Appeal of Academic Progression Outcomes Procedure
To provide a systematic approach for all students to have progression outcome decisions appealed in line with the Student Appeal Policy.
This policy applies to all students admitted to undergraduate, postgraduate coursework and Pathway Courses and programs offered by James Cook University (JCU) in Australia, Singapore, and via JCU Online.
This procedure is applicable to decisions made under the Academic Progression Policy and its associated procedures, including the Unsatisfactory Academic Performance Procedure and the Maximum Time to Complete Procedure.
Decisions related to Academic Progression, Unsatisfactory Academic Progression and Maximum Time to Complete are rules-based decisions. When a student meets certain thresholds (academic results or timing) relevant processes and outcomes are triggered. These decisions are not subjective and are typically the result of an automated process rather than the decision of an individual person.
1. Appeal Application
1.1 Students who receive notification of conditions or notification of suspension or exclusion from a course due to unsatisfactory academic performance, or notification of Intention to Withdraw due to exceeding or being unable to meet the maximum time to complete their course, have the right of appeal.
1.2 Students must submit their Appeal through the appropriate application form within 20 University working days of receiving notification of the decision(s).
1.3 Students are encouraged, when preparing a student appeal application and in the course of the appeal process, to seek assistance from a JCUSA Student Advocate.
1.4 Grounds for Appeal include;
1.4.1 a breach of procedural fairness; or
1.4.2 the appropriateness of any conditions contained within the decision.
1.5 The Director of Student Services will consider new evidence which, because of Extenuating Circumstances, could not reasonably have been provided at the time of the original decision and that would likely have affected the decision, as a potential ground for Appeal.
2. Review of Application
2.1 Upon receipt of the appeal application the Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions will check the application is complete including relevant supporting documentation, and that it meets one or more grounds for appeal.
2.2 The Team Leader Examinations and Progressions will, where there is new evidence provided, consider it in terms of clause 2.4 of the Student Appeal Policy and request the Director, Student Services to determine if the new evidence constitutes legitimate grounds for appeal.
2.3 The Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions will instigate a review process to check for the following;
2.3.1 the Academic Status and conditions that have been applied are true and correct.
2.3.2 whether the student is potentially eligible for another administrative process such as Withdrawal without Academic and/or Financial Penalty.
2.4 Where applicable the Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions will contact the applicant with relevant information regarding 2.3.1 and 2.3.2.
2.5 Where an application is deemed incomplete the Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions will request further documentation. The student will, within 5 University working days, resubmit a second, and final, complete appeal application.
2.6 Where a student, opts to pursue another administrative process as identified at 2.3.2 they will withdraw their appeal application.
2.7 Appeal applications that demonstrate legitimate grounds for appeal and have sufficient supporting documentation will be accepted and sent to the relevant Dean for consideration.
3. Assessment of Application
3.1 On receiving the appeal documentation the relevant Dean can determine an outcome consistent with the appropriate stage in the Unsatisfactory Academic Performance Procedure or Maximum Time to Complete Procedure (whichever is relevant), purely based upon the evidence provided. The determination is the final decision and there are no internal mechanisms for appealing this decision.
3.2 Where the Dean makes a determination at 3.1 they will, within 5 University working days of receiving the application, communicate the outcome in writing to the student and the Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions, including informing the student of:
- The findings and decision(s), and
- The reason(s) for the decision, and
- their Academic Status as a result of the decision, if applicable; and
- the new maximum time to complete date, if applicable; and
- any restrictions on the student’s enrolment or candidature as a result of the decision, and
- any conditions the student must meet in the next/currrent Teaching Period in which the student is enrolled, and
- their right to lodge a complaint or appeal through an external body such as the Queensland Ombudsman’s Office, if they remain dissatisfied with the University’s decision.
3.3 Where the Dean cannot make a determination at 3.1 they will, within 5 University working days of receiving the application, provide a written response to the appeal application to the Team Leader Examinations and Progressions and advise that a determination could not be made and the matter must be referred to the University Appeals Committee (the Committee). The Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions will advise the student that a Committee will be convened.
4. University Appeals Committee Hearing
4.1 The Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions, will notify the relevant Director Academic Quality and Strategy, as Committee Chair, to convene the University Appeals Committee. The Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions will provide the Chair with all documentation associated with the appeal.
4.2 The University Appeals Committee (the “Committee”) will comprise the following members:
- Chair - The relevant Director of Academic Quality and Strategy; and,
- A College Dean or Dean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement (for Diploma Higher Education/TAC); and
- The Chair, Academic Board or an academic member of Council; and,
- An Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching; and,
- An administrative support staff member, as appointed by the Chair, to provide secretariat support.
4.3 At least one member of the committee must be from the relevant College. For all matters, due regard shall be given to gender balance in determining the final membership of the committee. No member of the committee will have participated in the original decision or any decisions associated with the matters under Appeal, this includes being involved in consultation or making recommendations that contributed to the original decision. The Chair will confirm whether conflicts of interest exist at the time of convening the Committee.
4.4 The Chair will ensure that the communication sent to the student regarding the appeal hearing includes the following:
4.4.1 the names and roles of Committee members; and
4.4.2 the Committees role and powers; and
4.4.3 the time and location of the hearing; and
4.4.4 information regarding the students right to be heard ;and
4.4.5 information regarding the students right to utilise a support person; and
4.4.6 copies of all relevant materials available to the Committee in advance of the hearing.
4.5 Except with the express permission of the Chair of the Committee, no additional material will be presented at the hearing.
4.6 The Committee must consider the student’s application together with the written statement and supporting documents supplied by the Dean and any additional relevant material provided by the Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions.
4.7 The student will be given the opportunity to be heard by the Committee, but only at the time and date fixed by the Chair. Students attending in person are not required to prepare or present a verbal summary of the appeal application.
4.8 The student may be heard in person or by other means of communication which are acceptable to the Chair (phone, video conference or via an additional written submission).
4.9 The student will be present only for such time as is necessary for them to be heard by the Committee.
4.10 A student who appears in person before the Committee may be accompanied and assisted by a support person. The support person must not be a currently practising solicitor or barrister. The role of the support person is to bear witness to the meeting and what is discussed. The support person shall take no part in the proceedings unless expressly authorised by the Chair of the Committee.
4.11 After considering the relevant material, the Committee will either uphold the appeal or find the grounds for appeal to be unsuccessful and uphold the original decision.
4.12 The student may withdraw an appeal application at any point in the appeal process.
5. Students awaiting the outcome of an appeal
5.1 Until the appeal outcome has been determined, a student who submits an appeal will be permitted to:
5.1.1 Complete any outstanding assessment from the previous Teaching Period if they were granted a supplementary/deferred exam or an extension,
5.1.2 A student may remain enrolled in their course of study pending the outcome of an appeal, including enrolment in any subject for which the subject under appeal is a prerequisite. However, this will not apply if it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director Student Services that the student’s continued enrolment poses a risk to the safety of themselves or others.
5.1.3 Apply for a Leave of Absence, if applicable, and request to be withdrawn from any existing subject enrolments or candidature.
5.1.4 Withdraw from all current and future enrolled subjects or candidature.
5.1.5 Withdraw from their course or candidature (applicable only for excluded students and international students studying on a student visa).
6. Action taken following the appeal outcome
6.1 Where an appeal has been heard by the Committee, the Chair will communicate the outcome of the appeal. The outcome will be sent in writing to the Student, the Director, Student Services, the Dean and the original decision maker within 5 University working days of the hearing. This communication will advise the student of:
6.1.1 The findings in relation to the grounds of appeal, and
6.1.2 evidence considered, and
6.1.3 whether the appeal is upheld (even if only in part) or not (in which case it is dismissed and the original decision stands); and
6.1.4 the decision, and
6.1.5 reasons for the Committee decision, and
6.1.6 their Academic Status or revised maximum time to complete date as a result of the decision, and
6.1.7 any restrictions on the student’s enrolment as a result of the decision, and
6.1.8 any conditions the student must meet in the next Teaching Period in which a student is enrolled, and
6.1.9 their right to lodge a complaint or appeal through an external body such as the Queensland Ombudsman’s Office, if they remain dissatisfied with the University’s decision.
6.2 Where the student is an International Student visa holder studying in Australia, and the decision impacts the student’s ability to continue in their course, the University will only report to Department of Education against the student’s ‘Confirmation of Enrolment’, if required to, once the decision maker has notified the student of the outcome. The student will be given 10 University working days to notify the University that they have submitted a complaint or appeal with the Queensland Ombudsman’s Office.
6.3 Students studying at the JCU Singapore campus who remain dissatisfied with the determination of their complaint by JCU may use the Singapore Government’s approved dispute resolution scheme managed by the Council for Private Education (CPE) in Singapore. The student may approach the CPE’s Student Services Centre (SSC) for help. Note: after reviewing a complaint, the SSC may refer students to the CPE Mediation – Arbitration Scheme and there may be additional costs to use this Scheme.
6.4 Where the outcome of the student’s appeal requires administrative actions or conditions related it will be communicated to Student Services for action by specific university officers to fulfil the Committee’s decision.
7. Records and Decisions
7.1 Record keeping will be managed as per the Student Appeal Policy
7.2 Decisions taken under the Student Appeal Policy and associated procedures are final decisions and there is no further right to internal appeal at JCU.
8. Avenues for External Appeal
8.1 Avenues for External Appeal are as outlined in the Student Appeal Policy
Related policy instruments
NOTE: Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
Date for next Major Review
Director, Student Services
Director, Student Services
Progression, Appeal, Maximum Time,