Academic Appeals

Students need to follow the regulations, expectations and processes relevant to their academic or professional program. These are available through the appropriate UVic website, academic advisor or administrative unit.

The order that you should try to resolve an academic issue is: first, the course instructor; second, appeal to the head of the department; third, appeal to the dean of the faculty; and finally, appeal to the Senate Committee on Appeals.

For the most common types of student appeals at UVic, see the links to policies, procedures and forms. The following are the most common types of appeals:

Grade appeal (Review of an Assigned Grade)

You must first attempt to resolve grade issues directly with your course instructor. You can expect corrective comments and request to view unreturned final exams. Keep copies of all your returned work. If the issue is not resolved with the instructor, you may appeal directly to the Chair of the department or Director of School.

If the attempt to talk to the Chair/Director is unsuccessful, you can submit an official grade review through the Office of the Registrar using the Records Services form normally within 21 days of the grade being available. (There is a $25.00 fee refunded only if the grade is raised.) The grade obtained through a review becomes the final grade, whether it is the same, higher or lower than the original grade.

Each faculty may have a specific procedure available online or from the relevant dean or advising office.

Fee Reduction Appeal

You are responsible for dropping courses you no longer wish to attend. Missing a deadline is not ground for an appeal. Familiarize yourself with academic drop dates as well as fee reduction drop dates. Many summer deadlines are shorter and courses have different drop deadlines. If you miss the fee reduction deadline for reasons such as illness, family or personal affliction or accident, you may appeal to the Fee Reduction Appeal Committee (FRAC). If it is too late for dropping the course online, consider whether you should request an academic concession.

Admission, Re-registration, and Transfer Appeals

The Senate Committee on Admission, Re-registration and Transfer (SCART) reviews appeals from students who were denied admission or re-registration to UVic or who were required to withdraw from UVic because of low GPA (see academic standing flowchart). Please contact the Office of the Registrar for current SCART meeting dates and submission deadlines. In making a decision, SCART adheres strictly to established criteria: see the appeal form or appeal procedures.

Normally, grounds for appeal are limited to:

  1. significant physical affliction or psychological distress documented by a physician or other Health care professional;
  2. ii) evidence of incorrect advice or errors of administration by authorized University personnel, with evidence that the appellant’s studies were adversely affected;
  3. iii) documented significant distress, or documented significant responsibility as a caregiver, as a result of an immediate member of the family suffering from serious trauma or illness.

Tip:  It’s important that you demonstrate that you have made a plan for academic success upon your return to school to demonstrate that you addressed the challenges that impacted you during probation.

Academic Concessions:

Students are encouraged to explore all methods of resolution including mediation with the appropriate university officials before resorting to an appeal to the Senate. If after you have received a decision that your request for an academic concession is not approved, you may appeal the decision to the Senate Committee on Appeals.

The deadline for filing an appeal before the Senate Committee on Appeals is two (2) months from the final decision, action or treatment being appealed.  Students who wish to file an appeal with the Senate Committee on Appeals must complete a Notice of Appeal form.

A student may only appeal on one or more of the grounds listed in the Terms of Reference and Procedural Guidelines.  The committee has no jurisdiction to consider a decision where the sole question turns on academic judgment.

Grounds for appeal are:

  • That a procedural error occurred of sufficient magnitude that affected the fairness of the process.
  • That the decision was made with an erroneous interpretation of applicable university policies, procedures, regulations, or other rules.
  • That a factual error occurred of sufficient magnitude that it may reasonably affected the decision made against you.
  • That a reasonable person, exercising their judgment on the evidence leading to the decision, would not have made the same decision under appeal.

Organizing Your Appeal

For help or feedback before appealing or at any point in an appeal, consult the ombudsperson.

Appeals are based on:

  • procedural grounds (e.g. administrative errors, inaccurate application of policy…) and/or,
  • extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control (e.g. medical or compassionate circumstances affecting performance…)
  • Read the relevant policy and procedures to understand what can be appealed and how.  For example, in a fee appeal, missing a deadline or lack of funds are not typically in themselves grounds for appeal.
  • If you’re unsure what applies to your situation, consult with the ombudsperson or the relevant administrative or academic unit at UVic.
  • If there is an appeal form, use it to organize what to write and what to submit.
  • Brainstorm a list of reasons why you believe an appeal should be granted.
  • Organize the reasons into different categories to help you organize your writing.
  • Consider each reason carefully, and strike anything that may not be appropriate. For example, not liking a decision is not an appropriate reason for an appeal.
  • If you need information about appealing a requirement to withdraw from UVic, please see this page instead.

Other tips

  • Do not attempt to manipulate the reader with threats, name-calling, accusations, cajoling, pleading, flattering, or making extravagant promises.
  • Meet the deadline.
  • Photocopy and keep all requests and correspondence sent and received, supporting documentation, emails, forms and receipts.
  • Don’t rush! Complete a well-written and constructed letter.

(Tips are written with the help of Simon Fraser University’s ombuds suggestions on writing an effective appeal letter.)

Click here for the Appeal Template that you can customize for your purposes.

Consult with the ombudsperson if you require assistance or feedback.