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Academic Appeals

If you are considering submitting an academic appeal, you are strongly encouraged to get advice from the MIUC Academic Office.
  • 1.1. Appeal Regulations
    • 1.1.1. The appeal regulations provide a single process for students who wish to appeal against outcomes arising from the following procedures:
      • a) Academic or Assessment Board decisions – request to review the decisions of Assessment Boards or Research Degree Examination Panels on assessment, progression or award (academic appeals);
      • b) Academic Offences regulations – request to review the decisions of the Head of School/College (informal stage) or the Academic Offences Panel (formal stages);
      • c) withdrawals – request to review the decision to terminate the registration of a student (including research students);
      • d) mitigation – request to review the decision of the Mitigation Panel.
    • 1.1.2. The appeal regulations will follow the same process but separate procedures for outcomes arising from the following procedures:
      • a) Code of Student Conduct and Students Disciplinary Regulations – request to review the decision of the Disciplinary Panel.
    • 1.1.3. Chairs of Appeal Panels shall be appointed by the General Administrator, normally for a term of three years.
  • 1.2. Authority and Delegations
    • 1.2.1. The Academic Board shall be responsible for the approval of the appeal regulations following outcomes from Academic or Assessment Board decisions, academic offences procedures, withdrawals and mitigation procedures.
    • 1.2.2. The Academic Board shall be responsible for the approval of the appeal regulations following outcomes from Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Regulations.
    • 1.2.3. The General Administrator shall assume overall responsibility and authority for the operation of the University’s regulations. The General Administrator shall normally delegate authority for the operation of the appeal regulations to the Complaint and Appeals Officer. The General Administrator may authorise substitutes to act where any person referred to in these regulations is unable to do so.
  • 1.3. Grounds for Appeal
    • 1.3.1. A student may appeal on one or more of the following grounds:
      • a) procedural error: Where the process leading to the decision being appealed against was not conducted in accordance with the University’s procedure, such that there is reasonable doubt as to whether the outcome might have been different had the error not occurred. Procedural error shall include alleged administrative or clerical error, and bias in the operation of the procedure;
      • b) that exceptional circumstances, illness, or other relevant factors were not made known at the time for good reason, or were not properly taken into account;
    • 1.3.2. Good reason’ requires a student to demonstrate that circumstances beyond their control prevented the disclosure of the relevant facts at the appropriate time. Personal embarrassment or unwillingness to disclose personal circumstances shall not count as ‘good reason’ for the purposes of these regulations.
    • 1.3.3. An appeal against the decision of a Panel or Assessment Board must be made in writing addressed to the Registrar, stating in full the grounds for the appeal and must be submitted within ten working days of the receipt of any process outcome letter.
    • 1.3.4. In all cases, the original outcome is final and not varied until and unless a successful appeal results in an alternative decision. For example, where a student is withdrawn due to academic failure, the student shall not be reinstated until the appeals process is complete and the outcome of the appeal results in an amendment to the original decision.
    • 1.3.5. The Complaints and Appeals Officer and the Chair shall consider all appeals on their merit; however, the following shall not be deemed legitimate grounds for appeal. Any appeal founded exclusively on one or more of these grounds shall be rejected automatically:
      • a) appeals based upon the informal assessment of a student’s work by members of academic staff;
      • b) retrospective reporting of mitigating circumstances that might reasonably have been made known at the proper time;
      • c) marginal failure to attain a higher classification of award;
      • d) in the case of disciplinary matters, the provision of an apology by a student for their actions shall not be deemed reason for an appeal to be heard;
      • e) lack of awareness by a student of the relevant procedure or regulations;
      • f) vexatious or frivolous appeals;
      • g) where no fresh evidence is submitted or there has not been a material change of circumstances since the last decision on the matter.
  • 1.4. Submitting an Appeal
    • 1.4.1. A student must submit an appeal to the Complaints and Appeals Officer in writing by completing the appeal form. In the completed appeal form and student statement, the student must detail the decision being appealed against, present the grounds on which the appeal is made, outline the supporting evidence to be submitted and state whether an interview with the Complaints and Appeals Officer is requested.
    • 1.4.2. An appeal must be received within 36 hours of the formal notification of the decision being appealed against. This shall normally be the date given on the decision letter, or else the official publication of results date. The Complaints and Appeals Officer may exercise discretion to consider and allow a late request where a student demonstrates good reason for delay.
    • 1.4.3. Supporting evidence must be submitted by the student together with the appeal request or within seven calendar days of submission of the appeal, and must provide evidence of the points covered in the written request for appeal (for example, medical certification). The Complaints and Appeals Officer may exercise discretion to allow late submission of evidence where a student demonstrates good reason for delay.
  • 1.5. Actions on Receipt of a Request for Appeal
    • 1.5.1. On receipt of a request for an appeal, the Complaints and Appeals Officer shall first determine if the appeal was submitted in time, as specified above.
    • 1.5.2. If an appeal is determined to be out of time, a letter shall be issued to the student reflecting this decision. Where an appeal is deemed to be out of time, the substance of an appeal shall not be considered.
    • 1.5.3. Where an appeal is deemed to be submitted in time, the Complaints and Appeals Officer shall be responsible for investigating the substance of the appeal. This will normally consist of reviewing the decision made under the previous procedure. This may typically involve consulting documentation from the process leading to the original decision, discussions with those responsible for the original decision, interviewing the student and any other relevant enquiries.
    • 1.5.4. Under no circumstances shall the costs of appeal incurred by the student or the University be reclaimable, save for expenses in exceptional cases
    • 1.5.5. The Chair of the Appeal Panel shall consider the appeal to determine whether it should be upheld or rejected based on the grounds for appeal. All the documentation in relation to any Panel, or Assessment Board appealed against can be made available upon request, in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
    • 1.5.6. Where the Chair cannot decide upon a course of action, or the case is deemed to be more complex, cases shall be referred to the Appeal Panel for consideration.
    • 1.5.7. The Complaints and Appeals Officer shall notify the student in writing at least five working days before the Appeal Hearing is due to take place and provide the student with:
      • a) details of the date, time and place of the Hearing and those who will be present;
      • b) a statement of the grounds upon which their appeal is to be considered;
      • c) a statement of the student’s right to be accompanied by a friend or representative, e.g. from the Students’ Union. However, under no circumstances may the student be represented by an external organisation or person;
      • d) a statement to the effect that the new witnesses may be called in support of the grounds of appeal and the University has the right to call new witnesses on its behalf;
      • e) copies of any documents to be considered in connection with the appeal including the signed and dated outcome form and record of the previous procedure or Panel.
    • 1.5.8. The Appeal Panel shall hear oral submissions from the student and, at its absolute discretion, any other persons whose evidence may be relevant.
    • 1.5.9. If the student does not attend the Hearing, the Panel shall make a decision in their absence.
  • 1.6. Notification of Outcome of an Appeal
    • 1.6.1.The Appeal Panel shall inform the student of its decision and the reasons for it within three working days of the meeting. The decision shall be confirmed in writing within five working days of the meeting.
    • 1.6.2. A student shall normally be notified of the outcome of their appeal within 90 calendar days of the date of submission of their appeal. Any expected delays beyond the 90 days will be notified to the student. The Completion of Procedures (COP) letter will set out the outcome of the appeal.
    • 1.6.3. The University will expedite the appeals procedures where circumstances warrant swift action. These may include, but are not limited to:
      • a) cases where the impact of the issues raised has detrimental consequences for the student’s mental health or where the student displays significant stress;
      • b) cases where external time limits apply e.g. in meeting regulatory requirements for the completion of professional courses, including cases where students have been withdrawn from the course of study.
    • 1.6.4. A student shall normally be notified of the outcome of their appeal within 90 calendar days of the date of submission of their appeal. Any expected delays beyond the 90 days will be notified to the student. The Completion of Procedures (COP) letter will set out the outcome of the appeal.
  • 1.7. Actions where an Appeal is upheld
    • 1.7.1. Where an appeal is upheld, and the grounds of appeal are of either an administrative or regulatory nature that cannot be referred back to the Assessment Board for Chair’s action, the Complaints and Appeals Officer and the Chair may take action to remedy the situation without referral to the original decision making body.
    • 1.7.2. Where an appeal is upheld and there is substantive evidence that mitigating circumstances were either not considered appropriately, or for good reason could not have been made known at the time of the original decision, the Registrar and the Chair shall refer the case back to the Panel that made the original decision for reconsideration.
    • 1.7.3. For appeals where the decision is referred back to the Assessment Board, the Chair of the Assessment Board shall consult with the relevant Module Leader and the Registrar. Chair’s action may be employed where decisions are beneficial to students (that is, less severe than the original decisions). Otherwise, the Assessment Board shall be reconvened to consider the case.
  • 1.8. Actions where an Appeal is not upheld
    • 1.8.1. If the Chair and Complaints and Appeals Officer are in agreement that there are no grounds for appeal, the appeal shall not be upheld.
    • A student whose appeal is not upheld by the Appeal Panel has the right to submit an application to the General Administrator or nominee, if it has been lodged An appeal must be received within 10 working days of the formal notification of the decision being appealed against. This shall normally be the date given on the decision letter, or else the official publication of results date. The Complaints and Appeals Officer may exercise discretion to consider and allow a late request where a student demonstrates good reason for delay.
    • 1.8.2. The General Administrator or nominee shall review the Appeal and all the documentation relating to the case, as soon as possible after the receipt of a request.
    • 1.8.3. The General Administrator or nominee shall either uphold or dismiss the Appeal Panel’s decision and the Complaints and Appeals Officer will confirm the decision of the General Administrator by the Close of Procedure (COP) letter to the student.
  • 1.9. Appeal Panel Composition
    • 1.9.1. The membership of the Appeal Panel reviewing the outcomes from Academic or Assessment Board decisions, Academic Offences procedures, withdrawals and Mitigation procedures shall be as follows:
      • a) a Chair, appointed by General Administrator for the relevant category of appeal. If for any reason the Chair is unable to act, the General Administrator shall appoint an Acting Chair;
      • b) a member of academic staff of a cognate department to that of the student (normally in the same School/College), drawn from the academic membership of senior University committees;
      • c) a member of academic staff, drawn from the membership of the Academic Board;
    • 1.9.2. The membership of the Appeal Panel reviewing the outcomes from Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary procedures shall be as follows:
      • a) a Chair, appointed by General Administrator for the relevant category of appeal. If for any reason the Chair is unable to act, the General Administrator shall appoint an Acting Chair;
      • b) a member of academic staff of a cognate department to that of the student (normally in the same School/College), academic membership of senior University committees;
      • c) a member drawn from the relevant professional body, who shall be a registered practitioner;
    • 1.9.3. There shall be a Secretary to the Panel, who shall be present throughout the Hearing including the deliberations of the Panel. The Secretary may provide advice
      to the Panel with regard to the University Regulations however, the Secretary shall not be involved in the decision making process.
    • 1.9.4. Members of the Appeal Panel shall not have been involved in making the original decision being appealed against.
    • 1.9.5. The Appeal Panel shall be individually constituted for each case or group of cases by Chairs, on the advice of the Complaint and Appeals Officer, drawing upon the categories of membership identified above.
  • 1.10. Appeal Panel Terms of Reference
    • 1.10.1. The terms of reference of Appeal Panels are as follows:
      • a) to hear the student’s submission;
      • b) to hear the University’s submission;
      • c) to consider and determine whether or not the appeal is upheld, based on the permitted grounds of appeal specified above;
      • d) to agree to one of the following;
      • i) to uphold the original decision;
      • ii) to refer the original decision back to the relevant body for reconsideration;
      • iii) to uphold the appeal and agree an appropriate course of action for the case.
    • 1.10.2. Where a range of penalties were available to the original decision making Panel, the Appeal Panel may impose more severe penalties than those that were originally imposed.
  • 1.11. Appeal Panel Procedure
    • 1.11.1. The student shall receive at least five working days’ notice, in writing, of the date, time and location of the Appeal Panel Hearing.
    • 1.11.2. The Appeal Panel shall receive the original documentation considered by the decision making Panel, and any relevant additional documentation relating to the appeal; this shall include the written appeal request and any response to the request from the University.
    • 1.11.3. The student shall receive the same set of documentation as the Appeal Panel.
    • 1.11.4. All papers and proceedings shall be confidential.
    • 1.11.5. The student may be accompanied, or represented, by any one person of their choosing.
    • 1.11.6. Under no circumstances may the student may have legal representation or be represented by an external organisation or person.
    • 1.11.7. A University representative shall put the University’s case to the Panel, and shall be present throughout the Hearing but not during the Panel’s deliberations.
    • 1.11.8. Witnesses may be called by to the Appeal Panel where permitted by the Chair.
    • 1.11.9. The Appeal Panel meeting shall normally follow the following format:
      • a) the members of the Panel shall be introduced to those present;
      • b) the student (or representative) shall be asked to address the Appeal Panel as to the substance of their appeal;
      • c) the student and the University representative may remain present throughout except for the Panel’s deliberations;
      • d) the Appeal Panel members shall ask the student questions relevant to the case;
      • e) the University representative shall put forward the University’s case;
      • f) the Appeal Panel shall ask the University representative questions relevant to the case;
      • g) the Appeal Panel shall consider its decision.
    • 1.11.10. The Appeal Panel shall inform the student of its decision and the reasons for it within three working days of the meeting. The decision shall be confirmed in writing within seven days of the meeting, in a COP letter.
Academic Appeals was last modified: July 14th, 2020 by Gobalo
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