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Appeal of an academic progress outcome

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 at deakin.edu.au/students/dean-of-students/student-appeals

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 three grounds:

  1. There is new information that could not reasonably have been provided at the time of the original decision, and that could have affected the decision or outcome;
  2. There was a misapplication of procedures resulting in some disadvantage to the student;
  3. The outcome imposed was too severe.

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:

  1. The online Student Appeal application form;
  2. A written submission detailing the grounds of your appeal and outlining your case for appeal (see below for an example written submission);
  3. The Faculty Committee outcome letter (i.e. the original decision you are appealing);
  4. 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 Chair may decide to dismiss the appeal if they find:

  1. the appeal does not meet the minimum threshold to proceed to hearing; or
  2. the appeal lacks substance in relation to the grounds for appeal (s.11, Student Appeals Procedure).

If an appeal hearing is granted, you will receive at least 5 working days notice of the hearing date and time. You can bring a support person with you to the hearing (e.g. a DUSA Advocate), provided they are not a practicing lawyer.

The UAC must limit the evidence it hears to matters relevant to the grounds of appeal.

Hearing outcomes

A decision of the UAC is reached in private by simple majority with the Chair having the casting vote.

If the Committee hearing the appeal determines that one or more grounds of appeal have been established they then decide whether to uphold, vary or set aside the original (Faculty Committee) decision and/or outcome.

If they decide the matter should be reheard (in whole or in part as the case requires), they may either:

  • rehear the matter during the current appeal hearing, or
  • set another date to rehear the matter (in accordance with the relevant academic progress policy),or
  • set aside the decision and outcome/s of the original decision maker and direct the original decision maker to rehear the matter (s.25, Student Appeals Procedure).

The decision of the University Appeals Committee is final and binding.

Where can I get further assistance?

For more information or to speak to an Advocate about your individual situation, contact DUSA.

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.

Example written submission for appeal

Date: <insert date>

Dear Deakin University Appeals Committee members,

Re: Appeal against a faculty decision regarding academic progress in <insert your course code and course

name>

I want to appeal against a decision of a Faculty Academic Progress Committee to <insert decision as indicated on the faculty outcome letter> pursuant to section 29 of Deakin University Regulation 5.3(1) - Assessment and Academic Progress in Higher Education Award Courses.

[Include a brief introduction here] Provide some information about yourself. You may wish to include information on your academic history to date, steps you have taken to improve your academic performance, etc.

I am appealing on the grounds of <briefly state which of the three possible grounds you are basing your appeal on>. [Then use whichever subheadings below are relevant and include an explanation for each ground you are appealing on.]

New Information

Detail the new information/supporting documentation that you now have that you were not previously able to provide. Explain how this new information may have affected the Faculty Committee's decision if it had been available at the time. Examples may include medical certificate, counselling support letter, Language and Learning Adviser letter, statutory declaration, etc.

Misapplication of procedure/s

Detail which university procedure/s were not followed properly. Describe how you think the misapplication of procedure/s has disadvantaged you.

Outcome too severe

Explain why you believe the decision the Faculty Committee made is too severe in light of the information/ documentation that was previously presented to them.

[Conclusion] Summarise your main points and include how the decision has affected you or will affect you.

Yours sincerely,

<insert your name>


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