject to conditions determined by the HEP. This paragraph 3.25.25(1) does not apply in relation to work that is specified as a course requirement.

 

(3)     Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for an extension of the duration of the IPRS.

3.25.30  Termination of an IPRS

(1)      A HEP must terminate an IPRS:

(a)     if the student ceases to meet the eligibility criteria specified in paragraph 3.10 of these Guidelines other than during a period in which the IPRS has been suspended; or

(b)     once the maximum duration of the IPRS has been reached; or

(c)     on completion of the course of study; or

(d)     if the HEP determines that:

(i)      the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence; or

(ii)     the student has failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress; or

(iii)     the student has committed serious misconduct including, but not limited to the provision of false or misleading information in terms of paragraph 3.25.35.

3.25.35  Provision of False or Misleading Information

(1)      If a HEP knows or has reason to believe that a student in receipt of an IPRS has provided false or misleading information to the HEP in relation to the IPRS, the HEP must immediately:

(a)     re-assess the student’s entitlement to the IPRS; and

(b)     notify the Department of the suspected offence and provide a copy of the student’s application and any other relevant information requested by the Department.

3.30   MISCELLANEOUS

3.30.1    Supervision and Facilities

(1)        A HEP must:

(a)     ensure that adequate facilities and appropriate supervision are available for each student undertaking a HDR; and

(b)     establish, make publicly available, and abide by, a code of supervisory practice for students undertaking a HDR.

 



[1] The payment factor may be varied from 0.4 if the grant amounts calculated according to the formulae in paragraph 2.5.5 (7) equate to less than the total grant amount detailed in paragraph 2.5.1. The variation must be sufficient to ensure that the total grant amount is fully allocated.