International Students - Enrolment and ESOS
International students who are studying in Australia on a student visa are subject to protections and restrictions under their student visa conditions and the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000. The following information applies to student visa holders and does not apply to students offshore in Transnational Education Programs or to foreign nationals studying in Australia on other visa types. Additional information is available from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment
at and on the International Student Fact Sheet
Deferring your start date
If you wish to defer your study to a later intake and the University has already issued you a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) you must seek approval from Flinders International. Please submit an Ask Flinders request and provide evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances.
If you do not yet have a COE, you may request a later intake by sending an email to INTLAdmissions@flinders.edu.au. Please include your Flinders ID in all correspondence.
International students in Australia on a student visa must normally complete their degree within the approved visa duration of their COE. This usually requires enrolment in 18 units per semester. If you find that your enrolment does not meet this unit requirement, please contact International Student Services (ISS) for assistance.
It is important to follow your course rule to ensure you are choosing the correct topics. If you are not sure, check the choosing your topics page.
Withdrawing from topics
Please be aware that if you withdraw from a topic, you may not complete your degree in the expected timeframe. Flinders can only extend your COE in a limited range of compassionate or compelling circumstances. If you withdraw from all topics, we will cancel your COE, which may result in the cancellation of your student visa. Before you make any decision regarding withdrawal from any/all topics, please seek assistance from International Student Services (ISS).
Transferring to another provider
International students who wish to transfer to another education provider before they have completed six months enrolment must contact International Student Services (ISS) and submit a Request to Transfer. Requests will be granted in limited circumstances. Personal preference or change of mind is not grounds for granting a Release to Transfer to another provider. See the International Student Transfer Procedures in the Policy Library for more detail.
If you wish to change to a course at a lower AQF level (eg Masters to Bachelor) you will need to apply for a new student visa.
If you change to a new course at a different provider, it is a condition of your student visa that you provide Flinders with a copy of your new COE.
Studying externally or online
International students can study up to one third of their course in online study mode, but must be enrolled in at least one internal topic every semester.
If you are unsure how many topics you may study externally, or you are concerned that your student visa does not reflect the time you need to complete your course, please submit an Ask Flinders support request.
Leave from study
You may apply to suspend your studies (take leave of absence) but only in compassionate or compelling circumstances.
You must apply for a leave from study in writing to the International Compliance team by emailing email@example.com.
Your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE)
Your COE is a document issued by Flinders to verify your enrolment in a specified course. Each COE and changes to COEs acts as a notification to relevant Australian Government departments about your enrolment. Your COE includes your course start and end dates, as well as any fees paid and the total fees payable for the course.
A COE is required to apply for a student visa, and you need a valid COE at all times while you hold a student visa.
There are certain circumstances when the University may cancel your COE, including but not limited to
- Where the offer of a place was made as result of the provision of inaccurate or incomplete information, or on the basis of administrative error by the University*
- Failure to enrol in topics or withdrawal from all topics
- Failure to pay tuition fees*
- Failure to comply with the University’s Conditions of Enrolment*
- Preclusion due to unsatisfactory academic progress*
- Exclusion or expulsion due to student misconduct*
- Expulsion due to research misconduct*
*Indicates that you will receive a notice of cancellation and the opportunity to access the Complaints and Appeals process.
The University is required to notify Department of Home Affairs if you complete your course more than one month earlier that the expected course end date on your CoE.
Keep Flinders informed
If you change your address or other contact details, it is a condition of your student visa that you inform the University within seven days. Please update your contact information in the 'My Details’ tab in the Student System.
For further immigration advice please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website. You can also access information about the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and Regulations, and the National Code of Practice 2018 on the Department of Education website.
For further information, please see International Student Services (ISS).
What are compassionate or compelling circumstances?
Compassionate or compelling circumstances are generally beyond your control and have an impact on your studies. These could include:
- illness, where a medical certificate states that you were unable to attend classes;
- the death of a close family member such as a parent or grandparent (where possible a death certificate should be provided);
- major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country requiring your emergency travel and where this has impacted on your studies; or
- the University being unable to offer a pre-requisite topic
- failing to meet the conditions of your offer or failing a prerequisite topic