Site Navigation

Part B - Procedures

Student Appeals Policy


5. Preliminary dialogue
6. Progression of applications for review or appeals
7. New evidence or new grounds for appeal
8. Formal communications
9. Non-attendance by student
10. Applications for review or appeals involving allegations concerning a staff member
11. Grounds for review or appeal
12. Support and/or representation during the review or appeal process
13. Consideration of application for clarification or review or any appeal
14. Notification of decision on application for clarification or review or any appeal
15. Formal application for clarification
16. Review of a Decision
17. Appeal to Dean or Director
18. Appeal to the Provost, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) or Chief Operating Officer
19. Appeal to University Appeals Committee
20. Withdrawal of application for review or appeal
21. Malicious or vexatious complaints
22. Student status
23. External avenues of appeal


5. Preliminary dialogue

A student who is concerned with any academic or administrative decision or who believes an error has been made should consult with the officer who made the relevant decision,1 to be provided with any further information and/or to gain an understanding of the basis for the decision. Such consultation should normally be initiated by the student within 20 working days of being notified of the relevant decision.

[Back to Top]

6. Progression of applications for review or appeals

6.1 Stages of review or appeal

If a student wishes to pursue a matter following preliminary dialogue under Section 5 (above), he/she may, sequentially, submit:

  1. a formal application for clarification under Section 15;
  2. an application for review under Section 16;
  3. an appeal under Sections 17 to 19.

6.2 Progression through stages of review or appeal

A student must exhaust any lower level of review or appeal before proceeding to the next higher level.

6.3 Timing

Any application for clarification or review or any appeal must be lodged by the student within 20 working days of undertaking any preliminary dialogue under Section 5 or within 20 working days of notification of any decision in respect of which the application for clarification or review or appeal is lodged.

6.4 Review of decision not to re-credit or remit Student Learning Entitlement

6.4.1 A student who wishes to apply for review of a decision not to re-credit or remit Student Learning Entitlement under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 must lodge the relevant form within 20 working days from the day he/she first received notice of the decision.

6.4.2 The student must specify the grounds for his/her application for review, which must fall within the allowable grounds under the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

6.4.3 The review will be conducted by a staff member who occupies a position that is senior to that occupied by the original decision maker. That staff member will notify the student of:

  1. the process undertaken to consider the application for review;
  2. the decision on the application for review;
  3. the reason(s) for that decision.

6.4.4 A student who is dissatisfied with that decision may appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Any such appeal must be made within 20 working days from the date that the student receives advice of the decision under Section 6.4.3.

[Back to Top]

7. New evidence or new grounds for appeal

It is the responsibility of the student to state his/her grounds for review or appeal fully and to provide copies2 of all relevant evidence from the first stage of any application for review or appeal. No new evidence, or grounds for appeal founded on such evidence, may be submitted at any later stage of the review or appeal process, unless:

  1. there has been a major change in circumstance following the lodging of the initial appeal which, in the view of the officer or committee handling the appeal, justifies the subsequent, exceptional submission of the evidence; and
  2. the associated information or evidence has a significant bearing on the appeal and that information or evidence was not reasonably available at the time the appeal was first lodged.

Where such a major change in circumstance has arisen and the officer or committee dealing with the appeal determines that it and the associated information or evidence should be taken into consideration, the matter will normally be referred back to the level of the officer who undertook the initial review, for further consideration.

[Back to Top]

8. Formal communications

8.1 Any formal application for clarification or review or any appeal must:

  1. be in writing3;
  2. be dated and signed by the student;
  3. provide the student number and contact details of the student;
  4. provide details of the subject matter of the application for clarification or review or appeal and, in particular, details of the decision on which clarification or review is sought or against which the appeal is made;
  5. provide details of the published University regulation, rule or policy which the student considers has not been observed;
  6. set out the grounds for the application or appeal;
  7. include copies of any supporting information or evidence on which the student relies.

8.2 The timelines and associated provisions relating to formal communications contained in the Academic Regulations will apply to communications under this policy.

[Back to Top]

9. Non-attendance by student

Failure of the student and/or the student’s support person to appear for discussion of any request for clarification or review or any appeal or to appear before any University officer or committee, at the time notified to them, will not prevent the relevant officer or committee from proceeding to investigate and determine the matter.

[Back to Top]

10. Applications for review or appeals involving allegations concerning a staff member

In any case where a student’s application for review or appeal includes specific allegations against the conduct of a member of staff which might be in contravention of the Staff Code of Conduct, the University will determine whether the matter will be considered under this Policy, the Student Complaint Management Policy, the relevant Academic Regulations or the relevant Human Relations Policy.

[Back to Top]

11. Grounds for review or appeal

11.1 An application for review or an appeal will normally relate to the manner or extent to which a published University regulation(s), rule(s) or policy(ies) was observed in relation to the subject matter of any application for review or appeal raised by the student or any penalty imposed. The grounds for any such application for review or appeal will normally be limited to:

  1. alleged failure by a staff member or any other person to execute responsibilities under the relevant published University regulation, rule or policy;
  2. other failure to adhere to the relevant published University regulation, rule or policy;
  3. any penalty imposed which is inconsistent with the penalties available under the relevant University regulation, rule or policy.

An appeal which does not satisfy the grounds for appeal above will be dismissed.

11.2 Failure by the student to make available to any stage of a review or appeal all relevant material reasonably available at the time is not adequate grounds for appeal against the decision on that application or appeal.

11.3 A judgment regarding academic merit of any work or any grade assigned, where such judgment must be based on reassessment of content, does not fall within the jurisdiction of any person or committee dealing with an application for review or appeal under this policy. However, a person and/or committee may refer the matter for independent re-assessment of the content by an internal and/or external expert if appropriate.

11.4 Matters relating to the development or substance of any published University regulation, rule or policy are not open to an application for review or appeal under this policy.

[Back to Top]

12. Support and/or representation during the review or appeal process

In any discussions or interviews in which a student participates during any clarification, review or appeal process under this policy, the student may, at his/her discretion, be accompanied by one other person, other than a person with a qualification in law, whom the student designates as his/her support person under this policy. A support person may make submissions on behalf of a student unless the person or committee dealing with the matter considers that the making of any submission is or might be disruptive to, or may unreasonably extend, the proceedings. A support person may not be a person who was involved in, associated with, or alleged to have been involved in or associated with the subject matter of the clarification, review or appeal.

[Back to Top]

13. Consideration of application for clarification or review or any appeal

Action will be initiated in response to any application for clarification or review or any appeal within ten working days of receipt of the application or appeal by the responsible officer.

[Back to Top]

14. Notification of decision on application for clarification or review or any appeal

14.1 Notification to student

The student will be notified of the decision on any application for clarification or review or any level of appeal under this policy normally within 20 working days of the student’s lodgement of the application for clarification or review or appeal at that level.

The student will be notified of:

  1. the process undertaken to consider the application or appeal;
  2. the decision on the application or appeal;
  3. the reason(s) for that decision and any associated recommendation(s);
  4. any penalty imposed and any conditions thereon.
  5. the avenue of appeal available to the student.

In any case in which the matter has been referred to a Faculty or Administration Appeals Committee or the University Appeals Committee on the relevant campus, the student will be provided with a copy of the report of that Committee.

In the case of an international student whose enrolment has been terminated, the student will also be notified of the possible implications of the decision on the student’s visa4.

14.2 Record of decision and advice to student

A copy of the decision on any application for clarification or review or any appeal will be provided to the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor(s), Executive Dean, Head of School, Course Coordinator, the Academic Registrar, other Director and/or such other officer(s) as may need to take action as a result of the decision.

[Back to Top]

15. Formal application for clarification

15.1 Application for clarification

A student who remains dissatisfied or unclear in relation to a decision following preliminary dialogue under Section 5 and who wishes to obtain formal clarification about any academic or administrative decision affecting him/her as a student should normally raise the matter in writing with the officer5 who made the decision.

15.2 Timing of application for clarification

Any such application for clarification should be submitted within 20 working days of notification of the decision to the student or publication of relevant information on Student Connect, whichever is the later.

15.3 Provision of clarification

The staff member to whose decision the request for clarification relates will review the matter and provide the student with clarification of the decision in accordance with Section 14.

[Back to Top]

16. Review of a Decision

16.1 Avenue for review

A student may apply to the senior officer responsible for the relevant organisational unit6 for review of a decision within the scope of this policy7.

16.2 Timing of application for review

The application for review must be in writing and be received by the relevant senior officer within 20 working days of notification of the decision to the student or publication of relevant information on Student Connect, or receipt by the student of any clarification under Section 15, whichever is the later.

16.3 Conduct of review

16.3.1 The senior officer responsible for dealing with the review, or his/her nominee, will conduct the review. If that officer had previously been involved in the decision to which the appeal relates, the material will be referred to another staff member or other appropriate person nominated by that officer’s supervisor.

16.3.2 The relevant senior officer or nominee may:

  1. interview staff involved in the decision-making;
  2. interview the student, whether at the initiative of the officer or in response to the student’s written application for review;
  3. seek advice from other relevant staff and/or access advice and/or expertise from such other person(s) as he/she deems appropriate.

16.4 Determination and notification of decision on review

Following such investigation, the senior officer or nominee will:

  1. determine the outcome of the review; and
  2. advise the student in accordance with Section 14.

[Back to Top]

17. Appeal to Executive Dean or Director

17.1 Avenue of appeal

An appeal against a decision of a senior officer under Section 16 may be made to the relevant Executive Dean.

An appeal against a decision of the senior officer responsible for an administrative organisational unit, under Section 16, may be made to the relevant Director.

17.2 Timing of appeal

The appeal must be in writing, addressed to and received by the relevant Executive Dean or Director within 20 working days of receipt by the student of notification of the decision on the review.

17.3 Action by Executive Dean or Director

If the Executive Dean or Director considers that the student’s appeal does not establish a prima facie case on a subject matter under Section 3 and in accordance with the grounds set out in Section 11.1 (a) to (c), they may dismiss the appeal and will notify the student accordingly.

If the Executive Dean or Director considers that the subject matter of the appeal does fall within Section 3 and the appeal does establish a prima facie case on ground(s)set out in Section 11.1 (a) to (c) then:

  1. if they consider that the appeal should be upheld without referral to a Faculty/Administration Appeals Committee, they may determine the appeal;
  2. if they consider the appeal introduces new evidence or new grounds for appeal, they may refer the matter back to the previous level of appeal8 for determination;
  3. if they do not consider the case or make any determination, they will establish a Faculty/ Administration Appeals Committee;
  4. in any case, they will notify the student accordingly.

17.4 Faculty/Administration Appeals Committee

The Faculty/Administration Appeals Committee will comprise four members of staff and one student. Any person who has had any previous involvement in the matter will not be appointed to the Committee.

The Committee will be convened as soon as possible to hear the appeal. The quorum for a meeting of a Faculty/Administration Appeals Committee will be three persons including the student member. The Committee will have access to all documentation used in the review process and may conduct such investigation as it deems appropriate. The student may seek or be invited to appear in person before the Committee to address the issues identified in the written appeal.

17.5 Report of Faculty/Administration Appeals Committee

The Faculty/Administration Appeals Committee will provide a report to the Executive Dean or Director. The report will specify:

  1. the process undertaken during the appeal;
  2. the decision on the appeal; and
  3. the reasons for the above decision and any associated recommendation(s).

17.6 Determination and notification of decision on review

Following such investigation, the Executive Dean or Director will:

  1. determine the appeal; and
  2. advise the student of the decision on the appeal in accordance with Section 14.

[Back to Top]

18. Appeal to the Provost, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) or Chief Operating Officer

18.1 Avenue of appeal

An appeal against a decision of an Executive Dean or Director may be made to the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor9.

18.2 Timing of appeal

The appeal must be submitted in writing to the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor within 20 working days of receipt by the student of the decision of the Executive Dean or Director on the appeal.

18.3 Determination of appeal

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor will deal with the appeal in such manner as they consider appropriate. This may include referring the matter to a University Appeals Committee.

18.4 Notification of decision on appeal

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor will advise the student of the decision on the appeal in accordance with Section 14.

[Back to Top]

19. Appeal to University Appeals Committee

19.1 Avenue of appeal

An appeal against a decision of a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (under Section 18) may be made to the University Appeals Committee.

19.2 Timing of appeal

The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Academic Registar within 20 working days of receipt by the student of the decision on the appeal under Section 18.

19.3 Action by the Academic Registrar

If the Academic Registar considers that the student’s appeal does not establish a prima facie case on a subject matter under Section 3 and in accordance with the grounds set out in Section 11.1 (a) to (c), they may dismiss the appeal and will notify the student accordingly.

If the Academic Registar considers that the subject matter of the appeal does fall within Section 3 and the appeal does establish a prima facie case on ground(s) set out in Section 11.1 (a) to (c) then:

  1. if they consider that the appeal should be upheld without referral to a University Appeals Committee, they may determine the appeal;
  2. if they consider the appeal introduces new evidence or new grounds for appeal, they may refer the matter back to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) for determination;
  3. in any other case, they will refer the matter to a University Appeals Committee;
  4. in any case they will acknowledge receipt of the appeal and notify the student of the course of action being pursued.

19.4 Powers and procedures of a University Appeals Committee

19.4.1 A University Appeals Committee will:

  1. be convened and conduct such investigations as it deems appropriate as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the need to act fairly;
  2. proceed in a way that is appropriate to the circumstances of the case;
  3. have access to all documentation used in the review and appeal processes and determine either to deal with the matter or to make some other recommendation(s) to the University;
  4. in the event that it decides to deal with the matter, consider the information/documentation used in the review and appeal processes, together with evidence presented by the University and/or the student (excluding any new evidence, in which case Section 7 applies);
  5. permit the student to seek, in writing, additional time of no more than five working days to prepare his/her submission to the Committee.

19.4.2 A University Appeals Committee may:

  1. confirm or vary the decision appealed;
  2. confirm or vary any penalty appealed; or
  3. uphold the appeal; and/or
  4. recommend other action as appropriate to the University.

19.5 Decision on appeal

The Chair of the University Appeals Committee will provide a report on the Committee’s deliberations and decision to the Academic Registrar who will advise the student in writing of the decision on the appeal.

The decision of a University Appeals Committee is final and there is no avenue of appeal against the decision to any other person or body within the University.

[Back to Top]

20. Withdrawal of application for review or appeal

At any time during the process a student may withdraw an application for review or appeal, by notice in writing to the relevant officer. Upon such withdrawal, consideration of the review or appeal will normally be discontinued.

[Back to Top]

21. Malicious or vexatious complaints

In any case in which an application for review or appeal is found to be frivolous, vexatious or malicious, action may be taken under Statute 10 Student Conduct and Discipline.

[Back to Top]

22. Student status

22.1 Unless the Vice-Chancellor otherwise directs, a student who has applied for a review or submitted an appeal under this policy may continue in their program of study until the decision on the review or appeal is notified to the student.

22.2.1 If:

  1. the student exercises the option to continue in their program of study while any appeal is under consideration; and
  2. the final stage of the appeal process accessed by the student is not completed before the census date for the relevant study period10

the student may complete their enrolment in the relevant study period and be awarded the result(s) (whether passing or failing grades) achieved in those studies in that study period, irrespective of the outcome of the appeal.

22.2.2 In the case of an appeal against termination of enrolment for unsatisfactory academic progress, if the appeal is dismissed, the termination of enrolment will take effect from the end of the study period in which the appeal is finalised.

22.2.3 In the case of an appeal against suspension of enrolment for breach of the Academic Honesty Policy, if the appeal is dismissed, the suspension will take effect from the end of the study period in which the appeal is finalised.

[Back to Top]

23. External avenues of appeal

23.1 While students are encouraged to resolve any concerns or complaints they may have arising from their status as a student of the University, nothing in this policy derogates from the right of a student to access any other complaint or appeal mechanism available to him/her as legislated in the relevant State or Territory. If any external process is initiated, the internal appeal process will be terminated.

23.2 Following exhaustion of internal complaint management processes, in the case of subject matters for which there is no specific external independent arbiter, a student can appeal to the University Visitor, who is an independent arbiter, external to the University11.

[Back to Top]


1 This would normally be: the Lecturer in Charge, in the case of a matter regarding a unit; the Course Coordinator in the case of a matter relating to a course; the Manager or Head of an administrative or support unit in the case of a decision within that officer’s area of responsibility.
2 Normally, certified copies of original documents should be submitted.
3 Students should use the Application for Review or Appeal under the Student Appeals Policy (RX form) to ensure they provide all required information.
4 It is the responsibility of the student to comply with all visa conditions and to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (or its successor) of any change in their enrolment status.
5 This would normally be: the Lecturer in Charge, in the case of a matter regarding a unit; the Course Coordinator in the case of a matter relating to a course; the Manager or Head of an administrative or support unit in the case of a decision within that officer’s area of responsibility.
6 For example, Head of School, Division Head, Assistant Director or Manager of an administrative or academic support unit or other Directorate.
7 The appeal must be in relation to a subject matter listed in Section 3 and fall within one of the grounds listed in Section 11.
8 This would normally be: the Head of School in the case of an academic matter; or the Manager or Head of an administrative or support unit in the case of any non-academic matter.
9 In the case of an officer who reports to the Vice-Chancellor, the appeal would normally be referred to the Chief Operating Officer.
10 Typically this would be the semester following that in which the grounds for appeal arose. For example, an appeal against termination of enrolment for unsatisfactory progress would not normally commence until early in the following study period.
11 See the Policy on Review by the University Visitor of Unresolved Appeals or Complaints by Students.

Feedback