(1) The University of New England is committed to continuous service improvement based upon a culture in which people feel comfortable in submitting grievances and confident that their issues will be addressed fairly, as promptly as possible, accurately, sensitively and without recourse where a grievance has been submitted in good faith. This commitment to a fair, efficient and effective grievance management system is championed by the Vice-Chancellor, the University senior executive and all parts of the University.
(2) These procedures set out the process for dealing with student related grievances and appeals and address the requirements relating to complaints handling required under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act, the Educational Services for Overseas Students Act and the recommendations contained within the NSW Ombudsman Complaint Handling at Universities: Best Practice Guidelines.
(3) These procedures will apply to all UNE representatives and students of the university as defined under the Student (related) Grievance Handling Policy.
(4) The Student Grievance Unit can:
(5) As part of conducting an inquiry or managing a case, the Student Grievance Unit :
(6) Correspondence is to be transmitted via the University Email System unless prevented by extenuating circumstances via:
(7) All student related written formal grievances and appeals must be immediately sent to and recorded with the Student Grievance Unit (SGU) prior to any action being undertaken to ensure duplication of grievances and appeals handling is eliminated.
(8) Confidentiality of all information about grievances and appeals during these procedures and after the matter is concluded is essential to ensure:
(9) Only those directly and legitimately involved in these procedures should be informed about the details of a grievance or appeal.
(10) Any breach of confidentiality may result in disciplinary action.
(11) Many grievances can be resolved directly, either by approaching the person or group whose actions have given rise to the grievance, or by approaching an authorised staff member for assistance ( for example Unit Coordinator, Lecturer, Tutor ).
(12) While some people may feel confident to raise an issue or concern directly with the person(s) involved, others may need the support of their unit co-ordinator, lecturer, the independent student advocate, another trusted staff member or an appropriately authorised person.
(13) A direct approach may be made face to face, by phone or by email. Direct, open, and cooperative dialogue can often lead to a better understanding of the problem, and a quick and satisfactory resolution.
(14) A direct approach does not aim to prove or disprove the issue or concern. It does not include a formal inquiry or any disciplinary action.
(15) A direct approach does not always involve having to speak with other parties involved as the solution may be devised between the person and the assisting University Representative.
(16) Some direct resolution strategies may involve:
(as legislated in the Civil Liabilities Act 2002 (NSW) sections 67 — 69 giving an apology does not constitute an admission of fault or liability and is not relevant to any determination of fault or liability.)
(17) The goal of a direct approach is to reconcile an issue or concern at the closest point of origin.
(18) A direct approach can be useful in situations where the grievance is less serious in nature and where there is likely to be an ongoing professional relationship.
(19) A University representative receiving an informal grievance will take prompt action to assist the person to resolve their issue or concern. If resolution cannot be achieved, the person must be referred to the Student Grievance Unit by calling (02) 67734260 or visiting http://www.une.edu.au/student-grievances
(20) The Student Grievance Unit (SGU) strongly encourages parties to a grievance to engage a direct approach to resolve their issues prior to lodging a formal written grievance.
(21) A student's enrolment must be maintained throughout this process.
(22) All matters involving an international student must be immediately reported to the Director, UNE International.
(23) Under this procedure all matters including those relating to International Student will commence within ten working days.
(24) All formal complaints will be managed in accordance with the relevant rules and policies.
(25) All records will be managed in compliance with the University Records Management Policy.
(26) All formal written student related grievances will be lodged directly with, or forwarded to, the University's Student Grievance Unit to enable matters to be logged, maintained and addressed from a central point, in a consistent and timely manner.
(27) The Student Grievance Unit is the primary University unit for the recording of all student related formal written grievances and student appeals, and for inquiry and resolution of student related grievances within its jurisdiction. The Student Grievance Unit however does not impose penalties.
(28) Receipt and Acknowledgment:
(29) Assessment of a grievance:
(30) Remoteness in time (twelve months or older) will be a factor considered when assessing the validity of a grievance. A grievance 'out of time' will not be automatically disregarded. A grievance relating to events that occurred more than one year before being lodged will be assessed on a case by case basis taking into account both the importance of the conduct being complained about, and whether the matter is one where documentary evidence is available and would help in determining the matter.
(31) Where a grievance has been assessed as suitable for inquiry the Student Grievance Unit will;
(32) The Student Grievance Unit case manager (as guided by the governing UNE policy or rule) shall:
(33) The university representative or the respondent will send their immediate response directly to the Student Grievance Unit.
(34) Upon conclusion of the inquiry the case manager shall:
(35) All corrective and preventative actions together with all business improvement recommendations will be sent to the UNE Compliance System Manager and the Audit and Risk Directorate for inclusion in School/Business Unit Audits.
(36) An annual summary of grievances, corrective and preventative actions together with all business improvement recommendations will be reported to the Academic Board for noting. A copy will be provided to Operational Planning and Quality for quality and planning purposes.
(37) Where a grievance has been assessed as suitable for case management (for example grievances about the exercise of academic judgment, university governance, higher degree research) the Student Grievance Unit shall appoint a case manager to administer the grievance process;
(38) The Student Grievance Unit case manager (as guided by the governing UNE policy or rule) shall:
(39) The Head of School/Business Unit shall nominate a university representative authorised to conduct an inquiry and to determine the case and shall;
(40) The Student Grievance Unit case manager shall:
(41) Upon conclusion of the case:
(42) All corrective and preventative actions together with all business improvement recommendations will be sent to the UNE Compliance System Manager and the Audit and Risk Directorate for inclusion in School/Business Unit Audits.
(43) An annual summary of grievances, corrective and preventative actions together with all business improvement recommendations will be reported to the Academic Board for noting. A copy will be provided to the Office of Planning and Quality for quality and planning purposes.
(44) Where a grievance has been assessed as suitable for referral, the Student Grievance Unit shall appoint a case manager.
(45) The Student Grievance Unit case manager will:
(46) The Student Grievance Unit is the primary university unit for the recording of student appeals except or offences of plagiarism. (Appeals regarding offences of plagiarism refer to relevant policy and procedure)
(47) The University must provide the right of appeal for a reversal, change or reconsideration of the decision where a person is not satisfied.
(48) Appeals are managed within the respective UNE rules and policies.
(49) Appeals must be submitted within the timelines set down by the governing UNE rules or policy to the SGU.
(50) On receipt of an appeal, the Student Grievance Unit shall:
(51) Where it is not possible to acknowledge and refer an appeal within three working days as required under (b) and (c) an explanation will be provided.
(52) The role of the NSW Ombudsman is to ensure that members of the University community are treated fairly by individuals, offices, committees, boards or any other group within the University.
(53) The NSW Ombudsman
(54) If you are not sure what your options are, or if you wish to discuss your concerns in confidence, you may contact the NSW Ombudsman.
(55) This procedure does not affect any rights a person may have to submit a grievance to an appropriate outside agency at any time (for example, NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, NSW Ombudsman, NSW Anti- Discrimination Board, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal).
(56) Independent advocacy may be available to students through uni4me, which offers the services of an Independent Student Advocate.
(57) All UNE Representatives and Students must comply with this procedure. A failure to comply with this procedure may amount to disciplinary action.
(58) academic judgement means all decisions regarding admission and readmission, enrolment, assessment, advanced standing, intermission, exclusion for insufficient progress and eligibility to graduate, made under the general Rules, Course Rules and policies of the University and delegated to the jurisdiction of designated members of the academic staff.
(59) anonymous grievance means where the complainant does not wish to reveal his/her identity to the responding person or does not identify him/herself when lodging a grievance.
(60) appeal is an application in writing to a higher authority for a reversal/change/ reconsideration of the decision of a lower authority.
(61) grievance means:
(62) review means examination of the process undertaken but not a direct overturn of the original decision or substitution of the decision for that under review.
(63) student means an Admitted Student, Enrolled Student, Past Student or Future Student, at the relevant time.
(64) University representative means a university employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member and any other persons engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.