FREE CONFIDENTIAL ADVOCACY & ADVICE:
- appeals for EXCLUSIONS
- allegations of MISCONDUCT
- querying ASSESSMENT RESULTS
- applying for SPECIAL CONSIDERATION
- Policy and Procedures for the Assessment of Coursework Subjects
- Grades, marks, appeals
- Special Consideration
The UTS Students' Association is run by students, for students - so as students we know how difficult uni life can be. We know that things can go wrong so there are times when students need assistance in addressing academic matters.
That’s why our organisation, which is completely independent from the university, employs experienced professional Student Advocacy Officers (caseworkers) to provide advice, assistance and support to students on a completely confidential basis. This is a free service available to all students enrolled at UTS.
Student Advocacy Officers are also available to accompany students to Misconduct and Appeals hearings - providing step-by-step advice and support throughout the entire process.
How to access our advocacy service?
Make an appointment to meet with a caseworker by:
* Calling us - telephone (02) 9514 1155 or
* Visit the Students' Association office in the UTS Tower Building - CB01.03.22 and speak with our receptionist.
You will be advised if there is anything that you need to bring for your meeting (for example - if you are challenging anything to do with assessment it is helpful if you bring your subject outline).
Concerns with assessment results
You have the right to challenge assessment results. But you must act quickly because there is a ten (10) day window within which to raise your concerns.
In the first instance - contact your Subject Coordinator and explain your reasons as to why you are challenging a particular mark or grade.
If you cannot resolve your concerns, or if you need help or guidance, come and see us and we will walk you through the process.
Making a formal complaint can seem like a daunting and difficult process. If you feel you have experienced mistreatment, disadvantage or distress in some way at university or at university related outing such as a UTS social functions, field trips or external placements or clinicals at schools or hospitals or some other facility, you have the right to make a complaint.
Complaints can be made about other students, academic staff or support staff. They can also be raised about people connected to your course for example casual or guest lecturers, clinical or practicum facilitators or supervisors. The University policy on handling complaints can be found here
Our staff provide advice on matters regarding complaints - it's important for students to understand the complaints procedure. Caseworkers can help to explain how to go about it and who to talk to. We can also refer you to the UTS Equity and Diversity Unit or Student Services for counselling support if you wish.
Accessibility (Special needs)
Students with a disability or health condition may apply for learning and assessment arrangements or adjustments to assist them with their studies.
Students living with a disability, ongoing medical or mental health condition are advised to register with the Accessibility Service as early as possible so that suitable arrangements can be made for their particular circumstances.
Students with carer responsibilities and students who are pregnant are advised to discuss requests for assessment arrangements with their Faculty Academic Liaison Officer
Special Consideration (including extensions)
If you are experiencing circumstances beyond your control which are likely to affect your academic performance, you can apply for special consideration.
Applying for special consideration is not the same as simply asking for an extension from your tutor/ lecturer or subject coordinator. If you need a week (or less) for an extension for an assignment, talk to your tutor or subject co-ordinator first to request an extension to complete your assignment. If you have valid grounds they cannot unreasonably refuse you an extension.
If, however, you need more time, or you feel that you need to explain why your academic performance has been affected, then fill out an application for special consideration online - details here
ASSIGNMENTS: you must request an extension before the assessment due date.
EXAMS: if you leave during an exam, or even complete the exam but became unwell during the exam, you must lodge your application for special consideration within two working days.
If you miss an exam due to illness or misadventure - submit an application for an alternative (special) exam as soon as possible. It's best to do this on the day of the exam so that you can take the Form provided to your medical practitioner the same day. You have two working days to complete the application.
It is very important to pay careful attention to these time deadlines. Late applications are only accepted if you can provide proof of exceptional circumstances that prevented you from applying on time.
What is misconduct?
Misconduct can be academic or non-academic. Academic misconduct includes plagiarism, cheating in exams or attempting to cheat, or helping another student to cheat. Non-academic misconduct is a breach of discipline under University rules.
The process for dealing with academic or non-academic misconduct is the same and involves being given a notice of the alleged misconduct, responding to the allegation and may possibly involve attending either a formal hearing. Allegations of plagiarism are usually managed by your Faculty. All other student misconduct matters are managed by the university's Governance Support Unit.
For a full and comprehensive description on what constitutes academic and non-academic misconduct, processes and procedures and the range of penalties see Section 16 of the UTS Student Rules.
NOTE: The majority of academic student misconduct matters that we see involve plagiarism or cheating in assignments or exams. Penalties for a first offence for these matters generally fall within section 16.3.1 (9) as per the Scale of Penalties with a zero result for the assessment task often being the final penalty where there are no extenuating circumstances. Students with repeat offences can usually expect to receive a harsher penalty.
How can we help?
If you have received allegation of misconduct we strongly advise that you make an appointment to see a caseworker who can advise you of your rights, give you information about the university procedures, and help you to develop and present your case. We are available to support you throughout the process and attend meetings, hearings or appeals with you if you wish.
NOTE: Teaching staff who make a report of misconduct refer student matters to the Responsible Academic Officer in the Faculty do not make any decisions in relation to the alleged misconduct. They cannot impose penalties without the correct procedures being followed. Students are entitled to be treated with dignity and courtesy, and are entitled to procedural fairness in the handling of an allegation of student misconduct, including any appeal.
Appeals against EXCLUSION or DISCONTINUATION
If you are not progressing through your course as expected the university will issue a notice of exclusion. These are usually sent out at the end of each academic year in December.
A student who is failing subjects may be placed on academic caution and offered a range of academic supports. It is a good idea to take advantage of the supports offered since this may not only improve your progress but you may avoid being excluded. DO NOT ignore a notice of academic caution! It is intended to provide support BEFORE things get worse. Ignoring an academic caution won't look great if you receive a notice of exclusion later.
If you are a Coursework student (undergraduate or postgraduate) you may have received an exclusion notice because:
* you have not passed at least 50% of your enrolled credit points since the commencement of your course; or (postgrad students) you failed more subjects than allowable for your course;
* You failed a subject for the third time and have been refused permission to re-enrol; or
* You have not completed your course within the maximum prescribed time, and you have been refused an extension.
You have the right to appeal against exclusion from the University.
If you are a Graduate Research student you may have received a Notice of Discontinuation of your candidature as per Rule 11.23 due to:
* Unsatisfactory progress;
*Unsatisfactory examination; or
You have the right to appeal against discontnuation of your candidature.
When should I lodge an appeal?
The Notice of Exclusion that you receive will inform you of the deadline for lodging your appeal.
Students have 20 working days to submit their appeal against exclusion or discontinuation.
How can we help?
Our caseworkers can assist you with the appeal process. They will explain the processes and procedures and help you to prepare your appeal response. They can also advise you about providing relevant supporting documents, and if appropriate, advise you about other university processes available to you that may assist you in the appeal process - eg: application for no academic or financial penalty (late withdrawal) if your studies have been impacted by circumstances beyond your control.
To make an appointment please contact us on (02) 9514 1155 or visit our office - Room 22, Level 3 Tower Building 1 - Monday - Friday 9am-4:30pm
We request that you prepare a draft letter of appeal and bring this to your appointment - both printed, and on a USB.
Our Information Sheet about how to appeal an exclusion, along with a sample letter can also be found here.