G. College Appeal Procedure

1. Introduction

This section sets out the normal procedure that will be followed when there is an appeal by a student from

1.1  A decision of a Disciplinary Committee under Section D7.

1.2  A decision of a Complaints Committee under Section E3.

1.3  A decision of an Academic Disciplinary Committee under Section F4.4.

1.4  A decision in relation to conditions for return from his/her suspension under Section F5.7.

1.5  A decision in relation to conditions for return from intercalation under Section F6.8.

1.6  An appeal against a decision of the Fitness to Study Panel under Section F7.9.

1.7  A decision in relation to the outcome of a formal complaint of harassment made against a student under the Harassment Policy.

2. Appeal Procedure: general points

2.1       While there are many aspects of this Appeal Procedure which are common to all appeals listed in Section 1 above, there are some differences.  These are made clear in the relevant parts of Section D, Section E, Section F and the Harassment Policy.

2.2       An appeal under this procedure will be by way of review and not rehearing.  The function of the College Appeal Committee is to consider the fairness of the original decision; not to consider the whole matter afresh.

2.3       Pending the completion of this Appeal Procedure the original decision shall be binding, but the Principal may stay the effects of the decision.

2.4       When, in this regulation, communication with a student in writing is required, the normal method is by email to the student’s University email address, and (for students in residence) by paper copy in the student’s pigeon hole.  An email will be regarded as having been delivered to the recipient at the time of sending.

 3. College Appeal Procedure

3.1.1    If a student is unhappy with a decision referred to in Section 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.6 or 1.7 above, he/she may appeal that decision by giving notice of appeal in writing to the Principal not later than 7 days following receipt of the letter communicating the decision.  The notice must set out the grounds for the appeal; the reason for and details of the appeal may vary according to the type of decision appealed against, and are set out in the relevant parts of Sections D, E and F.4.

3.1.2.   In the case of a decision referred to in Sections 1.4 or 1.5 above, where an appeal by the student to the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates has not been granted, the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates shall request the Principal to convene a College Appeal Committee.  The student may appeal to that Committee by giving notice in writing to the Principal not later than 7 days following receipt of the letter communicating the decision of the Senior Tutor/Tutor for Graduates.  The notice must set out the grounds for appeal; the reason for and details of the appeal may vary according to the type of decision appealed against, and are set out in the relevant parts of Sections F.5 and F.6.

3.2       The student may appeal on the following grounds only:

  1. that fresh evidence relating to the facts has become available since the date of the decision. Evidence available but not considered before the decision was made may only be presented with the leave of the College Appeal Committee;
  2. that the procedures for arriving at the decision were not correctly followed;
  3. that the decision is unduly harsh or unfair.

3.3       All College Appeal Committees are convened by the Principal and will consist of four senior members of the College who have not previously been involved in investigating the allegations.  In relation to an appeal from a decision of the Disciplinary Committee, the Academic Disciplinary Committee, or in relation to intercalation, at least two members of the College Appeal Committee shall be teaching fellows holding a College or University post.  The Principal shall appoint one of the members of the Committee as the Chair.

3.4       The Chair will fix a date for a formal meeting of the College Appeal Committee to consider the case.  The student will be notified in writing of the date of the meeting at least 3 working days before the meeting date.  2 working days before the meeting date the student will be provided with a copy of any document to be considered at the meeting and in turn must provide any document he/she may wish the College Appeal Committee to consider.  All such documentation is limited to documents relevant to the grounds of appeal.

3.5       The student shall be entitled to make submissions to the College Appeal Committee in person or by electronic link.  He/she may be represented by any current member of the College, senior or junior (except anyone who has been involved in the matter), or a representative of OUSU, or may ask the Principal to appoint a member of the Governing Body to represent him/her.  Any such representative may speak at the meeting on behalf of the student.  The student and any Fellow acting on behalf of the College shall also be allowed to make written submissions.

3.6       The meeting may proceed if the student fails to attend as notified or to make a submission.

3.7       The purpose of the meeting will be to consider the grounds of appeal and make any relevant decision.  The Chair of the College Appeal Committee shall decide the procedure to be followed, in the light of this purpose and the principles of natural justice.  The Committee may call witnesses and may institute inquiries to assist its deliberations.

3.8       Having considered the matter, the College Appeal Committee will agree its decision by vote; in the event of a tied vote the Chair shall exercise a casting vote.  The College Appeal Committee may affirm or vary the original decision in order to reach an appropriate outcome, taking into account the interests of the College and the student.  If the decision is varied, the College Appeals Committee shall consult the Academic Administrator on the practicality of the proposed variation before agreeing its final decision.

3.9       The decision of the College Appeals Committee, and the reasoning behind it, will be notified to the student in writing within 3 working days of the decision.  The decision will also be reported to the Governing Body.

3.10     An unsuccessful appeal from a decision of the Disciplinary Committee or the Academic Disciplinary Committee that the student be permanently withdrawn from the course requires, as a final stage, confirmation by the Governing Body.  The student will be given 3 working days’ notice of the date of the meeting of the Governing Body and may before that date submit in writing a plea in mitigation of the penalty.  The decision of the Governing Body will be communicated to the student within 3 working days of the meeting.

3.11     If the student is unhappy with the decision of the College Appeal Committee, then depending on the issue he/she may be able to request that the decision is considered by the APPEALS Panel of the Conference of Colleges (CCAT).  The student may appeal to the CCAT not more than 5 days after the decision of the College Appeal Committee.  The Conference of Colleges may be contacted via its Secretariat in the University Offices, or at http://www.confcoll.ox.ac.uk/public/intro.shtml.

3.12     Once the College and any relevant University appeals procedures have been exhausted the student will be given a Completion of Procedures letter by the College.  At that point the student may appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, Second Floor, Abbey Gate, 57–75 Kings Road, READING RG1 3AB; telephone O118 959 9813. There is a time limit for such appeals.     Please note that complaints relating to student discipline and academic matters are also within the scope of the OIA. However, complaints relating to matters of academic judgement (i.e. about academic performance or admissions) cannot be dealt with by the OIA.