Appeal against an academic decision

Introduction
Departmental appeal
Faculty appeal
Appeal to the Student Appeals Body (SAB)
Additional services and support


Introduction

Student appeals against academic decisions are governed by the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006, which can be found on the University Policy Register.

An academic decision is a decision that affects the academic assessment or progress of a person within his or her award course. An appeal against an academic decision can include:

  • an appeal to review a decision not to grant Special Consideration in a unit of study
  • an appeal to review a grade
  • an appeal against a Faculty decision to exclude a student from an award course


Due academic process is defined as the fair and consistent application of faculty and University policy. This also means ensuring that faculty and University policies are clearly communicated and adhered to. Policies that are relevant to this appeals process can be found on the Policy Register. Relevant policies include;

  • Student Appeals Against Academic Decisions Rule
  • Assessment and Examination of Coursework Rule
  • Student Academic Progression (SAP) Policy

The steps to follow when appealing against against an academic decision are as follows;


Departmental appeal

If a student considers that a mark or grade they received, or a decision regarding special consideration may be unfair or incorrect, the student should first contact the relevant unit of study coordinator to discuss his or her concerns. If the unit of study coordinator is not available, the student should contact the Chair of Department/Program Director or Undergraduate or Postgraduate Coordinator.

If a student’s concerns are not resolved through discussion, and the student genuinely believes due academic process has not been followed, they may lodge a Departmental Appeal.

A Departmental Appeal must be submitted within 15 working days of the relevant mark or grade being made available to students, or of being informed of the decision regarding special consideration.

In order to lodge a Departmental Appeal, a student will need to complete and submit an Appeal against an academic decision (Department). The student must also submit a written letter of appeal (and a copy of the relevant assessment if they are appealing the mark given to it).

The student must be able to demonstrate how due process was not observed. For instance:

  • The weightings specified by the department in its assessment program do not conform to the Academic Board Resolutions: Assessment and Examination of Coursework.
  • The procedures used by the department for determining the final grade do not conform to the Academic Board Resolutions: Assessment and Examination of Coursework.
  • There are computational, arithmetical or other clerical errors in the determination of the assessment mark.
  • The decision regarding special consideration or simple extension does not conform to the Assessment and Examination of Coursework Rule.

Following the meeting, the unit of study coordinator will complete section B of the Appeal against an academic decision (Department) form, which includes the departmental decision, and provide a copy of the form to the student. The original will be filed securely and held within the department. The student will also be notified of the next step in the appeal process, should they remain unsatisfied with the result of the departmental appeal.


Faculty appeal

Normally, the Departmental Appeal process is productive and the student is satisfied with the outcome achieved.

However, if the student is not satisfied, and genuinely believes that due academic process has not been followed in deciding of the Departmental Appeal, the student may submit a Faculty Appeal.

Faculty Appeals should be submitted to the Student Services Counter within 15 working days of the outcome of the Departmental Appeal.

Faculty Appeals must include:

  • A completed Appeal against an academic decision (Faculty) form.
  • An appeal letter outlining the reasons for appeal. This letter should explain in detail how due academic process was not observed.
  • A completed Appeal against an academic decision (Departmental) form signed by the Department (Section B must have been completed)
  • The relevant assessment task if appealing against a mark or grade
  • Any additional supporting documentation

The student will receive acknowledgement of receipt of the appeal by email within three working days, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will attempt to resolve the matter within 10 working days of receipt of the letter of appeal.

Students will be sent a letter via University of Sydney email notifying them of the outcome of their Faculty Appeal. This letter will explain the reasons for the decision and notify the student of any further right of appeal.


Appeal to the Student Appeals Body (SAB)

If the student does not agree with the decision of the faculty regarding their appeal, the student has the right to appeal to the Student Appeals Body. Information about appealing to the Student Appeals Body is available on the Student Affairs website.

A written appeal must normally be lodged with the Registrar (on behalf of the Student Appeals Body) within 20 working days of being notified of the outcome of the Faculty Appeal.

Additional information for international students: If an international student is not satisfied with the result or conduct of the internal grievance and appeals processes set out above, they will be advised of their right to complain to the NSW Ombudsman.


Additional services and support

For help preparing your appeal, contact a caseworker at the Student Representative Council (SRC): (02) 9660 5222 or email .

For help preparing your postgraduate appeal, contact a caseworker at Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA): (02) 9351 3715 or email .

Contact a counsellor at the Counselling Service: (02) 8627 8433 or email .

Contact a counsellor at the International Student Support Unit: (02) 8627 8437 or email .

For visa compliance issues contact the International Office: 02 8627 8300 or email .