OMBUDSPERSON AND APPEALS
Article 46 Appointment of Ombudsperson
Prior to the start of the academic year, UBI in consultation with Middlesex university appoints an ombudsperson as an independent intermediary between UBI staff and students.
The identity and contact details of the ombudsperson is communicated to students at the start of each academic year.
The ombudsperson shall not be directly involved in grading any students’ academic work, and is not directly involved in teaching the students within the programme.
Article 47 Task Description of Ombudsperson
The ombudsperson functions as an independent intermediary between UBI staff and students, providing an objective advisory role in matters pertaining to both assessment related and non- assessment related issues.
For non-assessment related issues, the ombudsperson plays an advisory role and mediates when necessary in complaints regarding teaching quality and other aspects of the educational environment at UBI. The ombudsperson also receives feedback from student representatives by attending each semester’s Programme Voice Group meeting.
For assessment and examinations, the ombudsperson plays an advisory role and mediates when necessary in a broad range of issues, including but not limited to:
the schedule of examinations and re-assessments
decisions and outcomes of Assessment Board meetings
study progress and award of degree
Article 48 Academic Appeal
An academic appeal is a request from a student for a reconsideration of a decision regarding his/her assessment, study progress or award. An academic appeal relates to the outcome of an assessment or examination, a student’s progression, or other academic decisions, and may be based on:
Extenuating circumstances where, for good reason, the assessment boards were not made aware of a significant factor relating to the assessment of a student when it made its original decision;
That there was a material error, either in the conduct of the assessment itself, or in the proceedings of the assessment boards, which significantly affected the boards’ decision;
Grounds listed in the Academic Integrity and Misconduct (Title II, Section 6), following a penalty imposed for academic misconduct;
Decisions regarding the granting of an exemption and its scope;
The refusal of reasonable accommodations for students with a disability.
For points (a) and (b), an appeal can only be made against a published assessment result, which has been confirmed by the assessment boards.
Article 49 Initiating an Appeal
Following the official notification of results for all weighted assignments and examinations in the semester, a student reserves the right to submit an academic appeal based on one of the grounds listed in Article 48. An academic appeal must be submitted within ten calendar days following the notification of the results / academic outcome.
For appeals that are unrelated to the release of assessment results, the appeal needs to be submitted within ten calendar days following the notification of the decision.
Students need to obtain and complete an Appeals form from the office of Academic Administration. The form will require students to provide a factual description of his/her objections, and attach any supporting documents relevant to the appeal. All completed forms are to be submitted to the office of Academic Administration.
The submission should state an e-mail address which the student can be contacted in a timely manner during the appeals process. This e-mail address will be used for all correspondence regarding the appeal, including the communication of the final decision. If no e-mail address is stated, the student accepts that the e-mail address that is assigned to him by the institution will be used for this correspondence.
While the appeal is processed, the student is allowed to progress and continue his/her studies, unless there are circumstances that prevent this. The appeal and its proceedings are considered to be confidential and are not shared to any third parties before the prior consent of the student.
Article 50 Appeals Panel
The Appeals Panel comprises at least 3 members. They include the Vice-Dean (or Dean) as chair of the panel, and two other senior professors. A party involved cannot be a member of the panel. A non-academic staff member may attend the appeal meetings as a secretary.
The ombudsperson is an advisory member to the meetings.
Article 51 Appeal Proceedings
The Appeals Panel, or Chairperson of the panel, examines and assesses the admissibility of the appeal based on the documents submitted. If the appeal is not admissible, the appeal will be dismissed and the student will be notified.
If the appeal is admissible (i.e. submitted in time with the necessary documents, and against a decision for which an appeal can be submitted), the panel hears the student and obtains information from all parties involved.
The appeal will lead to a confirmation of the original decision or a new decision made by the panel.
The student is notified of the panel’s decision within 20 calendar days starting from the date on which the appeal was submitted. The panel can let the student know within the allowed time period that it will make a decision on a later date.
The documents that the student takes note of in the context of the appeal procedure cannot be used for any purposes other than personal purposes. The student will therefore not be allowed to multiply and/or distribute these documents.
Article 52 Complaints and Grievances
A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction about matters that affect the quality of the student’s learning experience, or about a standard of service provided by UBI.
For educational matters that are not listed within the scope of Article 48, students may consider the following channels to raise a complaint:
Communication with the module instructor or Programme Director as an initial option for an early resolution;
Surfacing the complaint at a Programme Voice Group meeting, where the Middlesex Link Tutor will also be present.
If the issue cannot be resolved through these means, a student can lodge a formal complaint through the ‘Complaints and Grievances’ form, which needs to be submitted to the Special Cases Committee.
The Special Cases Committee will examine the complaint and hear the student and relevant parties involved. The committee makes a substantiated decision within 30 days after receiving the complaint. The decision addresses the validity and severity of the complaint, and recommendations to the Programme Director on a review, if necessary, of the teaching tasks and duties within the programme.