2018-19

2018-19

Code of Procedure for Appeals to a College Appeals Committee

(For Undergraduate, Taught Postgraduate and Research Postgraduate Students)

The Code of Procedure for Appeals to a College Appeals Committee is governed by Resolution No. 570 of the University Court which came into effect on 1 September 2006.

27.1  Informal Resolution

Prior to submitting a formal appeal to College, students are advised to discuss the matter with an Adviser of Studies or equivalent, Supervisor, Course Co-ordinator or College Head of Academic & Student Administration (or equivalent) in an attempt to resolve the matter informally. The Students' Representative Council will provide the services of a trained student advocate to assist or to represent a student in seeking an informal resolution. A copy of the Code of Procedure for Appeals shall be provided to the student and to their representative.

27.2  College Appeals Committee - Jurisdiction

27.2.1  The jurisdiction of the College Appeals Committee shall comprise all academic decisions concerning progress, assessment or award other than decisions taken in respect of proceedings under the Code of Student Conduct (Regulation 32), the Complaints Procedure (Regulation 29) or the Procedure for Determining Fitness to Practise (Regulation 36).

27.2.2  The Committee shall not have authority to alter an academic decision. If relevant factors are raised by the appeal which should have been made known to the Board of Examiners or which the Board failed to take into account, the Committee shall instruct the Board to reconvene to reconsider the assessment.

27.2.3  The Committee shall not have authority to permit the resubmission of a thesis for a degree by research where a Committee of Examiners following due process, has recommended rejection of the thesis or resubmission for a lower degree. If the appeal reveals failure on the part of a College to meet the standards set by the Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Degrees, the student may raise a complaint under the Complaints Procedure contained in Regulation 29 of the University Calendar.

27.3  Lodging an Appeal

Time within which an appeal is to be lodged and late appeals

27.3.1  Where an appeal lies against an academic decision in terms of §26.3; Definition of an Appeal, the appeal or an intimation of intention to appeal shall be submitted in writing to the College Head of Academic & Student Administration (or equivalent) for the attention of the Head of College within 10 working days[1] of the intimation to the student of the decision against which the student is appealing. Where an intention to appeal is submitted, the full appeal including the grounds and the remedy shall be submitted within 20 working days of the date of the letter intimating intention to appeal.

27.3.2  An application for an extension of time for submitting (i) an intimation to appeal beyond 10 working days, or (ii) a full appeal letter beyond 20 working days, or (iii) a reinstatement request following a dismissal by preliminary disposal beyond 10 working days, shall be made in writing to the College Head of Academic & Student Administration (or equivalent) for the attention of the Head of College and shall include sufficient information concerning the nature of the appeal, shall state the grounds on which an extension of time is sought and be accompanied by such evidence of medical or other adverse personal circumstances as are relevant to the application.

27.3.3  The timescale of 10 working days to intimate an intention to appeal combined with 20 working days to submit an appeal is designed to provide sufficient time for preparation of the appeal. Appellants are responsible for ensuring that arrangements such as; consultations with representatives, and data requests made under Data Protection or Freedom of Information legislation, are initiated at the beginning of the process. In considering any request from an appellant for an extension to the normal timescale for submission of an appeal, the timeliness of the appellant's own actions will be taken into account.

27.3.4  An application for extension of time for submitting an appeal, or an intimation to appeal, shall not be granted unless the Convener of the College Appeals Committee is satisfied that the student was precluded from appealing within 20 working days, or intimating the appeal within 10 working days, as a result of serious illness or other circumstances which are both exceptional and relevant to the appeal.

27.3.5  A letter of appeal or other documents required for the consideration of an appeal shall be treated as having been given or sent on the day that it is received by the College Head of Academic & Student Administration (or equivalent); and any letter or document sent to any person including the student in connection with the appeal shall, if sent to the person's last notified address, be treated as having been given or sent on the day that it was posted.

Grounds for Appeal

27.3.6  A College Appeals Committee shall entertain an appeal against a decision of an academic body only on the following grounds:

i)   unfair or defective procedure;

ii)  a failure to take account of medical or other adverse personal circumstances;

iii)  there are relevant medical or other adverse personal circumstances which for good reason have not previously been presented.

27.3.7  In the case of a claim of unfair or defective procedure, evidence in the form of written statements or formal documents such as the Minute of the Board of Examiners must be provided. Advice on a subject data access request can be obtained from the Data Protection Office at:

https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/dpfoioffice/a-ztopics/subjectaccessrequestsar/

27.3.8  In the case of a claim of a failure to take account of medical or other adverse personal circumstances, the student shall be referred to §26.3; Definition of an appeal.

Content of a letter of appeal to a College

27.3.9  A letter of appeal should be concise and shall state:

the name and address of the student and the telephone number and email address;

the decision appealed against;

all the grounds for the appeal: additional grounds may be admitted subsequently only at the discretion of the Convener; additional grounds presented at a hearing may lead to adjournment of the hearing;

the remedy or remedies which the student seeks;

the name and address of any person whom the student has appointed as a representative or who will accompany the student at the hearing;

whether the student wishes to be present at an oral hearing or whether they are content for the appeal to be considered without their presence.

Evidence of medical or other adverse personal circumstances

27.3.10 A student who wishes to appeal on grounds of medical or other adverse personal circumstances shall provide a medical report[2] from their General Practitioner, or Hospital Consultant. The medical report shall detail the severity, duration and possible impact of the medical condition on the student's academic performance. Where the student wishes to appeal on the grounds of adverse personal circumstances, a written statement by an independent witness must be provided. The report shall detail the severity, duration and possible impact of the circumstances.

27.3.11 Where the student has failed to notify the Head of School of medical or other adverse personal circumstances in compliance with §16.46 of the Code Assessment, the letter of appeal shall contain a statement explaining the exceptional circumstances which prevented notification within the stated time.

27.4  College Appeals Committee - Constitution

27.4.1  Each College shall establish a College Appeals Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) which shall have full powers to decide appeals.

27.4.2  The Committee shall be constituted as follows:

i)   The Committee shall be convened by the Head of College or their nominee.

ii)  Up to 14 members will be drawn from the membership of the College, with representation from each of the Schools within the College. The membership will be individuals with experience of assessment, teaching and supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate (including research) levels. One member shall be appointed as the Vice-Convener.

iii)  Members of other College Appeals Committees of the University may also be co-opted onto the College Appeals Committee to hear specific appeals with the proviso that they must not have had any involvement with the academic decision being appealed against.

27.4.3  The membership of the Committee shall be reported to Senate annually. Members shall normally serve for a period of three years.

27.4.4  No member of the Senate Appeals Committee shall be entitled to serve on the Committee. Where a member of the Committee has participated directly in the decision appealed against, that member shall not sit for that individual appeal. A member of the College Appeals Committee may not sit on an appeal hearing where they have been party to an earlier dismissal of the appeal under preliminary disposal.

27.4.5  The quorum of the Committee to consider a specific student appeal shall be three; this shall comprise the Convener, plus at least two members who can each be drawn from either section (ii) or (iii) in §27.4.2.

27.4.6  The Committee may have the assistance of a legal adviser.

27.4.7  The College Head of Academic & Student Administration (or equivalent) or their nominee shall act as Clerk to the Committee.

27.5  Consideration of Appeals

Power to give directions

27.5.1  The Head of College or their nominee may direct the student (or their representative) or any party to the proceedings to furnish additional evidence, information or explanation as may be thought to be appropriate.

27.5.2  A direction to the student (or their representative) shall state the period of time by which the student shall respond in writing following which the appeal may be dismissed by the Head of College or Convener of the College Appeals Committee.

Preliminary disposal

27.5.3  The Head of College or their nominee in consultation with two members of the College Appeals Committee may make a preliminary disposal in order to accelerate a decision or where the student is no longer available for a hearing[3]. The Convener of the Committee may:

i)   dismiss the appeal because the subject-matter does not fall within the scope of §27.3.6;

ii)  dismiss the appeal because no competent grounds have been stated or because the appeal is frivolous or vexatious or because the appeal is out of time or because the student failed to comply with a direction made;

iii)  dismiss the appeal because it does not establish a prima facie case that the decision appealed against involved defective or unfair procedure, or a failure to take relevant evidence of adverse personal circumstances into account;

iv) dismiss the appeal because the evidence submitted could reasonably have been presented to the Board of Examiners or other academic body;

v)  refer the appeal directly to the appropriate academic body responsible for the application of the progress regulations or to the Board of Examiners with whatever guidance or direction they consider appropriate;

vi) refer the appeal to a full hearing before the College Appeals Committee. Provision of a hearing does not imply that a prima facie case has been established.

27.5.4  The Convener of the Committee may also take such other interim action by way of direction as they deem appropriate.

27.5.5  The Clerk to the Committee shall state in the letter to the student (or their representative) intimating the outcome of the preliminary disposal the reasons for the decision and shall provide the papers which were considered by the Committee.

27.5.6  An appeal which has been dismissed under preliminary disposal may be reinstated if the student (or their representative) makes representation stating that the College overlooked an aspect of the original appeal. The representation and the reasons shall be made in writing within 10 working days of the date of letter intimating the outcome of the preliminary disposal. The Head of College shall nominate a member of the College Appeals Committee, who was not party to the decision made by preliminary disposal, to decide whether the appeal shall be reinstated. An appeal can only be reinstated if it is shown that the College did not consider one or more aspects of the original appeal. In cases where the student considers there to be new evidence relevant to the appeal, or that the disposal of the appeal by College was manifestly unreasonable or involved defective procedure, the student should follow the procedure for appealing to the Senate Appeals Committee.

27.6  Arrangements for a Hearing Before the College Appeals Committee

Timing of the hearing

27.6.1  When a hearing is required, the Committee shall meet within 20 working days of receipt of the letter of appeal.  Where this is not possible the appellant should be informed as soon as possible within the 20 day period and be given the reason(s) for the delay.

Preparation of papers

27.6.2  The Clerk of the Committee shall:

i)   request reports and information including information relating to the manner in which the decision appealed against was reached;

ii)  request the attendance of any person or persons whose presence is necessary for the hearing of the appeal;

iii)  provide the student (or their representative), normally 10 working days in advance of the hearing, with a copy of all papers which will be before the Committee and the names of those persons who will be in attendance. The papers will normally be sent by Recorded Delivery/University Courier or may at the student's request be collected in person.

iv) notify the student (or their representative) no less than five working days prior to the hearing of the date, time and location of the hearing and the names of the members of the Committee who will consider the case.

27.7  Attendance at Hearing

27.7.1  Where the student is prevented from attending by ill health, the hearing shall normally be deferred on submission of medical evidence. If the student does not attend on the date appointed and no notification of the absence has been received, if the Convener is satisfied that the student has received due notice of the hearing, the Committee may proceed to deal with the case and to reach a decision in the student’s absence.

27.7.2  The student shall have the right to be accompanied, assisted or represented at the hearing by one of the following: a parent or guardian; a fellow student or other friend; an Adviser from the Students' Representative Council Advice Centre; a member of University staff, or any other person. Where the student seeks to have two individuals in attendance, one shall attend as an observer only.

27.7.3  The student may name any person or persons they wish to be present to provide evidence on their behalf. The name of any person or persons called by the student to provide evidence shall be provided to the Clerk of the Committee no later than 10 working days before the date of the hearing. The student shall be responsible for arranging the attendance of such persons at the hearing with the exception of members of staff of the University who shall be notified of the date, time and location of the hearing by the Clerk to the Committee.

27.7.4  If any person or persons are unable or unwilling to attend the hearing, the Convener of the Committee shall be responsible for deciding if the hearing should proceed on the date arranged or be deferred. A written statement may be presented by any person who has been invited to attend the hearing but is not available at the date specified.

27.7.5  The hearing shall be held in private. Strict confidentiality shall be observed.

27.8  Expert Advice

27.8.1 Where the Committee requires the advice of an expert to deal with a question of fact or special difficulty, such an expert shall provide a written report and where appropriate shall be invited to attend the hearing to provide evidence.

27.9  Procedure for the Conduct of a Hearing

27.9.1  The Committee shall rely only on evidence presented at the hearing. Unauthorised electronic recordings of previous meetings or events will not be admissible as evidence at the hearing.

27.9.2  The hearing shall be conducted in the presence of all persons invited to attend to provide evidence.

27.9.3  Any unauthorised electronic recording of the hearing is expressly forbidden by the University.

Statements

27.9.4  At the hearing:

i)  The Convener shall invite the student and their representative to make a statement. If the student declines the invitation to make a statement, the Committee shall reserve the right to question the student directly;

ii)  The Committee shall then address any questions to the relevant parties including those appearing to advise the Committee and shall afford the student and their representative an opportunity to question the persons involved through the Convener;

iii)  The Committee shall consider any request from any person present at the hearing to make a statement or to put questions through the Committee to anyone whom the Committee has examined;

iv) The Committee shall afford the student an opportunity to make a final statement or to have one made on their behalf;

v)  The Convener shall seek confirmation from all parties that all necessary and relevant information has been conveyed to the Committee, that the questioning is complete and that in the opinion of the student, the hearing has been conducted in a fair manner.

Deliberation of the Committee

27.9.5  Thereafter all persons except the Committee, its Clerk and any legal adviser appointed to advise the Committee shall retire while the Committee considers its decision. The Committee shall reach its decision or defer the decision pending further investigations.

Rules of evidence

27.9.6  In reaching its decision, the College Appeals Committee shall not be bound by the rules of evidence. The Committee shall attempt to ascertain all relevant facts with a view to coming to a reasonable disposal.

Adjournment

27.9.7  At any stage the Convener may adjourn the hearing if they consider this to be necessary.

27.10 Disposal

27.10.1 The Committee shall decide the matter at the conclusion of its consideration of the appeal or as soon as possible thereafter.

27.10.2 The Committee may decide by a majority.

27.10.3 The Committee may:

i)   dismiss the appeal because the subject matter of the appeal does not fall within the scope of §26.3;

ii)  dismiss the appeal because the decision appealed against did not involve defective or unfair procedure, or a failure to take relevant medical or adverse personal circumstances into account;

iii)  refer the appeal to the appropriate committee or to a Board of Examiners with whatever guidance or direction it considers appropriate;

iv) uphold the appeal and grant whatever remedy it considers fair in the circumstances which does not involve overturning an academic judgement.

27.10.4 The decision and the reasons for the decision, with reference to any findings of fact, will be provided in writing to the student and their representative by Recorded Delivery normally within 10 working days of the decision being determined. If it is not possible to provide the decision and the reasons for the decision within this timescale, the student will be informed of the reason for the delay and a new timescale will be provided.

27.10.5 Where an appeal is upheld, the University shall defray reasonable and proportionate incidental expenses necessarily incurred by the student in the process of pursuing the appeal.

27.10.6 Incidental expenses are those which arose out of the pursuit of an appeal. They might include travelling expenses or photocopying expenses. Expenses should be reasonable and proportionate. The claim should be supported by evidence in the form of receipts. Where the claim relates to travel expenses, these should be at the lowest rate that could be obtained taking account of the circumstances of the claim.

27.10.7 A claim for expenses should be made on a Complaints Expenses form and submitted to the Director of the Senate Office within 20 working days of the date of the letter of outcome of the appeal.

27.11 Annual Review

The College Appeals Committee shall review its proceedings annually.


[1] For the purposes of this Code, Monday to Friday are counted as working days except when the University is closed for a public or other Holiday (as listed at https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/humanresources/all/worklife/publicholidays/public/). Saturdays and Sundays are not counted as working days.

[2] A charge in excess of £20 may be made by a GP for provision of a medical report.

[3] The timing for the consideration and notification of the appeal outcome should not exceed that set for cases considered by a full hearing as specified in §27.6.1 and §27.10.4 of this Code. Therefore the decision should be issued within 30 working days of receipt of the letter of appeal. Where this is not possible the appellant should be informed as soon as possible of the reason for the delay.

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