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Student Travel and Expenses Procedures

Purpose

Scope

Principles

Procedural statements

Procedural ownership and support

Definitions

Approval information

PDF version

References

Appendix

1. Purpose

1.1 The Student Travel and Expenses Procedures (the procedures) outline the processes for students undertaking university travel and managing expenses and reimbursements. These procedures should be read in conjunction with the Student Travel and Expenses Policy (the policy).

2. Scope

2.1 These procedures apply to all those under the scope of the policy.

3. Principles

3.1 The principles outlined in the policy apply for these procedures.

4. Procedural statements

Health, safety and risk management

4.1 Domestic and overseas travel must be booked via an approved university provider, approved using the travel approval form (PDF) (available at travel forms) and in line with the policy as part of UTS’s risk management strategy for student travel.

4.2 The following risk management provisions are built into the travel approval procedures for students at UTS.

  • Travel booked with UTS preferred providers ensures automatic registration with International SOS/UTS global assistance program. International SOS (UTS’s contracted medical emergencies provider) works with preferred providers to ensure all travel data is captured and registered for staff and students undertaking university travel. In the event of an emergency, International SOS can locate and provide emergency assistance to students. Students can access their International SOS emergency card online.
  • Travel approvals consider travel advice ratings provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with permissions required for high risk travel outlined in the policy.
  • Students travelling for research purposes that may involve health and safety risks must complete a research risk management plan (available from research: research safety at UTS) with the relevant First Named Chief Investigator or principal supervisor for approval by the relevant associate dean (research).
  • Students undertaking fieldwork while on university travel should follow the Fieldwork Guidelines.
  • Travel to destinations with a country risk level rating of 3 must have the necessary approvals in line with the policy. Students must also complete an overseas travel risk management form (PDF) (available from overseas travel: risk management) before travel.

4.3 Students must ensure that all inoculations, immunisations, visas and other travel requirements are acquired or organised prior to university travel taking place.

4.4 Students must:

4.5 UTS Student Services also provides information and support for personal student travel.

Travel insurance, passports and visas

4.6 UTS’s corporate travel insurance is comprehensive but does include some limitations. Refer to corporate travel insurance for details of the insurance, wording, terms and claims processes.

4.7 Insurance policy terms change from time to time and may not cover specific countries or countries with a high risk rating. Students should ensure they are covered as part of the travel approval process.

4.8 Students are responsible for arranging their own travel insurance for any associated personal travel.

4.9 Students must have a valid passport (a minimum validity of six months is preferred at all times) and any visas required for their intended journey in line with the provisions of the policy.

Quotes and travel approval

4.10 Any travel undertaken prior to seeking approval is not categorised as university travel and is not covered or authorised by UTS. All required information must be provided prior to approval and submitted in line with the policy and these procedures.

4.11 In seeking approval for university travel, all students (with the exception of students from the School of International Studies) must complete a travel approval form (PDF) (available at travel forms) and get quotes from the university's preferred travel agents as part of the university’s risk management strategy for student travel outlined in these procedures.

4.12 The approver must ensure that all the necessary details and approval steps are complete in advance of approval. Once approval is granted, university travel may be booked.

Booking travel

4.13 Students (and staff responsible for approving travel) must ensure the lowest logical fare is achieved when approving university travel by taking the following steps:

  • book flights in line with the policy
  • avoid flexible fares where certainty of travel is known
  • if flexibility is required, consider a less flexible fare to the destination and a flexible fare on return
  • use preferred travel agents
  • ensure there is minimal delay in sending the approved travel approval form to the preferred travel agent.

4.14 Air travel bookings should be made as far in advance as possible using a safe and reliable airline via the most practical route possible using the lowest logical fare as follows.

  • Domestic and trans-Tasman travel bookings should normally be made a minimum of 21 days in advance of departure.
  • International travel bookings should normally be made a minimum of 60 days in advance of departure.

4.15 Students may gain points though university travel with their frequent flyer programs and/or use their personal frequent flyer points to upgrade flights only where the choice of airline and/or upgrade does not compromise the university’s lowest logical fare requirements.

Booking accommodation

4.16 Accommodation should be booked in conjunction with the airfare booking via either of the UTS preferred travel agencies. This streamlines the payment process and ensures all travel related information is registered with International SOS.

4.17 Hotel accommodation should be comparable to Australian three or four star rating and provide a safe environment located near the student’s place of study or business. Room rates should be reasonable considering the city/region being visited (for example, an AUD$100 a night hotel in Hanoi would be extravagant but in London an AUD $100 a night hotel is likely to be substandard).

4.18 On extended stays over several nights, students might consider a serviced apartment for better value and greater convenience.

4.19 When attending conferences students may consider choosing from the associated ‘conference package’ so long as they are in line with the requirements of the policy and procedures.

4.20 Students who use frequent guest programs to pay for preferred accommodation while on university travel will not be reimbursed for the value of the accommodation.

4.21 Staying with friends and/or family is permitted for students on university travel but should be approved in line with the procedures and the requirements outlined in the travel approval form (PDF) (available at travel forms).

Ground transport and transfers

4.22 Ground transport and transfers are covered in line with the policy. When considering modes of transport, students should provide a reason for their choice of transfers (train, taxis, car hire or other), using the preferred providers list and taking into consideration the university’s lowest logical fare requirements.

4.23 If hiring a vehicle overseas, students should select a local provider offering a suitable vehicle at a reasonable price (and review the terms and conditions before confirming a booking). Additional insurance on overseas rentals may be necessary depending on the kind of cover provided. Corporate travel insurance provides some excess coverage; for specific information contact the tax and insurance unit.

4.24 Use of UTS pool vehicles, rental cars, taxis, shuttle services or public transport may be considered for university travel as an approved part of the travel arrangements on the travel approval form (PDF) (available at travel forms).

Payment for university travel and expenses

4.25 When booking university travel through one of the UTS preferred travel agents, the signed travel approval form (PDF) (available at travel forms) provides all information required for the travel agent to invoice UTS each month. The specific travel funds will then be recovered from the budget area indicated on the form.

4.26 Normally the preferred method of travel related payment for students is via reimbursement on the travel acquittal form (PDF) (available at travel forms). Travel expenses for students undertaking university travel are outlined in the policy with typically allowable and non-allowable travel expenses (Appendix 1).

4.27 Where relevant, students may follow UTS’s advice on reducing costs while travelling (available on Staff Connect and to students on request).

Complaints and breaches

4.28 Any issues, complaints or other feedback regarding the performance of the university's preferred providers should be emailed to the UTS travel manager.

4.29 A breach of these procedures is considered a breach of the policy.

5. Procedural ownership and support

5.1 Procedures owner: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources) is responsible for procedural enforcement and compliance, and approval of these procedures.

5.2 Procedures contact: The Chief Financial Officer, Financial Services Unit is responsible for the implementation of these procedures, establishing and maintaining the official file and acting as a primary point of contact for advice on implementing its provisions.

5.3 Others impacted by the provisions in these procedures are outlined in section 5 of the policy.

6. Definitions

These definitions apply for these procedures and are presented in addition to the definitions outlined in the policy and in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Domestic travel is defined in the Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy.

International travel is defined in the Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy.

Lowest logical fare means the most economical available airfare at the time of booking that suits the requirements of a traveller in enabling business objectives to be met, and ensures effective use of the traveller's time.

First Named Chief Investigator is defined in the Research Management Policy.

Approval information

Policy contact Chief Financial Officer, Financial Services Unit
Approval authority Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources)
Review date 2023
File number UR20/50
Superseded documents Travel Guidelines 2012 (UR10/425)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources) 23/12/2019 24/02/2020 New procedures

PDF version

Student Travel and Expenses Procedures (PDF)

References

Corporate travel insurance

Fieldwork Guidelines

UTS Hazard and Incident Reporting Online (HIRO)

Overseas travel risk management form (PDF) (available at overseas travel: risk management)

Preferred travel agents (at UTS buying guide/list of UTS preferred suppliers)

Research risk management plan (available at research: research safety at UTS)

Safety and wellbeing: health and safety management

School of International Studies

Student Travel and Expenses Policy (the policy)

Tax and insurance unit

Travel approval form (PDF) (available at travel forms)

Travel acquittal form (PDF) (available at travel forms)

UTS Student Services: support

External links

International SOS/UTS global assistance program

International SOS emergency card

Appendix 1. Allowable and non-allowable travel expenses and reimbursements

Incidental expenses Allowable Non-allowable
Business expenses
Necessary health examinations, inoculations, vaccinations
Necessary visas and consulate fees
Passport
Postage, photocopying, printing
Necessary laundry or dry cleaning (while travelling)1
Business calls and reasonable business internet use2
Work related gifts By negotiation with the dean or director prior to departure.
Travel expenses
Compulsory exit and entry fees
Transport costs
Porter fees and airport trolley hire
Rental car upgrades
Tipping (see Entertainment Vice-Chancellor’s Directive for details)
‘No-show’ charges for hotel or car hire3
Parking tickets or traffic violations
Finance expenses
Currency exchange rate fees/commissions
Interest charges on personal credit cards
Personal expenses
Necessary medical attention from a local doctor
Reasonable personal phone calls
Bottled water, soft drinks
Clothing or toiletry items
Expenses related to vacation or personal days4
Hairdressers
Magazines, books, newspapers, personal reading materials
Alcohol including minibar5
Movies (eg hotel in-house movies)
Personal accident insurance
Personal vehicle — maintenance or repairs
Personal entertainment, including sports events
Personal travel or property insurance
Personal internet use
Personal telephone calls in excess of reasonable calls home
Souvenirs or personal gifts

1. Travellers away for more than five nights or in difficult climates are expected to need to use laundry or dry cleaning services.

2. Check hotel internet usage charges prior to connecting to UTS or webmail.

3. Permissible in extenuating circumstances.

4. Taken before, during or after a business trip.

5. One glass of wine or beer is permitted with lunch and evening meal.