June 2023: Regulatory Framework Updates

Typewriter with the word "Update"

Please note that the changes listed below have taken effect in the month prior to publication, unless specified otherwise.

The following changes have recently been applied to the University’s Policies, Procedures and Examination Guidance:

The Convention for Classification of Awards Guidance for Examiners 2022/23 has been published replacing the previous guidance. 

The following changes have recently been applied to the Credit Framework:

Credit Framework For Taught Courses of Study: 4.3 amended the minimum credit requirements for major/minor.

Credit Framework For Taught Courses of Study: 4.4 amended the minimum credit requirements for major/major/minor awards. 

Annex 6 (Marking): 3.2 moved under section 4, no changes to content.  

Annex 13: Academic Appeals has been replaced with the standalone Academic Appeals Policy, outside of the Credit Framework: 

Summary of Amendments 

  • The Policy has been amended in-line with the most up-to-date Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIAHE) Good Practice Framework.  
  • The Policy was reviewed in-line with the OIAHE’s 8 principles: accessibility, clarity, proportionality, timeliness, fairness, independence, confidentiality and improving the student experience.  
  • Creation of a standalone Academic Appeals Policy as there is no interdependency with the Credit Framework. 
  • Improved layout by dividing the document into clear sections and removing repetitive wording. 
  • Removed many procedural aspects in order to make the document more concise. 
  • Changed dates from working days to calendars days as this is clearer. 
  •  Removed references to Boards of Examiners and replaced with the generic term, Academic Body. 
  • Created four appendices for further guidance about each type of appeal (ie, Board of Examiners, Academic Misconduct Committee, Attendance and Engagement Policy and Research degrees.  
  • Updated Grounds for Appeal related to prejudice and bias, in-line with OIAHE guidance and in order to provide more precise definitions for each appeal type. 
  • Reduced matters that can be brought to Early Resolution for Academic Misconduct appeals to only where a student is seeking clarification of a penalty. 

General Information about Academic Appeals 

  • Updated wording about frivolous and vexatious appeals in-line with the new OIAHE Good Practice Framework wording. 
  • Added clause about dealing with appeals that raise concerns about protected characteristics. 
  • Amended to allow legal representation at Appeals Panel hearings in exceptional circumstances where agreed by the University. 
  • Added how students who have left the university might appeal, as per the OIAHE Good Practice Framework guidance. 
  • Added that, with the agreement of the student, their appeal outcome may be shared with the Student Conduct and Complaints Office (and vice versa) where this would be informative for the other process. 

 Academic Appeals Process – General Information 

  • Changed Early Informal Resolution (EIR) terminology to Early Resolution (ER) as per the OIAHE Good Practice Framework. 
  • Added graphic to show visual representation of process steps. 
  • Added that evidence to support late submission would normally be required.  
  • Extended turnaround time for Divisions to provide Early Resolution outcome from 7 to 14-calendar days; it was not always feasible for Divisions to investigate and respond within the 7-day deadline.   
  • Extended the Formal Appeal submission deadline from 21 to 28-calendars days in order to accommodate extended ER turnaround. 
  • Extended turnaround time for QACO to provide Formal Appeal outcome from 21 to 28-calendar days; it was not always feasible for QACO to investigate and respond within the 21-day deadline. 
  • More strongly set out expectations for students to attempt ER where appropriate and to have a valid reason if they opt not to. The intention of this is to provide students with the speediest outcome possible. 
  • Explained that academic progression and graduation cannot be guaranteed due to time constraints, and encouraged students to submit asap in order to ensure that a positive outcome can be actioned in time. 
  • Amended ER response to include the option for face-to-face discussions rather than a written response. 

Formal Appeal 

  • Included explanation about the use of self-certification as evidence. 
  • Removed the second Appeals Case Manager from the process in order to be more efficient. 
  • Added that appeals are assessed for level of urgency and will be prioritised accordingly. 
  • The following matters have been included as grounds that do not warrant an appeal; ‘Lack of awareness of the relevant procedure or regulations’ and ‘Matters that would more appropriately be addressed through the complaints procedure’.
  • Expanded on technical conditions to expect students to provide adequate information for Appeals Case Manager to perform an initial assessment and, subsequently, undertake a full investigation.
  • Expanded to explain the meaning of each Formal Appeal outcome. 

Appeal Review 

  • Moved the responsibility of assessing technical conditions for an Appeal Review from Appeals Case Managers to the Academic Chair in order to provide sufficient independence between decision-makers. 
  • Clarified the actions available to the Academic Chair in coming to their decision about the Review outcome. 
  • Added that an Appeal Review Panel will take place within 14-calendar days from the Academic Chair’s decision to convene on.