View current

Academic Administrative Appeals by Students Policy

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The University of Queensland (UQ) is committed to providing an effective system based on best practice for review of its decisions. The Student Academic Administrative Appeals Committee (SAAAC) is the final internal avenue for students to appeal UQ’s administrative decisions on academic matters.

(2) The purpose of this Policy is to establish the Student Academic Administrative Appeals Committee.

(3) This Policy applies to all UQ students, members of the SAAAC, and to UQ staff involved in managing or responding to appeals to the SAAAC.

(4) The Academic Administrative Appeals by Students Procedure (‘Procedure’) set out the jurisdiction of the SAAAC, the requirements for students to appeal to the SAAAC, and UQ’s approach to managing these appeals.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

Membership of SAAAC

(5) The SAAAC is established and will be comprised of the members set out in this section:

  1. Ex officio:
    1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (Chairperson);
    2. Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) (Deputy Chairperson);
    3. President, Academic Board;
    4. President, UQ Union or nominee who is a student; and
    5. Director, Student Services.
  2. Appointed:
    1. three (3) members of the Academic Staff nominated by the Provost and approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President for a term of three (3) years; and
    2. one (1) student representative nominated by the President of the UQ Union and approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President for a term of one (1) year.


(6) A quorum of the SAAAC is three (3) members comprising:

  1. the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson;
  2. at least one student; and
  3. at least one member of Academic Staff.

Reserve Student Representatives

(7) The Vice-Chancellor and President may appoint (in consultation with the President of the UQ Union) students as reserve members of the SAAAC for a term of up to two (2) years.

(8) If the President of the UQ Union (or nominee) and the student representative are both unavailable for a particular meeting, the Chairperson may appoint a reserve student representative to attend that meeting.


(9) The Chairperson may appoint a subcommittee to consider and decide urgent appeals, and to notify the SAAAC of its decisions.

(10) A quorum of the Subcommittee is three (3) members comprising:

  1. the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson; and
  2. two of the following members:
    1. the President of the Academic Board;
    2. an Academic staff member; or
    3. a student.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities


(11) The Senate is responsible for:

  1. approving this Policy and for the approval of any subsequent changes to this Policy; and
  2. monitoring and considering:
    1. trends in appeals generally;
    2. trends in particular categories of appeals;
    3. average time taken to resolve appeals;
    4. rates of dismissal and decisions upheld; and
    5. student demographics.

The Vice-Chancellor

(12) The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for:

  1. approval of the Procedure and any subsequent amendments to the Procedure;
  2. review of this Policy every five years;
  3. appointing three members of Academic Staff to the SAAAC; and
  4. appointing the student representative, and reserve student representatives, after consultation with the President of the UQ Union.


(13) The Provost is responsible for nominating three members of Academic Staff to the SAAAC.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

(14) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is responsible for:

  1. chairing meetings of SAAAC;
  2. the implementation and dissemination of this Policy; and
  3. approval of any guidelines as relevant to give effect to this Policy or the Procedure.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

(15) The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) is responsible for acting as the Deputy Chairperson and chairing the meetings of the SAAAC in the absence of the Chairperson.

(16) In the absence of the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson is also responsible for any other responsibilities of the Chairperson as set out in this Policy and the Procedure.


(17) The Chairperson is responsible for:

  1. ensuring the SAAAC conducts its business efficiently and in accordance with the principles outlined in the Procedure;
  2. selection of a reserve student representative if required; and
  3. appointment of a subcommittee of the SAAAC to consider urgent matters.

Academic Registrar

(18) The Academic Registrar is responsible for:

  1. appointment of a Secretary to support the work of SAAAC;
  2. developing, publishing and disseminating procedures and guidelines as relevant to give effect to this Policy;
  3. instigating regular reviews of the Policy and Procedure; and
  4. overseeing the integrity of records of SAAAC's business.

SAAAC Members

(19) All members of SAAAC are accountable to the Vice-Chancellor and President and responsible for:

  1. exercising their independent judgement in reviewing all appeals considered by SAAAC;
  2. maintaining confidentiality;
  3. ensuring transparency of decision making;
  4. identifying and declaring any potential conflicts of interest to the Chairperson; and
  5. making themselves available for meetings.

Subcommittee SAAAC Members

(20) When formed pursuant to clauses 9-10 of this Policy, the Subcommittee will have all the same roles and responsibilities as the SAAAC as set out in this Policy and the Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(21) The Vice-Chancellor will monitor and review:

  1. the effectiveness of this Policy;
  2. the SAAAC compliance with the requirements of this Policy; and
  3. this Policy’s compliance with relevant legislative requirements.

(22) The Chairperson will:

  1. refer any matters of significance, such as legislative changes affecting the SAAAC, to the Vice-Chancellor; and
  2. provide comprehensive annual reports on SAAAC's business to support the Vice-Chancellor reporting to Senate.
Top of Page

Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(23) The Vice-Chancellor will provide an annual report to Senate of the numbers of appeals heard by the SAAAC, the trends and observations identified in appeal matters as set out in clause 11(b) of this Policy, the effectiveness of the Policy, and the compliance of this Policy with the relevant legislative requirements.

(24) The Academic Registrar will maintain a central repository of appeals to SAAAC, and provide details of UQ decisions made under this Policy to relevant external complaints and review bodies.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Appendix


Term Definitions
Academic Staff Means UQ teaching and research staff, other than research assistants, and UQ staff whose instrument of appointment by the Senate states they are members of academic staff.
Appeal An application made by a student to have a decision reviewed.
Decision A decision reached by the initial decision-maker after evaluation of facts in accordance with a UQ policy, procedure or rule.
External Complaints and Review Bodies An external body authorised by Australian law to investigate complaints about UQ’s actions and decisions, such as the Office of the Queensland Ombudsman, Australian Human Rights Commission, Queensland Human Rights Commission, and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Initial Decision-maker The officer or body authorised by UQ to make the decision.
Senate The governing body of UQ.
SAAAC The Student Academic Administrative Appeals Committee.