A student withdrew from a graduate-level course and sought to defer his studies. He alleged that the education provider had guaranteed him a place in the course when he returned to his studies. He further alleged that the provider had unlawfully provided only a partial refund of his previous course fees.

The provider submitted that the student was given conditional entry into the masters-level program and failed to successfully reach the appropriate standard by completing a suitable research proposal and meeting the necessary grade-point average when he made his new application. Further, they say that on his previous withdrawal from the course, he was provided a partial refund of course fees, even though they were under no obligation to do so.   

How we helped

iStudent Complaint's Resolution Coordinator contacted the involved parties and collated a large amount of relevant information from the student and the Private Training Establishment (PTE) regarding the ongoing dispute. The Resolution Coordinator ensured that internal complaint processes of the PTE had been exhausted and provided a forum for negotiation. A Resolution Practitioner was appointed to the case.

The Resolution Practitioner attempted facilitation, but it became clear quickly that the matter would need to proceed to adjudication. He took submissions from the parties and drafted the proposed, then final decision.


The adjudicator found that there was no evidence of any breach by the provider of any of their responsibilities under the Code or their contractual obligations. He found that there was no unambiguous promise made that the student would be entitled to return to the provider’s program following his withdrawal. He was required to reapply, but failed to meet the entry criteria applying at the time of re-application