Student Grievance Resolution
If you have a grievance because of a decision or action by a University of Adelaide staff member or the action of one or more University of Adelaide students, we will do our best to help you resolve the grievance.
The Student Grievance Resolution Process is available to all students at minimal or no cost.
If you are an international student, the University is required to maintain your enrolment while your Stage 3 Appeal is ongoing (and in some cases while your Stage 4 Appeal is ongoing).
Stages of the Student Grievance Resolution Process
Stage 1 - Informal Discussion
Discuss the grievance with the person directly responsible.
Stage 2 - Formal Review
Lodge a formal complaint with the supervisor of the person directly responsible, or other appropriate person as identified by a Student Grievance Adviser.
Stage 3 - Appeals
Internal appeal or review by Students Grievance and Appeals Committee. Lodge an appeal or a request for review with Student Affairs.
(Stage 3 is not available for Administrative grievances about HECS/FEE/OS-HELP remissions or SLE re-credits.)
Stage 4 - External Review or Appeal
External appeal or review. Lodge a grievance with an external agency.
Types of Grievances
- Academic Decisions – grievances about decisions which involve the exercise of academic judgement
- Administrative Decisions, Services or Facilities – grievances about decisions on administrative matters, the quality of administrative service or the provision of facilities
- Unfair Treatment – grievances about student behaviour as well as grievances about staff behaviour
- Harassment and Discrimination - grievances about harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination or racial discrimination/vilification. These often relate to deeply personal and sometimes traumatic incidents, and students are advised to first seek further information and support before lodging such a grievance.
For grievances about Research Conduct, see the Research Code of Conduct Procedures.
The University of Adelaide's Student Grievance Resolution Process is intended for use by all students who have a grievance against the University, whether the students are on-shore or off-shore, domestic or international, undergraduate or postgraduate, on-campus or studying externally.
However, it is important to note that using the Process will not always mean that the University will reverse a decision, end the complained of behaviours or right all perceived wrongs. There are practical limitations on the scope and effectiveness of the resolution process, including:
An action or decision may not be unreasonable or unfair simply because you disagree with it, particularly when academic judgement is involved.
Some grievances are directly linked to the availability of resources and may not be resolved due to limitations such as budget - for example, a grievance with the size of tutorial classes or availability of computing facilities.
If you are considering beginning the Student Grievance Resolution Process, read the Confidentiality requirements before you start.
- Access to Stage 4: External Review or Appeal
The University of Adelaide’s Student Grievance Resolution Process does not inhibit the right of any student to take their grievance directly to Stage Four, ie to seek external appeal or review. Note that external agencies generally expect you to have exhausted the University's internal grievance resolution processes first.
If a grievance is the subject of formal external enquiry or legal action, the application of Stages 1-3 of the Student Grievance Resolution Process will be suspended until the external enquiry or action is completed.
This Student Grievance Resolution Process has been designed to:
- be compliant with s.19-45(1) of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) and Standard 8 of the National Code under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth)
- be consistent with AS ISO 10002-2006, Customer Satisfaction-Guidelines for complaint handling in organisations
- conform with the principles of Procedural Fairness
- Authority to Change Student Grievance Resolution Process
Changes to this process may only be made by authority of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), except that changes to titles, names, references or links may be approved by the Manager, Student Affairs.