Student Academic Appeals Committee - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Student Academic Appeals Committee

Reporting

The Student Academic Appeals Committee (the Committee) reports to the Academic Board on an annual basis, detailing the de-identified outcomes of student academic appeals. The Committee, on a periodic basis, will bring to the attention of the Academic Board any academic risks arising from the administration of relevant University policies and procedures.

Composition

Members (full rights)
The following members of the Committee will be appointed by the Chairperson of Academic Board:

  • A senior academic staff member appointed as Chairperson for a term of two years
  • A senior academic staff member appointed as Deputy Chairperson for a term of two and a half years
  • One undergraduate student and one postgraduate student, who are not members of staff of the University with a staff appointment of 0.5 FTE or more, initially appointed for a term of one year, with further terms permitted by approval of the Chairperson, Academic Board
  • Two senior academic staff members (selected from a panel) appointed for a term of one year

Ex-officio member

  • Academic Registrar and Director, Student Services (or nominee)

Academic members (panel)

The Committee will have at least four but no more than seven senior academic staff members on the panel for the Committee, from which two members will be selected for each appeal. Selection will be by the Chairperson of the Committee and will depend on availability and any conflicts of interest the academic members may have. All senior academic members will be appointed for a term of one year, however, may be renewed for a further term by approval of the Chairperson, Academic Board.

Reserve student members

The Committee shall have a reserve undergraduate and a reserve postgraduate student.

Eligibility, appointment and tenure will be consistent with the substantive membership.

Invited to attend as appropriate (having participatory, but not voting, rights)

  • Secretary, Student Academic Appeals Committee
  • Any visitors with the approval of the Chairperson
  • An advocate for the student with the approval of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students)

Observers (no rights)

  • Any person with the approval of the Chairperson.
  • Students may have a support person at any meetings, hearings or interviews. This person must be a representative of the USC Student Guild or another person who is not legally trained.
Terms of Reference

1. As set out in the Student Grievance Resolution - Governing Policy and the Student Review and Appeals - Procedures, to consider in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness the decision being appealed, the grounds for appeal and as applicable, investigate and determine an outcome on student appeals relating to academic matters, including, but not limited to the following matters:

  • Unsatisfactory academic progress for coursework students
  • Unsatisfactory progression of higher degree by research (HDR) candidature
  • Review of final grades
  • Granting of credit transfer
  • Award of Honours
  • Late withdrawal without academic penalty
  • Student academic misconduct
  • Breaches of responsible research conduct by HDR students

The Committee/decision maker may make a determination to undertake one or more of the following actions:

a. deem the application to be invalid;
b. set aside the decision;
c. affirm the decision; or
d. amend the decision.

A judgement regarding the academic merit of any work or the equivalency of academic content does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Committee. The Committee may refer the evaluation of the academic merit of any work or the equivalency of any academic content back to the original or an independent decision maker for reconsideration in accordance with section 9.6 of the Student Review and Appeals - Procedures.

2. To draw the attention of the Academic Board to any apparent problems arising from the administration of relevant University policies and procedures or other administrative or operational processes that may be the result of observations made during consideration of an appeal.

Frequency of meetings

The assembly of a Student Academic Appeals Committee will be as required, to make timely decisions on student appeals in accordance with the Student Review and Appeals - Procedures.

Typically, there may be a number of meetings scheduled in late January – March, and in July – August, to address appeals relating to students facing exclusion for unsatisfactory academic progress and appeals regarding reviews of final grades.

Quorum

The quorum for a meeting of the Student Academic Appeals Committee shall be four members including a Chairperson and at least one student. As far as reasonably practicable, the postgraduate student member should be present when the Committee is considering an appeal from a postgraduate student.

The Chairperson will have a deliberative vote as well as a casting vote.

Approved: Chairperson, Academic Board, 4 August 2021