1. Purpose of policy
1.1 The University acknowledges the need to provide effective and equitable student pathways for study from school, post-secondary education, the community and other universities. USC therefore provides credit for learning commensurate with the standard practices of the Australian Higher Education sector.
1.2 This policy provides a broad framework, set of principles and minimal requirements for determining credit for:
a) prior formal post-secondary learning; or
b) prior non-formal or informal learning.
2. Application of policy
2.1 This policy applies to all students, prospective students, staff, decision-making bodies, and agents and partners of the University.
2.2 The policy does not apply to higher degrees by research.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of terms for policy and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to these procedures and are critical to the effectiveness of it:
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.
4. Guiding principles of credit transfer
Credit transfer arrangements are designed to:
a) remove duplication of learning and promote a continuum of learning
b) enable students to gain a qualification in minimal time provided that the quality, integrity and standing of that qualification is not diminished in the process
c) contribute to the development of open, accessible, inclusive and integrated post-compulsory education systems
d) facilitate student mobility between institutions, sectors, states and nations
e) reduce the University’s exposure to risk with respect to academic standards.
5. Context for credit transfer
Credit transfer will be provided by the University consistent with requirements and guidelines contained within the current versions of the:
a) Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
b) AQF – Qualifications Pathways Policy
c) Provision of Education to International Students, Code of Practice and Guidelines for Australian Universities (Universities Australia)
d) National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (ESOS).
6. Credit Transfer and Admission
The granting of credit does not guarantee admission to any USC program.
7. Availability of credit transfer
Credit transfer will be available where the formal recognition of prior learning (non-formal or informal studies) for which credit may be granted is assessed as meeting the learning outcomes for:
Specified credit is credit granted towards particular or specific components of a qualification or program of learning
Unspecified credit is credit granted towards elective components of a qualification or program of learning
Block credit is credit granted towards whole stages or components of a program of learning leading to a qualification.
8. Restrictions on Credit Transfer
8.1 The University identifies a credit limit for programs based on what is considered the minimum amount of study at the University to qualify for the award of a University of the Sunshine Coast qualification. These limits are identified in the Credit Transfer – Procedures.
8.2 Credit transfer will be restricted in the following cases:
a) where external accreditation or professional registration or similar recognition requirements of a program prohibit or limit transfer of credit beyond that imposed by the University
b) where prior studies are used to meet minimal entry requirements for a program.
8.3 Prior formal studies will not be accepted for specified credit if it was completed more than 10 years before the application for credit is made.
8.4 This time limit does not apply where the prior formal studies is for unspecified or block credit.
9. Cross-Sector Credit Transfer
The minimum amount of credit that may be transferred in cross-sector (vocational education and training to higher education) arrangements at undergraduate level is identified in the Credit Transfer – Procedures based on the AQF Qualifications Pathway Policy.
10. USC Credit Information
Information on the University’s approach to credit transfer is located on the University’s website. The information will include the relevant policy, procedures and a database of precedents and articulation agreements.
11. Grading of credit
11.1 Credit will not be given a mark or grade and will not be included in the calculation of a grade point average (GPA).