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Academic appeal: academic judgment - CS082004

A student complained to us that their provider would not consider their academic appeal, or a complaint from them.

The student wanted to raise concerns about the support and feedback they had received when writing their dissertation. Based on a comment from a member of staff, the student believed the dissertation had also been marked down because of their attendance record.

The provider rejected the student’s appeal and complaint at the first stage of its procedures, on the basis that students are not permitted to challenge matters of academic judgment.

We decided that the complaint was Justified. Although the student was worried about the mark they had received for their dissertation, they were not simply challenging the academic judgment of the markers. The student said that they had not received feedback and support as promised in the provider’s Assessment and Feedback policy. The student also said that the marking had taken into account irrelevant information about their attendance.

We recommended that the provider should investigate the concerns raised by the student. We also recommended that the student should receive £250 for the distress and inconvenience caused by the provider’s refusal to consider their complaint. We also reminded the provider that it should issue a Completion of Procedures Letter when a student has exhausted its procedures, including when students are told they have not met the grounds for appeal.