Appeals

Appeals

Macquarie University has established processes and procedures for the management of appeals to ensure transparent, equitable and consistent decisions.

University decisions

An appeal must relate to a final decision of the University. You may not appeal until you have received formal notification of a decision.

You should read the relevant policy and/or procedure which relates to a decision that has affected you.  These documents set out the processes and procedures that must be followed in making a decision.

Where these ‘authority documents’ have not been followed and as a result you have experienced substantial injustice, then you may have grounds to lodge an appeal. Please read the policy that relates to your decision before appealing.

Applicable Decision

Authority Document

Admission to a degree, or Re-admission

Admission to Coursework Program Policy

Disruption to Studies

Disruption to Studies Policy

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

Suspension and Exclusion

Academic Progression Policy

Exclusion

General Coursework Rules

Termination - Higher Degree Research

HDR / MRes Termination of Candidature Procedure

Grades

Assessment Policy / Unit Guide Policy

Student Discipline and Misconduct

Student Discipline Procedure

Appealing a decision

The University has a number of appeals policies which set out how to appeal a decision. You should refer to the correct policy and its requirements before appealing:

Decision you wish to appeal

Appeal Policy

Admission to a degree, or Re-admission

Academic Appeals Policy

Academic Appeals Procedure

Disruption to Studies

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Suspension and Exclusion

(under the Academic Progression Policy)

Exclusion

(under the General Coursework Rules)

Termination - Higher Degree Research

Student Discipline and Misconduct

Student Discipline Rules and Procedure

Grades

Grade Appeal Policy

Applicable Decision

Appeal Timeframe after Notification

Admission to a degree, or Re-admission

10 working days

Disruption to Studies

5 working days

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

10 working days

Suspension and Exclusion

20 working days

Exclusion

20 working days

Termination - Higher Degree Research

20 working days

Grades

20 working days

Student Discipline and Misconduct

20 working days

Academic appeals 

See the tables above for a list of relevant academic appeal decisions.

The University will inform you of an outcome to a decision of which you have the right to appeal. You may only appeal on specific grounds, via AskMQ and, within the timeframe specified. Appeals outside this timeframe will not be considered.

The grounds for appeal are outlined in the Academic Appeals Procedure.  A student must prove, with evidence, that the decision made by the University was unfair due to one of these 10 grounds existing/occurring. A student must also demonstrate that as a result of one of these grounds occurring, the decision was substantially unfair.

If a student is unable to demonstrate one of the grounds and substantially unjust, then the appeal will not be successful. 

Successful appeals will result in the decision being returned to a decision maker for the decision to be remade in line with correct procedure. This means a new decision will be made, though it is important to note this could mean a similar outcome is reached. In other words, a successful appeal will not necessarily result in avoiding exclusion.

Grade appeal

Grade appeals can only be considered where a student can establish one (or more) of the  grounds stated in the Grade Appeal Policy. You must demonstrate where the University has errored in their process. If an error is not identified in relation to one or more of these grounds, an appeal will be unsuccessful.

Review your Grade(s) First 

Before appealing you should:

  • Add the final weighted mark of each of your assessment tasks together. You want to ensure there has been no clerical error in adding these marks together to achieve your final grade.
  • Review your final exam/assessment paper. Your faculty may require you to make a booking, or, to contact your unit convenor directly.

Note: Reviewing an exam paper is not an opportunity to challenge marks. You can use this time to reflect on your performance and identify any clerical errors.

Appeal Steps

STEP 1: Read the Grade Appeal Policy. Remember Grade Appeals only concern your final grade not an individual assessment task. If you appeal on the basis that an individual task should have had a higher mark, it will not satisfy the policy.

STEP 2: After reviewing your grade, consider the Grade Appeal Policy and if you meet at least one of the grounds listed for appeal.

STEP 3: If you believe you meet the grounds for appeal, lodge a grade appeal for the Unit via AskMQ. This must be done within 20 working days.

STEP 4: If you have any problems, first contact the faculty of the unit you are appealing. If you still experience difficulties, contact Student Advocacy.

Formal appeal following a grade appeal

If you believe there has been a procedural irregularity in the consideration of your Grade Appeal, you may submit a written appeal to the University Grading Appeals Committee. Appeals on this basis are limited to procedural grounds only.

Master of Research Appeals

Year 1 Appeals

For grade appeals appeals, please follow the Undergraduate Grade Appeal process.
An appeal will be considered by the relevant Master of Research Director and approved by the Director, Higher Degree Research Office.

Year 2 - Review and Reconsideration

Results should be reviewed with your MRes Supervisor first.

Following review, to request reconsideration you will need to write to the Thesis Examinations Sub-Committee. This request will need to be supported by your Supervisor.

Requests are lodged with the Committee by email: hdrexam@mq.edu.au

You will receive an explanation of how your result was determined. This will be sent to your official MQ student email.

Year 2 - Appeals (after Review)

Appeals are heard by the Higher Degree Research Appeals Committee in the same way as Higher Degree Research Appeals generally.

Appeals must clearly state the ground(s) on which you wish to appeal. Appeals must relate to a decision by the University. The grounds for appeal include issues relating to procedural fairness (such as principles of natural justice) and procedural error (the University failing to follow the appropriate procedure).

It is recommended that you state each ground as a separate heading and then explain your evidence/support for this ground under each heading. 

Appeals must have relevant supporting documents attached.

Higher Degree Research (PhD / MPhil) Appeals

Appeals are heard by the Higher Degree Research Appeals Committee.

Appeals must clearly state the ground(s) on which you wish to appeal. Appeals must relate to a decision by the University. The grounds for appeal include issues relating to procedural fairness (such as principles of natural justice) and procedural error (the University failing to follow the appropriate procedure).

It is recommended that you state each ground as a separate heading and then explain your evidence/support for this ground under each heading. 

Appeals must have relevant supporting documents attached.

Termination of Candidature (PhD / MPhil / MRes) Process and Appeals

Process Overview

  1. Unsatisfactory progress identified by Supervisor
  2. Formal Review (which may result in a decision to terminate candidature)
  3. Appeal against decision to Terminate

1. Unsatisfactory Progress

If your supervisor/supervisory panel have identified that you are not making satisfactory progress, you will be notified of their concerns and you will be provided with an opportunity to address these.

A Candidate Action Plan may be subsequently agreed upon and implemented.

If the supervisor continues to have concerns about your progress, a recommendation that your candidature be formally reviewed will be made to your Faculty's Associate Dean (HDR).

You may decide to submit to the review process or discontinue your candidature at this point.

2. Formal Review

The Formal Review panel determines if a candidate has a viable research program, is making satisfactory progress relative to stage of a candidate's research program and is able to complete degree requirements within the period allowed. 

A Formal Review may recommend that candidate be terminated. Alternatively a formal review may recommend implementation of a Candidate Action Plan, as above.

Candidates are given the opportunity to respond in writing and in person to issues being considered by the Formal Review Panel. It is recommended that you provide any relevant evidence or supporting documentation to support your submission/s.

3. Appeal against Decision to Terminate

Students who are formally notified that their candidature is to be terminated have the right to appeal. 

Importantly: an appeal is not a new consideration of whether your candidature should be terminated or not. Rather, an appeal considers and evaluates the process involved in reaching the decision.

Only specific grounds are available to appeal on. Appeals must be lodged via AskMQ within 20 working days of being notified of the decision. Appeals outside this timeframe will not be considered.

Grounds for appeal are outlined in the Academic Appeals Procedure (see specifically: section 4.2.a.i - 4.2.a.x, and 4.2.b) .  

A student must prove, with evidence, that the decision made by the University was unfair due to one of these 10 grounds existing/occurring. A student must also demonstrate that as a result of one of these grounds occurring, the decision was substantially unfair.

If a student is unable to demonstrate one of the grounds and substantially unjust, then the appeal will not be successful. 

Successful appeals will result in the decision being returned to a decision maker for the decision to be remade in line with correct procedure. This means a new decision will be made, and it is important to note this could mean a similar outcome is reached.

Candidate Toolkit

Templates have been created by HDRO to assist candidates before they undergo a formal review, as well as while they are under review.

See '4. Responsibilities and Required Actions' of the Termination of Candidature Procedure for a printer friendly Flowchart of the process.

Discipline and Student Misconduct

You have the right to request permission to appeal the decision of a Hearing Committee.

In addition to the information below, you would be provided further details in the notification of the decision sent to your official MQ student email account.

The grounds for appeal are outlined in Part 6 of the Student Discipline Procedure. In effect, the grounds for appeal are limited to an irregularity of procedure in making the Committee decision or the imposition of an inappropriate sanction.

The Committee decision cannot be appealed on the basis that you believe it was not the correct decision or not your preferred decision. 

The request for permission to appeal a Hearing Committee decision (including a detailed outline of the grounds for appeal) must be lodged by you in writing to disciplinecommittee@mq.edu.au within 20 working days of your receipt of the letter containing the Committee decision.

Upon the receipt of the request for permission to appeal, you will be notified whether or not permission to appeal is given.

Should you exhaust all your appeal options and remain dissatisfied with the process, you may make a Request for Assistance to the MQ Student Ombudsman.

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