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Assessment Appeals Procedure for undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes

INTRODUCTION

This Assessment Appeals Procedure applies to students registered on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. XJTLU students registered at the University of Liverpool (2+2 students) will be subject to procedures in place at the UoL. Nevertheless, where a 2+2 student lodges an appeal against the award/non-award of XJTLU degree, a further XJTLU appeals procedure is detailed in the last section of this document.

Every student within this scope has the right to appeal against a progression decision, an award/non-award, or classification if she/he finds a procedural error or irregularity has occurred, or if there are mitigating (extenuating) circumstances which, for good reason, could not be presented in a timely fashion to the Mitigating Circumstances Committee.

The Assessment Appeals Procedure sets out the grounds whereon and procedures through which students can appeal against decisions taken by the Board of Examiners or the Degree Evaluation Board in relation to their progression, award/non-award, or classification. This includes an appeal against a penalty awarded following a breach of the University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Any questions about module marks or component marks should be addressed to the Module Leader for feedback provision in the first instance which is not covered by this procedure. This procedure does not either cover the following matters, for which separate procedures are in place:

  • Student complaints
  • Disciplinary issues
  • Complaints relating to the Students’ Union

DEFINITIONS

  • The appellant is the student who is making the appeal.
  • A Completion of Procedure Letter (COP) is a letter issued by the Registry to indicate the completion of assessment appeals procedure within XJTLU.
  • A material irregularity is a departure from standard policy, regulations or rules which has a significant impact on the assessment of a student’s work.
  • A material error arises as the result of the improper execution of administrative procedure and has a significant impact on the assessment of a student’s work.
  • The University is Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU).

ASSESSMENT APPEALS PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS REGISTERED AT XJTLU

Section 1: Grounds and Procedures for Lodging an Assessment Appeal

1. A student may appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners or the Degree Evaluation Board on one or more of the following grounds:

  • That there has been a material administrative error or other material irregularity;
  • That assessments were not conducted in accordance with the current regulations governing the course of study;
  • That there was a procedural error in a ruling of the breach of the XJTLU Academic
    Integrity Policy;
  • That performance in the assessment was adversely affected by illness or other significant factors which, for good reason, the student was unable to present to the Mitigating Circumstances Committee.

2. A student may not appeal on grounds:

  • Which have already been considered by the Board of Examiners or the Degree Evaluation Board;
  • Which could have been considered prior to the meeting of the Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board, but the student has no good reason for having failed to present them;
  • Which dispute the academic judgement of the Board of Examiners or the Degree Evaluation Board or the Module Examiner.

3. Before submitting an appeal, the student should consult with the Chair of their home School Board of Examiners, or his/her nominated representative (e.g. the Examinations Officer), in order to clarify any possible misunderstanding about the way in which the decision has been made.

4. Any appeal against a progression, award/non-award or classification decision must be made no more than 7 calendar days after the formal release to the students of the relevant decisions by the Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board respectively.

5. The appeal should be made to the Registry, using an Assessment Appeals Form which is available from the Registry. The appeal will include a written statement and will be accompanied by supporting evidence. If supporting evidence cannot be gathered within 7 calendar days, an appropriate deadline, normally no more than a further 7 calendar days, will be agreed between the Registry Office and the appellant. Appeals on the grounds of illness must include full documentary evidence and state the reasons why this information was not presented in advance to the Mitigating Circumstances Committee. Appeals on the grounds of material irregularity or material error must include a detailed description of the irregularity or error which is alleged to have occurred.

6. Appellants should be aware that there is a strong possibility that the University will be unable to resolve appeals in time for the next scheduled graduation ceremony, or resolve appeals following resit examinations right before the start of the next academic session.

Section 2: Procedure of Paper-based Review

7. The Registry Office will review and determine whether or not the information presented by the appellant constitutes a prima facie case for appeal.

A prima facie case is not established

8. Where the appeal is declined on the grounds that a prima facie case has not been established, the Registry will inform the appellant in writing of the decision.
The appellant has no further right of appeal to the University unless additional information or evidence is gathered within 7 calendar days following the receipt of the letter.

9. A COP letter will be issued by the Registry if no additional information or evidence is received from the appellant in 7 calendar days.

A prima facie case is established

10. Where a prima facie case for appeal has been established, it will be referred to the Deputy CAA Director and CAA Director who will investigate the case and make collective decisions as to whether to uphold or reject the case.

The appeal is upheld.

11. Where the appeal is upheld, action recommendations will be made to the Board of Examiners.

12. The Registry will inform the appellant in writing of the outcome with the actions being made. The appellant has the right to request a review of this decision (see next Section).

The appeal is rejected.

13. The Registry will inform the appellant in writing of the outcome of the appeal. The appellant has the right to request a review of this decision (see next Section).

14. If a review of the decision is not requested within 7 calendar days following the receipt of the outcome letter regardless whether the appeal is upheld or rejected, a COP letter will be issued by the Registry, and the appellant has no further right of appeal to the University.

Section 3: Procedure of the Assessment Appeals Panel Review

15. The appellant may request a review of the decision from Paper-based review no more than 7 calendar days after the receipt of the written decision sent from the Registry. A review may be requested on one or more of the following grounds:

  • The outcome did not take account of all the circumstances;
  • There was a procedural error in determining the outcome;
  • There is new material evidence which, for good reason, the student was unable to provide earlier in the process.

16. If a review of the decision is requested, the review request will be considered by the Assessment Appeals Panel on the basis of paperwork, unless a Hearing meeting is requested by the student and/or deemed necessary by the Chair of the Panel. The terms of reference of the Assessment Appeals Panel and Hearing procedures are detailed in Appendix A.

The appeal is upheld.

17. The Assessment Appeals Panel will make action recommendations to the Board of Examiners (progression) or the Degree Evaluation Board (award/non-award, or classification) as applicable.

18. The Registry will inform the appellant in writing of the outcome with the actions being made. The appellant has the right to request for a review of this decision (see next Section).

The appeal is rejected.

19. The Registry will inform the appellant in writing of the outcome of the review by the Panel. The appellant has the right to request a further review of this decision (see next Section).

20. If a review of the decision is not requested within 7 calendar days following the receipt of the outcome letter regardless whether the appeal is upheld or rejected, a COP letter will be issued by the Registry, and the appellant has no further right of appeal to the University.

Section 4: Further Review Procedure

21. The appellant may request a review of the decision by the Assessment Appeals Panel by writing to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs no more than 7 calendar days after the receipt of the letter from the Registry on behalf of the Assessment Appeals Panel advising the outcome of the appeal. All supporting evidence must also be provided.

22. A review may only be requested on one or more of the following grounds:

  • The outcome did not take account of all the circumstances;
  • There was a procedural error in determining the outcome;
  • There is new material evidence which, for good reason, the student was unable to provide earlier in the process.

23. The decision will normally be reviewed by the Executive President together with the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, purely on the basis of written evidence, and in private. The decision will be affirmed or overturned.

The panel’s decision is affirmed.

24. Where the Executive President and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs affirm the decision of the Assessment Appeals Panel, and determine that there are no grounds for further appeal, the Registry will issue a COP letter to the appellant. The appellant has no further right of appeal to the University.

The panel’s decision is overturned.

25. Where the Executive President and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs overturn the decision of the Assessment Appeals Panel, and determine that there are grounds for the appeal to be re-heard, then a new Assessment Appeal Panel will be convened, with new membership.

26. The new Assessment Appeals Panel will either uphold the appeal, and make appropriate recommendations to the relevant Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board, or reject the appeal.

27. A COP letter with the outcome of the appeal will be issued to the appellant by the Registry. The appellant has no further right of appeal to the University.

28. Should the appellant remain dissatisfied with the outcome of these procedures, then further appeal may be made in writing, with all supporting evidence, to the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool but only with respect to the award of the University of Liverpool degree and only on the grounds that, at the meeting of the Assessment Appeals Panel, the appellant did not have a fair hearing as a consequence of some procedural irregularity.

FURTHER APPEAL PROCEDURES FOR XJTLU STUDENTS REGISTERED AT UoL

29. The University will consider an appeal against a decision related to the award, non- award or classification of a degree from a student enrolled on a degree programme at the University of Liverpool, but only with respect to the XJTLU degree and only when all UoL internal appeals procedures have been exhausted.

30. If an appeal is dismissed at the final stage by UoL, then a student may appeal in writing to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs of XJTLU. All supporting evidence must be provided.

31. Under normal circumstances, an appeal will only be accepted if valid evidence is submitted that the appellant did not receive a fair hearing as a consequence of a material procedural error or irregularity during the UoL appeals process.

32. The decision will normally be reviewed by the Executive President together with the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, purely on the basis of written evidence, and in private. The decision will be affirmed or overturned.

UoL’s decision is affirmed.

33. Where the Executive President and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs affirm the decision of the University of Liverpool, and determine that there are no grounds for further appeal, the Registry will issue a COP letter to the appellant. The appellant has no further right of appeal to the University.

UoL’s decision is overturned.

34. Where the Executive President and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs overturn the decision of the Assessment Appeals Panel, and determine that there are grounds for the appeal to be re-heard, then an Assessment Appeal Panel will be convened, but only in respect to the XJTLU award.

35. The Assessment Appeals Panel will either uphold the appeal, and make appropriate recommendations to the relevant Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board, or reject the appeal.

36. A COP letter with the outcome of the appeal will be issued to the appellant by the Registry. The appellant has no further right of appeal to the University.

APPENDIX A---TERMS OF REFERENCES OF THE ASSESSMENT APPEALS PANEL

1. An Assessment Appeals Panel will normally be convened by the Dean of Learning and Teaching. It will normally consist of the Dean of Learning and Teaching (Chair), and two members who are the Chair(s) of School Learning and Teaching Committee(s) and/or Examinations Officer(s) not from the appellant’s home school. A senior member of Registry will act as Secretary to the Assessment Appeals Panel.
2. The Assessment Appeals Hearing is an opportunity for the appellant to present their case in person to the Assessment Appeals Panel if the appellant feels needed and the Chair of the Panel deems it necessary.
3. Under normal circumstances, the Appeal will be considered by the Panel on the basis of paperwork, and the Panel will receive the following documentation for decision making:

  • The appellant’s completed form and any supporting evidence;
  • Copies of the relevant regulations;
  • Copies of any other relevant information or statements, including the meeting minutes of the relevant Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board, and the appellant’s profile based on which the progression or award result is made.

4. Where upon request by the appellant, the Secretary, in consultation with the Chair of the Panel, may assist to convene an Assessment Appeals Hearing, which will be conducted as follows:

  • All papers presented to the Assessment Appeals Panel will also be provided to the appellant and the Chair of the relevant Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board or their nominated representatives.
  • The appellant has the right to be heard at the meeting, accompanied if s/he wishes by a friend, but s/he may not be represented at the meeting by a lawyer or anyone acting in a legal capacity. The appellant should inform the Registry of the names of the friend and any witnesses who may be called, and is responsible for ensuring that witnesses can attend.
  • The Chair of the Assessment Appeals Panel should inform the Registry of the names of any additional witnesses who may be called, and is responsible for ensuring that these witnesses can attend.
  • Evidence will be taken in the following order:
    a) The appellant
    b) Witness/es in support of the appellant.
    c) The Chair of the Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board or nominee
    d) Witness/es in support of the Chair of the Board of Examiners or Degree Evaluation Board
    e) Final statement of the appellant.
  • Members of the Assessment Appeals Panel may question any person attending the appeal hearing. The appellant and the support person have the right to be present during the taking of evidence. The appellant and the Chair of the Board of Examiners have the right to question witnesses and each other as judged appropriate by the Chair of the Assessment Appeals Panel.
  • The Assessment Appeals Panel will sit in private to consider its decision. Whenever possible, the appellant will be informed of the Panel’s decision at the end of the hearing. In any case, the Registry will notify the appellant of the outcome of the appeal no more than 7 calendar days after the date of the hearing.

(Last review date: 26-May-20)

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