Skip to main content

Student Complaint and Appeal Policy

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To establish the structure and assign responsibility for management of Complaints and Appeals made by Students in order to promote the timely and fair resolution of issues.

2 Scope

This policy applies to all Students of the University, or their Authorised Representative, who wish to make a Complaint or lodge an Appeal about a matter which occurred during the Student's time of Enrolment and which falls within the responsibility or control of the University.

Inclusions:

This policy applies to Appeals by other eligible appellants who have recourse through the Academic Appeal Procedure and Non-Academic Appeal Procedure.

Exclusions:

This policy does not apply to:

  • Complaints made by Employees or members of the public.
  • Appeals in relation to employment matters. Please refer to the relevant human resources policy.
  • Appeals made in accordance with University of Southern Queensland (Fees) Statute 2010.
  • Appeals in relation to parking and traffic infringements issued in accordance with the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998.

3 Policy Statement

The University recognises that from time to time problems or concerns may arise. To address these, the University has put in place a Student Complaint and Appeal Policy.

This policy establishes the high level principles that apply to Complaints and Appeals by Students. This policy is supported by a range of specific policies and/or procedures for each Complaint and Appeal type.

The Director (Integrity and Professional Conduct) is responsible for the following in relation to Complaints at the University:

  1. oversight of the complaints management processes
  2. resolution of Complaints about the management of a specific Complaint
  3. resolution of Complaints about the Complaint handling process
  4. resolution of Complaints for which the Director (Integrity and Professional Conduct) is the responsible delegate.

With the exception of Complaints that are made in accordance with the University's Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure, the University will not normally investigate anonymous Complaints unless the issues raised within the Complaint are of a serious nature and sufficient information is provided.

4 Principles

The following principles apply to Student Complaints and Appeals:

  1. Students will have access to a process for resolving Complaints and Appeals;
  2. The University will uphold appropriate standards;
  3. Where informal resolution of a Student's concern is not possible or is inappropriate, a Complaint may be made or an Appeal may be lodged;
  4. The timeframes in which Complaints can be made and Appeals can be lodged are set out in the appropriate procedures;
  5. Students can access support services through Student Services or by referral to the Student Guild or other relevant Student associations or support services;
  6. Confidentiality will be reasonably maintained. If personal information is required to be released this will be done in accordance with the University's Privacy Policy;
  7. There will be an investigation and resolution process established for each Complaint Type;
  8. Appeals will be heard by the relevant committee and a process established for each Appeal Type;
  9. The Complaint and Appeal resolution processes will apply the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness;
  10. Vexatious or frivolous Complaints may result in the Student's conduct being investigated, and may also result in disciplinary action, under the Student Code of Conduct Policy;
  11. The University will aim to resolve all Complaints and Appeals in a fair, impartial, consistent, respectful and timely manner;
  12. Students normally will not suffer any form of disadvantage as a result of making a Complaint or Appeal;
  13. Students will be kept informed of the progress of their Complaint or Appeal;
  14. Outcomes and decisions in relation to a Complaint or Appeal will be communicated to all relevant parties as soon as is practicable;
  15. The University Appeals Panel is the highest appeal body of the University and the decisions the Vice-Chancellor makes, based on its recommendations, are final. The Vice-Chancellor will only refer matters to the University Appeals Panel if all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted;
  16. Records will be kept of all Complaints and Appeals in the University's formal recordkeeping system; and
  17. A Student has the right to refer their Complaint or Appeal to an external agency preferably only after exhausting all of the avenues of resolution available within the University.

5 Making a Complaint

Students who wish to make a Complaint should follow the process set out in the Student Complaint Management Procedure and/or use the process described in the policy and/or procedure for the relevant Complaint Type.

6 Lodging an Appeal

Students wishing to lodge an Appeal should follow the process set out in the procedure for the relevant Appeal Type.

7 Complaint Type

The University has classified Complaints, established the committee structure and assigned responsibility for the management of Complaints in accordance with the Student Complaint Type and Responsibilities Schedule.

8 Appeal Type

The University has classified Appeals, established the committee structure and assigned responsibility for the management of Appeals in accordance with the Student Appeal Type and Responsibilities Schedule.

9 References

Nil.

10 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

11 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Student Appeal Type and Responsibilities Schedule

Student Complaint Type and Responsibilities Schedule

Accountable Officer

Vice-Chancellor

Policy Type

Governance Policy

Approved Date

23/2/2015

Effective Date

20/7/2015

Review Date

20/7/2018

Relevant Legislation

Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

Higher Education Support Act 2003

National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007

University of Southern Queensland Act 1998

University of Southern Queensland (Fees) Statute 2010

Related Policies

Academic Integrity Policy

Code of Conduct Policy

Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy

Employee Equity and Diversity Policy

Fraud Corruption and Control Management Policy and Procedure

Handling Personal Student Information Policy and Procedure

Harassment and Discrimination Complaint Resolution for Students Policy and Procedure

Policy on Complaints Involving Council Members

Privacy Policy

Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure

Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure

Refund of Student Fees Policy and Procedure

Research Code of Conduct Policy

Student Code of Conduct Policy

Students with a Disability Policy and Procedure

Under 18 International Students Policy

Work Health and Safety Policy

Related Procedures

Academic Appeal Procedure

Academic Integrity Procedure

Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure

Children on Campus Procedure

Complaints Involving Council Members Procedure

Credit and Exemption Procedure

Disciplinary Action for Misconduct or Serious Misconduct Procedure

Enrolment Procedure

Higher Degree by Research Thesis Examination Procedure

National Code 2007 Standard 7 - Transfer Between Providers Procedure

Non-Academic Appeal Procedure

Research Conduct Complaint Procedure

Smoking Procedure

Student Complaint Management Procedure

Student General Misconduct Procedure

University Appeal Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

USQ Student Complaints and Appeals General Overview (restricted access)

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student to the Academic Appeals Committee to have a Decision, in relation to an academic matter, overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student to the Academic Appeals Committee to have a Decision, in relation to an academic matter, overturned.

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Appeal Type

The classification of an Appeal in accordance with the Appeal Type and Responsibilities Schedule* *The Appeal Type and Responsibilities Schedule is subordinate to the Student Complaint and Appeal Policy...moreThe classification of an Appeal in accordance with the Appeal Type and Responsibilities Schedule**The Appeal Type and Responsibilities Schedule is subordinate to the Student Complaint and Appeal Policy

Authorised Representative

A representative who has been authorised to represent or act on behalf of a Student and acknowledged as such by the University in writing and in compliance with relevant University policy....moreA representative who has been authorised to represent or act on behalf of a Student and acknowledged as such by the University in writing and in compliance with relevant University policy.

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....moreAn expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible.

Complaint Type

The classification assigned to a Complaint in accordance with the Complaint Type and Responsibilities Schedule*. The Complaint Type determines the process to which the Complaint will be referred for resolution by the Student Complaint Management Triage System. *The Complaint Type and Responsibilities Schedule is subordinate to the Student Complaint and Appeal Policy...moreThe classification assigned to a Complaint in accordance with the Complaint Type and Responsibilities Schedule*. The Complaint Type determines the process to which the Complaint will be referred for resolution by the Student Complaint Management Triage System.*The Complaint Type and Responsibilities Schedule is subordinate to the Student Complaint and Appeal Policy

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Enrolment

The process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year....moreThe process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year.

Non-Academic Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student to a higher authority to have a Decision, in relation to a non-academic matter, overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student to a higher authority to have a Decision, in relation to a non-academic matter, overturned.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

University Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or other eligible appellant who has recourse through the Academic Appeal Procedure and Non-Academic Appeal Procedure to the University Appeals Panel, to appeal a Decision made by any University committee which provides for recourse to the University Appeals Panel....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or other eligible appellant who has recourse through the Academic Appeal Procedure and Non-Academic Appeal Procedure to the University Appeals Panel, to appeal a Decision made by any University committee which provides for recourse to the University Appeals Panel.

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Keywords

Record No

15/264PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

* This file is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should email policy@usq.edu.au to obtain this information in an alternative format.