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Complaints

We are committed to providing you with the support you need to feel safe and supported while you study. You can report an issue of concern or make a complaint about aspects of your student life through our complaints process.    

Overview

If you would like to discuss making any form of complaint, you can call our confidential helpline service from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

1800 SYD HLP (1800 793 457)

If your report is not time sensitive and you would prefer to contact us first in writing, you can request a call back using our online form.

In an emergency, follow the steps found on the emergencies and safety on campus page.

If you would like to make a disclosure or complaint about an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment, you can find more information on support services and reporting options available.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is any type of problem or concern about academic or non-academic matters that you raise with the University, and requires staff to work with you towards a resolution. It could be to do with your studies, student life, the University environment or the behaviour of a student or staff member.

General enquiries, feedback and comments (including on social media) will not normally be considered a complaint.

Complaints give us an opportunity to identify areas for improvement. We approach any experience of unreasonable treatment, disadvantage or distress seriously and with sensitivity. Our goal is to work with you towards a timely and effective resolution. If you choose to remain anonymous, we may be limited in our ability to assist you. If you make a complaint on behalf of someone else, we will be limited in disclosing information to you due to privacy provisions.

The Students Complaints Procedures 2015 sets out how students and applicants may make a complaint and how it will be assessed by the Student Affairs Unit. Where a complaint is covered by an alternate policy of the University, we will assess the complaint in accordance with that policy.

Student and staff behaviour

The behaviour we expect of students in relation to professional and personal behaviour is set out in the Code of Conduct for Students.

You can also find codes of conduct outlining professional and personal behaviour of staff and affiliates (pdf, 70KB) and the expectations of researchers (pdf, 195KB).

University agents

If you want to complain about your dealings with a University agent, you can lodge your complaint with the Student Affairs Unit by phone or email. If you are not still not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled, you can progress your complaint to the NSW Ombudsman.

Bullying, harassment or discrimination

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment that is free from bullying, unlawful harassment and discrimination.

The Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy 2015 (pdf, 456KB) provides information about the University’s stance on preventing bullying, harassment and discrimination.

The Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Procedures 2015 (pdf, 89KB) provides details of how the University will handle complaints by or about staff, workers or affiliates.

What is bullying?

Bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed toward a person, or group of people, that creates a risk to health and safety. Examples of bullying include verbal abuse or threats, unjustified criticism or complaints, spreading rumours or physical abuse.

What is harassment?

Unlawful harassment occurs when a person, or group of people, is intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of one or more characteristics. Examples include telling jokes about a particular racial group, or making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race or religion, gender or sexual preference.

What is sexual assault and sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which a reasonable person would expect would make the recipient feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act or behaviour that makes someone feel uncomfortable, threatened or frightened. It is behaviour that they haven't consented to, and is an abuse of entitlement and/or power.

The University’s Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy 2018 provides information about sexual assault, consent and sexual harassment, how you can make a disclosure or complaint and how this will be handled. You can find more information on sexual assault, including support services and how to report an incident.

What is discrimination?

Under law, discrimination occurs when a person, or group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group because of one or more characteristics, or where there is an unreasonable rule or requirement that disadvantages a particular group.

Academic appeals and other University processes

If your concern relates to one of the following areas, there are specific policies in place that may require you to follow a different process.

If you are concerned about an academic decision that affects your assessment or progression through your course, such as a decision on a grade, a special consideration request, or exclusion, you may need to follow the process for academic appeal.

The University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (pdf, 96KB) describes how student appeals against academic decisions will be heard.

The Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2015 (170KB) sets out the policy on handling allegations of academic dishonesty and plagiarism at the University.

The Privacy Policy 2013 (pdf, 348KB) sets out the rights and responsibilities of the University, its staff, students and affiliates in relation to privacy and personal information.

Read more on the Archives and Records Management Services (ARMS) website.

The University of Sydney Intellectual Property Policy 2016 (pdf, 155KB) sets out the policy on ownership and management of intellectual property at the University.

Read about intellectual property rights at the University.

Student Affairs Unit

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  • Jane Foss Russell Building G02
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Last updated: 29 November 2018

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