Student Appeals Committee


Terms of Reference

Approved by Council - 19 December 2023

These Terms of Reference establish the responsibilities and membership of the Student Appeals Committee within the governance structure of the University of South Australia.

1. Purpose

The Student Appeals Committee is a committee of the University Council and is the final avenue of appeal within the University.

2. Functions

The functions of the Student Appeals Committee are to:

2.1 Consider and determine appeals from students in the following circumstances:

a) the student is appealing a decision referred to in paragraph 2.2, and

b) the appeal has not previously been heard by the Student Appeals Committee, and

c) all other avenues of appeal within the University have been exhausted.

2.2 The Student Appeals Committee will consider and determine appeals lodged in accordance with the University's academic and research higher degrees policies and procedures. In addition, it will consider and determine appeals relating to decisions of a Student Misconduct Committee established under Statute 7.

3. Membership

3.1 The membership of the Student Appeals Committee will consist of:

a) Four persons appointed by Council:

i. at least one of whom will be a member of Council; and

ii. up to threee of whom will be appointed from the community (community members)

b) Council will nominate one of the members appointed under section 3.1(a) above to chair the Committee provided that if the Chair, cannot attend a meeting, another member appointed under section 3.1(a) above will chair the meeting, and

c) three academic staff members of the University who are nominated and appointed by Academic Board. In the event that one or more of these members cannot attend or are unable to participate for the reasons referred to in paragraph 3.2, the Chair of Academic Board will nominate alternative academic staff. However, if the appellant is a higher research degree student, the academic members will be nominated by the relevant Executive Dean or by the Chair of Academic Board, from those staff who are listed on the University’s Register of Current Higher Degree Research Supervisors, and

d) a student member of the USASA Board or nominee.

3.2 A member of the Student Appeals Committee who has been involved in a student's previous appeals will recuse themselves from the hearing of the student's appeal by the Student Appeals Committee.

3.3 The Committee will be supported by an Executive Officer.

4. Quorum

The quorum will be 4 members, one of whom must be appointed by Council.

5. Meeting procedures

5.1 Committee hearings will be conducted in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness.

5.2 The Chair of the Committee is responsible for ensuring that the confidentiality of third parties is maintained when documents are circulated.

5.3 The Committee will consider relevant reports and any further written submissions from:

a) the student lodging the appeal

b) the relevant Executive Dean

c) the chair or nominee of the committee which made the decision under appeal, if applicable, and

d) any other staff or committees involved in making the decision under appeal.

5.4 The Executive Officer will deliver to the student a copy of all documentation provided to the Committee for its consideration of the appeal.

5.5 The Executive Officer will invite the following to attend the hearing:

a) the student lodging the appeal. If the student is unable to attend in person, they may participate by telephone or virtually; and

b) the Executive Dean of the Academic Unit in which the student is enrolled, or their nominee.

5.6 The student may be assisted or represented by:

a) an USASA Advocacy Officer; or

b) a representative of the UniSA parnter institution if the student is studying offshore; or

c) any UniSA staff member or student.

5.7 No party will be permitted to have legal representation at the hearing of an appeal.

5.8 The Committee will accommodate any special needs of the student, for example by providing an interpreter.

5.9 The Committee may confirm, amend, vary or overturn a decision previously made in relation to the student who has lodged an appeal.

5.10 A decision of the Committee is final, and no further avenues of appeal exist within the University.

5.11 Each decision of the Committee will be recorded, with the record to include:

a) the date and time of the meeting

b) the members of the Student Appeals Committee present

c) other persons present at the meeting

d) a summary of the information considered by the Student Appeals Committee in reaching its decision,

e) the decision reached,

f) a summary of the reasons for the decision; and

g) be signed by the Chair of the Committee.

6. Notification of decision

6.1 The Executive Officer will notify the student via their University student email within 7 business days of the Committee's decision. A copy of the communication may also be sent to the student's last known postal address. The notification will include:

a) the committees decision;

b) a summary of the reasons for the decision;

c) the external appeal rights of the student; and

d) the implications for their Confirmation of Enrolment and student visa, if the appellant is an international student.

6.2 The Executive Officer will provide copies of the outcome of the appeal (as appropriate) to:

a) The Executive Dean of the Academic Unit in which the appellant was enrolled;

b) the Academic Integrity Officer, where applicable

c) Campus Central, for retention on the appellant's file, and

d) UniSA International, if the appellant is an international student.

7. Reporting

The Student Appeals Committee will report annually to Council on its activities, trends and any matters that are relevant to the teaching and learning, research and research training activities of the University and provide a copy of the report to Academic Board for noting.

Approved by Council - 19 December 2023

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