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Academic Appeals Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To specify the principles governing appeals against an academic decision of the University.


(2) The University is committed to providing transparent, equitable, and consistent mechanisms for students to appeal an academic decision. This Policy (Academic Appeals Policy) reflects the expectations and responsibilities of both the University and its students in the management of an academic appeal.


(3) This Policy applies to academic decisions made by the University affecting any student enrolled in or seeking enrolment in a Macquarie University coursework or research course / program* regarding decisions on:

  1. Admission and Readmission contemplated by the Admission Policy;
  2. Academic integrity breaches or a sanction decision in accordance with the Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Integrity Breach Procedure;
  3. Special Consideration contemplated by the Special Consideration Policy;
  4. Recognition of Prior Learning in accordance with the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy;
  5. Suspension and Exclusion contemplated by the Academic Progression Policy;
  6. Exclusion under the General Coursework Rules (Clause 10(7));
  7. Termination of Higher Degree Research Candidature in accordance with the Higher Degree Research Rules (Clause 14(5));
  8. Decisions relating to the award of PhD, MPhil or MRes degree in accordance with the Higher Degree Research Thesis Preparation, Submission and Examination Policy;
  9. Fitness to Practice requirements in accordance with the Fitness to Practice Procedure;
  10. Procedural irregularities in the outcome of final grade appeals in accordance with the Assessment Procedure; and
  11. Enrolment, leave of absence, suspension of studies, and withdrawal decisions in accordance with the Enrolment Policy, Leave of Absence and Suspension of Studies Procedure, and Withdrawal Procedure.

(4) This Policy does not apply to general or serious misconduct (see Student Discipline Rules and Student Discipline Procedure) or complaints or grievances (see Complaints Resolution Policy for Students and Members of the Public).

(5) *Note – In accordance with the Curriculum Architecture Policy, from 1 January 2020 ‘programs’ are known as ‘courses’.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) The University’s Academic Appeals Panel will hear appeals under this Policy. The Academic Appeals Panel will consist of a Chair and two other members appointed by the Registrar.

(7) The University will endeavour to ensure that procedures for dealing with appeals enable proceedings to be conducted with as little formality and technicality and as quickly as a proper consideration of the matters under consideration permits.

(8) An Academic Appeals Panel's functions are to:

  1. provide an opportunity for a student to make submissions in respect of an appeal that has been referred to the Academic Appeals Panel; and
  2. decide whether the appeal should be upheld; and
  3. if the appeal is upheld, decide what should be done as a consequence.

(9) Any decision of an Academic Appeals Panel is final and there is no further right of appeal within the University.

(10) A student must not pursue any judicial or other review by or make a complaint to, any person outside the University until the right of appeal of the student contemplated by this Policy is exhausted.

(11) Note: A student in respect of whom a decision has been made may complain to the NSW Ombudsman about the decision pursuant to the Ombudsman Act 1974 (NSW) and judicial review of the decision may also be sought from the courts.


(12) Timeframes for submission of an Academic Appeal are articulated in the Academic Appeals Procedure.


(13) The Academic Appeals Panel will report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and to the Registrar.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(14) Refer to the Academic Appeals Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(15) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(16) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.