If you have received an academic progress outcome and would like support lodging an appeal, we’re here to help.
What is an appeal against an academic progress outcome?
- After a Faculty Committee decides the outcome of an Academic Progress review, or a Late Review application, they will email you an outcome letter. The outcome letter will include information about how the decision was reached and information about the possibility of appealing the outcome.
- You can also find information about appeals on the Deakin webpage here.
- The key policies and procedures relevant to academic progress appeals are: the Academic Progress Policy, the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Assessment Procedure and the Student Appeals Procedure. These policies and others can be found in the online Deakin Policy Library.
On what grounds can I appeal a faculty academic progress outcome?
You may appeal to the University Appeals Committee (UAC) against a review decision on one or more of the following four grounds:
- A misapplication of process occurred that resulted in material disadvantage to the student;
- The decision was manifestly wrong;
- The outcome imposed by the original decision maker was manifestly excessive, inappropriate or not available in the circumstances;
- New evidence that was not known or available at the time of the original decision is now available and could have affected the outcome of the decision (Academic Board Regulations, Part 11).
How do I lodge an appeal?
If you believe that one or more of the grounds of appeal apply, you can lodge an appeal to the UAC online at deakin.edu.au/students/dean-of-students/student-appeals within 20 working days of having received notice of the Faculty Committee’s decision.
To start an appeal, you will need to submit:
- The online Student Appeal application form;
- A written submission detailing the grounds of your appeal and outlining your case for appeal, you can access our Academic Progress Appeal Written Submission Template here.
- The Faculty Committee outcome letter (i.e. the original decision you are appealing);
- Relevant documents in support of your case (e.g. medical certificate/report, letter of support, statutory declaration, etc.) All documents must be in English. A certified translation must accompany documents in another language.
What happens next?
- The Chair of the UAC will review your appeal application to determine whether you have provided grounds for an appeal. The UAC Chair may decide to dismiss the appeal if they find it lacks substance or does not meet the appeal grounds.
- If the UAC Chair decides to hear the appeal, they can either determine the matter on the basis of the written material alone or conduct an oral appeal hearing (Academic Board Regulations, Part 11). The UAC must limit the evidence it hears to matters relevant to the grounds of appeal.
- If an appeal hearing is granted, you will receive at least 5 working days’ notice of the hearing date and time.
What happens at the appeal hearing?
- The appeal hearing will happen in a meeting room on campus or via video-conference or phone.
- Appeal hearings are attended by at least 3 members of the UAC and a secretary.
- The UAC must limit the evidence it hears to matters relevant to the grounds of appeal.
- You will have the opportunity to present your case, focused on the ground/s of appeal that the UAC agreed to hear. You may also respond to any further documents/ statements the Faculty Committee may have provided to the UAC in response to your appeal application. The UAC members will ask you some questions and you may also ask questions.
- If you have a support person at your hearing, they may also be allowed to speak. Your support person can be anyone who is not a practicing lawyer. DUSA Advocates often accompany students to appeal hearings. If you want an Advocate at your hearing, please request this as soon as possible. You can contact us here.
A decision of the UAC is reached in private by simple majority with the Chair having the casting vote.
After conducting the hearing, the UAC can decide either to dismiss the appeal or to uphold the appeal in whole or in part.
If they decide to uphold the appeal they then either:
- Make a new finding;
- Impose outcomes (such as from Schedule A: Actions to support students at risk of or making unsatisfactory academic progress); and/or
- Refer the matter back to the original decision maker to be re-heard in whole or in part (Deakin University Academic Board Regulations Part 11).
The decision of the University Appeals Committee is final within Deakin University.
How can a DUSA Advocate assist me?
A DUSA Advocate can:
- Provide advice about possible grounds of appeal and discuss what you could include in your submission,
- Provide feedback on your draft appeal submission,
- Attend the UAC hearing with you (if a hearing is granted), and
- Provide support and advice during any stage of the appeals process.
- Please note that DUSA Advocates experience very busy periods, particularly at the end of each trimester where we need to assist a large number of students, so it is important that you book an appointment to see an Advocate as early as possible.
- For more information or to speak to an Advocate about your individual situation, please contact us here.