University Entry Officer (UGRAD)

Introduction

Navy provides university sponsorship to university students in selected disciplines to students who have generally completed the first year of their degree. Known as the Undergraduate Entry Officer (UGRAD) scheme, eligible university students are appointed to the Navy as officers, whilst continuing with their degree studies. Most students in the Navy UGRAD Scheme are reading medical, naval architecture, mechanical, electrical or other related engineering degrees. University students considering a military career can access general recruitment information from Navy Recruiting at http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/navy (external link).

Navy UGRAD student populations are concentrated in the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra area. In these regions, students are posted to the Personnel Support Unit (PSU) within the local naval establishment. The information and quick links below allow each UGRAD to easily seek information on the various issues relating to the sponsorship and their obligations to Navy.

Administration

The PSU Regional Manager (PSU RM) is the initial point of contact for all UGRAD administration and assists students to understand their educational obligations and responsibilities in accordance with the correct procedures. The PSU RM will scrutinise educational claims, check that information submitted is correct and verifiable before forwarding requests for reimbursement/payment to the delegate. Through the PSU CM, the MSO assists every UGRAD achieve academic success and authorises at Commonwealth cost any out-of-locality movements for clinical placements and military work experience that are elements of the university course.

Education Assistance

Navy Education will issue a civil school offer to each student that outlines the terms of sponsorship and financial assistance. The financial assistance covers common university expenses such as tuition fees, student services and amenities fees (SSAF), mandatory textbooks and industry work experience (additional advice is below). Financial assistance for these allowable education expenses is awarded by Navy each academic year only. Contact with Navy.

All personnel and education related correspondence must go through the PSU. For all written correspondence, the Navy Objective naming conventions are to be used to assist with local education administration in the following manner: Navy ID (PMKeyS number), Surname, Initials, Rank, Subject/Topic, Timeline.

Professional Military Development

Military service is an annual obligation that every UGRAD approved civil schooling must complete as part of university sponsorship. It is an important means for serving members to enhance their military knowledge and professional development, as well as raise availability of access to experienced Navy personnel. Students are required to allocate a minimum of one month (accumulative) each year to professional military development, including attendance at the annual education forum.

University Entry Officers – Military Training

Navy delivers an orientation program at the commencement of the academic sponsorship to officers appointed via the UGRAD scheme. The purpose of the program is to outline military administration and support services in order to assist students to participate comprehensively in Navy life and achieve satisfactory levels of performance. The three-week UGRAD orientation program comprises:

  • Phase 1: Initial Entry Personnel Administration (Sydney area)
  • Phase 2: UEOC (HMAS Creswell)
  • Phase 3: Education Administration (Canberra)

Time limits

All Navy students are expected to complete the qualification within the minimum standard qualification package time limit and enrol in a 100% (EFTSL 1.0) study load. For university programs the standard duration of study for a bachelor-level qualification is three years or four years for an honours year program, unless there are bona fide reasons for a longer program. Students may only vary the 100% study load or extend the course duration in limited, exceptional circumstances. For instance, students may be allowed to reduce the study load if it will not extend the duration due to credit or subjects completed in a non-standard session (e.g. summer or winter session). Requests to reduce the study load or vary the time-limit are to be submitted to Navy Education with supporting documentation to substantiate the request.

Funding Request

Every Navy UGRAD attending civilian universities must submit one application for funding each year, no later than 1 November for the following academic year. The application should be submitted on Form AD216 - Application for Civil Schooling Scheme (CSS) - RAN (458 KB PDF), as this provides the delegate with important information for budget and career planning purposes. CSS funding is awarded each academic year only and continuance is determined on a year-to-year basis in accordance with career management policy. If individuals delay the submission, funds will also be delayed.

Study Cost Estimates

Every application for funding submitted on Form AD216 - Application for Civil Schooling Scheme (CSS) - RAN (458 KB PDF), should be accompanied by the officer’s personalised list of prescribed textbooks and a completed Defence Travel Budget Calculator (DTBC), as appropriate. Without a fully costed request, funding approval will not be issued and the delegate has no authority to pay expenses.

Overseas University Electives

Increasingly universities allow students to study overseas as part of their degree studies. Overseas electives offered by the university that earn credit towards the degree may be approved by the delegate. Any UGRAD wishing to enrol in an overseas elective must seek prior approval in writing via the PSU RM. The request is to be submitted on Form AE240 - Change to Approved Studies for Civil Schooling - RAN (351 KB PDF), and must be accompanied by the subject outline and justification that argues the linkages to a Navy career. Approval for the overseas elective is at the discretion of the delegate and approved funding will be for tuition fees only.

Academic Overload

Any UGRAD wishing to enrol in more than one year’s study load must seek prior approval in writing via the PSU RM. The request is to be submitted on Form AE240 - Change to Approved Studies for Civil Schooling - RAN (351 KB PDF), and must be accompanied by the subject outline and justification. Students may be permitted to enrol with an overload only if they have achieved a Credit average or better, and have passed all units attempted in the previous two compulsory semesters. Approval for the overload is at the discretion of the delegate and will also require university approval.

Changes to Approved Studies

Whilst under sponsorship, Navy must be notified of subject changes, subject non-completion, extended leave or any other circumstance that impacts the approved study program and/or funding allocation. Any proposed change in approved studies must be submitted via the PSU RM on Form AE240 - Change to Approved Studies for Civil Schooling - RAN (351 KB PDF). Approval is at the discretion of the delegate.

Tuition Fees

Navy will pay compulsory fees at the Commonwealth Support Place (previously HECS) level. Payments will be made direct to the university not the member. Invoices should be submitted electronically for payment via the PSU RM. Payment requests must reach the delegate at least two weeks before payment is due. The email subject header should follow Navy Objective naming conventions: Navy ID (PMKeyS number), Surname, Initials, Rank, Subject/Topic, Timeline.

Navy is only required to pay tuition fees at the Commonwealth discounted ‘payment up front’ rate. Individuals should submit tuition invoices with sufficient processing time; the earlier the better. Any penalty or late requests for payment are the member’s responsibility and may result in the debt being transferred to the Australian Taxation Office against the member’s name.

BOTTOM LINE – SUBMIT YOUR INVOICES IMMEDIATELY

Allowable Educational Expenses

Educational expenses include reasonable final year engineering project costs (prior approval is required), prescribed textbooks and equipment (not calculators) plus any compulsory residential activities where non-attendance results in failure (prior approval is required). There is no educational allowance for stationery, photocopying or other consumable expenses except thesis production costs (prior approval is required).

Textbooks

Each UGRAD is to compile a list of prescribed textbooks mapped to subjects and email the list to the PSU RM with verifiable evidence of the mandatory nature of the texts, for example course manuals or reading guides, Co-op bookshop website information etc. The PSU RM will review the request before forwarding the list to Navy Education. Reimbursements for second hand texts will be favourably considered.

Travel Costs (Pre-approved)

Travel, accommodation and other allowances for compulsory educational activities outside the posting locality permitted will be approved via the most economical method of attendance. Failure to gain approval prior to participation in an out-of-locality placement may jeopardise travel/relocation at Commonwealth expense and affect compensation entitlements.

Clinical/Work Placement

Clinical placement for health service and work placement for engineer officers is funded by Navy Education where the liability is costed and listed on the member’s application for funding. Costs should be estimated using the DTBC and attached to the CSS application. For all clinical placements the UGRAD must advise whether the university provides any financial assistance such as an allowance, stipend, subsidised accommodation, travel allowance, etc. This advice must be supported by a declaration from the Head of Department that no financial assistance for the clinical placement is provided by the university.

Residency

Placements for any hospital or pastoral placements are to be sought at teaching health facilities and parishes in the approved study location of the higher education degree. Relocation to another region or state at Commonwealth expense will only be approved by Navy People Career Management Agency (NPCMA) in exceptional circumstances.

Professional Registration

Navy will approve one state or national medical registration per year required for year-long civilian clinical placements or costs to satisfy compulsory professional admission requirements. All requests for reimbursement should be submitted within 28 days in writing to the PSU RM, accompanied by official payment receipts.

Claims

Expense claim due dates are based on the census date(s). If the census date falls on a weekend the previous working day will be taken as the census date for that particular semester/session. Every claim submitted must provide proof of purchase (receipt) and evidence that the cost is an essential expense as noted in the course outline/handbook. Navy may approve claims for second hand texts provided members are able to provide a receipt that that gives proof of purchase as per sale documentation (eg textbook exchange web ad with seller’s details).

Attendance

Every UGRAD has a responsibility to ensure they are able to attend university lectures and examinations, etc. Circumstances that limit or degrade an individual’s capacity to participate fully in their study program and complete all assessments must be notified to the PSU RM immediately they are known. This advice should be submitted in writing using Form AE240—Change to Approved Studies for Civil Schooling - RAN (351 KB PDF), via email within five working days, particularly where there is a change in circumstances that may impact continued sponsorship under the CSS policy provisions.

Results

Every UGRAD has a responsibility to provide copies of academic transcripts on completion of each study session to the PSU RM within five working days after they have been released by the institution online and provide copy of the official end of year academic transcript. Failure to submit academic results may affect funding for subsequent study as there is an obligation to confirm that all studies are satisfactorily completed.

Failure

Members who fail subjects while under Navy sponsorship may have to repeat subjects (or alternative unit) at their own expense. Members who fail an entire semester or large portion of subjects in any one year or semester might be permitted to repeat the year at their own expense on leave without pay, subject to Navy People Career Management Agency consideration. Navy Education may accept financial liability for course fees where there are extenuating circumstances.

Leave

Every UGRAD is required to take their full annual leave entitlement during scheduled study breaks. Scheduled breaks are regarded as between semesters/trimesters (or equivalent) and between academic years with a return to duty on completion of the last examination or last day of classes not completion of the posting cycle. Leave records within the member’s leave history should reflect the university calendar. See: http://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au (external link).

Leave Entitlement

Each UGRAD accumulates 20 days Recreational Leave annually and leave applications are to be submitted to the PSU RM for every university break so that leave requested can be recorded in the member’s leave records. Any UGRAD required to undertake university sanctioned work during a break must request approval in writing (minute format) from the PSU RM. Every day of any university break is to be accounted fully to the PSU RM. Individuals may be directed to submit retrospective leave applications for semester breaks.

Dress Requirements

ABR 81 Chapter 9 - Civilian Clothing (31 KB PDF)
Military Uniform

General administration

If you have any questions on the information contained on this site (or any other aspect of your civil schooling sponsorship), please contact the PSU RM. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • secondary employment and volunteer work
  • overseas travel
  • access to the Defence Restricted Network (DRN)
  • accommodation
  • medical/dental issues (appointments, private health cover, Medicare)
  • extra-curricular activities
  • participating in civilian sporting activities
  • career management