As an international student on a student visa, you are expected to complete your course within the time given on your electroninc Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE). For example, a student enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce is expected to complete within 3 years. In most instances, this requires you to enrol in a 100 per cent study load (that is, 24 units per semester), each semester until the completion of your program requirements. You can only reduce your study load or extend your course duration in limited, exceptional circumstances. You will need to seek permission from your ANU College course adviser to reduce your study load. Please note that in most cases, you will be required to substantiate your request for a reduced study load with supporting documentation (eg medical/ counselling certificates).
You may be allowed to reduce your study load if it will not extend the duration of your program (as indicated on your COE). For instance, if you have been granted credit or completed subjects in a non-standard session (eg summer or winter session) and you are ahead of your course requirements, you may be permitted to reduce your study load in the following semester.
You do not need to seek approval to reduce your study load if you are undertaking the final subjects of your course and are enrolled in your last semester.
A reduced study load can be approved in the following circumstances:
- Your course duration will not change; or
- The duration of your course is extended due to:
- Course structure or subject availability
- Illness, bereavement or traumatic experience
- Academic progress assistance
There are potentially very serious consequences to your eCoE and visa when reducing your study load.
Unapproved reduced study loads
In accordance with Australian legislation, ANU can only extend a student’s program duration and issue an extension eCoE if there are compassionate or compelling circumstances that necessitate the extension. If you reduce your study load without approval or supporting documentation throughout your degree and then require an extension to your program, you may find ANU denies your request for an extension and refuses to issue you with a new eCoE. This will mean that you will not be able to extend your student visa and you may not be able to complete your program at the University.