Academic and Non-Academic Grievance Handling Policy and Procedure

1. Overview

1.1 The School of Higher Education Limited (SHEL) aims at meeting and exceeding the needs of our students by our commitment to develop attend and maintain a grievance handling system which is effective, fair and equitable.

This student grievance procedure (identified below) is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to file a grievance, and to provide a process for resolution of the grievance.

1.2. SHEL aims to:

1.2.1. To protect the rights of students and reputation of SHEL

1.2.2. To provide an exceptional service to our current students and potential students

1.2.3. To institute a system that will prevent grievances from recurring

1.2.4. To ensure that there is a consistent response to grievances.

1.2.5. To ensure that any parties involved are not discriminated or victimized

1.3 Students’ grievances may be defined as school-related problems or conditions which a student believes to be unfair, inequitable, discriminatory, or a hindrances to the educational process. It may include academic and non academic matters such as:

1.3.1 Issues with parking

1.3.2 Class schedules

1.3.3 Sourcing of textbooks

1.3.4 The application process

1.3.5 The quality of education provided and the quality of service received

1.3.6 A policy, procedure rule, or grade if discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or age.

1.3.7 Tuition payments

1.3.8 Outstanding fees

1.3.9 GATE application and rejections

1.4 The purpose of this procedure is to ensure consistency and quality in the handling of grievances.

2. Policy Coverage

2.1. The term “complainant” refers to current students and non-current students. Students wishing to express their grievance can do so free of charge. However, students are not allowed to file grievances on behalf of other students where it relates to a personal matter. 

3. Informal Grievance Procedure 

3.1. If a student files a grievance informally by discussing it with the Programme Coordinator or the Programme Manager, the following procedures apply. 

3.1.1 The student shall discuss the grievance fully at each level in the process. 

3.1.2. At each level of authority, a decision shall be made based on common sense and good judgment of a reasonable person. 

3.1.3 Each level may seek the appropriate authority, if necessary, to resolve the grievance.

3.1.4. The entire informal procedure should take no longer than seven (7) days.

4. Formal Grievance Procedures:

4.1. A student who wishes to express a formal  grievance  must submit a written request via e-mail to the Programme Coordinator or Programme Manager.  The student must describe in detail the nature of the complaint.  

However, where the student is undertaking an Australian Institute of Business (AIB) course though SHEL, the student must  proceed with the formal grievance pursuant to the AIB Academic and Non-Academic Grievance Handling Policy and Procedure which is available on the AIB website at http://www.aib.edu.au/policies/Student%20Administration/Academic%20and%20Non-Academic%20Grievance%20Policy%20V6.1.pdf. 

4.1.1. The person who received the email must respond in writing acknowledging the receipt of the report. If the Programme Coordinator received the request, she must then report it to the Programme Manager.

4.1.2.. Upon receipt of the copy of the complaint, the Programme Manager must review the degree of the complaint and report to the Appeal Committee.

4.1.3. The Academic Director will convene and chair the Appeal Committee. 

4.1.4. The Committee must hear the appeal within 10days of the request unless extension is agreed to by both the complainant and the respondent

4.1.5. The Committee will consist of the Academic Director, Administrative Director, Lecturer, Programme Manager, Staff member.

4.1.6. The Appeal Committee will make findings and sends its written decision to the Executive Chairman.

4.1.7. A complainant may seek review of an adverse decision through the Executive Chairman. The decision of the Executive Chairman shall be final. 

4.1.8 During the meeting / interview, the complainant may have the opportunity to be accompanied by a chosen support person who he/she deems trustworthy.

5.  Record Keeping and Confidentiality of Records

5.1. The students’ grievances records will be treated with confidentiality. The retention period for student grievances records will be under SHEL’s Retention and Disposal Policy, which is five years. Anyone who would like to access or review current or previous students’ grievances records will be approved by the Administrative Director.  All records shall be kept at SHEL’s main campus in Rushworth Street, San Fernando.

6.  Approval and Accessibility of the Policy

6.1 This Policy and Procedure is agreed and approved by the Board of Directors. Students will be able to access this Policy and Procedure in the SHEL’s Student Handbook being sent to the student as a part of the welcome package.

Related Forms:

Student Grievance Forms

Responsibility:

Programme Manager

Current Status: Version 2

Approved by Board of Directors

Date of Approval:  December 22, 2016

Previous Version: December 2012

Next Review: (at least 2 years from last review)