Academic Appeals

The appeals process is intended to allow students to ask the university to review the decision made on their academic decision.

An Academic Appeal can be made in relation to fairness of procedures or facts of a case; however, there must be something which has materially affected the student’s performance.

Who can appeal?

Students, both undergraduates and postgraduates may appeal against the decision on many matters such as progression, extenuation, assessments as provided by Part 7 Academic Appeals Regulations.

For Research Degree Students they need to refer to Part 9 – Research Degree Regulations.

Academic Judgement

It should be noted from the outset that students cannot appeal against academic judgement. This means they cannot simply say they disagree with their grade unless they can demonstrate one or more of the appeal grounds.

In the view to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Students in Higher Education (OIA), academic judgment is a judgment that is made about a matter where only the opinion of an academic expert will suffice.

Is my case an appeal or a complaint?

A complaint is usually about a lack of service, either concerning the conduct of a member of staff, the delivery of a programme upon a service provided by our University.

An appeal is where you feel that an assessment was not conducted in accordance with the current regulations or there has been some material error or some other material irregularity relevant to the assessments has occurred.

The university would then review the decision as to whether the student’s decision was fair or requires further investigation.

The procedure

The formal procedure is divided into two parts, an investigation stage and a review stage.

  1. Formal Conciliation with Chair of Assessment Board
  2. Panel Review/ Panel Hearing

Extenuation Circumstances

If you did not submit an extenuation by the deadline date for extenuation, you can submit an appeal.

This can only happen if you can prove that you had extenuation circumstances but could not apply for extenuation by the deadline date due to an illness or another good reason that related to the student’s circumstances. Supporting evidence will need to be provided to demonstrate why you was unable to claim extenuation within the specified timeframe.

For extenuation cases you do not have to meet with the chair. After submitting an appeal, they will get back to you within 5 days.

Progression Cases

If you have received a progression decision that you are not satisfied with, you can submit an appeal but should provide good reasons for why they do not agree with the progression decision. Students are encouraged to speak to their programme leaders if they are unclear about why they have received a progression decision they are not sure about.

What are the grounds of appeal?

To appeal you must demonstrate that you meet one or more of the following grounds. There are six grounds of appeal in the appeals policy, which are listed as follows:

a) If there had been a material and significant administrative error in the information received and considered by the Extenuating Circumstances Officer, the Assessment/Progression Board and/or the Board of Examiners.

b) If the assessments had not been conducted in accordance with the approved regulations for the programme of study.

c) If some other material irregularity had occurred in the procedures of the Extenuating Circumstances Officer, the Assessment/Progression Board and/or the Board of Examiners.

d) If the student had been prevented from attending an exam or submitting coursework by illness or another good reason that related to the student’s personal circumstances but could not apply for extenuating circumstances by the deadline.

e) For a student with a disability or additional need, the initial needs assessment was not correctly carried out, or the support identified was not provided, or the agreed assessment procedures for that student were not implemented.

Stage 1 – Submitting an appeal

You should raise your appeal as soon as possible and no more than 10 working days after the publications of results.  The way to do this is by completing the appeal form which can be found here.

The appeal form contains 5 pages; however, you can ignore Section one on Page 2 as this would be completed by the chair at the conciliation meeting.

Page 1 – Student Details

You will need to complete all the basic details that this section requires you to complete. Please ensure that you provide a valid email, if you are withdrawn from the university it is best to provide a personal email.

Page 2 – Consideration of Appeal by the Chair

Please leave this area blank for the chair to complete at the conciliation meeting.

At section (A) they will input the decision they will make following the conciliation, and the reasons behind the decision.

At section (B) – this is to be completed by the extenuation panel for students who have submitted an appeal under extenuation ground.

At Section (C) – this is for the student to complete once they have received the outcome of the decision of the conciliation meeting.

Page 3 – Section 2 – Details of assessment giving rise to appeal

You will need input module codes, year and term and the decision as it appears on moodle.

Under grounds of appeal you should tick the relevant box(es) to indicate which ground you wish to rely on.

You should then state the results published on Moodle and when this was published.

You should then state when the results were published on Moodle.

If your appeal is late you must explain why you were not able to submit the appeal within the appropriate time. Your explanation should cover the whole period starting from when your appeal was due, until the current date. You should refer to any evidence you might have to support why your appeal is being submitted late.

Page 4 – Section 3 – Details of your Appeal

In this section there are three boxes:

List the publication that you feel were breached in relation to the assessment

For example, if you feel the university did not follow their Assessment and Feedback Policy then you can list the regulations and the sections you wish to rely on

Clearly state the grounds of appeal and explain the version of events which led you to submit the appeal

It is important that you highlight the key and relevant facts in a chronological order and list any arguments you wish to raise in a clear and succinct manner. Please note that writing information that is not related to the appeal can convolute your appeal.

What evidence do you have to support your appeal?

Its is important that your evidence is in support of the arguments you made and should support the arguments you make. Here you will need to list all the evidence you wish to rely on and attach it when you submit your appeal. You can number each piece of evidence so that it is easy to refer to once you are at the conciliation hearing, and it also helps the person reading your appeal to understand your appeal clearly.

 

 

Page 5 relates to the declaration and it is important that you read the sections and tick the boxes and then sign and date your appeal.

Where do I submit the appeal form?

You can send this by email on appeals@uel.ac.uk or to Complaints and Appeals Officer, Governance and Legal, University of East London, Docklands Campus, 4-6 University Way, London, E16 2RD.

Formal Conciliation

Upon receiving the appeal, the complaints and appeal team will review your claim. They will then decide whether the case can be referred to the chair for formal consideration. The chair will convene a conciliation meeting to hear the appeal within 10 days of the appeal being received.

During this meeting the chair will listen to the student and the issues that they have raised in the meeting. They will review any evidence that has been provided and discuss this with the student.  Following this meeting the chair can do either of the following:

  1. To allow the student to re-sit the relevant component uncapped:
  2. To amend the progression decision
  3. To allow the student to continue to the course retaking module in the next academic year
  4. To dismiss the appeal

If following conciliation, a student wishes to progress their appeal to the next stage of the procedure, they should sign the appeal form at section one and forward it to appeals@uel.ac.uk within 5 working days of receiving the Chair’s decision. 

Panel Review Request

The student can make a request for a panel review if they are not satisfied with the formal conciliation outcome. There can make the request of the following grounds though not exhaustive, there may be other compelling reasons:

  • A review of the procedures followed at the formal stage
  • A consideration of whether the outcome was reasonable in all the circumstances
  • New material evidence which the student was unable for valid reasons, to provide earlier in the process

How to draft a Panel Review Request?

You will need to write a statement which covers the following:

  1. The decision that was made by the university
  2. Brief summary of the grounds of appeal (Please refer to page 7 of the policy for more detail)

Can the Student' Union represent me?

If you require advise on appeals, please visit this page and book an appointment, or complete our Contact Form.

If you have a conciliation meeting you can arrange an Adviser to come with you by letting us know when you have the date, time and location of your meeting. We will endeavour to arrange for an Adviser to attend but this is not guaranteed, and you must give us at least 48 hours’ notice.

At this meeting you should bring along all information, documents and evidence regarding your appeal. You should explain your position and explain how you believe your appeal can be resolved.

Regardless of the outcome of your meeting, you should write to the member of staff afterward and request a written outcome.

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the meeting and do not think your appeal has been resolved, then please get back in touch with us for further advice. If appropriate, we can advise you on how to lodge a formal appeal.

How to draft a strong appeal?

This guidance may help you to prepare your appeal.