What you need to know about Appealing
If can happen to the best of us, anyone can have an off day or two and before you know it, its impacted your whole future. If you need to appeal a university decision this is what you need to know –
1. Know your deadline
Act fast because I can guarantee you your deadline will be short. The deadline for appealing should at the very least be on the letter telling you have failed in the first instance, if not check the regulations. Still cannot find it? Call the Academic Registry and get them to tell you, via email preferably.
2. Get advice
Once you know the deadline the next thing to do is get legal advice. Of course I am going to say go to a lawyer, better still come to me….But the reason I say this, all too often I have seen students do it themselves or go to their Student Advisor and end up missing the relevant points and making a mess of it. You will save yourself a lot of heartache (and money) if you get good solid legal advice from the outset. We know what we are looking for, what is relevant and how to phrase the appeals. What you may think is not significant could be crucially important and often what students think is relevant I have found, through experience, is not that pertinent to their appeal.
3. Read the Regulations
There will be specific grounds that you can appeal on; you need to make sure you fall within those grounds. Cases can be won on procedural irregularities, you will only know if one has occurred if you read and understand (the hard part) the regulations.
4. Collate evidence
From the moment you decide to appeal you need to make sure you start collating all the evidence that needs to be attached to the appeal. Evidence can be Doctor’s notes, death certificates, email correspondence between you and a tutor, statements, think carefully about what evidence that will enhance your appeal.
Your submission needs to very well-articulated, focusing on the strong elements of your case. Be clear, concise and focused.
6. Unsuccessful – what next?
If your appeal fails, that does not mean it is the end of the matter. On some occasions universities have further rights of appeal. Or if you get a completion of procedures letters you can go to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Just because the university say it “ain’t gonna happen“, does not mean it’s not going to happen…..probably good to get some legal advice again at this stage. If you were savvy enough to instruct a solicitor already, they will advise you at this stage of what to do next!
Just remember that universities get it wrong just as much as they get it right. Do not assume that just because the university said it, that the university is right.