We've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help students during this uncertain time.
Always check your Official Communication Channel (OCC) on OASIS for all formal notices from Curtin University for up to date information and any significant changes.
What are the proposed changes?
The Government contribution to degrees will decrease from 58% to 52%, with student contributions lifting from 42% to 48% to pay for more places without extra government funding.
The cost of humanities and communications courses will more than double increasing by 113% with a year of full-time study costing $14,500 from next year, up from $6,804.
At $14,500, it would cost the student as much to obtain their humanities degree as it does to teach it.
A full three-year degree in these disciplines will cost students upwards of $43,500.
Law and commerce will increase 28 per cent to $14,500 a year, up from $11,155.
Teaching, nursing, clinical psychology, English, languages, maths and agriculture courses will cost $3,700 a year, down by 46 to 62 per cent.
Fees for science, health, architecture, environmental science, IT and engineering will drop 20 per cent, with a year of study costing $7,700.
(Above) Dese.gov.au. Some students may pay more for their degree than it costs to teach it.
Why are these changes taking place?
To fund an extra 12,000 university places in 2021, 39,000 by 2023 and 100,000 by the end of the decade in response to surging demand for tertiary education.
Other initiatives announced by the government include boosting attainment for regional, low-income and Indigenous students as well as collaboration between universities and business.
What does it mean for me?
The quality of your education may suffer as total government funding for the higher education sector will DECREASE by almost 6% while the overall student contribution will increase by 6%.
Universities will be paid less to teach many courses. This will impact current as well as future students.
The government has announced the new fee structure will apply to all students from 2024. You may still be studying then or embarking on a postgraduate course. Once introduced there are no guarantee the Government will not bring forward that timetable or make additional changes to the fee structure.
If you change course you maybe be impacted by the new fee structure straight away.
Universities paid less to teach many courses.
According to Education Department data (The Australian), universities will be paid less to teach courses such as maths, engineering, science, environmental science, nursing, teaching and communications. (see above table)
For example, universities currently receive $28,958 a year for each science course enrolment, made up of $19,260 paid by the student through the HECS-HELP loan scheme and $9,698 from the commonwealth. Under the new system students will contribute $7,700 and the commonwealth will pay $16,500, leaving universities with $4758 less revenue for each science student enrolled.
Universities will lose a similar amount for each student enrolled in an engineering course because while the commonwealth is increasing its payment per student from $24,446 to $27,000, that does not compensate for the fall in student contributions from $9,698 to $3,700.
When will the changes start?
The Government hopes to pass this legislation in 2020 and have the changes come into effect in 2021.
Will these changes impact international students?
The Government has not announced whether these changes will impact international student fee structure.
Sign the petition here!
What's the maximum weighting for exams?
No exams should be worth more than 50% of your final grade (unless required for accreditation).
When are exams?
There is an added teaching week to the end of this semester due to COVID-19.
This will mean that the study week and exam period are delayed by one week.
Exam Week Dates: 15th - 26th June 2020
How will online exams work?
For units that require an invigilated examination for accreditation, online invigilation software will be used.
Curtin uses an in-house software called IRIS.
Find our more information on IRIS
Can I defer exams?
Yes. Always contact your Unit Coordinator as soon as possible, exams can be requested for deferral through the request alternate exam form in your OASIS and through the assessment extension application.
Can I opt out of online exams?
We recommend discussing your alternative options with your Unit Coordinators. Online assessments can take multiple forms, occasionally in a postal paper exam. Contact Curtin Connect if you need further support.
Late assignment penalities?
Curtin has told Unit Coordinators to remove late assessment penalties wherever possible. Unit Coordinators are being asked to communicate any changes to their students. At the same time students are being asked to continue to submit assessment extension requests which permit self-certification (i.e. no medical certificate required).
If you are not satisfied with the advice from your Unit Coordinator, please contact Student Assist or your Guild Faculty representative for advocacy.
Group Assignment maximum weighting?
There is no prescription of maximum weighting for group assignments, but there are strict guidelines around how must be conducted. Assessment tasks which involve group work will demonstrate how the basis for marks for group processes and/or individual processes is fair, transparent and defensible.
Assessment and Student Progression Manual (2.7/Page 9)
Academic decisions against me?
You have the right to appeal an academic decision relating to you.
Refer to - Assessment and Student Progressions Manual: Assessment Appeals.
What is the maximum number of Assessments I can have?
25 CREDIT UNIT - No more than 3 summative assessments.
12.5 CREDIT UNIT - No more than 2 summative assessments.
PER UNIT - No more than 1 incremental assessment.
Incremental assessments are assessment items that are split into smaller parts (eg. weekly online labs, weekly lab reports etc.). Summative assessments is interchangeable with 'assessment tasks', ie. the number of boxes under 'Assessment Schedule' on your unit outline.
What happens to my prac due to COVID-19?
Contact your unit coordinator for this information.
What happens to my labs due to COVID-19?
All labs are being transferred to online delivery.
Are Abacus labs still open?
Yes! Labs are accessible by swipe card access only and social distancing measures have been applied.
I can't get in contact with my Unit Coordinator
If you can't get in contact with your unit coordinator, get in contact with your Guild Faculty representative so they can assist in the process.
How do I opt-in for the ungraded pass system?
All students will receive final grades as usual, but for affected study periods students who have passed their unit will have the option of either accepting their grade/mark, or accepting a pass for the unit.
This will be available within units except where a grade/mark is essential (e.g. Honours units). After the final marks have been released, students can, on an individual basis, request that the University replaces their mark with a ‘P’ (pass) designation that does not count towards their semester and course weighted averages.
Students have been asked to contact Curtin Connect if they require further information.
What's happening with the opt-in ungraded fail system?
At this stage, the university agreed to an opt-in ungraded pass system. The Guild is still lobbying for students who fail their units this semester. This is something that we're still working on and will keep you updated.
How do I access library services?
The Library will be open 9am to 9pm on weekdays, and we’ll also be opening on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm for Curtin students and staff for individual study.
During this time, the building will be accessible via swipe card and services will also be available via our online and phone channels. Agreeing to physical distancing measures are a condition of entry and we encourage everyone to take care of themselves by looking out for others.
Library Services can be accessed through your student OASIS under the "My Library" Tab. Here you can access your useful links for the library website, journal databases, workshops and much more.
Study and Research Guides
How do I study at home?
Your Student Representatives have put together some tips to help you study productively at home.
Home Study tips
Do I have to pay for parking?
Paid parking returns to the Bentley campus as of July 1.
Do we need to do anything with SSAF credits?
No. SSAF credits will be applied to charges automatically.
To request a refund, there is a form that is available from Curtin Connect to have your SSAF Refunded, it takes 28 days to process.
What are the chances we're going back to normal by next semester?
This will depend on the Government's advice, but the University will continue to do its best to provide equality education onine or face-to-face. I know many of us are hoping to return to campus in Semester Two.
What happens to graduation ceremonies?
Students will still be able to graduate but the official ceremonies will not be held until social distancing restrictions are lifted.
What if my course cannot go online?
All courses should be available online. Some may experience timing or unit changes to adjust to the online space this semester. If you are worried about your course progression, please contact Curtin Connect or your Course Coordinator.
I'm sick during COVID-19, do I need a medical certificate?
No. To help reduce the burden on health services in the community, from Monday 23 March you will no longer be required to submit a medical certificate in support of an assessment extension application. As usual, you will need to explain why you are seeking an extension as part of the approval process.
Is there food assistance available?
Yes, you can apply through the Guild's website. Food hampers are available for pick up at the Bentley campus. For those unable to leave your homes, the Guild can make arrangements to have the hamper delivered to you.
What mental health services are available?
There are plenty of services on and off campus that can help you get back on the figurative horse!
Curtin Student Wellbeing
It’s free to call the Student Wellbeing Hotline on 1800 244 043.
Lifeline Crisis support line
13 11 14
Visit a Headspace centre
COVID-19 Support Resources