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How to appeal

Academic appeals

The University’s Admission, Enrolment and Academic Progress Rules (“the Rules”) contain provisions to enable students who are dissatisfied with the assessment of their academic work or progress to appeal against those decisions. These Notes are issued for the guidance of students considering submitting appeals under the Rules and are not a substitute for or a supplement to these Rules:

Result Appeal (Rule 8.1)
Appeal against the result of an individual item of assessment or a final unit result.

Academic Progression Status Appeal (Rule 8.2)
Appeal against a decision of a Faculty Board of Examiners about a student’s Academic Progression Status.

Appeal to the Student Appeals Committee (Rule 8.3)
Appeal against a decision made under either Rule 8.1 or Rule 8.2.

Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 detail the grounds on which appeals may be made and the processes and procedures that must be followed by students submitting appeals under these Rules. 

If you are considering submitting an appeal it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the provisions of the Rules, which appear in their entirety on the University rules webpage.

As of September 2009 some significant changes have been made to the Rules. These Notes highlight some of those changes, together with some other relevant information. Students previously involved in the appeals process should note that the former Appeal Notes for Students have been repealed and some of the relevant provisions of those Notes are now included in the Rules.

The relevant forms which must be used in the appeals process can be found on the Forms webpage.

1. Appeal submission deadlines

Information about specific date for the submission of appeal are publicised each semester on the Appeals deadlines webpage. Note that failure to comply with these deadlines, unless variations are approved in individual cases by the Executive Officer of Student Appeals Committee, will result in the rejection of appeals.

The deadlines for appeals are inclusive of the periods within which relevant actions must be taken.

For example, under the informal discussion process required under Rule 8.1.1, not later than five business day after the informal discussion, the academic staff member concerned must send to the student’s ECU email address, a written summary of the discussion, the decision reached and the reasons for that decision . This process must be completed within the 20 business days required before a formal appeal is lodged, so it is essential that the informal discussion be held as soon as possible after the release of the result in question.

2. Appeal submissions

Appeals may only be made on the basis of the grounds specified in the relevant Rule. The Rules require that supporting submissions address each ground of appeal and include any relevant supporting documentation, which in the case of an appeal under Rule 8.1 must include evidence that the informal result query stage has been completed. This will normally be demonstrated by the inclusion of a copy of the email from the Academic staff member referred to in Rule 8.1 and in point 1 above..

Appeals must be lodged at Student Central on the form specified, either in person or by email, post or fax. Note, however, that supporting documents cannot be lodged by email or fax as they must be original documents.

Limits are imposed by the Rules on the length of submissions and supporting documentation. Submissions that do not provide complete or adequate information or do not conform to the length requirements will be returned to the student within five business days, with written reasons for that action  and an opportunity will be provided for re-submission within five business days.

Once accepted, students will receive a receipt number for an appeal which can subsequently be referred to for information about the status of the appeal.

3. Support persons

Students attending an informal discussion of their results before deciding whether or not to submit an appeal or when attending a meeting with the Student Appeals Committee are entitled to be accompanied by another person, other than a legal practitioner. As a courtesy and to assist with meeting arrangements students who are to be supported in this way are asked to inform the staff member conducting or arranging the relevant meeting prior to that event.

4. Decisions

Students will be provided with written confirmation of decisions and the reasons for those decisions. Notification of decisions and reasons will normally be sent to the student’s ECU email address within 18 business days.

5. Provisional re-enrolment

Provisional re-enrolment may be permitted pending the finalisation of an appeal against exclusion. An application for provisional enrolment must be made at the time of the submission of the appeal under Rule 8.2 and 8.3.

If an appeal made in these circumstances is unsuccessful the relevant enrolment will be cancelled. If this occurs after the published unit census date withdrawal without financial penalty may be approved. Students who are permitted to enrol provisionally cannot claim disadvantage of an academic, financial or personal nature if their appeal is unsuccessful and they are required to be withdrawn from a provisionally enrolled unit or units.

6. External Review

Students may, in writing, request the State Ombudsman to review the manner in which their appeal was handled by the University. This information will be provided in the outcome email from Executive Officer, Student Appeals Committee.

It should be noted that the Ombudsman will not normally investigate a complaint until all internal avenues of appeal have been completed. The Ombudsman will usually only consider if the University has followed its own policies and procedures and whether the handling of an individual case has been fair and reasonable.  The Ombudsman does not make a new decision (for example, change a unit result) to replace a decision by the University. However, the Ombudsman may recommend that the University reconsider its decisions or actions.

International students intending to submit a complaint to the State Ombudsman must provide evidence to the University that they have lodged that complaint within 20 business days of receiving notice of the decision of the Student Appeals Committee not to uphold their appeal. If this evidence is not received the University must, under the provision of section 19 of the Education Services for Overseas Student Act (2000), notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship that the student has been excluded from the University. This notification may have implications for the student’s visa status.

Contact details for the State Ombudsman are:


Telephone: 9220 7555


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