If you participate in official religious or cultural observance and your commitments will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible to Register for ongoing support for your studies.
Who is eligible?
Students who participate in ongoing religious or cultural observance, and whose participation may impact their studies, may be eligible for support.
Examples of religious or cultural observance include:
- Official religious observance such as prayer, fasting or religious holidays
- Official cultural observance such as memorials, holidays or practices related to a specific culture or cultural tradition (to attend wedding ceremonies, are not included).
Types of support available
The University may make education adjustments to your studies to help offset any disadvantage you might face without them.
Adjustments are made on a case-by-case basis and depend on the type of support you apply for.
How to apply
There are two different types of support you can apply for, depending on your circumstances.
- If you need a one-off study adjustment (for example, if fasting will impact on your exam period), apply for Special consideration.
- If you need ongoing study adjustments (for example, if you cannot attend class on Friday afternoons due to religious observance), Register for ongoing support.
Please provide a letter on the official letterhead of your religious congregation or cultural authority, outlining the nature of your observances and the potential impact on your studies.
The letter must be written and signed by an official authority within your religious congregation or cultural authority. This might include:
- A religious authority such as a rabbi, minister, priest, imam, monk or similar
- A cultural authority such as a director, manager, organiser or similar.
This University service may also be helpful to students who participate in official religious or cultural observance.
Chaplains are representatives of different faith groups in the wider community, who are placed in the University by their respective faith group with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.
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Why we collect your personal information
SEDS is collecting and processing your personal information for one or more of the following:
- To determine eligibility for Special consideration and/or Registration for ongoing supports
- Inform available outcomes available for Special consideration
- Develop and implement Academic Adjustment Plans (AAPs) when registering for ongoing support including alternative exam arrangements and accessibility supports
- Inform reporting and planning activities including for government funding reporting requirements, and to improve student services in relation to Special consideration and Registration for ongoing supports (non-identifying information only).
How we process your personal information
We will process your personal information as necessary for our legitimate interests, in accordance with applicable privacy laws, and only under the following circumstances:
- For the purpose for which it was collected; or
- A related purpose which you might reasonably expect; or
- Where you have consented to the processing; or
- If we are required or permitted to do so by law.
We collect your personal information directly from you. In some cases, we source some information (e.g., your subject enrolment details and results) from the University’s student database, and if required we will validate curriculum and assessment details with the relevant faculty.
We will only share your personal information with the University of Melbourne staff members who are directly involved in the assessment of your application and in determining the appropriate outcomes. The information may also be made available to authorised staff in your Faculty to aid in determining special consideration outcomes, and also with the centrally organised exams team when it involves alternative exam arrangements (AEAs) including accessibility adjustments when registered for ongoing support.
Where relevant, sharing of your Academic Adjustment Plan (AAP) with others such as academic staff will be done with your consent. If you choose not to share your AAP, this may limit what adjustments can be made.
There may be some instances where your personal information may be transferred outside of Victoria or Australia (for example, where providers are located internationally or use a cloud-based system with servers based in international jurisdictions). We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the interstate or overseas transfer of personal information is in accordance with our privacy obligations as outlined in the University’s General Privacy Statement.
If you choose not to provide requested information, it may mean that your application is deemed ineligible and/or cannot be approved and implemented by SEDS, Academic Divisions or other services or programs at the University.
Further privacy information
- Our lawful basis for processing personal information;
- Collection, use and disclosure of personal information;
- Accuracy, security and storage of personal information;
- Retention and disposal of personal information;
- Your individual rights; and
- Applicable privacy laws.
You may request access to, or correction of, your personal information we hold, or exercise your individual rights as applicable under relevant privacy laws, unless this would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others or would contravene the University’s other legislative obligations.
If the lawful collection of your personal information is based on your consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of our processing of your information prior to you withdrawing your consent.
For further information you can contact us at Equity and Disability Support firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: Wednesday 16 August 2023
If you still have questions relating to ongoing support for cultural or religious observance, please contact Stop 1.