Terms of Reference
The Student Academic Appeals Committee (the Committee) hears academic appeals by students pursuant to Section 8.4(d) of the Ordinances relating to (a) progression from one part of the programme of studies to the next; or (b) the outcome of examinations or formal course assessments; or (c) where a student who is dissatisfied with the level of attainment and has new and relevant information concerning matters which might have affected that student's performance
The academic appeal procedure may be invoked where a student disagrees with the outcome of a review hearing held in accordance with Regulation 17 and wishes further evidence or procedural irregularities to be considered; and where, in accordance with Regulation 17.44, the Secretary to Senate deems there is sufficient grounds.
No person may be called to give evidence in the case, or who has had had a previous involvement with the case, may serve on the Committee.
The Secretary to Senate will appoint a Secretary to the Committee who will have no vote.
Powers and Discretion of the Committee
In any particular case the Committee will have discretion to modify the procedure and time limits set out in its Terms of Reference if it considers that the interests of all parties would be better served by such modification.
The Committee may look at any and all papers within the University which are owned by or which are in possession or control of the University. The Committee also has the right to call upon any person on its own motion to give evidence relating to the subject matter of the appeal. The student may request the Committee to call for relevant papers which have not been made available to him or her and the Committee, subject to the provisions of Section 28.2 of the Statutes, as an absolute discretion, without giving any reason, whether to make such papers available to the student.
The hearing will take place on a date as convenient as possible for all parties. This will not normally be later than 30 days from the determination by the Secretary to Senate that there are sufficient grounds for appeal. At least 7 days' notice of the hearing will be given to the student.
The student may attend the hearing and has the right to be accompanied by, or represented by, a friend or adviser. If the student fails to attend the hearing, having had notice of the time and place, the Committee may base its deliberations on the student's written submission and other records of the University. For this reason, the student's written submission should cover all matters which the student wishes to raise.
The procedure of the hearing will be at the Committee's entire discretion. The Chair, in consultation with members of the Committee, will have discretion to decide at what point the student (and any friend or adviser) and the witnesses will be invited to attend the hearing and at what point they will be asked to withdraw. The hearing will not normally last for more than one working day. The normal procedure will be for the student or his or her representative to begin by explaining the grounds of appeal. This explanation will be based on the notice of appeal submitted, although the Chair has discretion to widen the areas considered.
The student may introduce witnesses in support of his or her case. The witnesses may be questioned by the student and by the members of the Committee.
The Committee has discretion to admit or exclude witnesses in the interests of the parties and of fairly hearing the appeal. If it appears to the Chair (after consulting with members of the Committee) that the appeal cannot satisfactorily be dealt with without hearing the evidence of other persons then the hearing will be adjourned to enable further witnesses to appear. The adjournment will not normally be for a period longer than 30 days. If the persons cannot or will not attend the hearing the Chair may decide to dispense of their evidence. There will normally be no further adjournments.
The Committee may consult any independent third party for advice on any relevant question and may invite such a person to sit with the Committee during the hearing and during its deliberations.
If the student submits medical evidence, the student will, if the Committee so requires, undergo a medical examination by a medical practitioner nominated by the Committee.
The Committee will consider the evidence, written and oral, put before it (including any matters of mitigation) and decide whether or not to uphold the appeal of the student.
The decision of the Committee will be final, except where this decision would result in the student's degree classification being altered. In such cases the Committee will make a recommendation to Senate for consideration.
The Committee will make its decision by simple majority of those present and voting. In the case of an equality of votes, the Chair will have a second or casting vote.
A concise record of the appeal hearing will be made available to the student. Written notification of the Committee's decision will be sent to the student by the Secretary to Senate. This will normally be within 14 working days of the date of the hearing.
The Committee will, in addition, submit to the Senate a written report containing its decisions/recommendations, the grounds on which they have been made and any other relevant matters which the Committee wishes to bring to the Senate's attention. The Senate will consider these matters at the next available Senate Meeting.