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Student Complaints Resolution policy

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 20 February 2024.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy provides a framework for resolving complaints made by students in a way that contributes to a supportive, educative and fair learning environment.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to complaints by current, former or prospective students about any aspect of their student experience. Any student disclosure related to sexual harm is handled via the Sexual Harm Prevention and Response Policy in the first instance.

(4) This policy does not consider complaints by staff (refer to Complaints: Discrimination, Harassment, Victimisation and Vilification (Staff) procedure or public interest disclosures reported to external entities (refer to the Public Interest Disclosures procedure).

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) The University supports a complainant’s right to submit reasonable complaints through a complaints resolution process that:

  1. is accessible, impartial, fair, equitable and without financial cost to complainants
  2. is transparent and consistent
  3. encourages, where possible, local resolution
  4. is implemented in a timely and responsive manner
  5. ensures, so far as is practicable, privacy, confidentiality and the health, wellbeing and safety of all parties
  6. encourages the maintenance of harmonious relationships.

(6) The University expects that all parties involved in a complaint engage in good faith with the complaints resolution process.

(7) The University expects that all students and staff act in accordance with the University’s Student Code of Conduct and staff Code of Conduct. Behaviour that is in breach of these codes, including deliberately providing misleading or false information in relation to a complaint, may be subject to the Student Misconduct procedure or Staff Discipline procedure.

(8) The University does not tolerate victimisation and may take action against a student or staff member who is found to have victimised another student or staff member on the basis of their involvement in a student complaint.

(9) The University does not consider vexatious complaints, and the complaint may be subject to the Student Misconduct procedure.


(10) The Dean of Students or nominee (Student Complaints) is responsible for:

  1. managing the University's student complaints resolution process
  2. ensuring that appropriate records of student complaints are securely maintained
  3. analysing student complaints data to identify systemic or specific issues and initiating action to improve practice
  4. reporting on student complaints to the University Executive and Council via relevant boards and committees.
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Section 5 - Procedure

(11) The Student Complaints Resolution procedure documents how to comply with this Policy.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(12) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. complaint: an expression of dissatisfaction with the quality of an action taken, decision made or service provided by the University and/or a delay or failure to provide a service, take action or make a decision by the University.
  2. prospective student: an applicant (a person who has submitted an application for admission), or a person who has received an offer for enrolment at Deakin University but not yet enrolled.
  3. student: as defined in the Deakin University Act (2009) - (a) a person enrolled at the University in a course leading to a degree or other award; or (b) a person designated as a student or who is of a class of persons designated as students by the Council
  4. vexatious complaint: a complaint that lacks substance, and has been intentionally fabricated, and/or relates to a complaint that has already been resolved.