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How to appeal

Academic Appeal -Notes for Students

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 academic 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 an academic progression status decision by a School Board of Examiners.

Appeal to the Student Appeals Committee (Rule 8.3)
Appeal against a decision made under either Rule 3.5, 4.8, 4.10, 5.8, 6.14, 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.

The relevant forms which must be used in the appeals process may be found at Which form do I use for my appeal?, or under ‘Paper-based forms’ on the Student Forms Page.

1. Appeal Submission Deadlines

There is a time limit for lodgement of an appeal. Note that failure to comply with these deadlines will result in the submission of the appeal being rejected.
Information about specific deadlines for the submission of an appeal is also published at the Appeals Deadline Page.

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, the academic staff member concerned has five business days to provide the student with details of that discussion. This process must be completed within the 20 business days’ time limit for a formal appeal to be lodged. Therefore 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 the email written summary from the academic staff person who did the informal review, to the student (Rule 8.1.2).

Appeals must be lodged at the Student Hub

Limits are imposed by the Rules on the length of submissions and supporting documentation (Rule 8.1.5, 8.2.6, 8.3.2.b.). Submissions that do not provide complete or adequate information or do not conform to the length requirements will be returned to the student, with written reasons for that action and an opportunity will be provided for re-submission.

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 ( Rules 8.1.2 and 8.3.9 ). 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 15 business days from the date the appeal was lodged.

Please note that appeals submitted in December/January may experience a delay in decisions being communicated due to the Essential Student Services Period.

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 8.4.

If an appeal made in these circumstances is unsuccessful the relevant enrolment will be cancelled. If this occurs after the published unit census date, students will be eligible for a refund of any charges or other money paid.  Students who are permitted to enrol provisionally cannot claim disadvantage of an academic, financial or person nature if their appeal is unsuccessful and they are required to withdraw 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. It should be noted that the Ombudsman will not normally investigate until all internal avenues of appeal have been completed. The Ombudsman will usually only consider if the University has followed its own Rules, 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 review request to the State Ombudsman must provide evidence to the University to the Director, Student Administration, 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 Students Act 2000, notify the Department of Home Affairs that the student has been suspended or excluded from the University. This notification may have implications for the student’s visa status.

Contact details for the State Ombudsman are:

Phone: +61 08 9220 7555


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