The University Senate is the peak governing body of the University.

Student appeals relating to a number of academic matters are considered by one of Senate’s committees: the Senate Student Appeals Committee (SSAC).

Information about the SSAC appeals process is outlined in the sections on this page. Please note that other complaints are handled through the student grievance resolution process.

When can I appeal?

The Senate Student Appeals Committee (SSAC) hears appeals relating to:

  • Academic standing and showing cause (i.e. section 5 of the Academic Progression Procedures).
  • Assessment matters.
  • Admission to programs not governed by the Admissions and Enrolments Policy.
  • Decisions made by an Executive Dean (or their nominee) directly affecting the student appealing.
  • Decisions made by the Dean of the Graduate School (or their nominee) relating to the administration of HDR programs.
  • Decisions made by the President of the Academic Board relating to changes to a finalised result.
  • Decisions not to award an OS-HELP loan.
  • Decisions to cancel a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship, a UQ Excellence Scholarship or a UQ Merit Scholarship.

The SSAC reviews and decides the outcome of appeals. There is no fee for lodging an appeal.

The SSAC does not hear complaints about all matters. See the Grievance Resolution Process page if your complaint does not fit into one of the categories outlined at the beginning of this section.

Grounds for appeal

When you appeal to the SSAC, you must have grounds. This means you can either:

  • supply new or additional information to support your case, or
  • develop and substantiate an argument about why the original decision did not comply with university policies, rules or procedures.

If you are appealing against the application of a rule or policy, you must:

  • explain why you think the rule or policy was applied unfairly in your case, and
  • give reasons why you think the decision should be reviewed.

The SSAC will determine whether or not the rules or policies were applied fairly in your case.

Your enrolment during the appeal process

Your enrolment will be maintained throughout the Senate appeal process.

If you are appealing a decision that affects your enrolment at the University (e.g. a show cause decision), you are allowed to remain enrolled on a provisional basis while your appeal is pending.

Please note that during the appeal process you cannot enrol in a course or program if you haven't met the prerequisites or academic requirements for that course or program.

If you have any questions about provisional enrolment during the SSAC appeal process, please email the Assistant Secretary: studentsenateappeals@uq.edu.au

Before you appeal

You must follow protocol before appealing to the Senate Student Appeals Committee (SSAC).

It is your responsibility to read both the:

These will help you to determine whether an appeal to the SSAC is appropriate or if you should submit your complaint or appeal elsewhere.

Please pay careful attention to section 9 of the Student Grievance Resolution Procedures, which explains how to escalate a complaint.

Whenever possible, you should attempt to have your complaint resolved by someone who is closer to the complaint (e.g. someone in your school or faculty), before escalating it higher.

Appeals to the SSAC are only possible once you have explored and exhausted all avenues for appeal within your school and faculty.

Ideally, a complaint should proceed as follows:

Academic standing and showing cause

  1. Decision-maker: Associate Dean (Academic) in your faculty.
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Assessment

The SSAC considers assessment matters such as re-marks. In the case of a re-mark appeal, you would be expected to:

  1. Before appealing: seek feedback from your course coordinator and formally apply for a re-mark. If you want to appeal the re-mark:
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Please note that there are very limited circumstances when you can appeal to the University Senate for matters relating to assessment results (e.g. exam results or assignment marks).

These circumstances are outlined in the Appeals to Senate by Students Policy.

The SSAC does not re-mark work or make any judgements about the academic merit of any work.

The SSAC will only consider whether your appeal meets the conditions outlined in the policy.

The SSAC no longer considers appeals about deferred examinations. See section 9 of the Student Grievance Resolution Procedures for information about appealing deferred mid-semester and end-of-semester exams.

Assessment – Higher Degree by Research students

  1. Decision-maker: Thesis examiners (or other relevant parties).
  2. Before appealing: Meet with your supervisors. If you choose to proceed:
  3. Lodge your first appeal to: Dean of the Graduate School. If you are dissatisfied:
  4. Lodge your second appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Please note that there are very limited circumstances when you can appeal to the University Senate for matters relating to assessment results (e.g. thesis examination).

These circumstances are outlined in the Appeals to Senate by Students Policy.

The SSAC does not re-mark work or make any judgements about the academic merit of any work.

The SSAC will only consider whether your appeal meets the conditions outlined in the policy.

Admission to a program not governed by the Admissions and Enrolments Policy

  1. Decision-maker: Associate Dean (Academic) in the relevant faculty, or the relevant Head of School (please refer to the program rules for the specific decision-maker),
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Please note that there are very limited circumstances when you can appeal to the SSAC for matters relating to entry to a program not governed by the Admissions and Enrolments Policy.

These grounds are outlined in the Appeals to Senate by Students Policy.

Decisions made by an Executive Dean (or their nominee) directly affecting the student appealing

  1. Decision-maker: Executive Dean in your faculty.
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Decisions made by the Dean of the Graduate School (or their nominee) relating to the administration of HDR programs

  1. Decision-maker: Dean of the Graduate School.
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Decisions made by the President of the Academic Board relating to changes to a finalised result

  1. Decision-maker: President of the Academic Board.
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Decision not to award an OS-HELP loan

  1. Decision-maker: Director, UQ Advantage Office.
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

Decision to cancel a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship, Excellence Scholarship or Merit Scholarship

  1. Decision-maker: Chair, Scholarship Show Cause Committee.
  2. Lodge your appeal to: University Senate (Student Senate Appeals Committee).

How to submit an appeal

When you begin to write your appeal, please consult:

These sections clearly explain what information you need to include in your appeal.

Your appeal should consist of:

  • a letter written by you (including your full name, student number, your signature and the date), and
  • any supporting evidence (e.g. copies of a medical certificate, letters, emails, a statutory declaration, etc.)

Address your letter to the:

  • Secretary, Senate Student Appeals Committee.

In your letter you should:

  • explain why you think relevant rules or policies have been unfairly applied in your case, and
  • give reasons why you think a decision should be reviewed.

We encourage you to submit new information or provide additional evidence to support your case.

Please do not simply explain what happened or how particular events unfolded. You must make every effort to back up your claims and your complaint with evidence.

Relevant evidence might include:

  • a medical certificate (if you were sick),
  • an email or correspondence,
  • a letter from a counsellor or psychologist,
  • a police report, or
  • a statement from a relevant authority.

Time limits for appeals

Timeframes for appealing are outlined in section 5.1 of the Appeals to Senate by Students Policy.

Please ensure your appeal is submitted within the appropriate time limits.

Late appeals

If you want to submit a late appeal, you will need to explain in your letter why you were prevented from submitting an appeal on time.

It is at the discretion of the Secretary, Senate Student Appeals Committee (SSAC) to accept a late appeal and only when the Secretary is convinced the delay is reasonable.

Submitting your appeal

Once you've written your letter and have gathered the required evidence, please submit your appeal to:

The Secretary
Senate Student Appeals Committee
University of Queensland QLD 4072
Australia.

Your appeal will be processed according to the timeline outlined in section 5.6 of the Appeals to Senate by Students Policy.

The University welcomes genuine appeals made in good faith and we are committed to providing an effective and transparent complaints management system.

We do not welcome appeals that are trivial, baseless, vexatious, or malicious.

Please do not submit an appeal if your complaint is currently being considered by a different person or division within the University.

Please note that deliberate misuse of the complaints process is considered student misconduct and will be investigated according to the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy.

Help with the Senate appeals process

All students can talk to staff at Student Help On Campus for advice about the appeals process.

Staff can help you prepare your letter and can answer any questions you might have.

If necessary, Student Services staff can also provide you with documents that may support your appeal.

If you've been experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, or other problems, Student Services also offers confidential and free online counselling or face-to-face counselling for students.

Appeal process and outcomes

After you submit your complaint or appeal, it will first be sent to the original decision-maker for comment.

You will receive a copy of the original decision-maker’s comments and you will have the option to submit your own reply to any comments they have made.

When the original decision-maker receives your appeal and is formulating their response, they have the option to reverse their original decision if they believe it is now appropriate to do so.

If the original decision-maker doesn't reverse their decision, your appeal, the decision-maker’s response, and your counter-response will all be provided to the SSAC for consideration.

The SSAC only considers documented appeals – you won't attend an in-person meeting with SSAC.

Once the SSAC reaches a decision, both you and the original decision-maker will be advised in writing.

More detailed information about the appeals process – including specific time frames – is outlined in section 5.6 of the Appeals to Senate by Students Policy.

What if my appeal is dismissed?

If the SSAC dismisses your appeal, you can choose to submit a further appeal to the Queensland Ombudsman.

Please note that the Ombudsman focuses on issues relating to procedural fairness rather than issues relating to academic judgement.