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Underage Student Support Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 1 May 2024. 

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2)  This Procedure guides and informs the health, wellbeing and safety support of domestic and international students under the legal age of 18 years (underage students).

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to domestic and international students seeking enrolment and/or students enrolled in a unit or course offered by Deakin University or Deakin University English Language Institute who will be under 18 at the date of commencement. 

(4) Additional requirements are imposed in respect to international students in accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Student Act 2000 and National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

(5) This Procedure ceases to apply to students once they reach 18.

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Section 4 - Policy

(6) This Procedure is pursuant to the Child Safety Policy.   

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Section 5 - Procedure

Enrolment and admission

(7) The University welcomes applications from candidates of all ages, including those who are under the age of 18. All applications are considered in accordance with the Admission Policy. Underage students may be selected where:

  1. the University determines that they are academically qualified to successfully complete the relevant programme of study
  2. there are places available, and 
  3. the University has received the completed Deakin Domestic Student Consent form (Domestic students under 18) or Deakin International Student Consent form (International students under 18)  for applicants who will be under the age of 18 on commencement of their course.

The University is an adult learning environment 

(8) The University offers its students an adult environment and treats them as mature, independent individuals. All students (including underage students) behave in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. The University will publish information to parents/legal guardians and underage applicants explaining the key elements of an adult learning environment and the requirements and expectations that flow from this. 

(9) University studies can include confronting course material and adult content that is available online, in University libraries and as part of general teaching resources. The University takes reasonable steps to ensure that students have an opportunity to be well informed of confronting course content. Accordingly, students and their parents/legal guardians need to consider these factors before enrolling.

Parental responsibility 

(10) The University is not able to take on the usual rights, responsibilities, and authority that parents/legal guardians have in relation to a child, and it will not act in the place of parents/legal guardians in relation to students who are under the age of 18 years.

(11) Under 18 International students are required to have appropriate parent/legal guardian and welfare arrangements in place as per Visa requirements.  

International student welfare arrangements 

(12) In accordance with legislative requirements , international students under the age of 18 years applying to the University are required to demonstrate that adequate welfare arrangements are in place by either:

  1. nominating a parent/legal guardian or relative over the age of 21 years to be the student’s legal guardian. These arrangements will be assessed (and approved) by the Department of Home Affairs.  
  2. arranging for the University to approve the student’s welfare arrangements as outlined in the Deakin International Student Consent form (International students under 18). The University will issue a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter and the nominated start and end date of the student’s welfare arrangements. Students cannot enter Australia before welfare arrangements commence.  

(13) To meet the University requirements to issue the CAAW, students must have an agreement with a caregiver services and homestay provider approved by Deakin.   

(14) Students with a CAAW must stay in approved accommodation and have care arrangements in place until they turn 18 years of age. This includes for any period of non-enrolment. 

(15) Any changes to welfare arrangements must be approved by the University. To change arrangements, international students need to contact the University’s International Student Support Service ( Any changes to welfare arrangements without prior approval may result in cancellation of the student’s CAAW, Confirmation of Enrolment and enrolment. 

Support for underage students 

(16) The University provides a range of student support services as set out in the Support for Students Policy. The University recognises that underage students may need additional support and require the appropriate involvement of their parent/legal guardian. Support for underage students is as follows:

  1. The Executive Director, Student Services will be advised of students who are under 18 years of age at the commencement of each trimester. The DUELI General Manager will be notified of students who are enrolled with DUELI. 
  2. The Executive Director, Student Services or DUELI General Manager, as relevant, will inform relevant staff within each area of commencing domestic students under 17 years of age and international students under 18 years of age. A staff member will be assigned as the key contact point between the University and that student and put in place an underage student support plan. 
  3. The assigned staff member will contact the relevant Unit Chair/s to advise them of the underage student, support available and relevant staff contact. 
  4. The age and maturity of the student will impact on the level of support needed. For domestic students under 17 years of age and international students under 18 years of age the assigned staff member: 
    1. will ensure that regular meetings or communication is in place with individual students to check on the student’s successful transition to university life and study.
    2. be available to respond to queries from the student and their parents/legal guardian within the limits of Privacy requirements .
  5. Any member of staff can facilitate access to university support services once made aware of the particular needs of students under 18 years of age.
  6. The underage student support plan will finish when: 
    1. a domestic student turns 17 years of age.
    2. a international student turns 18 years of age.

      This does not prevent the student from requesting ongoing forms of support beyond the cessation of the underage student support plan.    

Student protection and wellbeing 

(17) If any staff member is concerned about the wellbeing of an underage student, they must raise these concerns with the Executive Director, Student Services or their Faculty Director to instigate an appropriate intervention. This may include assisting the student to access the University Medical and Counselling Services.  If a staff member, associate or student reasonably believes that an underage student has suffered or is at risk of child abuse, they must report their concerns in accordance with the Child Safety and Child Abuse Response and Reporting procedure.

(18) Treatment provided by the University’s medical and counselling services requires informed consent. Clinicians providing services to underage students will need to satisfy themselves that the student is capable of providing informed consent, ensuring that the student fully comprehends the nature, benefits and risks associated with any proposed service. Where it is reasonably determined that an underage student has provided informed consent, the student’s consent will be required for the disclosure of information to a parent or legal guardian.

(19) In cases of a medical emergency (for example, where emergency medical treatment is required for the underage student), action may need to be taken in the best interests of the student before parents or legal guardians can be contacted. In such cases, parents are deemed (by virtue of having signed the consent form for applicants who will be under the age of 18 on commencement of their course) to permit a senior member of the University (acting in accordance with medical advice, as appropriate) to do whatever is necessary in the student’s best interests. 


(20) Students, staff and associates are expected to comply with Victorian and Australian law and the University’s Alcohol Policy in relation to supply and consumption of alcohol on University premises. Serving and/or consumption of alcohol to persons under 18 years of age is not permitted.  


(21) The normal relationship between the University and the student has contractual elements. Where contracts are required, for example for tuition fees or accommodation, the University requires parent or legal guardian to act as guarantors and to honour all obligations under any contracts with the University that the student enters into prior to their 18th birthday.


(22) The University is required to comply with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic), and the Privacy policy in relation to all students' personal information, such as for example their academic progress and related matters. It is the University’s usual policy to communicate with students and not with parents or legal guardians. This approach will also apply to students who are under the age of 18 years, unless consented by the student or unless there was an imminent risk to the safety and wellbeing of the student.

University off-campus activities

(23) As part of their program of study, students may be required (or offered the opportunity) to attend field trips, excursions or other off-site learning  activities. The University is not able to make any special arrangements for underage students in this regard. That being the case:

  1. the parent or legal guardian gives consent for the student 18 years of age to take part in these activities by signing the Consent form for applicants who will be under the age of 18 on commencement of their course. 
  2. a student who is under the age of 17 will not be permitted to attend any overnight activity unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  3. International students with a CAAW are required to adhere to the curfew arrangements outlined by their homestay provider and must seek approval from Deakin before they can stay outside of their approved homestay. 

Activities arranged and conducted by Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) or Student Clubs and Student Societies

(24) Those providing social or sporting activities need to be aware of the presence of under 18-year-olds and take appropriate action to ensure compliance with the law but also provide social and recreational activities suitable to Deakin’s student cohort, including students under 18.   

(25) The University will require DUSA and Student Clubs and Societies to reflect the University’s position on the participation of underage students in overnight activities.   

Working with Children Checks 

(26) University staff and associates in roles that involve potential contact with underage students as part of their duties are required to obtain and maintain a  Working with Children Check in accordance with the University’s Child Safety policy

Information Management 

(27) The assigned staff member will record the agreed support plan and subsequent routine interactions, including correspondence with the student and parent/legal guardian utilising the University Student Management Systems. 

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Section 6 - Definitions

(28) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Caregiver services: an independent organisation which provides guardianship services to international students.  
  2. Domestic student: A person enrolled or enrolling who is an Australian citizen; a New Zealand citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa (including humanitarian visas).  
  3. Homestay provider: a registered homestay service which assists in arranging homestay accommodation between local individuals/families and visiting international students. 
  4. International student: a person enrolled or enrolling who is a temporary resident (visa status) of Australia; a permanent resident (visa status) of New Zealand, a resident or citizen of any other country, intending to study on a student visa. 
  5. Underage student: A student enrolled or enrolling in a course at the University who is or will be under 18 years of age on commencement of their course, which includes any pre-teaching orientation or other activity.