International student transfer policy

These guidelines predominantly refer to students currently enrolled at the University of Melbourne who wish to transfer away from the University to another institution within the first six months of commencement. This is in accordance with of the National code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.

The University of Melbourne is entitled to determine the circumstances in which it may provide or refuse to provide a letter of release. Release will be granted by the University only where the transfer will not be to the detriment of the student or their future studies (e.g. release will be granted if a student is experiencing personal difficulty or educational problems that cannot be addressed by the University's resources).

However, advice is also provided for students wishing to transfer to the University of Melbourne from another institution.

Release will be granted under the following circumstances:

  • A student is sponsored by their government and the sponsor considers the change to be in the student's best interest and has provided written support for the change
  • The course for which the student has received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will not be offered by the University and ceased to be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  • The student has completed at least six months of study in the current course
  • The University fails to deliver the course as outlined in the written agreement.

Other circumstances may be considered for release if:

  • The student is in receipt of a packaged CoE and has not met the entry requirements for the principal course
  • A course is academically unsuitable for the student and the student is therefore unable to achieve satisfactory course progress at the level they are studying
  • There is evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances. Further information is available on the compassionate and Compelling circumstances for international students webpage
  • The student can provide evidence that he/she was misled by the University of Melbourne or appointed representative regarding the course or the university
  • There is evidence that the overseas student’s reasonable expectations about their current course are not being met
  • An appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release the student.

Circumstances where a release is not granted

A release request will be refused if a student is unable to provide satisfactory evidence that his/her course is academically unsuitable, or that the student cannot provide sufficient evidence that compassionate or compelling circumstances for the transfer exit. A release request will not be granted if:

  • The University forms the view that the student is trying to avoid being reported to the Department of Home Affairs for failure to meet the provider's attendance or academic progress requirements
  • The student applies to transfer to another sector (e.g. VET) or another level (e.g. Masters to Bachelor)
  • The University is not satisfied that the student has demonstrated compassionate or compelling grounds for a transfer
  • The intended course will not provide adequate preparation for further study, nor be recognised by higher education providers as meeting their entry requirements and the transfer would be detrimental to the student's future study plans.

The University will assess a student's request for release against its policies and procedures and will only grant release when the student has:

  • Provided an offer letter from another registered provider for a relevant intake
  • Provided a letter detailing the reasons for the transfer request, including if relevant, evidence of compassionate and compelling circumstances
  • Where the student is under 18:
    • The registered provider has written confirmation that the student's parental or legal guardian supports the transfer
    • Where the student is not being cared for in Australia by a parent or a suitable nominated relative, the valid enrolment offer also confirms that the registered provider will accept that responsibility for approving the student's accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements.


You will be notified of the outcome of your request within 10 working days of submitting your request. There is no charge for a letter of release. The University will maintain records of all requests from students for a release and the assessment of, and decision regarding, the request for two years after student ceases to be an accepted student.

  • Successful outcome: Students will be informed that the University has approved the request to transfer to another institution, the Department of Home Affairs will be informed and their University of Melbourne CoE cancelled. The student must be advised that they will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs to seek advice on whether a new student visa is required
  • Unsuccessful outcome: Students will be informed of the reasons for this decision and informed that they may freely transfer between institutions after six months.

Complaints and appeals processes

Student complaints and appeals at the University of Melbourne follow up to three steps:

  1. The student or applicant can request feedback from the relevant area to better understand the decision that was made. If you do not have the contact details for the relevant area contact Stop 1.

  2. The student or applicant can request a formal review of the decision. The review of the decision will be made by the Academic Registrar and a formal response will be provided back to you. You can request a review online.

  3. If dissatisfied with the outcome of the review in Step 2 the student or applicant may lodge an appeal with the Academic Secretary within 20 working days of the review outcome. The appeal will be considered by the Academic Secretary to determine whether grounds for appeal have been established. If the appeal is allowed an appeal hearing will be held with members of the Academic Board. You can view the appeals process and lodge an appeal online.

This written agreement, and the right to make complaints and seek appeals of decisions and action under various processes, does not affect the rights of the student to take action under the Australian Consumer Law if the Australian Consumer Law applies.

Student wishing to apply to transfer to the University of Melbourne

Students wishing to apply to transfer within 6 months of commencing a course at another institution must provide evidence of release from that institution as part of their application to transfer.