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Student Travel and Expenses Policy

Purpose

Scope

Principles

Policy statements

Policy ownership and support

Definitions

Approval information

PDF version

References

1. Purpose

1.1 The Student Travel and Expenses Policy (the policy) outlines the requirements and support for students undertaking university travel and for managing expenses and reimbursements.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy and the associated Student Travel and Expenses Procedures (the procedures) applies to all students undertaking university travel.

2.2 This policy does not apply to staff. Staff undertaking university travel are covered by the Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy (staff policy). Graduate research students who are also UTS staff members should discuss with their supervisor and/or faculty whether this policy or the staff policy applies to their university travel.

2.3 This policy does not apply to students in the BUILD program or the global exchange program. BUILD and global exchange program students should contact UTS International for guidance on managing travel and insurance. UTS International may use elements of this policy in managing their students.

3. Principles

3.1 UTS has a duty of care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students undertaking university travel.

3.2 All university travel must be pre-approved.

3.3 UTS will develop procedures to help manage the risks associated with university travel. The university reserves the right to decline high risk travel requests.

3.4 UTS will manage all university travel in a budget conscious and cost effective manner. University travel for students must be included, where relevant, in the faculty, division or unit annual travel budget as outlined in the staff policy.

3.5 All university travel must follow the provisions outlined in this policy, irrespective of the source of funding. Any travel by a student not managed in line with this policy is not recognised as university travel and falls outside the university’s responsibility and support.

4. Policy statements

General

4.1 Students may engage in university travel for a range of purposes. Funding for university travel will depend on the circumstances of or requirements for university travel.

4.2 Students are covered by UTS corporate travel insurance while undertaking university travel as outlined in the procedures. Some students undertaking UTS approved international studies, exchange or BUILD programs may have additional coverage required under agreement with their host institution, state or country as managed and coordinated by UTS International.

Approving student university travel

4.3 It is the responsibility of the travel approver to consider the nature of the travel expense and if it is reasonable and consistent with the university travel request. Travel approvers with band 1 to 4 financial delegation (see statement 4.5 of this policy) should only approve university travel for students where:

  • the travel is necessary and provides a genuine learning experience for the student
  • the travel plans are identified and a travel approval form has been completed
  • funding sources have been identified and accounted for
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel rating has been assessed (as outlined in statements 4.20 to 4.22 of this policy)
  • risks have been assessed and managed in line with this policy and the procedures, and
  • university travel has been booked in line with this policy and the procedures.

4.4 Students undertaking university travel must complete and submit a travel approval form (PDF) (available at travel forms) in advance of booking or undertaking university travel. International studies students are not required to complete this form and should contact the School of International Studies for pre-trip guidance and requirements.

4.5 The relevant head of school, dean, associate dean or director with band 1 to 4 financial delegation is responsible for approving student university travel via the travel approval form as follows.

  • Local university travel — approved by heads of school or associate deans.
  • Overseas university travel (low risk) (DFAT levels 1 and 2) — approved by heads of school or associate deans.
  • Overseas university travel (high risk) (DFAT 3) — approved by deans.
  • Overseas university travel (high risk) (DFAT 4) — approved by the Provost in line with statement 4.22 of this policy.

Air travel and preferred travel agencies

4.6 Quotes and bookings for university travel must be made through one of the university’s preferred travel agencies (as published by the Financial Services Unit (FSU)) to maintain duty of care procedures and maximise cost effectiveness.

4.7 University travel must be by economy class (excluding premium economy) via the most cost effective and practical route. Exceptions to this requirement may be approved by the relevant member of the Senior Executive on recommendation of the dean or director with band 1 to 4 financial delegation (see Delegations).

4.8 UTS does not fund student memberships for frequent flyer programs. Students may use or gain frequent flyer points in line with the procedures.

Ground transport

4.9 Ground transport and taxi transfers between airports, accommodation and places of approved university travel business may be covered as part of the approved university travel arrangements in line with the procedures. Privately owned vehicles may not be used for university travel.

Accommodation and expenses

4.10 Students undertaking university travel should be provided with accommodation in a safe and secure environment while still taking into consideration value for money in line with the procedures.

4.11 Hotel membership or loyalty fees will not be funded by UTS. Students may use or gain loyalty points in line with the procedures.

4.12 Genuine travel expenses (including meals and incidentals, visa and related travel taxes, immunisations and travel specific medications and some communication requirements) are covered for students undertaking university travel in line with the procedures.

4.13 UTS does not provide a per diem allowance for students.

Payment for university travel and expenses

4.14 UTS will only cover payment and expenses for approved university travel.

4.15 Staff organising payment for student university travel should use one of the university’s preferred travel agencies where an invoice will be raised for the issuance of a ticket. This must be approved by the dean or director on the travel approval form.

4.16 Students can be reimbursed for expenses associated with approved university travel on a travel acquittal form (PDF) (available at travel forms) in line with the procedures.

Personal travel

4.17 Where personal or private travel is undertaken in conjunction with approved university travel students must be aware that:

  • UTS is only responsible for the part of the trip approved as ‘university travel’
  • the private travel component, and any additional costs, including insurance, are paid separately by the student.

Risk management and duty of care

4.18 UTS will aim to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students undertaking university travel, based on available information at the time of booking and travel.

4.19 Students undertaking research as part of their trip must consider any potential health and safety hazards, including laboratory work, research or fieldwork (refer preventing injury and illness). Students may need to complete a research risk management plan (refer research) for approval by the associate dean (research) prior to travel.

4.20 Students and staff must take into consideration the travel advice ratings provided by DFAT’s smartraveller, the provisions outlined in this policy and the procedures.

4.21 Students undertaking university travel must be mindful of potential risks associated with their travel plans and destination and act in a manner that will minimise harm. In doing so, students must seek and follow the travel advice provided from the International SOS/UTS global assistance program and DFAT and must complete any pre-travel risk assessments required by UTS.

4.22 Students are not permitted to undertake university travel to destinations with a DFAT risk level rating of four. Exceptions may be approved by the Provost only where a legitimate case has been made and the destination is the student’s home country. Students may only travel to destinations with a DFAT risk level rating of three with the approval of the Provost.

4.23 When booking university travel, students and/or preferred travel providers must not book flights on any air carrier included on the European Union Air Safety List of banned airlines (annex A and annex B).

4.24 Students and staff approving students’ university travel must follow any travel bans imposed by either the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) under the provisions of the staff policy.

Policy breaches

4.25 Any suspected breaches of this policy must be reported to the relevant dean or director. Suspected breaches of a serious nature, particularly those relating to risk management or a duty of care, should be reported directly to the Provost or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources).

4.26 Breaches by students will be managed in line with Section 16, Student Rules — student misconduct and appeals.

4.27 Any breaches that relate to incidents of fraud or corruption should be managed via the Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Public Interest Disclosures Policy.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owner: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources) is responsible for policy enforcement and compliance, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed, and approval of any associated university level procedures.

5.2 Policy contact: The Chief Financial Officer, FSU is responsible for the implementation of this policy and providing advice on its implementation. The CFO is also responsible for the development, management and publication of all approval forms associated with this policy and its procedures.

5.3 Others:

  • The Provost is responsible for approving high risk travel to countries with a DFAT risk level rating of four, and issuing travel bans in line with this policy.
  • Heads of school, deans, associate deans and directors (with band 1 to 4 financial delegation) are responsible for authorising student university travel in line with this policy, the procedures and the delegations.
  • Faculty managers, supervisors and staff members dealing directly with students undertaking university travel must ensure they provide advice and guidance in line with the provisions of this policy and its procedures. They must also ensure that all approval has been granted prior to booking university travel for students.
  • Students are responsible for acting in accordance with this policy and its procedures when undertaking university travel.
  • UTS International is responsible for providing advice and guidance to international students and students participating in the BUILD or global exchange programs.

6. Definitions

The following definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures. These are in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Preferred providers (or travel providers) is defined in the Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy.

Reimbursement means a payment by UTS to cover approved out of pocket expenses incurred by a student undertaking university travel.

Research risk management plan means a document completed by travellers intending to undertake research activities overseas. It serves to lower the risk to the traveller while conducting such activities.

Risk management is defined in the Risk Management Policy.

Travel advice rating means the security rating for a specific country as published by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on smartraveller.gov.au

University travel means university approved domestic and international travel undertaken by students for the purposes of conducting learning or research activities, or representing UTS in an official capacity in line with this policy.

Approval information

Policy contact Chief Financial Officer, Financial Services Unit
Approval authority Vice-Chancellor
Review date 2023
File number UR20/49
Superseded documents Travel Vice-Chancellor’s Directive 2012 (UR05/347.2)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Vice-Chancellor 23/12/2019 24/02/2020 New policy

PDF version

Student Travel and Expenses Policy (PDF)

References

BUILD program

Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Public Interest Disclosures Policy

Global exchange program

Preventing injury and illness: health and safety hazards

Research risk management plan (available from the research webpage)

Risk Management Policy

Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy

Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Procedures (available at Travel and Expense Policy and Procedures (Staff Connect))

School of International Studies

Section 16, Student Rules

Student Travel and Expenses Procedures

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

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

External links

European Union Air Safety List of banned airlines (annex A and annex B)

International SOS/UTS global assistance program

smartraveller.gov.au