FREE CONFIDENTIAL ADVOCACY & ADVICE:
- appeals for EXCLUSIONS
- allegations of MISCONDUCT
- querying RESULTS
- SPECIAL CONSIDERATION
Downloadable information and forms
- Policy and Procedures for the Assessment of Coursework Subjects
- Grades, marks, appeals
- Special Consideration
To make an appointment phone 02 9514 1155 or come into the office, Tower Building 1, level 3, room 22 WE are open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 4:30pm
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 with exams, assignments, with your health, your finances, and so on. We know that there are times when students need assistance in addressing academic matters.
That’s why our organisation, which is completely independent from the university, employs professional Student Advocacy Officers (caseworkers) who provide free advice and assistance to students on a completely confidential basis.
If you have problems with your assignments, or assessment marks; complaints about teaching and learning; or if you have been excluded from your course or been given notice of a misconduct allegation, we can provide advice and assistance.
We have information sheets available as well as the UTS forms you might need; AND our advocacy officers are available to attend Misconduct and Appeals hearings - and can assist and advise you step-by-step throughout this process.
How to access our advocacy service?
Make an appointment with a caseworker by:
Phone 02 9514 1155
Visiting the STudents' Association office CB01.03.22 and speak to our receptionist.
Depending on your matter you will be given an information sheet or a form and be told of anything you need to bring along (for example, if you are challenging anything to do with assessment always bring your subject outline).
Enrolment can be quite confusing, we can all admit that UTS online is not the most user friendly place in the virtual word. Many students find the admissions process hard to understand, especially when you need to vary your enrolment. So if you’re confused about who to talk to or what to do just drop in, we’ll point you in the right direction.
Concerns with assessment results
There is a University manual that covers all aspects of assessment. It is called the Policy and Procedures for the Assessment of Coursework Subjects (PPACS).
You have the right to challenge the mark of any piece of assessment if you feel it does not reflect your abilities or competency in a course. But you must act quickly because there is a ten (10) day window within which to raise your concerns.
First talk with your Lecturer or Subject Coordinator and explain your reasons as to why you are challenging a particular mark or grade. Ask to go over any mid-term or final exam to see how you went.
But if you cannot resolve your concerns, or if you need help or guidance, come and see us and we will walk you through the procedures.
What happens when you have a complaint against a lecturer or tutor? Making a formal complaint can seem like a daunting and difficult process; you may be worried about victimisation; you will wonder: will things get better afterward or will I just wish I had ignored the problem? UTS has a formal complaints policy because it is recognised that students may feel that they have experienced unreasonable treatment, disadvantage or distress which they want to make a complaint about.
The principals of the complaints process include confidentiality, impartiality, promptness and protection from victimisation. 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 against other students, academic staff or support staff. They can also be raised against external people connected to your course for example casual or guest lecturers, clinical or practicum facilitators or supervisors.
Our staff provide advice on matters regarding complaints, they will point you in the direction of the proper procedure, how to go about it and who to talk to. We can also refer you to the UTS Equity and Diversity Unit or the Student Services Unit that includes medical and counselling support.
Both the Students' Association and the university are bound by privacy laws and therefore take confidentiality very seriously. In relation to all complaints, the person taking up the complaint must have your consent to disclose information when making enquires.
Remember- all complaints go through a process; and though your complaint may be quite justified and well founded, the person involved must be given the opportunity to respond to any of the issues that you raise.
For complaints relating to dissatisfaction with courses, fees, or the university itself, you can also attend the Education Action Team (EAT) to discuss your complaint with other concerned members. EAT also looks at ways to remedy any individual or systemic teaching and learning problems.
The education action team is a collective who run campaigns about student issues affecting both students at UTS and all over Australia all year round. Please inquire at our reception about joining the EAT.
Special Needs Students
Who are special needs students?
Students who are assessed as being special needs may apply to have special learning and assessment arrangements to assist with subject learning, assignments and exams, including dictionaries in exams. Students who fit into this category include students from non-English speaking backgrounds; students with carer’s responsibilities; and students with an ongoing illness or disability.
Talk to your Faculty Liaison Officer about your special needs status or drop by the student association and discuss this with a caseworker. We can refer you to the special needs unit of Student Services.
Special Consideration (and extensions)
If you are experiencing circumstances beyond your control which are likely to affect your academic performance, you have the right to 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 all you want is a week (or less) extension for an assignment, talk to your tutor or subject co-ordinator first and see if they are willing give you an extension; if you have valid grounds they cannot unreasonably refuse you an extension.
If however you need more time or that your academic performance will be affected then fill out a special consideration request form; if you have any difficulties with it we can help you out. Or contact student services directly on the 6th floor of the Tower building.
Special consideration forms are downloadable from the uts website, from our office or from student services on the 6th floor of the Tower building.
For assignment extensions longer than one week you must lodge a special consideration before the assessment due date. For exams, if you leave half way due to illness or even if you complete the exam, you only have two working days to lodge your form. However if you miss the exam completely you are given two full days from the exam date to apply online for a special exam.
It is very important to pay careful attention to these time deadlines. You can lodge a ‘late’ application but you must have the Professional Health Authority section of the form completed and you must provide exceptional circumstances for the late application. Our case workers can explain the process for applying for special consideration including a late application.
What is misconduct?
Misconduct can be both academic and non-academic. Academic misconduct includes things like plagiarism, cheating in exams or attempting to cheat, and helping another student to cheat. Non academic misconduct is a breach of discipline under University rules.
The discipline process in dealing with either form of misconduct is essentially the same and involves firstly being given notice of the alleged misconduct and then attending either a formal hearing or an informal one under the university student minor infringements policy (which mainly deals with minor cases of plagiarism). The penalty depends on the severity of the offence, whether you plead guilty early, or are found guilty. For a full and comprehensive description on what constitutes academic and non-academic misconduct visit the uts website and search academic misconduct; it should come up under Section 16 of UTS student and related rules and policies.
What can the Students Association do?
We are the student representative body on campus; therefore If you have had an allegation of misconduct made against you please make an appointment with our advocacy caseworker who can advise you of your rights, give you information on the university procedures that you will be facing, and help you to develop or present your case. If necessary we can accompany you during every stage of the process at any meeting, or hearing or appeal stage.
Staff members who report misconduct cannot decide whether you are guilty or not; and cannot impose any penalty; there are proper procedures that must be followed and students are entitled to be treated with dignity and courtesy; also, under the rules a student is entitled to procedural fairness in the handling of an allegation of student misconduct including any appeal.
The university owes you special obligations under the Education Services for Overseas Students legislation (ESOS) and the National Code of Standards. Inquire at UTS International about your ESOS compliance Officer in your Faculty or drop into our office to discuss your rights.
Appeals against EXCLUSION
If you are not progressing at an adequate level academically, the university can discontinue your enrolment; this is called a notice of exclusion and they are usually sent out in the Spring Semester of each year when final results are published.
To progress though university there are certain benchmarks you must meet each semester. A student who is failing subjects may be placed on academic caution and be offered academic support. It is a good idea to take advantage of the supports offered since this may not only improve your marks but you may avoid being excluded.
If you are a coursework student (undergraduate and postgraduate) you may have received an exclusion notice because:
• you did not pass 50% of your enrolled credit points since the commencement of your course; or (postgrad students) you failed more than the allowable subjects for your course;
• You failed a subject for the third time and have been refused permission to re-enrol;
• 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.
When should I lodge an exclusion appeal?
If you have been excluded the university must send you an exclusion package by email and by post; the package will inform you of the deadline for lodging your appeal and contain a sample appeal letter. The deadline is usually around the 3rd week of the following New Year. It is always worth lodging an appeal because the reasons you provide may get you readmitted.
What the Students’ Association caseworkers do
Our caseworkers can help you formulate your appeal. They can explain the process of exclusion in detail and help you undertake all the possible steps to try to get you readmitted. They will provide you with information sheets and a more comprehensive template appeal letter
To make an appointment please contact us on 02 9514 1155 or come into the office, room 22, level 3 Tower Building 1, Monday - Friday 9am-4:30pm
We request that you prepare a draft Exclusion Appeal letter and bring this to your appointment both printed and on a USB. A template for Exclusion Appeal letters can be found on the UTS website or by going to the links provided in the Notice of Exclusion letter/email sent to you by the University.
A information sheet about exclusion from the UTS Students' Association can also be found below.