Policy Student Matters Student Review and Appeals Policy (effective from 01/01/2023)

Student Review and Appeals Policy (effective from 01/01/2023)


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Intent

This Policy records the University’s overarching approach to review and / or appeals (as relevant) in relation to:

a. decisions concerning student complaints, misconduct, suitability to continue in a course and other decisions related to student conduct or their experience at the University (Complaint and Conduct Decisions);

b. decisions requiring the exercise of academic judgement (Academic Decisions);

c. decisions made under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) (Statutory Decisions).

Scope

This Policy applies to all students who have received a decision from the University which they wish to have reviewed and/or to appeal.

Definitions

Unless specified below, the terms used in this Policy have the same meaning as established in the Policy Glossary.

Original Decision Maker -  The person, body or committee who has made the original decision that is being reviewed and/or appealed.

  • Where an academic decision process is subject to certification or ratification (for example, final subject result), the Original Decision Maker is the person who submitted the decision for certification/ratification and who is most familiar with the detail of the decision.
  • Where a decision is triggered by a rules-based process (for example, academic progressions or maximum time to complete) there will be no Original Decision Maker and the Formal Review will be considered by the College/Campus Dean.

University Appeals Committee - means the committee considering the appeal.

Principles

In interpreting and applying this Policy and the associated Procedures, decision makers and staff of the University will be guided by the following principles:

a. Students may be aggrieved by decisions made by the University which adversely affect them, and should have an opportunity to seek review and / or appeal of decisions within the University to a more senior officer and / or decision making body of the University;

b. Review and appeal processes should, where possible, be delivered in a timely manner;

c. Review and appeal processes should be made available without charge to students and applied consistently, fairly and without reprisal;

d. Outcomes from review and appeal processes should be communicated in writing with reasons, communicate further avenues of appeal (if any), and be implemented in a timely manner;

e. The review and appeals process is intended to promote decision making that is compatible with human rights as contained in the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) and which contributes to promoting and fostering a safe environment for all members of the University community, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework made under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth).

Policy

1. General

1.1 Students have a right to seek review and / or appeal of a decision, upon grounds set out within this Policy and the associated Procedures.

1.2 All decisions made under this Policy and associated Procedures will be made in accordance with Procedural Fairness.

1.3 Students and staff should adhere to the timeframes stated in this Policy and associated Procedures.  For the avoidance of doubt, any decisions made under this Policy and associated Procedures outside the timeframes specified will still be valid and enforceable.

2. Application of associated Procedures

2.1 For Academic Decisions and Statutory Decisions, students wishing to seek review and / or appeal must follow the Academic and Statutory Decisions Review and Appeals Procedure.

2.2 For Complaint and Conduct Decisions, students wishing to appeal must follow the Complaint and Conduct Decisions Appeals Procedure.

2.3 Where there is any ambiguity or disagreement about which of the associated Procedures applies in relation to resolution of a student's grievance concerning a decision of the University, the Director, Student Services will determine which of the associated Procedures is to be followed.  The decision of the Director, Student Services will be final and binding.

3. University Appeals Committee

3.1 Unless otherwise specified, the final decision making body for appeals of University decisions is the University Appeals Committee, constituted for each appeal hearing by the Director, Student Services as follows:

3.1.1 A Chair being the Chair of Academic Board or, in their absence, an appropriately qualified Council member; and

3.1.2 Two members holding a position of Dean, Director, Academic Program Quality, or Deputy Vice Chancellors and who are not of the College relevant to the particular appeal.

3.2 Before accepting an appointment to the University Appeals Committee for a particular hearing, the proposed member will confirm that they are not aware of any actual or apprehended bias against the relevant student who is the subject of the appeal.

3.3 The University Appeals Committee will have a quorum of three.  If a member of the University Appeals Committee cannot continue hearing the appeal until final determination (for whatever reason), the Director, Student Services may appoint a replacement member, including whilst an appeal is being heard.

3.4 The University Appeals Committee will endeavour to make consensus decisions.  However, where that is not possible decisions will be by made by majority vote.

3.5 Decisions of the University Appeals Committee are final, and there are no further rights of appeal within the University.  Decisions of the University Appeals Committee will be communicated to the student in accordance with the associated Procedures.

3.6 The Student Matters team will provide secretarial support to the University Appeals Committee.

4. Records and decisions

4.1 All decisions made under this Policy and the associated Procedures will be documented and retained consistently with the University Records Management Policy.

4.2 All records and documents considered in arriving at decisions under this Policy and the associated Procedures must be stored in an appropriate and confidential file consistent with the University Records Management Policy.

4.3 Outcomes of reviews and appeals will be reported annually by the Director, Student Services to the Academic Board, to assist in the Academic Board's oversight of the review and appeal processes and their implementation.

4.4 Recording, tracking and secretariat support of all review and appeal applications will be administered by the Student Matters team with timelines monitored in accordance with the associated Procedures.

5. Confidentiality

5.1 Reviews and / or appeals under this Policy and the associated Procedures shall be treated confidentially.

6. Avenues for External Appeal

6.1 A student may have the right to contact or lodge a complaint with external organisations in relation to a matter covered by this Policy and the associated Procedures.  However, students are expected to exhaust internal rights of review or appeal within the University where appropriate prior to seeking external assistance.

6.2 Depending on the circumstances, students who remain aggrieved may be able to make application to or lodge a complaint with (as relevant):

6.2.1. the Queensland Ombudsman;

6.2.2 the Queensland and / or Commonwealth Courts, Tribunals and Commissions;

6.2.3 the Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland;

6.2.4 the Crime and Corruption Commission Queensland;

6.2.5 the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency;

6.2.6 the Singapore Government’s approved dispute resolution scheme managed by the Council for Private Education (CPE) in Singapore (for students studying at the JCU Singapore campus).

Related policy instruments

Student Code of Conduct

Academic Progression Policy

Credit and Articulation Procedure

Review of a Student’s Suitability to Continue a Course Involving Placement

Review of Assessment and Access to Examination Materials Procedures

Complaint and Conduct Decisions Appeal Procedure

Academic and Statutory Decisions Review and Appeal Procedure

Schedules/Appendices

Nil


Administration

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

Approval Details

Policy Domain

Student Matters

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next major review

01/01/2028

Revision History

Version

Approval Date

Approval authority

Implementation Date

Details

Author

22-2

14/12/22

Academic Board

01/01/2023

Major review to split into two review and appeal processes for academic, conduct and statutory.

Director, Student Services

21-120/04/2021Admin amendment20/04/2021Administrative amendment to update name of Committee (previously Council for Private Education, now Committee for Private Education).Quality, Standards and Policy Officer

19-2

09/12/2019

Academic Board

11/12/2019

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

Project Manager, Student Facing Policy

19-1

13/06/2019

Academic Board

14/06/2019

Amended to clarify responsibilities and improve functionality.

Director, Student Services

18-1

30/04/2018

Academic Board

11/07/2018

Policy established

Chair of Academic Board

Keywords

Student appeal, academic appeal, appeal

Contact personDirector, Student Services