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Student concerns and complaints

What can I complain about?

Students have the right to make a formal complaint about the services, processes, actions, administrative and academic decisions of the University (or those operating on behalf of the University).

This could include complaints about:

  • Teaching and learning;
  • Unclear or inconsistent Course or Unit delivery;
  • Inconsistent application of University policies and procedures by staff;
  • Incorrect or misleading information provided by staff;
  • Assessment methods;
  • University fees and problems with Remission of Debt applications;
  • Problems with Special Consideration applications and extensions.

Students also have the right to complain about the conduct of a University staff member, another student or anyone associated with the University. This could include complaints about:

  • Unfair or unreasonable behaviour by staff;
  • Bullying; Discrimination; Harassment; Sexual harm; Vilification; Victimisation.

When can I make a formal complaint?

  • You can make a complaint when you feel you have a legitimate concern. The University recognises your right to make a complaint.
  • Complaints must be lodged within a six month time frame after the last incident occurred. After six months, a complaint will only be investigated by the University in specific circumstances.

How can I complain?

• Try to discuss your concerns with the individual, Faculty, School or area of the University that has led to your concern if you feel safe and comfortable doing this.

• If you have experienced bullying, discrimination, harassment or victimisation, please talk to a Harassment and Discrimination Contact Officer or the Head of School. For contact information

see: www.deakin.edu.au/students/health-and-wellbeing/occupational-health-and-safety/

• If you have experienced sexual harm or if you feel threatened or unsafe due to the behaviour of someone at Deakin, please contact Safer Community: www.deakin.edu.au/students/safetyand-security/safer-community

• You can lodge a formal complaint by completing the online Student Complaint Form. You can access this form at: www.deakin.edu.au/students/dean-of-students/complaints.

• You can make your complaint anonymously if you wish. There is an option for this on the form.

• If you want to discuss the complaints process with a Student Complaints Officer or if you prefer to submit your complaint verbally or via email, you can contact them at studentcomplaints@deakin.edu.au

How are student complaints handled by the University?

• The University will respond to your complaint in a fair and timely way that is respectful to you and all parties involved. Alternatively, the University may decide not to investigate your complaint, particularly where another process is more appropriate, or where the complaint is seen to be without substance.

Will I be unfairly treated by my lecturer or faculty for making a formal complaint?

• University staff have to adhere to standards of professionalism and conduct as outlined in University policies and procedures, as well as external pieces of legislation. These standards mean that students should not be disadvantaged by making a complaint.

What happens after I lodge a formal complaint?

• Within 10 working days of a complaint being lodged, the University’s Manager of Student Complaints and Appeals will determine the most suitable method for dealing with your complaint and you will be notified about this. Methods may include conciliation, investigation, referral to another Deakin service or referral to an informal resolution process.

What are the possible outcomes of a formal complaint?

There are a range of possible outcomes including:

  • Your complaint may be referred to a relevant University service or staff member(s) for consideration in accordance with relevant University procedures;
  • Your complaint may be referred to your School or Faculty for consideration;
  • Your complaint may be referred to an appropriate support service (e.g. Safer Community);
  • Your complaint may be resolved.

Further information about the Student Complaints Resolution Procedure can be found at:


Can I appeal the outcome?

  • Your complaint outcome letter will include a link for you to request an internal review of the outcome of your complaint.
  • If you can show you have grounds for review, you can request an internal review within 20 working days of receiving formal written notification of the outcome. Possible grounds for review are listed in the Student Complaints Resolution Procedure.

How can DUSA advocates help?

  • A DUSA Advocate can assist you to understand the complaints process, review your draft complaint and provide feedback, and accompany you to any meetings with the University.

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