Student Appeal Procedure
To provide a systematic approach for all students to have decisions appealed in matters related to research training, assessment, progression or academic conduct in a timely and consistent manner across the University.
This procedure applies to all students undertaking either study or research (including HDR candidates) in association with programs linked to the University through professional or extracurricular activities.
Definition of terms used in this policy are as per the Policy Glossary.
1. Prior to Appeal
1.1 Enquiries and consultation relating to the academic matter should be made as soon as possible after the official notification of a final decision. This is to ensure that timelines are met if a formal appeal process is required.
1.2 Prior to appealing an academic matter the student must have checked the stated criteria in the Subject Outline or policy documents associated with the matter, plus sought and received feedback from the Delegated decision maker. The matter may be resolved at this level.
1.3 Prior to appealing a conduct matter, the student must have checked the relevant policies in relation to the breach of personal conduct and to confirm grounds for the Appeal.
1.4 If unresolved, the student may choose to provide a written statement with supporting documentation detailing one or more Legitimate Ground/s for Appeal.
2. Appeal Procedure
2.1 Appeal applications must be made no later than 20 University working days after the final result or official notification of the academic matter is received. A late application may be accepted at the discretion of the Director, Student Services
2.2 A student may only appeal upon one or more Legitimate Grounds for Appeal.
2.3 A student who appeals a decision must apply in writing using the appropriate application form, to the Director, Student Services stating the Legitimate Ground/s for Appeal.
2.4 Students are encouraged, when preparing a student appeal statement and in the course of the appeal process, to seek assistance from a JCUSA Student Advocate.
2.5 Applications for Academic Appeals must be supported by relevant documentation that includes feedback from the Delegated decision maker regarding the notification of the review of the original decision.
3. Initial application assessment
3.1 Upon receipt of the appeal application, the Director of Student Services will check that the application has been completed in full and all documentation supplied. If the application is deemed incomplete, the student will receive communication to supply any outstanding requirements in order for the application to proceed to the next stage.
3.2 The Director, Student Services will consider the application and if it fails to provide Legitimate Grounds for Appeal, then the application may be dismissed. The student will be provided with written notification of the dismissal, including reasons for the decision. If the application is not dismissed, it will proceed to 3.3.
3.3 The Director, Student Services shall inform the Delegated decision maker, in writing, of the appeal application within 5 University working days of receiving the complete appeal application.
3.4 The Delegated decision maker shall provide to the Director, Student Services a written response to the appeal application and all material relevant to the appeal within 5 working days of notification.
3.5 The Director, Student Services will forward all appeal documentation to the relevant College Dean, Dean of Graduate Research (for HDR matters) or to a delegate in the band level above the original decision maker for noting. On receiving the appeal documentation the relevant Dean/Delegate can determine an outcome purely based upon the evidence provided. The matter may be resolved at this level.
4. Appeal Assessment procedure
4.1 In all other situations the Director, Student Services will convene a meeting of the University Appeals Committee.
The University Appeals Committee (the “Committee”) will comprise the following members (one member must be from the relevant College and 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 either the original decision or decisions associated with the matters under appeal):
- The Director of Academic Quality and Strategy (Chair);
- An Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching or Research Education (for HDR);
- A College Dean or DVC Research (for HDR); and
- The Chair, Academic Board or an academic member of Council
- External Member* (only for matters related to Professional Conduct deemed relevant by the Chair).
4.2 Except with the express permission of the Chair of the Committee, no additional material will be presented at the meeting.
4.3 The Committee must consider the student’s application together with the written statement prepared by the Delegated decision maker and any additional relevant material collected by the Director, Student Services.
4.4 The student and the Delegated decision maker (or College representative) shall be given the opportunity to be heard by the Committee, but only at the time and date fixed by the convenor.
4.5 The student and the Delegated decision maker (or College representative) may be heard in person or by other means of communication which are acceptable to the Convenor.
4.6 Neither the student or the Delegated decision maker (or College representative) may be present while the other is being heard.
4.7 The student and the Delegated decision maker (or College representative) will be present only for such time as is necessary for them to be heard by the Committee.
4.8 A student who appears in person before the Committee may choose to be accompanied by a support person, but may not be legally represented. The support person shall take no part in the proceedings, except at the express invitation of the Chair of the Committee.
4.9 After considering the relevant material, the Committee will confirm or amend the final decision and will take or recommend such further action as it deems appropriate.
4.10 An appeal application may be withdrawn 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:
- Complete any outstanding assessment from the previous Teaching Period if they were granted a supplementary/deferred exam or an extension,
- Continue with their enrolment in the following Teaching Period, but only when the academic matter does not impact on the student’s enrolment or candidature status. This will be determined by the Director of Student Services and Academic Head or Dean of Graduate Research,
- Apply for a Leave of Absence and request to be withdrawn from any existing subject enrolments or candidature.
- Withdraw from all current and future enrolled subjects or candidature,
- 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 The Chair of the University Appeals Committee will communicate the result of the appeal to the Student, the Director, Student Services and the Delegated decision maker within 5 working days of the final decision. This communication will be made in writing (including the reasons for the result) and take such other action as may be necessary. This communication will also advise the student of:
- their Academic Status, and
- any restrictions on the student’s enrolment or candidature, and
- any conditions the student must meet in the next Teaching Period in which a 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. 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
6.2 The outcome of the student’s appeal will also be communicated to Student Services (where applicable) and may result in action to be taken by specific university officers, which may include:
- withdrawing the student from current and future enrolled subjects or candidature,
- withdrawing the student from their course or candidature (applicable only for excluded students and international students studying on a student visa),
- applying appropriate mechanisms to a student’s record in the Student Management System to prevent enrolment in further subjects or candidature, and/or,
- setting a suspension end-date, as relevant,
- other penalty or recourse as determined by the Committee.
Related policy instruments
NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic
Date for next Major Review
Chair of Academic Board
Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff
Student appeal, academic appeal, appeal