Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

Academic Encumbrance: An encumbrance placed in a student’s record which identifies a status of academic probation exists.

Academic Integrity: Involves undertaking academic activity in a responsible way so as to ensure that information and ideas are generated and communicated in an honest and ethical way and that use of other’s ideas and writing are acknowledged.

Academic Probation: An academic status which reveals the student has failed 50% or more of the units in which he/she was enrolled in a teaching period.

Academic Misconduct: Is undertaking academic activity, either deliberately or imprudently, that can result in unmerited advantage. It may take several forms including, but not limited to, plagiarism, cheating in examinations, falsification of data, and incorrectly ascribing authorship in group projects.

Academic dress (regalia): The official dress consisting of a gown, hood or stole, and trencher (mortar board) or bonnet to be worn by graduands/graduates of Avondale. There is specified academic dress for each award – see Academic regalia

Academic Status: Identifies a student’s academic standing in regard to whether or not progression in his/her course is satisfactory or not.

ACPET: Australian Council for Private Education and Training.

Administrative Encumbrance: An encumbrance in a student’s record which prohibits access to certain services, usually due to a financial debt with Avondale. May also be due to the existence of a requirement to ‘show cause’ why enrolment should not be discontinued, or having not completed AIM.

Advanced standing: Credit granted towards a student’s enrolled course on the basis of completed formal studies and/or on the basis of recognition of prior learning.

AHEGS: Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement. It is an official document provided by an awarding institution to its higher education graduates, relevant to course from which they have graduated. It provides a combination of a course specific transcript together with descriptions of the provider of the course, the course, and the graduate’s achievements, along with the contextual information relating to the Australian higher education sector and the institution.

AIM: Academic Integrity Module – an online module about academic integrity which students are required to satisfactorily complete in their first semester of enrolment in a course.

AIP: Administrative information for higher education providers: Student Support (the guideline we are obliged to follow in regard to student enrolment and fees).

Applicant: A potential student who has submitted a formal application (electronic or paper) to Avondale to enrol as a student.

AQF: Australian Qualifications Framework.

ASQA: Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Assessment Task: A learning activity which students are required to submit for grading as part of the total marks obtained for a unit.

ATAR: Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. A ranking from 30 (lowest) to 99.95 (highest) agreed by
Australian Tertiary Admission Rank COAG as a nationally equivalent measure of a person’s relative academic ranking within their peer cohort in the year they graduated from senior secondary school. The ATAR is derived from the scaled scores achieved for senior secondary school subjects. The specific calculation used is different in each state and territory but the result is designed to be nationally equivalent (this definition is from the Improving the transparency of higher education admissions: Joint higher education sector and Australian Government implementation plan, June 2017).

Attendance: Student involvement in structured learning activities associated with a unit, irrespective of the mode in which the learning activity is delivered.

Attendance Mode: Refers to the mode in which a course is offered or in which a student is enrolled and may be:
  • On Campus (ON): students attend instruction activities on the institution’s campus/es either in face-to-face sessions or in blended learning.
  • Off Campus (OC): students are remote from the institution’s campus and do not attend face-to-face instruction activities. Formal instruction is provided through the use of various modes of communication. This is now most commonly by online e-learning although there are times when other forms of communication/media may be used such as written materials, CD-ROMs, videos and podcasts.
  • Mixed Mode (MM): where course instruction is provided using a mix of on campus and off campus modes. Therefore students undertake some of their learning activities off campus (remotely) but they are also required to attend formal face-to-face sessions on campus, the latter often being scheduled as an intensive session (e.g. a winter residential school).

Attendance Type: Refers to whether a student is enrolled in his/her course on a full time (FT) or part time (PT) basis. Most courses are offered with the option of full time or part time enrolment, but a few have only the part time option.

Auditing a unit: To attend class sessions associated with the face-to-face activities of a unit without submitting assessment tasks for grading. No academic credit is given for an audited unit and auditing a unit does not entitle a person to accrue academic credit.

Award: The qualification conferred on a student when the requirements of the relevant accredited course have been met.

Award with Distinction: Granted to eligible students, who are outstanding achievers as identified by obtaining a minimum GPA of 6.25 for all of the Avondale units completed in a course for which they will receive an award. Any units completed at external institutions and transferred across by credit transfer or advanced standing into the course are not included in the GPA calculation.

Blended Learning: A learning approach where the instructor combines multiple methods of delivery of instruction; commonly blending face-to-face teaching with online activities. It is not to be confused with a unit being offered in ‘mixed mode’.

Callista: The electronic student management system used by Avondale.

Census Dates: Dates at which enrolment data is recorded by Avondale for reporting to the Commonwealth Government. Students are not permitted to add, drop or change enrolment without financial penalty after the relevant census date in each particular teaching period.

Combined Degree: An accredited course which combines two fields of study (e.g. society & culture and education) into a single course. The course has one code, one set of course rules, one CRICOS number and results in the issuing of a single testamur (award) and AHEGS. Examples at Avondale include: BA/BTch, BSc/BTch. This is different to a ‘Double Degree’ which results in the conferral of two separate awards and therefore two separate testamurs and AHEGS. Avondale does not currently offer any Double Degrees.

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP): a scheme whereby an eligible student’s tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian government so that the student is only required to pay a ‘student contribution’ amount rather than the full domestic tuition fees. Some categories of student’s are able to defer payment of their student contribution through HECS-HELP until earning a determined threshold.
For eligibility and further details see

Conferral: The act of granting an award to a student, either in person or in absentia, at an official graduation ceremony.

Conferral date: The date of the decision, by the authorised approval committees, to confer an award.

COPHE: Council of Private Higher Education.

Core Units: Certain required or mandatory units that form part of a degree. Students are required to undertake core units where designated as part of their degree.

Course: The total program of study leading to an accredited award.

Course Enrolment Mode: Indicates the attendance mode in which a student is undertaking his/her course. May be On campus, Off Campus, or Mixed Mode. These terms do not refer to whether a student is living in the on-campus residence halls or living off-campus.

Credit Points: In most courses the academic weighting of each unit is indicated by the number of credit points awarded to it. Most units at Avondale have a credit point value of 6. In undergraduate courses and postgraduate coursework courses it is generally expected that students study four x 6-credit point units totalling 24 credit points per semester. This full-time academic load will require a time commitment of approximately 36 hours of academic work per week.

Credit Transfer: Refers to the transfer of credit points from completed formal study or recognised prior learning into a student’s Avondale course in recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes. Avondale normally uses the term ‘advanced standing’.

CRICOS: Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.

Cross-institutional Study: Where a current student is granted permission to enrol in a relevant unit (or units) at another recognised higher education provider and, on successfully completion, will be granted specified credit for the completed study into his/her Avondale course.

CSP: Commonwealth Supported Place (previously referred to as HECS place).

CSU: Charles Sturt University.

Department of Education and Training: The federal government department which oversees national education.

DIBP: Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Distance Education Units: Students enrolled in distance education units are facilitated with their learning by methods other than attendance at on-campus modes of delivery such as face-to-face lectures. The offering of these units at Avondale is typically facilitated through the use of Moodle. Students studying units in the distance education mode have ready access to academic staff by telephone, email and, where appropriate, video or audio conferencing, and to their peers through Moodle.

Domestic Student (for the purposes of tuition fees): A student who is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident visa hold or a New Zealand citizen.

Duplicate Units: The process used to credit transfer relevant successfully completed units in one course at Avondale into another course at Avondale to which the student has transferred.

Enrolled Unit: A unit with a status of ‘enrolled’ indicates the student is enrolled in the unit. This status is required if the student expects to study the unit for the teaching period, and have a grade recorded.

Enrolment: The process of updating personal information, data required for government reporting, and enrolling in units for specific teaching periods. At Avondale this is completed online, through Student Connect, by the student. The term ‘Registration’ is no longer used.

ESOS Act: Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.

Examination Timetable: The schedule of the times unit examinations are conducted during the official examination period at the end of each semester.

Exclusion: The situation where it has been determined that a student’s enrolment in a course, or at Avondale, will be discontinued as a result of unsatisfactory academic progress. Also referred to as termination of enrolment.

Exit (nested) course: A qualification nested in a course leading to a higher level qualification. Once the units completed earlier in the articulated sequence meet the course requirements of the lower level, nested qualification, the student may choose to exit with that qualification rather than remaining enrolled and completing the higher level qualification. If the lower level award has been conferred, the student has the right to subsequently enrol in the higher level course. In such circumstances the completed units will be credited to the higher level course if they comply with the time rules of the Advanced Standing Policy. Where a student who has graduated from a lower, nested qualification subsequently graduate from the higher level qualification, the lower qualification becomes redundant and therefore should not be cited.

FEE-HELP: An Australian government loan scheme that assists eligible fee paying students pay all or part of their tuition fees. For eligibility criteria and details see

Full Time versus Part Time Study Load: A full time study load in Avondale’s non-HDR higher education courses is 4 x 6 credit points per semester (24 credit points), or equivalent. This is the minimum load a student needs to enrol in each semester to complete a course in the minimum time. It is also the load student visa holders need to be enrolled in unless there are approved extenuating circumstances for a reduced load. Additionally, many scholarships require recipients to be enrolled in this full time load. Centrelink considers students at Avondale to be ‘full time’ for its purposes if they are enrolled in a minimum of 3 x 6 credit point units in a semester, or equivalent. Centrelink only considers the enrolment load in single courses when determining eligibility for Centrelink payments, although officially approved cross-institutional enrolment will also be factored in. A student enrolled in 2 x 6 credit point units in a course at Avondale is considered to be part time.

Good Standing: An academic status which reveals the student has satisfactorily passed more than 50% of the units is which he/she was enrolled in a teaching period.

GPA: Refers to grade point average. Avondale’s GPA is reported on a scale of seven.

Grade: The final result which describes the student’s result (see 16 below) derived from his/her combined marks for the assessed learning tasks for a unit.

Graduand: A student who has been confirmed to have completed the requirements of an accredited course but who is yet to have the award conferred.

Graduate: Noun – a student who has had an award conferred on them.
Verb – a student who has successfully completed the requirement of a course and the award has been conferred.

Graduation: The moment when an award is conferred on a graduand; also the official ceremony at which awards are conferred.

Graduation fee: The fee students are required to pay to attend their Avondale graduation ceremony in person, to cover the cost of their academic dress and official photograph, and graduation gift as determined by the graduating class. Those who choose do graduate in absentia are not required to pay the graduation fee.

Graduation in absentia: When an award is conferred on a student without their presence at the graduation ceremony. Where a student graduates in absentia their graduation documents will either be available for collection or posted after the graduation ceremony.

HDR: Higher Degree Research – an AQF level 9 or 10 research course.

HESA: Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Intermission: A period of approved leave, with specific start and end dates, where a student enrolled in a course is permitted to not be enrolled in any units for that nominated time period.

International Student: A student who requires an Australian Student Visa to temporarily reside in Australia for study purposes.

Invalid Unit: A unit with status of ‘invalid’ indicates that the student requires special permission to enrol in that unit. Where permission is granted, the Course Convenor needs to arrange for waiving of the rule to be applied and then inform the student they may log into Student Connect and confirm enrolment in the unit.

Last day to enter a unit: Students are expected to be enrolled in their unit/s by the published commencement of the relevant teaching period. Where students wish to change a unit, they may enrol in a unit up until close of business of the fifth academic day of a 14 week teaching period (or pro rata point in a teaching period of a different length). Enrolling in a unit after the first day of the teaching period requires approval by the relevant Course Convenor and lecturer.

Last day to withdraw from a unit: Students withdrawing from a unit prior to the census date must obtain the approval of the Course Convenor. Withdrawals after census date will result in a grade of Withdrawal Late Without Academic Penalty (WL) or Fail due to Late Withdrawal (FW). A student is still liable for the full tuition fee where withdrawal from a unit occurs after the relevant census date.

Late Enrolment Fee: A financial penalty applied to a student who fails to enrol in his/her unit/s by the published deadline for the relevant teaching period. The deadlines are published in the official Avondale Academic Calendar which can be viewed at

Mark: The final result expressed as a percentage which a student receives for the combined learning tasks for a unit.
Maximum time limit to complete a course: The maximum time to complete a course from the time of commencement is based on the following formula:
(full-time study course duration × 2) + 2 years = maximum course length

Mixed Mode Units: Units offered by mixed mode delivery combine both on-campus face-to-face sessions and distance education. The face-to-face sessions may be offered in intensive class sessions during a residential school program, or they may be offered on a regular weekly basis. The distance education component typically uses Moodle.

Module Credit: Credit given for part if a unit in recognition that the student has already met the unit outcomes for that section. Where module credit is granted the student must still enrol in the unit and satisfactorily complete the remaining components, as outlined by the relevant lecturer, and is still liable for the full tuition fee for the unit.

NESA: New South Wales Education Standards Authority. Previously known as BOSTES - Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards until 2017, which was a merging of the NSW Board of Studies and the NSW Institute of Teachers from 2014.

On-campus academic activities: The structured academic sessions in a unit which require a student to attend face-to-face or professional experience activities such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, skill-based classes or professional/clinical/field experience etc.

On-campus Units: Students enrolled in on-campus units attend face-to-face class sessions and also engage in some online learning activities.

Online Enrolment: The process of logging into Student Connect, selecting SELF ENROLMENT from the left hand menu, and completing each of the enrolment steps. Students are required to complete this process during the relevant enrolment period for each teaching period in which they wish to study units.

OS-HELP: An Australian government loan available to eligible students who have a Commonwealth supported place to assist with undertaking some of their study overseas if they choose. For eligibility criteria and details see

Overload: Enrolment in more than four units in a semester teaching period, or equivalent. Where students are enrolled in units in more than one teaching period the units are counted on a pro-rata basis. For example, if enrolled in four semester one units and two year-long units concurrently, the load in the semester one teaching period would be: 4 units + 2 half units = 5 units.

Plagiarism: The use of someone else's ideas or words as if they were your own. Plagiarism is one form of academic misconduct/dishonesty, and students are expected to avoid it by: doing their own work when independent work is required; acknowledging all sources of information and ideas; and acknowledging all group members when group assignments are required.

Progression Rules: Students are normally expected to pass all units in which they are enrolled in a teaching period. A student who fails 50% or more of the credit points attempted in a teaching period will be considered as not making satisfactory progress and will be placed on probation.

Provisional Enrolment: An academic status which indicates the student has been accepted into the course for his/her first semester with an academic status of probation because the minimum entry requirements have not been met but academic success is considered to be possible. These students commence their course with a status of ‘probation’.

Qualification: The award for which a student has qualified through his or her study.

Recognition of Prior Learning: The granting of advanced standing on the basis of relevant work experience or professional development activities with appropriate rigour and currency.

Required Withdrawal: To discontinue a student’s course enrolment due to:
  • unsuccessful course progression with show cause being dismissed
  • failure to show cause why course enrolment should not be discontinued
  • breaching of Avondale’s Student General Conduct and Discipline Policy or Australian student visa requirements

Show Cause: Where a student is required to outline to the relevant Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee, in writing, why he/she considers enrolment in the course in which he/she is currently enrolled should not be discontinued (terminated) because of unsatisfactory academic progress.

Standard Load: The standard full-time load for coursework courses at Avondale over one academic year is 48 credit points (i.e. 8 x 6 credit point units). For a full time student this normally means four units in a semester.

Statement of Attainment: An official record of the competencies achieved by a student in a partially completed Vocational Education Training (VET) course.

Staff Connect: A web-based portal that allows staff to access student information.

Student: A person who is formally enrolled in a course at Avondale.

Student Connect: A web-based portal that allows students to access and manage their student information, including:
  • Enrolment in units (subjects)
  • Submission of Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS) or FEE-HELP form, if eligible
  • Viewing tuition fee invoice and balance
  • Keeping contact details up-to-date
  • Viewing ‘Enrolment Record’ to check unit enrolment details and to providing proof of enrolment
  • Viewing details about academic enrolment (course, major, units etc.)
  • View grades
  • Checking course progression and completion details
  • Viewing graduation details if a potential graduate
  • and more…

Student Workload: Students are required to enrol in a load which is compliant with the Study Load Policy. Where they choose to enrol in an overload they may do so only with approval as outlined in the policy. Where they choose to enrol in an underload they must take into account the maximum time allowed to complete the course. International students in Australia on a Student Visa must enrol in a full time study load unless they meet the criteria which allows for a load below that, as outlined in the International Students Policy.
The National Code for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (The National Code): A code which identifies the standards required of registered providers of education and training courses in regard to international students.

TEQSA: Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

Teaching Periods: Teaching periods are the length of time over which units of study are offered. There are three major teaching periods at Avondale: Semester One, Semester Two, and Year-long, but there are also several others. See the overview of teaching period commencement dates, conclusion dates, and census dates on the Avondale web:

Testamur: The certificate issued at the completion of a course of study that indicates the student has fulfilled all the requirements prescribed for that course of study and qualifies him or her for the award conferred by the authority of the College Council.

Transcript of Academic Record: A formal written document which identifies the course/s an teaching period/s (semester) in which a student has enrolled at Avondale and details the student’s performance in all units completed.

Turnitin: A web-based tool through which assignments can be submitted to allow a text-matching service.

Unconfirmed Unit: A unit with a status of ‘unconfirmed’ indicates that the student is not enrolled in the unit. If the student plans to study the unit he/she must log into Student Connect and change it to a status of enrolled

Under consideration: An academic status which indicates a student’s academic progression is being considered to determine which status will be applied.

Underload: Enrolment in fewer units than required to complete a course in the normal time duration.

Unit: A self-contained unit of study (subject) normally equivalent to 0.125 EFTSL, although some may be 0.250 or higher.

Unit codes: Unit codes at Avondale indicate the discipline area and the year level of the unit. The first four letters indicate the discipline area (e.g., EDUC indicates Education). The first digit indicates the year level, for example:
  1. indicates 100-level in an undergraduate degree
  2. indicates 200-level in an undergraduate degree
  3. indicates 300-level in an undergraduate degree
  4. indicates Honours level in an undergraduate degree
  5. indicates a coursework masters degree
  6. indicates a research masters degree
  7. indicates a doctoral degree
The final four digits indicate the unit sequence in the course.

Unit Mode: Units may be offered in the following modes:
  • On-campus (O): instruction activities for the unit are provided on the institution’s campus/es either in face-to-face sessions or in blended mode.
  • Distance (D): students are remote from the institution’s campus and do not attend face-to-face instruction activities when enrolled in the unit. Formal instruction is provided through the use of various modes of communication. This is now most commonly by online e-learning although there are times when other forms of communication/media may be used such as written materials, CD-ROMs, videos and podcasts.
  • Mixed mode (M): where instruction/learning for a unit uses a mix of on campus and off campus modes. Therefore students undertake some of their learning activities off campus (remotely) but they are also required to attend formal face-to-face sessions on campus.

The unit mode is not to be confused with course attendance or course enrolment mode. A list of units and the mode(s) in which they are offered is available in the Unit Offering and Fee Schedule on the Avondale website at One unit may be offered in any or all of these modes in the same teaching period, if justified.

Unit Offering List & Fee Schedule: Official published list of units on offer in an academic year with the EFTSL and tuition fee for each unit identified. Avondale can only offer units which are published on the official list for a given teaching period. The list is published on the Avondale web at:

Unit Set: Approved sequences of units that make up either a minor, major, specialisation or double major unit set, as follows:
  • Minor: An approved sequence of studies comprising at least four 6-credit point units in one discipline area or coherent multi-discipline area with at least two units at 200- or 300-level.
  • Major: An approved sequence of studies comprising at least eight 6-credit point units in one discipline area or coherent multi-discipline area with at least two units at 300-level.
  • Specialisation: An approved sequence of studies comprising of at least ten units in one discipline or coherent multi-discipline area, including at least two units at 100 level, at least four units at 200 level and at least four units at 300 level.
  • Double Major: An approved sequence of studies comprising of sixteen 6-credit point units in one discipline or coherent multi-discipline area, with at least four units at 300 level.

VET: Vocational Education and Training.

Virtual academic activities: The structured online learning activities in a unit in which a student is enrolled.

Withdrawal from a course or unit/s: Students discontinuing their course or unit/s part way through a teaching period must complete and submit the official withdrawal form. A student who fails to comply with these formalities forfeits any Avondale fee refunds for which they might be eligible and is awarded a fail grade for the relevant enrolled unit/s. Students who fail to notify Avondale of their withdrawal from study or who fail to return from approved leave will be administratively withdrawn from their course of study by the Academic Registrar.

Withdrawal deadlines: The published dates by which withdrawal from course units needs to occur to avoid financial and/or academic penalties in a particular teaching period.

Work and life experience applicants: Applicants who left secondary education more than two years previously and have not undertaken VET or higher education study since then (this definition is from the Improving the transparency of higher education admissions: Joint higher education sector and Australian Government implementation plan, June 2017).