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Consider the Potential Risks before You Defer Your Private Course
1. Need a break from school? Depending on your private school’s policy, you may be granted permission to disrupt your studies for a period of time and resume school at a later date. However, do consider carefully your decision to defer your studies, be it for reasons such as health, financial, work, family or personal.
2. Before deciding, speak to your school administrator on the possible impact it may have on your course of study. Obtain a copy of your school’s policy on deferment of studies and find out information such as:
- Are you eligible to take a deferment?
- How do you request a deferment?
- How long can you be away? Will your period of leave be counted against the maximum completion time of your course?
- Will your school provide you with a new student contract to reflect the approved deferment or adjust the course completion date?
- If you are an international student, what happens to your Student’s Pass when you go for your deferment? Will you need to apply for a new Student’s Pass when you return to school?
- Will the approved deferment be listed in your transcript?
- If required, can you extend your deferment period? What if you do not return from your deferment as planned?
- What happens if you decide to withdraw from the course during/after the deferment? Can you get a refund of your unconsumed course fees?
3. In addition, bear in mind that these may happen while you are away from school:
a) The terms and conditions of your student contract may changeWith your deferment, your school may offer you a new student contract to reflect a new course completion date. Check if there are changes to other clauses in the new student contract, e.g. adjustments to the refund policy, increases in fee or changes in academic or administrative policy.b) Your course structure and format, including assessment methods, may changeThe private school and/or its External Degree Programme (EDP) partner may revise the course structure and format, which means the syllabus, course modules or teachers may change as well. You would have to assess if you could still cope with the academic rigour of the course.c) Your course fees may changeCheck your current student contract to find out if you are allowed to defer your studies without any change in course fees. If it is not indicated in your current student contract, your private school may be able to impose a change in fees. It would therefore be best to confirm and agree with your school in writing whether there would be any change in fees prior to your deferment (by signing either a new student contract or addendum to your current student contract). Raise the issue to your school if you do not agree with any proposed change in course fees.d) Your course or certain modules may no longer be offeredThe school may cease the course or some of its modules due to business decision or discontinued partnership with its EDP partner. You may be offered another course/module or transferred to another school which offers a similar course. Take note that the entry requirements and/or academic rigour of the new course may differ from your current course.e) Your private school may close down or relocateIt is also possible that your private school may decide to close down during your absence from school. If that happens, you may be transferred to another school that offers a similar course, which means you will have to adjust to a new school environment and policy.The private school could also relocate in the midst of your deferment. Consider if you are willing to continue your studies if the new location becomes less accessible for you.
4. Take these factors into consideration and based on your circumstances, decide if you would benefit from deferring your studies.
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