Human Resources

University Policy on Further Education

Policy No.
UP07/235
Function
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
Human Resources - Central Unit
Date Approved
28/06/2007 Revised 22/02/2017
Next Review Date
22/02/2019
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Further Education for Employees

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy defines time off for study, fee reimbursement, employee discounts for UWA courses and any eligibility criteria and conditions that apply.

This policy does not apply to casuals or holders of scholarship or other grants.

Definitions:

"Approved Delegate" means a position granted authority to act on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor with varied levels of authority in line with the University's Delegations.

"Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)" means a subsidised higher education enrolment. Refer to Study Assist for more information.

"Employee" means a person employed by the University who has an ongoing or fixed-term contract under the terms of the Academic Staff Agreement, Professional and General Staff Agreement, ELICOS Teachers' Agreement and Child Care Employees' Agreement (as amended or replaced from time to time).

"FEE-HELP" means is the loan scheme that assists eligible fee paying students pay all or part of their student contributions. Refer to Study Assist for more information.

"Fee Paying" or "Full Fee" means the Government will not subsidise your education and you will need to pay the tuition fees set by your university or higher education provider. Refer to Study Assist for more information, and the University's Fees Calculator for a full list of eligible courses.

"Formal study load" means formal component of University or Professionally Prescribed Study. It includes timetabled lectures and prescribed classes (including e-lessons), learning modules, seminars, tutorials (including e-tutorials) practicals, practicums or laboratory sessions.

"HECS-HELP" is the loan scheme that assists eligible students enrolled in a CSP to pay their student contributions. Refer to Study Assist for more information.

"Ordinary working hours" means the agreed hours of work for a full-time employee which will total 37.5 hours per week.

"Professionally prescribed study" may include vocational tertiary education, diploma or certificate courses (through providers such as TAFE or professional affiliations), internships or articles.

"Time off for study purposes" or "study leave" means paid leave provided to employees to meet the requirements for approved university or professionally prescribed studies.

"Senior employee" for the purpose of this policy means employees classified at Level E or Level 10 Grade 4 or above.

"Student Services and Amenities Fee" is a compulsory charge approved by the University's Senate and levied on students enrolling at UWA.

"Supervisor" is the University person responsible for day-to-day supervision of the employee.

"University" or "UWA" means The University of Western Australia.

Policy statement:

The University is committed to attracting, retaining and developing high calibre employees by promoting a high performance work environment. This policy aims to encourage employees to develop their skills and knowledge, support professional development, build organisational commitment, provide a valuable employee benefit and assist the University in achieving its strategic goals.

1 Purpose

This policy sets out the University's support to employees seeking further educational development.

Time off for study purposes applies to professionally prescribed study, external courses, and all undergraduate and postgraduate (by coursework) study.

Time off for study purposes is not intended for employees to obtain a doctorate or participate in courses which require research.

Unless specified otherwise, access to this leave is not limited to undergraduate and postgraduate studies undertaken at this University.

Child Care employees are not eligible for time off for study purposes under Clauses 2 to 4 of this policy. Refer to the Child Care Employees' Agreement for appropriate leave entitlements.

Employees required to attend a conference, fieldwork or outside studies program, should refer to the Leave (excluding Long Service and Parental Leave) Policy.

All leave provided under this Policy is non-cumulative.

Employees, who believe their particular circumstances would cause them to be seriously disadvantaged by the limits imposed above, may make a written application to the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor & Registrar (for academic employees) or the Director, Human Resources (for professional and general employees) for consideration.

2 Time Off for Study Purposes

2.1 Eligibility

An employee may be eligible for time off with pay to complete formal study when:

  • employed on a full-time or part-time basis;
  • the course undertaken is on a part-time basis;
  • the application is made before starting the course of study;
  • it is relevant to their current employment;
  • it is of value to the University; and
  • it is authorised by the Approved Delegate.

Part-time employees are eligible for pro rata leave.

Academic employees can access time off for study purposes under this policy for postgraduate (by coursework) qualifications (such as a Master of Business Administration) and/or a teaching qualification. Academics seeking to conduct research are required to apply for Academic Sabbatical.

2.2 Entitlement

Eligible full-time employees are entitled to time off for study purposes with pay to a maximum of 75 hours per teaching period (inclusive of travelling time).

Periods of time off for study purposes are to be negotiated between the employee and supervisor and should take into consideration:

  • the business requirements of the work area; and
  • that it does not adversely impact the employee's ability to meet their course requirements.

2.3 Examination Attendance

In addition to weekly attendance, employees may be granted time off with pay for examination attendance, to a maximum of three (3) hours per unit with approval from their supervisor.

Where an employee is required to re-sit an examination, they must do so in their own time.

2.4 Conditions of Time off for Study Purposes

All cases of time off with pay are subject to:

  • continued satisfactory performance in the work area;
  • the business needs of the work area;
  • the employee making satisfactory progress with their studies; and
  • prior approval from their Approved Delegate.

Time off for study purposes may be combined with any other accrued annual and long service leave or leave without pay.

Employees are expected to contribute an equal formal lecture/personal study load in their own time.

Employees must immediately notify their supervisor and Human Resources of any changes to the amount of time off granted or if studies are discontinued.

Employees must provide a copy of their qualification to their supervisor and Human Resources on completion of the course.

Time off for study purposes counts as service for all purposes.

Procedure - Employee to:

- Download the Application for Study Leave Form.

- Send the completed and signed application to Human Resources (M350) for record keeping.

- Notify Human Resources of any changes to the amount of time off granted or if studies are discontinued.

- Book time off for study purposes through Employee Self Service (ESS).

- Provide a copy of the completed qualification to Human Resources for record keeping.

3 Financial Assistance

Employees may apply for either a full course fee reimbursement or a discount in fees through the UWA employee fee discount scheme.

3.1 Full Course Fee Reimbursement

Full-time employees may be eligible for full fee reimbursement for a postgraduate course following successful unit or course completion.

Part-time employees may be eligible for reimbursement on a pro rata basis.

In order for employees to be eligible for full fee reimbursement they must have:

  • served a minimum of 12 months service, except where a condition of employment states otherwise;
  • successfully completed their probation period (Professional & General staff only);
  • completed a Performance Development and Appraisal (PDA) within 12 months of applying with an overall assessment of "Meets University's high expectations";
  • identified during their PDA a need for personal development which is relevant to their current or future employment at the University; and
  • a satisfactory attendance record.

3.2 UWA Employee Fee Discount Scheme

The University offers eligible employees the opportunity to receive a 25% discount to study full-fee courses at the University.

The discount does not apply to:

  • domestic undergraduate degree courses which are already subsidised by Commonwealth contribution and further supported by HECS-HELP funding arrangements;
  • the Student Services and Amenities Fee;
  • incidentals associated with undertaking the full-fee course such as travel or books.

The employee course fee discount is applicable to all eligible courses, and does not need to be aligned with the employee's current role. However, if the course is not aligned with their current role, the employee will not be eligible for time off for study purposes, as outlined in Clauses 2 to 4.

Eligible staff members can use the FEE-HELP loan scheme if they receive the fee reduction, refer to StudyAssist for eligibility criteria.

Eligibility for employee discount ceases at the termination of employment.

Procedure

Download and complete the UWA Employee Course Fee Discount Form and submit

the completed and signed application form to Student Administration (M356) or through askUWA.

Applicants will follow normal enrolment and application requirements, including payment due dates for the remainder tuition fees.

The Faculty or Central Unit will confirm employee status as part of the enrolment process.

Notify HR of any changes to your employment status.

To find which courses are Fee Paying and which are CSP, refer to the Fees Calculator, using the browse function to find the relevant course.

Fee invoices on studentConnect will be produced with the discount already applied.

3.3 Conditions of Financial Assistance

3.3.1 Full Course Fee Reimbursement

Full course fee reimbursement will be funded by the School and will be provided on the recommendation and approval of the Approved Delegate.

Approval for full course fee reimbursement will be at the discretion of the School.

Employees provided with full reimbursement of course fees will be required to complete a two (2) year service period with the University following course completion.

The employee must enter into a pay-back agreement for any financial support received from the University, if any of the following events occur:

Event

Repayment Amount

Employee leaves the University prior to completion of the further education

100% repayment

Employee leaves the University between

0 and 24 months of completing the further education

100% repayment

Employee leaves the University between 25 and 36 months of completing the further education

50% repayment

Cancellation of a course (where outside employee's control)

No repayment required

Employee required to re-sit exam

Cost of re-sit 100% paid by employee

Employee chooses to cease their further education before completion

100% repayment

Employee fails to make satisfactory progress on the study program

Up to 100% repayment at University discretion

The University may waive the service requirement where an employee leaves the University due to redundancy.

Fixed-term employees will not be reimbursed for units completed after the expiry date of their contract. Where a contract extension occurs, employees may apply for further reimbursement.

3.4 Salary Packaging

Employees may be eligible to salary package costs associated with educational courses. Eligible courses, however, may also attract Fringe Benefits Tax liabilities. A Self Education Declaration will be required prior to salary packaging of the eligible course.

Employees seeking a tax benefit through salary packaging on payroll, are encouraged to discuss their personal circumstances and any potential tax implications with an independent financial adviser.

For more details, employees should contact HR Employee Benefits.

Procedure

Applications must be made, in writing, to the Approved Delegate indicating:

- the course of study and the institution

- the study leave requested

- the purpose of the course of study in terms of developing, maintaining or improving the Employee's employment-related skills and knowledge

- evidence of successful completion of unit

The Approved Delegate will consider the relevance of the study to the professional development of the employee and the objectives of the work area.

4 Professional Teaching Capability Development

The University is committed to improving learning, teaching and the student experience.

All employees with responsibility for academic, teaching or contribution to learning within the University, are expected to undertake two (2) days per annum of ongoing professional development.

The University offers a wide variety of high quality on-campus and flexible online teaching development opportunities at no cost at the point of access. For more details, employees can visit Education at UWA: Professional Development or contact the Centre for Education Futures.

5 Senior Study Leave

5.1 Eligibility

Senior Professional and General employees may be eligible for leave on full pay for study or other special purposes, where:

  • leave is for the purpose of undertaking an investigation related to official duties; or
  • leave is for a program of study and travel considered by the Executive/Dean to be of value to the University;
  • the senior study leave will not ordinarily exceed three (3) months in any period of seven (7) years and is not cumulative;
  • Extensions may be approved where the Executive/Dean decides that a longer period is necessary to satisfactorily complete the particular investigation or program of study approved.

5.2 Financial Assistance

This leave will be centrally funded and approved by the Vice-Chancellor or nominee.

An employee taking leave will be eligible for a grant to assist in meeting any additional expenses.

Payment of a grant will be provided under similar conditions to the Academic Sabbatical Policy and will not exceed the total value of a Sabbatical Grant.

Related forms:

Application for Time Off for Study Purposes Form

UWA Employee Course Fee Discount Form

Full Course Fee Reimbursement Agreement

TRIM File No:

F20341

Contact position:

HR Services - Employment

Related Policies or legislation:

Academic Sabbatical Policy

Leave (excluding Long Service and Parental Leave) Policy

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