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The Student Appeals Policy provides a framework for the timely and fair resolution of applications for review and appeal from students who are concerned than an academic or administrative decision affecting them fails to adhere to published policy and/or procedures.

2.1 This policy will apply to applications for review and/or appeal against academic and administrative decisions where published policy and/or procedures have not been followed.

2.2 The following matters are specifically excluded from the scope of this policy, as they are covered under other relevant policies and processes:

Subject of concern or complaint Relevant Policy
Allegations of Sexual Harassment Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Allegations of Discrimination Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Allegations of Bullying Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Matters relating to admission to coursework programs by prospective students Student Complaints Policy
Matters relating to higher degree research and professional doctorate studies Higher Degree Research Regulations

2.3 Any matter that is currently being, or has in the past been dealt with under the Student Complaints Policy is excluded from this Policy.

2.4 The following matters are excluded from review or appeal under this policy:

  1. a decision made on the performance of a student in any component of assessment which is based on academic or professional judgement and which should be resolved with the Lecturer in Charge, or equivalent; or
  2. the substance of any published University regulation, rule or policy.

3.1 All actions under this policy are to be based on values that are consistent with the University Mission and to be underpinned by principles of mutual respect and procedural fairness for and by all students, staff and others who may be involved.

3.2 A person or committee handling a review or an appeal will deal with the matter as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the need to act fairly.

3.3 Students will familiarise themselves with and adhere to all relevant University regulations, course rules and associated written procedures and standards of conduct.

3.4 It is the responsibility of the student to state their grounds for review or appeal fully and to provide copies of all relevant evidence from the first stage of any application for review or appeal.

3.5 The University will take all reasonable steps to prevent students suffering any disadvantage (including through victimisation) as a result of lodging an application for review or appeal.

Terms used in this policy and associated Procedures are consistent with ACU’s Glossary of Terms. In the context of this policy the following term also applies:

Unreasonable appellant conduct is any behaviour by a complainant which, because of its nature or frequency raises substantial health, safety, resource or equity issues for the University, staff, other student, or the complainant themselves.

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

6.1 A student may seek confidential, independent professional advice from the Student Advocacy Service at any stage of review or appeal.

6.2 In any discussions or interviews in which a student participates during any review or appeal process under this policy, the student may, at their discretion, be accompanied by one other person, other than a person with a qualification in law, whom the student designates as their support person.

6.3 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 review or appeal.

6.4 A support person may only make submissions on behalf of a student if invited to do so by the responsible officer or committee dealing with the matter.

6.5 In proceedings before a University Appeals Committee against a decision under the Student Conduct Policy, the support person appointed by the student in relation to an appeal:

  1. may be a person with a qualification in law; and
  2. may make submissions on the student's behalf unless, in the opinion of the Chair of the Committee, the making of any such submission is or might be disruptive to, or may unreasonably extend, the proceedings.

7.1 At any time during the process a student may withdraw an application, by notice in writing to the responsible officer.

7.2 Upon such withdrawal, consideration of the application will be discontinued.

8.1 The University will take action to restrict access to the student appeals process where it is determined that the behaviour of an appellant is having a disproportionate and unreasonable impact on the University, its staff, services, time and/or resources through any of the following:

  1. unreasonable persistence that is continued, incessant and unrelenting including where the substance of the appeal has already been considered by the University and satisfactory measures have been taken to progress or resolve the matter;
  2. unreasonable demands (express or implied);
  3. unreasonable lack of cooperation;
  4. unreasonable arguments that are not based in reason or logic, that are incomprehensible, false or inflammatory, trivial or delirious; or
  5. unreasonable behaviours that compromises the health, safety and security of our staff, other service users or the appellant themselves.

8.2 In any case in which the behaviour of an applicant for review or appeal is found to constitute unreasonable appellant conduct, action may be taken by the University to:

  1. change or restrict access to the student appeals processes; and/or
  2. refer the student to be dealt with under the Student Conduct Policy.

8.3 Any decision by the University to change or restrict a student’s access to the review and appeals process will be based on managing the impact of the appellant’s conduct

9.1 Unless the Vice-Chancellor otherwise directs, a student who has applied for a review or submitted an appeal under this policy may continue to enrol in units available to them in their program of study, subject to meeting prerequisites, until the decision on the review or appeal is notified to the student, subject to section 9.2.

9.2 A student may be prevented from enrolling in any professional experience unit or unit containing professional experience where the review or appeal relates to:

  1. a termination of enrolment decision under section 11.5.1 (d) of the Academic Regulations; or
  2. a decision to withdraw a student from a professional experience unit or unit containing professional experience for unsatisfactory performance under section 6.4.6 of the Academic Regulations.

9.3 If:

  1. a student exercises the option to continue in their program of study while any appeal process 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 period,

then the student may complete their enrolment in the relevant study period and be awarded the result(s), whether pass or fail grades, achieved in those units in that study period, irrespective of the outcome of the appeal process.

9.4 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 in accordance with clause 11.5.2 of the Academic Regulations.

9.5 In the case of an appeal against suspension of enrolment for breach of the Student Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy, if the appeal is dismissed, the suspension will take effect immediately.

9.6 In the case of an appeal involving an international student, the University will notify the relevant Australian Government department of any notifiable change to that student’s enrolment.

10.1 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 detracts from the right of a student to access any other appeal or complaint mechanism available to the student as legislated in the relevant State or Territory. If any external process is initiated, the internal appeal or complaint process will be terminated.

10.2 Following exhaustion of the internal appeal processes, in the case of matters for which there is no external avenue of appeal, or complaint mechanism available, a student can request an independent review in accordance with the Independent Review of Student Appeals or Student Complaints Policy.

Date Major, Minor or Editorial Description of Revision(s)
30 November 2016 Minor Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 compliance review amendments
29 November 2017 Minor Consequential change to section 9.3 arising from amendments to the 2018 Academic Regulations
28 November 2018 Major Reviewed according to the Academic Board Policy Development and Review Schedule
8 May 2019 Minor Section 7 and 8 of the Procedures amended for acknowledgement stage to be administrative
1 January 2020 Minor Editorial change to Section 10.2 in line with theIndependent Review of Student Appeals or Complaints Policy
25 November 2020 Minor Section 2.3 amended so that any student wishing to appeal a student conduct decision may appeal to the University Appeals Committee
17 February 2021 Minor Sections 5, 7 and 8 of the Procedures amended to establish parameters for the submission of, and acceptance of, requests for review and appeal outside 20-days
15 September 2021 Minor Consequential amendments to Schedule 1 of the Procedures arising from review of the Academic Integrity & Misconduct Policy

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