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Student Appeals Body

A Student Appeals Body (SAB) is the group responsible for examining, considering and deciding upon the outcome of appeals against academic decisions at a University level.

Each SAB includes two members of the Student Appeals Panel and the Chair. The decisions made by the SAB are final.

Student Appeals Panel membership

Membership of the Student Appeals Panel is voluntary. If you would like to nominate yourself as a member, you can contact the Student Affairs Unit.

The panel has between 12 and 48 members, appointed according to the criteria outlined in the Appeals Rule. Of these, at least half of the members are University academic staff and students (at least six of each). Members are appointed for one year but it is possible to serve for longer.

As a panel member, you will need to complete training before being a part of a SAB and attending a hearing.

While you’re a member of the panel, if you have any questions about your role you can contact the Student Affairs Unit.

Student Appeals Body

Before every hearing the Student Affairs Unit will invite eligible panel members to volunteer to sit on a three-member SAB. Usually this will include the Chair, one member of academic staff and one student.

Hearings are usually scheduled for 45 minutes and in blocks of between two and four appeals. You can volunteer to sit on the SAB for some or all of the hearings in a block.

If you are appointed, the Student Affairs Unit will send you a copy of the appeal documents, including the agenda and the appeal submissions. You will need to read all documents carefully before the hearing.

You are not allowed to be on the SAB for an appeal concerning your faculty or where it might be considered a conflict of interest (such as if you are acquainted with someone connected with the appeal). If this is the case, you need to notify the Student Affairs Unit.

Hearings

If chosen for a SAB, you will meet with the other SAB members to discuss the agenda before the student, student’s representative or faculty representative are invited into the meeting. You will decide what questions to ask and can seek official clarification on policy or procedure if required.

The student, their representative and the faculty representative will then enter the meeting and answer your questions. They can’t provide additional information unless allowed by the SAB.

Once you are satisfied that the questions and additional information have been addressed, everyone will leave the meeting except the SAB, who will deliberate and make a decision. When you make your decision, where necessary you will need to consider if:

  • appropriate policies, guidelines and any other legislative requirements have been followed by the faculty and the student
  • relevant personal circumstances of the student have been considered
  • the relationship between the student and the faculty played a part in the faculty's decision making
  • where the student is appealing against exclusion, they have taken personal responsibility for the situation, sought counselling or undertaken additional study
  • where the student is appealing against exclusion, there have been any changes in the student’s working hours, financial situation or study load that would result in better performance
  • where the student is appealing against exclusion, the student has abided by any conditions set by the faculty since their exclusion
  • where the student is appealing against a decision not to readmit them after an exclusion, they have undertaken further studies during their exclusion.

Outcomes

After you have considered all the information, you and the other SAB members will either uphold, partially uphold or dismiss the appeal.

The SAB also has the discretion to either:

  • refer the academic decision back to the relevant faulty for reconsideration in accordance with due academic process
  • make a new or amended academic decision
  • determine that no further action should be taken in relation to the matter.

This decision is final.

If a systemic or serious failure by the faculty to follow due academic process is revealed, the Chair of the SAB will send a copy of the decision to the Provost and relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor for review and action.

Last updated: 09 March 2017

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