Student Appeal and Complaint Policy
Title: Student Appeal and Complaint
Last Revised Date: 10th April 2023
Policy Version:Vol. 3
The Student Appeal and Complaint Policy outlines the principles and procedures for addressing academic and non-academic complaints and appeals made by students at the university. The university policies describe a set of rules and procedures that must be followed by the university staff and its students, and the policy itself cannot be subject to complaints. However, students who consider the policy to have been incorrectly applied in their individual case may submit a complaint about the breach of policies and its processes.
This policy is designed to ensure that all students have access to a fair and impartial process for addressing their concerns, and to promote a quality education and positive learning environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, or other forms of misconduct. No student will be penalized or disadvantaged in any way as a result of filing an academic or non-academic complaint.
Student complaints: any expression of dissatisfaction or grievance by a student related to the procedures, or services of the university. Student complaints may pertain to academic or non-academic matters.
Academic appeal: process by which a student requests a review of an academic decision made by the university, such as a grade, academic standing, or disciplinary action.
Non-academic appeal: process by which a student requests a review of a decision or action made by the university that does not relate to the student's academic performance, such as a decision related to student conduct, financial issues, or other non-academic matters
This policy applies to all students enrolled at the university, regardless of their program of study or mode of delivery. It also applies to all members of the university community, including faculty, staff, and administrators, education agents or any related party who delivers courses on behalf of the university and everyone who is involved in the complaint resolution process. This policy governs student complaints on academic and non-academic matters and reviews of academic and non-academic decisions.
The following principles guide the Student Appeal and Complaint Policy:
Fairness: All complaints will be investigated and resolved in a fair and impartial manner, without bias or discrimination.
Confidentiality: All complaints will be handled with the utmost discretion and confidentiality, to protect the privacy of the parties involved.
Timeliness: Complaints will be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible, to minimize any disruption to the student's academic progress.
Accessibility: All students have the right to access the complaint resolution process electronically
5. Types of complaint
Eton University differentiates between academic and non-academic complaints and appeals.
5.1 Academic Complaints and Appeals
Academic complaints and appeals involve issues related to grading, assessment, feedback, course content, resources, or other matters related to the student's academic performance.
Students cannot complain about changes in the curriculum, course structure or delivery mode, especially concerning programs delivered in partnership with awarding bodies or other institutions that are subject to 3rd party’s rules and regulations.
Appeals related to grading and assessment feedback can be filed maximum up to 7 days after receiving the grades and feedback. Appeals received after 7 days will not be considered.
5.2 Non-Academic Complaints and Appeals
Non-academic complaints and appeals involve issues related to administration, admission, student services, finance, enrolment, graduation, harassment, discrimination, bullying, or other forms of misconduct.
Financial complaints related to refund requests are governed by and resolved through the “Tuition Fee Policy” clause “Refund -Student’s Right to Cancel or Withdraw”.
6. Complaint Resolution
The university will make every effort to resolve complaints and appeals at the earliest possible stage, and in a manner that is satisfactory to all parties involved. If the complaint or appeal cannot be resolved informally, the university will provide a formal complaint/appeal resolution process that is fair, impartial, and transparent. All complaints and appeals will be documented and retained in accordance with the university's record-keeping policies. The following procedures may be applied:
6.1 Informal Discussion
Informal discussions are encouraged as the first step in addressing a complaint or appeal. The student should attempt to resolve the issue informally by discussing it with the individual(s) involved, such as the instructor or department chair. The complaints and appeals should be raised promptly via email, phone or direct conversation.
The goal of informal discussions is to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the problem, without the need for formal procedures. If the student is uncomfortable with discussing the issue with the individual(s) involved, or If the informal discussions do not result in a satisfactory resolution, the student may pursue formal procedures as outlined in this policy. It is important to note that pursuing informal discussions does not preclude the student from filing a formal complaint or appeal if they are not satisfied with the outcomes.
6.2 Formal Complaint/Appeal
If the issue cannot be resolved at the departmental level, the student may file a formal complaint or appeal by submitting a Formal Complaint/Appeal Form which will be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and investigated by the COO and/or Vice-President, after which they will decide who is the relevant personnel responsible to address the case, such as head of student affairs, academic program manager, or dean. The university expects students to include credible evidence for their complaints, such as written documentation, recorded video, images, or a signed statement from an eyewitness; whichever may be appropriate to support their complaint.
The student will be notified in writing of the outcome, including full details of the reasons for the decision, within 10 working days of their formal complaint/appeal being lodged.
If the student is not satisfied with the decision due to the process being incorrectly followed or criteria incorrectly applied, or there is new evidence available, they may appeal in writing to the Vice-President, whose decision will be final. Appeals on the grounds that the student disagrees with the outcome will not be accepted.
7. Record Keeping
All complaints and appeals, whether they are resolved informally or through formal procedures, must be documented and retained in accordance with the university's record-keeping policies. This documentation should include the following information:
The name of the student or complainant
The date the complaint or appeal was received
The nature of the complaint or appeal
The individuals involved in the complaint or appeal
The steps taken to investigate and resolve the complaint or appeal
Any actions taken to address the complaint or appeal, including sanctions or remedies
The date the complaint or appeal was resolved
These records will be maintained in a secure and confidential manner, to protect the privacy of the parties involved. The university may use this information for the purpose of tracking trends and identifying areas for improvement in its policies and procedures. However, the university will not disclose this information to third parties without the written consent of the student or complainant, unless required by law.