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Cancellation or Cessation of Programmes, Courses and Course Occurrences

Section
Academic
Approval Date
16 June 2014
Approved By
Chief Executive
Responsibility
Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Experience
Baldrige Criteria
Customer focus
Purpose

To ensure a timely and orderly process for cancellation of programmes, courses/papers and occurrences or cessation of a programme so that learners, prospective learners, internal departments, and other stakeholders receive appropriate notification and that Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) is not in breach of contract of enrolment.

Compliance
Policy

1.         Cancellation of Programme

1.1          A programme will be cancelled at the earliest opportunity prior to commencement when:

  • there are insufficient enrolments according to Otago Polytechnic Ltd benchmarks/guidelines
  • it is no longer considered necessary or does not fit with Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s investment plan and/or strategic direction.

1.2          Any decision to cancel a programme should be made at the earliest opportunity.

1.3          Where prospective learner numbers appear to be low, every attempt should be made to inform learners as early as possible that there is a risk of cancellation for the programme. Special consideration for completion must be given to international learners and learners who have relocated for the purpose of enrolling in the programme.

Learners affected must be provided with alternative options. Where possible, an alternative programme of study shall be suggested and if accepted, the standard enrolment process shall continue.

1.4          The Head of College, or equivalent, with authorisation from the Chief Executive or DCE: Corporate Services is responsible for cancelling a programme and ensuring approved procedures are followed.

1.5          To meet the requirements of the Fair Trading Act 1986, all application and enrolment forms must contain the following statement “enrolment in this programme/course/course occurrence is conditional upon and subject to sufficient numbers of learners enrolling in this programme/course/course occurrence.”

1.6          All Otago Polytechnic Ltd advertising, including the Prospectuses, must clearly state that each programme will be provided subject to enrolment of sufficient numbers of learners.

1.7        When a programme is cancelled prior to commencement by Otago Polytechnic Ltd, all enrolled learners will receive a full refund of any fees paid. No administration fee will be charged.

 

2.      Cancellation of Course or course occurrence (a component of a programme or a  stand-alone entity)

2.1          A course or course occurrence will be cancelled where there are insufficient enrolments according to Otago Polytechnic Ltd benchmarks/guidelines.

2.2          A course or course occurrence cannot be cancelled once it has started.

2.3        Any decision to cancel a course or course occurrence should be made at the earliest opportunity. As a guide, the following is best practice:

  • course in a programme - at least one week’s notice
  • short course - at least 24 hours’ notice

2.4          Where prospective learner numbers appear to be low, every attempt should be made to inform learners as early as possible that there is a risk of cancellation for the course. Special consideration for completion must be given to international and learners who have relocated.

Learners affected must be provided with alternative options. Where possible, an alternative programme of study shall be suggested and if accepted, the standard enrolment process shall continue.

2.5          Course or course occurrence cancellation is the Head of Colleges, or equivalent’s, responsibility and must be notified to all parties by using Appendix A.

2.6          To meet the requirements of the Fair Trading Act 1986, all application and enrolment forms must contain the following statement “enrolment in this programme/course/course occurrence is conditional upon and subject to sufficient numbers of learners enrolling in this programme/course/course occurrence.”

2.7          All Otago Polytechnic Ltd advertising, including the Prospectuses must clearly state that each course will be provided subject to enrolment of sufficient numbers of learners.

2.8          When a short course/standalone course is cancelled by Otago Polytechnic Ltd prior to commencement, all enrolled learners will receive a full refund of any fees paid. No administration fee will be charged.

 

3.         Cessation of Programme

3.1          Any decision to cease delivery of any course or programme will be made by the Chief Executive following advice from the Head of College, or equivalent, and endorsed by Leadership Team.

3.2          The Head of College, or equivalent, is responsible for evaluating and reporting to Leadership Team the consequences of closure of any programme. The viability of other programmes and staffing consequences within the school and/or programme area are required to be considered. The Head of College, or equivalent, is also responsible for People and Culture so that consultation obligations with staff and unions are followed.

3.3          The authority for cessation of programmes is delegated from the Board to the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive will be satisfied that:

  • There is sound substantive reason for closure.
  • Alternatives to closure have been carefully considered.
  • Otago Polytechnic Ltd policies and contractual obligations regarding potential surplus staffing consequent on closure have been followed.
  • appropriate transition and completions arrangements are in place for learners.

In determining whether a programme will be closed, consideration shall be given to the context of the broader Polytechnic position, strategic plan, and the effect of the decision on staffing, learners, and other parts of the Polytechnic, as well as external stakeholders.

3.4          Following the Chief Executive’s decision:

  • Leadership Council, Academic Committee and the appropriate PEAC will be advised.
  • People and Culture will be advised, and the Surplus Staff policy followed if necessary.
  • The programme will be end dated on the Approvals Database and the Learner Management System.
  • All Heads of College, or equivalent, and Managers of Service Areas will be notified.

3.5          The Head of College, or equivalent, is responsible for ensuring transition arrangements are followed.

  • All current learners must be notified that the programme is going to cease to be        delivered.
  • All learners must be given the opportunity to complete the programme which may include       completing the programme at Otago Polytechnic Ltd or with another provider at no additional cost to the learner.

3.6          The programme will be closed on the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) STEO site following completion of all transition arrangements

References
  • Application, Entry and Enrolment
  • Surplus Staff