Policy Student Review and Appeal Procedure

Student Review and Appeal Procedure (General)


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Intent

To provide a systematic approach for all students to have decisions appealed in line with the Student Review and Appeals Policy.

Scope

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. This procedure applies to a review or appeal about academic or administrative decisions which are not  covered in other appeal procedures.

Definitions

Definitions of terms used in this procedure are as per the Policy Glossary and the definitions identified in the Student Review and Appeals Policy.

Legitimate Grounds for Appeal means:

a)  A breach of Procedural Fairness having occurred during the determination of an Original Decision or a Stage 2 Formal Review; and/or

b)  The appropriateness of any conditions contained within the Stage 2 Formal Review decision.

Table of Contents

  1. Stage 1 Informal Review
  2. Stage 2 Formal Review Procedure
  3. Stage 3 Formal Appeal Procedure
  4. Appeal  assessment
  5. Appeal Committee
  6. Students awaiting the outcome of an appeal
  7. Record Keeping
  8. Avenues for External Appeal

Procedure

1.  Stage 1 Informal Review

1.1  Before a Stage 2 Formal Review application is made,  the student should attempt an informal review of the decision with the Original Decision Maker or relevant JCU office.

1.2  If unresolved through informal means, the student may choose to apply for a Formal Review. Students are encouraged when preparing a Stage 2 Formal Review application or a Stage 3 Formal Appeal application to seek assistance from a JCUSA Student Advocate.

2.  Stage 2 Formal Review Procedure

2.1  If unresolved at Clause 1, the student may, within 10 University working days of the Original Decision, provide a complete Request to Review form demonstrating:

2.1.1 A breach of Procedural Fairness has occurred during the determination of an Original Decision; and/or

2.1.2 The appropriateness of any conditions contained within the Original Decision.

2.2  The Request for Review will be provided to a review officer in a delegation band higher than the Original Decision Maker who will review the information provided and make a determination.  The review officer will provide the student with a written decision which includes reasons for the decision and information regarding the student’s rights to further appeal within 10 University working days of the Student lodging the Request for Review form.

Outcomes from Stage 2 include:

2.2.1 The review officer determines the Request for Review application does not contain a ground for review as stated in clause 2.1 and dismisses the application.

2.2.2 The review officer overturns the decision makes a new decision under the relevant policy or procedure (such as the Student Code of Conduct).

2.2.3 The review officer makes no change to the Original Decision.

2.2.4 The student, with a better understanding of the grounds upon which the decision was made, does not seek to appeal the Stage 2 Formal Review.

2.2.5 The student submits an application for a Formal Appeal which demonstrates a Legitimate Ground to Appeal the decision.

2.2.6 The student lodges an appeal with an external agency if the student has no further internal appeal rights.

3.  Stage 3 Formal Appeal Procedure

3.1  After completing Stages 1 and 2 the student may lodge a formal Appeal under the Student Review and Appeals Policy as follows:

3.1.1  The Appeal application must be made within 20 University working days after the review officer’s decision is sent to the student (via JCU email); and

3.1.2  A late application may be accepted at the discretion of the Director, Student Services where it can be demonstrated that Extenuating Circumstances (as defined in the Student Review and Appeals Policy) prevented an appeal application being made within the stipulated timeframe; and

3.1.3  A student may only appeal a Stage 2 decision upon one or more Legitimate Grounds for Appeal.

3.2  A student who appeals a Stage 2 decision must apply in writing using the JCU Appeal Application form, to the Director, Student Services which states the Legitimate Grounds for Appeal.  The Appeal Application must be supported by relevant documentation that includes all feedback from the processes undertaken in Stage 1 and Stage 2.

3.3  A student may withdraw a Stage 3 Formal Appeal application at any time.

4.  Appeal assessment

4.1  Upon receipt of the appeal application, the Director Student Services will assess the application, and within 5 University working days may:

4.1.1 Determine the application is  incomplete, and invite the student to provide a new application within a further  5 University working days; or

4.1.2 Determine the application fails to demonstrate Legitimate Grounds for Appeal or is frivolous, trivial or vexatious and dismiss the application.  The student will be provided with reasons for the dismissal and notice of options for an external review or appeal.  This is a final decision and there are no internal options for appeal.

4.1.3 Determine the Formal Appeal Application contains Legitimate Grounds for Appeal to be heard by the  University Appeals Committee who will make a final determination

5.  Appeal Committee

5.1  Where the Director, Student Services does not dismiss an appeal at clause 4.1.2 then the complete appeal application will be sent to the Chair who will convene the University Appeals Committee and will notify the student that a Committee will be convened. The Director Student Services will provide the Chair with all documentation associated with the appeal.

5.2  The Committee Chair will review the Appeal Application and convene an Appeal Committee within 10 University working days of receiving the appeal application.

5.3  The Committee will comprise the following members::

5.3.1 Chair - The relevant Director of Academic Quality and Strategy (for academic matters including academic and professional misconduct matters) or the Deputy Vice Chancellor Students (for general misconduct and administrative matters); and,

5.3.2 A College Dean, Dean Learning Teaching and Student Engagement (Diploma Higher Education/TAC) or Dean of Graduate Research (for HDR); and

5.3.3 The Chair, Academic Board or an academic member of Council;

5.3.4 An Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching or Research Education (for HDR); for Academic Matters

5.3.5 The Campus Dean (if the student is admitted to a course delivered by the JCU Singapore Campus)

5.4  An administrative support staff member as appointed by the Chair will be present at the hearing to provide secretariat support.

5.5  For academic matters, 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 and amend Committee membership accordingly.

5.6  Once convened, the Chair will, within 5 University working days notify the student:

5.6.1 That their appeal has been successful, and the Committee has decided in the student’s favour; or

5.6.2 The matter will proceed to a hearing for a final determination on a particular time and date.

5.7  The Chair will invite the student to the hearing and communicate the following:

  • the names of Committee members;
  • the Committee’s role and powers; and
  • the time and location of the hearing; and
  • information regarding the student’s right to be heard; and
  • information regarding the student’s right to utilise a support person; and
  • copies of all materials available to the Committee in advance of the hearing.

5.8  Except with the express permission of the Chair of the Committee, no additional material will be presented at the meeting.  Additional material that is permitted will be provided to the Committee and the Student.

5.9  The Chair may ask the Original Decision Maker and/or the Stage 2 review officer to provide a written statement to the Committee in response to the student’s appeal application.  A copy of any written statements will be provided to the student.

5.10 The student will be given the opportunity to be heard by the Committee,  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. The Original Decision Maker and/or a review officer may, at the discretion of the Chair, be invited to attend the hearing in order to clarify information for the Committee.

5.11 The student and where relevant, the Original Decision Maker and/or the review officer, 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).

5.12 The student and where relevant, the Original Decision Maker and/or the review officer, will be heard individually and at different times.

5.13 The student and the Original Decision Maker and/or the review officer will be present only for such time as is necessary for them to be heard by the Committee.

5.14 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 practicing solicitor or barrister. The role of the support person is to bear witness to the meeting and what is discussed. Where authorised in writing by the student, the support person may assist in representing the student in the presentation of their case. .

5.15 After considering all material relevant to the appeal, the Committee will make findings on each ground of appeal, and record whether the ground is substantiated or not on the balance of probabilities, and determine an outcome.

5.16 If the Committee finds the grounds for appeal are not substantiated, the appeal will be dismissed and the original decision will stand.

5.17 If the Committee finds one or more grounds substantiated, either partially or completely, the Committee will consider the consequence of each established ground and the impact on the student in determining an outcome.

5.18 In determining an outcome, the Committee will consider potential outcomes identified by the student. The Committee may seek guidance regarding an outcome as appropriate to the circumstances.

5.19 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, the Academic Head and the Subject Coordinator within 5 University working days of the hearing. This communication will advise the student of:

  • The findings of the Committee in relation to the grounds of appeal, and
  • the  evidence considered in arriving at these findings, and
  • whether the appeal is upheld (even if only in part) or not (in which case it is dismissed and the original decision stands); and
  • the Committee’s decision and the reasons for its decision; and
  • any consequences as a result of the new decision; and
  • any actions to be taken by staff or the student; and
  • a statement that the decision of the Committee is final and there is no further right to internal appeal within the university
  • their right to lodge a complaint or appeal through an external body as per the Student Review and Appeals Policy, if they remain dissatisfied with the University’s decision.

5.20 Any required administrative actions will be included in the communication to the Subject Coordinator, Academic Head, and Director, Student Services. The Director, Student Services and Academic Head are responsible for ensuring that administrative actions triggered by the decision are undertaken.

6.  Students awaiting the outcome of an appeal

6.1  Until the appeal outcome has been determined, a student who submits an appeal will be permitted to:

6.1.1 Complete any outstanding assessment from the previous Teaching Period if they were granted a supplementary/deferred exam or an extension.

6.1.2 Remain enrolled in their subjects until the appeal has been determined or the timeframe to appeal has expired.  At any time during this process, the University may take action against the student under the Student Code of Conduct Policy on the basis that such action is prudent or necessary having regard to the university’s duty of care to its students, staff and/or placement agencies.

6.1.3 Apply for a Leave of Absence, if applicable, and request to be withdrawn from any existing subject enrolments or candidature.

6.1.4 Withdraw from all current and future enrolled subjects or candidature.

6.1.5 Withdraw from their course or candidature (applicable only for excluded students and international students studying on a student visa).

7.  Record Keeping

7.1 Record keeping will be managed as per the Student Review and Appeals Policy

7.2 Decisions made under the Student Review and Appeals 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 per the Student Review and Appeals Policy.

8.2 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 an external complaint or appeal.

Related policy instruments

Student Review and Appeals Policy

Academic Misconduct Procedures

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy

Policy Glossary

Review and Appeal of Final Subject Result Procedure

Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations Policy

Special Consideration, Supplementary and Special Examinations Procedure

Student Code of Conduct

Student General Misconduct Procedures

Student Results Policy

Administration

NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

DVC Students

Version no

19-3

Date for next Major Review

10/12/2022

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

19-3

10/12/2019

11/12/2019

Amended to clarify three stage process for review and appeal of University decisions.

Project Manager, Student Facing Policy

19-2

29/08/2019

30/08/2019

Amended to clarify requirements regarding acceptance of late appeal applications and that the University may take action under the Student Code of Conduct while students are awaiting outcome of an appeal

Director, Student Services

19-1

04/07/2019

05/07/2019

Procedure reviewed and amended to improve functionality.

Director, Student Services

18.1

26/07/2018

26/07/2018

Procedure established

Chair of Academic Board

Contact person

Director, Student Services

Keywords

Appeal, student appeal, academic appeal,