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Temporary Suspension of Studies Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

Purpose and Parent Policy

(1) This procedure sets out the steps for temporarily suspending a student’s place on their programme, either through a deferral or a transfer of the student under the Temporary Suspension of Studies Policy

Responsibilities

Student responsibilities

(2) The student is responsible for communicating with the College about their progress on the programme and for requesting to defer their place, should they wish to do so.

(3) The student is responsible for supplying verifiable and relevant evidence in support of their application.

Staff responsibilities

(4) The Registrar is responsible, with the advice of the Head of School/Academic Lead, for suspending a student’s place on the programme or for transferring the student.

(5) The Department of Student Affairs is responsible for guiding and supporting a student who wants to defer or take maternity or parental leave. 

Faculty Responsibilities

(6) The Head of School/Academic Lead is responsible for advising the Registrar if a student should be allowed to defer or be transferred.

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Section 2 - Procedure

(7) The definitions section of the Temporary Suspension of Studies Policy sets out the various ways in which a student’s studies may be temporarily suspended.

Part A - Procedure for Postponement

(8) The procedure for postponement is outlined within the Admission Offers Procedure.

Part B - Procedure for Deferrals

Application

(9) A student applies for deferral by completing and submitting the relevant form to the Department of the Registrar.

(10) The completed form must be accompanied by original, date-stamped, verifiable evidence of the circumstances which have led the student to apply.

Evaluation of Application

(11) The Registrar, or their nominee, evaluates the application and accompanying evidence for validity and authenticity.

(12) Where evidence supporting the application is not available, the student is asked to make the evidence available as soon as possible. 

(13) Students should not assume that their deferral is granted. They should continue with their studies and assessments as per their current programme schedule.

Consideration of the Application

(14) The Registrar forwards the application to the Head of School/Academic Lead, or their nominee, for evaluation and consideration of the following factors:

  1. The stage the student is at in the programme and the scheduled timetable
  2. The remaining requirements for completion of the programme
  3. The validation requirements for the programme (if there are any salient programme rules affecting the student’s progress)
  4. The best academic interest of the student
  5. The academic achievements of the student to date
  6. Previous College agreements, i.e. conditions previously imposed by the Academic Board or any of its subcommittees
  7. The student’s circumstances and supporting evidence

(15) The Head of School/Academic Lead or nominee consults with the Programme Team as well as the Department of Student Affairs and the Department of the Registrar, where appropriate.

(16) The Head of School/Academic Lead or nominee decides whether to recommend to the Registrar either:

  1. Deferral granted
  2. Deferral not granted

(17) The Head of School/Academic Lead or nominee notifies the Registrar of their recommendation and any associated implication for the student.

Outcome: Deferral Granted

(18) The student is notified in writing of the decision and associated implications, which include:

  1. Any fee implications, including any increase in fees
  2. Requirements for progression on the programme at the point the student returns to studies
  3. The credit for completed modules that the student carries with them
  4. Implications for incomplete modules that the student will have to complete upon returning to studies
  5. An indicative return to studies date which is convenient for both the student and the College
  6. Any Garda vetting implications, where applicable

(19) The Department of the Registrar updates the student record and notifies any relevant College departments. 

(20) Deferrals can be backdated to the time where the student’s circumstances first arose or began to affect their progress through the programme. 

(21) The College has the right to amend the student’s indicative return to studies date where it is impacted by timetabling requirements. In these instances, the student will be informed of the revised date. 

(22) The student will be advised of any significant changes made to programme- or College-level requirements while the student is deferred. The student may be required to complete additional work before recommencing studies in line with these changes. 

(23) Students who are granted a deferral and subsequently do not recommence their studies are not entitled to a refund of fees paid.

Outcome: Deferral Not Granted

(24) Where the deferral is not granted, the Registrar notifies the student in writing. 

(25) The student is advised that they are required to continue with their programme or they can opt to voluntarily withdraw. 

(26) The student has a right to reapply for a deferral if their circumstances change or if more information becomes available.

Part C - Procedure for Transfer

Notification to the Registrar

(27) Where a student can only continue on their programme by being transferred to another cohort, the Head of School/Academic Lead or nominee recommends a transfer to the Registrar noting any implications for the student.

Transfer

(28) The Registrar, consulting with the Head of School/Academic Lead or nominee and relevant College departments, notifies the student of the transfer in writing along with any and all implications of the transfer.

Acceptance of a Transfer

(29) The student may accept the transfer in writing to the Department of the Registrar.

Right of Appeal

(30) Students have the right to appeal the decision to transfer them under the Appeals Policy

(31) A student who does not appeal the decision to transfer them deems themselves to have accepted the transfer after the closure of the appeal window.