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Academic Assessment Appeals Procedures

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) These procedures are for the guidance of the students and staff of the University of New England in the implementation of the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy and must be read in conjunction with that policy.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) These procedures are to be applied to appeals against determinations relating to academic assessment as outlined in the Academic Assessment Appeal Policy.

(3) These procedures apply from the Effective Date, to:

  1. all staff at the University, all Students enrolled in a coursework unit at the University and all institutions, domestic and international, with which the University has a partnership arrangement under which the University accepts responsibility for equity and quality of assessment; and
  2. all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework Courses offered by the University.

(4) The only exception is UNE students enrolled in units with the prefix MEDI in the Joint Medical Program (JMP).

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Section 3 - Procedures

General Procedures

(5) Every attempt must be made to resolve an academic assessment issue at the level at which it arose, and only proceed to the next level if those endeavours have been unsuccessful.

(6) All appeals against an academic assessment must be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form.

(7) The University will acknowledge lodgement of an appeal within three (3) working days of receipt.

(8) Students will be notified of the determinations arising from appeals within ten (10) working days of receipt by the University of the appeal.

(9) Notifications to Students of the determinations of an appeal must include:

  1. the details and reasons for each decision made at each appeal stage;
  2. advice on the next step in the appeal process; and
  3. the University will maintain their enrolment while the appeal process is ongoing (if relevant).

(10) When an appeal outcome can lead to a Student Visa Holder's enrolment being suspended or terminated, the Student must be advised that the decision will be notified to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and may impact on their visa.

(11) Where it is not possible to respond to the Student within ten (10) working days, an explanation should be provided within this period.

(12) Academic staff whose decisions on assessments are appealed should be consulted before the Student is notified of the final determination.

(13) Staff and Students are entitled to be accompanied by an independent member of the University community for advice and support at any relevant meetings and discussions, including virtual, electronic and telephone communications.

(14) The Manager International Services & Compliance, must be notified at all levels of an appeal involving a Student Visa Holder where one of the outcomes can be the suspension or termination of the Student's enrolment.

Appeals Related to Unit Assessment

(15) Where a Student is concerned about the result achieved in an assessment task in a unit (except for embedded practical and/or professional work experience), they should consult with the Unit Coordinator in the first instance to be provided with any further information and/or to gain an understanding of the basis for the result. Students are encouraged to take the earliest opportunity to contact the Unit Coordinator.

(16) Where a Student considers there are genuine grounds for contesting the results of a unit assessment they can appeal to the Unit Coordinator. Genuine grounds do not include:

  1. disagreement with the approved unit objectives or assessment methodology or the standards applied to the allocation of grades;
  2. disparity with grades awarded in other units;
  3. disparity of grade with the effort and time expended on the assessment task; and
  4. general unspecified grievances.

(17) The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of the release of the original marked assessment; and
  2. present a case demonstrating how the original marking was inconsistent with the requirements of the Unit Guide/Outline.

(18) If the Student's appeal results in a remark of an assessment task, the remarking is to be undertaken by an appropriately qualified marker who did not originally mark the assessment task.

(19) Only a single remark will be permitted, and the result of the remark will be recorded as the final mark for that assessment task, irrespective of the original mark.

(20) The Unit Coordinator will advise the sStudent of the outcome of the appeal in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt by the University of the appeal.

(21) Where a Student considers there are further grounds for appeal, they may appeal to the relevant Head of School. The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of receipt of the notification from the Unit Coordinator; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(22) The Head of School will discuss the case with the relevant Unit Coordinator and investigate:

  1. whether the Student's case demonstrates that the original marking was inappropriate or inconsistent with the marking guidelines and/or rubric as set out in the Unit Guide/Outline; and/or
  2. whether there is any evidence that the performance in the unit by the entire unit class suggests a generic issue with the unit. In reaching the decision as to unit class performance, the Head of School may, at his/her own discretion, consult with disciplinary colleagues at the University or at other universities.

(23) As a result of the investigation, the Head of School may:

  1. uphold or dismiss the appeal, and must report their determination to the Student in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal; or
  2. determine that the original assessment should be set aside and substituted with a new assessment for all Students enrolled in that unit.

(24) Where an appeal has been upheld, the Head of School will inform the Unit Coordinator, who will implement the appropriate procedures.

Appeals Related to Assessment of a Practical and/or Professional Work Experience

(25) Student may appeal the assessment of practical and/or professional work experience to the relevant Head of School. The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Request for Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of receiving the assessment; and
  2. present a case demonstrating how the assessment was inconsistent with the requirements of the Unit Guide/Outline and/or Practical and/or Professional Work Experience Handbook/Guidelines.

(26) In the case of work that is assessed in full or in part off-campus, a detailed report (if not already provided) will be sought by the Head of School from the mentor/supervisor at the location where the practical work/professional experience was conducted.

(27) The Head of School will discuss the case with the relevant staff member and review the mentor/supervisor report with the Student.

(28) The Head of Schooll will uphold or dismiss the appeal and report their determination to the Student within ten (10) working days of the consultation.

(29) Where a Student considers there are further grounds for appeal, they may appeal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation). The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of receipt of the notification from the Head of School; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(30) In considering such an appeal the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) will discuss the case with the relevant Head of School, and if applicable, with the mentor/supervisor at the location where the practical work/professional experience was conducted.

(31) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) will uphold or dismiss the appeal and will report their determination to the Student and relevant Head of School in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(32) Where an appeal has been upheld, the Head of School will take the requisite action.

Appeals against the Application of School Assessment Policies and Procedures

(33) Student may appeal a decision in regard to the application of a School's assessment policy and/or procedures to the relevant Head of School. The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of the original decision being released to the student; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(34) The Head of School will discuss the case with the School member concerned.

(35) The Head of School will uphold or dismiss the appeal and will report their determination to the Student in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(36) Where a Student considers that there are grounds for further appeal, the student may appeal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation). The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of receiving the letter of advice from the relevant Head of School; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(37) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) will uphold or dismiss the appeal, and will report their determination to the Student and relevant Head of School in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(38) Where an appeal has been upheld, the Head of School will take the requisite action.

Appeals Related to Special Assessment and Exclusion for Insufficient Course Progress

(39) Student may appeal against a decision in relation to a special examination, special extension of time or exclusion for insufficient course progress to the relevant Head of School. The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of the original decision being released to the student. If the appeal relates to insufficient course progress, it must be submitted within twenty (20) working days of the original decision being released to the student; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(40) The Head of School will uphold or dismiss the appeal and report their determination to the Student (and if applicable, the Manager International Services & Compliance) in writing within ten (10) working days of the date of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(41) Where a Student considers that there are grounds for further appeal, the student may appeal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation). The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of receiving the letter of advice from the relevant Head of School; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(42) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) will uphold or dismiss the appeal, and will report their determination to the Student and relevant Head of School (and if applicable, the Manager International Services & Compliance) in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(43) Where an appeal has been upheld, the Head of School will take the requisite action.

(44) When a Student Visa Holder, on completion of the above internal appeals process for exclusion for insufficient progress, accesses the external complaints process they must lodge a complaint with the NSW Ombudsman:

  1. within ten (10) working days of receiving the letter of advice from the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation); and
  2. immediately submit evidence of the external complaint (the unique identifying number of the external complaint will be required for verification purposes) to appeals@une.edu.au

(45) If the Student Visa Holder does not advise the University that they have lodged an external complaint, the University will take the requisite action.

(46) Student Visa Holder may access and receive the outcome of only one external complaints process before the University may report the Student (if the outcome supports the University's decision) to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Appeals Related to Bachelor with Honours Assessment of Dissertations/Theses

(47) Student may appeal against the result of a dissertation/thesis component of a Bachelor with Honours degree to the Honours Coordinator of the relevant School or Discipline. The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of the result being released to the student; and
  2. present a case demonstrating the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(48) The relevant School committee will consider the appeal. Where the supervisor or an examiner of the dissertation/theses is a member of the committee, an alternative member/s must be appointed to the committee.

(49) In considering such an appeal, the committee:

  1. will examine the reports from examiners; and
  2. may seek the views of an additional examiner, if required.

(50) The School committee will uphold or dismiss the appeal and report their determination to the Student in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(51) Where a student considers that there are grounds for further appeal, the student may appeal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation). The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of receiving the letter of advice from the relevant School committee; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(52) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) will uphold or dismiss the appeal, and will report their determination to the Student and relevant Head of School in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(53) Where an appeal has been upheld, the Head of School will take the requisite action.

Appeals against Results for Graduate Diploma and Non-Research Master Dissertations and Theses

(54) A Student may appeal against a result for a Graduate Diploma or non-research Masters dissertation/thesis to the relevant Head of School. The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of the result being released to the student; and
  2. present a case demonstrating the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(55) The Head of School will consult with the examiners and will report the outcome of that consultation in writing to the relevant School committee.

(56) The relevant committee will consider the appeal submission and the Head of School report. Where the supervisor or an examiner of the dissertation/theses is a member of the committee, an alternative member/s must be appointed to the committee.

(57) The relevant committee will uphold or dismiss the appeal and report their determination to the Student in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(58) Where a Student considers that there are grounds for further appeal, the Student may appeal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation). The appeal must:

  1. be submitted online using the Appeal Against an Academic Assessment Form within ten (10) working days of receiving the letter of advice from the relevant School committee; and
  2. present a case demonstrating that the relevant policy and/or procedures were not applied correctly.

(59) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) will uphold or dismiss the appeal, and will report their determination to the Student and relevant Head of School in writing within ten (10) working days of the University's receipt of the appeal.

(60) Where an appeal has been upheld, the Head of School will take the requisite action.

Referral to the NSW Ombudsman

(61) Students must be informed that once an appeal has been fully heard they have a right to lodge a complaint with the NSW Ombudsman.

Records Management

(62) The records management requirements under the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy must be met for all correspondence, notes, meeting minutes and reports arising from the application of the policy and these procedures.

(63) A copy of correspondence with a Student who appeals must be retained on the relevant Student's file.

Compliance

(64) The primary responsibility for monitoring compliance with this policy lies with the Heads of School, who may use an Issues Log (available from the Director Learning Futures) as a basis for management of compliance monitoring.

(65) Internal assessment of compliance by the Academic Quality and Analytics and/or the Audit and Risk Directorate may also be used if deemed necessary.

(66) These procedures are made by the Rule Administrator pursuant to the University Academic Assessment Appeals Policy.

(67) University Representatives and Students must observe it in relation to University matters.

(68) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this procedure, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this procedure where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the procedure would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

(69) This procedure operates as and from the Effective Date.

(70) Previous procedures relating to academic assessment appeals are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new procedure.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(71) For the purpose this procedure the following definitions will apply:

  1. Effective Date is the date on which this procedure will take effect.
  2. In person means physically co-located or present by electronic means
  3. In writing means by letter, email or fax
  4. Student means an Admitted Student or an Enrolled Student, at the relevant time.
    1. Admitted student means a student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enrol in a unit of study.
    2. Enrolled student means a student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study at UNE or elsewhere and who is enrolled in a unit at UNE.
  5. UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 No 68 (NSW)
  6. University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.
  7. Working day means Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays and the University Christmas break.

(72) Policy Administrator is the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or delegate.