Complaint resolution

Victoria University has a Student Complaint Resolution Policy to assist you to resolve your concerns.

Our process encourages students to be independent and effective problem solvers.

Types of complaints

A complaint brought under the Student Complaint Resolution Policy may relate to:

  • the performance of administrative, academic, teaching, research or service functions of the University
  • any third party involved in the delivery of services on behalf of the University, if the complaint is in regards to the delivery of those services
  • the behaviour or actions of another student of the University
  • allegations of discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Before lodging a complaint

Try to resolve the concern yourself before lodging an official complaint. We have a three-step process to help you.

Step 1 - Identify your concern and a possible solution

It's important that you're clear about the nature of your concern and what some possible solutions could be. We encourage our students to try to resolve concerns at the local level, if reasonable and appropriate to do so, before making a complaint through the Student Matters Office.

If your concern is about the actions or behaviour of another student or staff member, try to speak to this person directly and explain how you feel about their action or behaviour. For example:

"When you... (name a specific behaviour), I feel... (describe the feelings). Please do not do it again/what I would prefer is..."

If the concerning behaviour could be discrimination, sexual harassment or bullying, speak with a Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Contact Officer.

If you have an academic concern, please talk to your academic or course coordinator in the first instance to see if the matter can be resolved.

As a student, you have free access to Student Advocacy, they can assist you with the following matters:

  • contacting your lecturer or teacher in your college to discuss your progress in your course
  • preparing for 'show cause' hearings or appeals related to your academic progress
  • attending an academic misconduct hearing, for example, if you have been accused of plagiarism or cheating in an exam
  • advice on special consideration, late lodgement or applying for supplementary, alternative or special exams
  • review of individual assessment outcomes or final unit results
  • guiding you through the student complaint resolution process.

Who to talk to

  • Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Contact Officers. A Contact Officer can be the first point of contact if your concern is about discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or bullying. View the list of Contact Officers.
  • Student Contact Centre if the matter is administrative.
  • Course coordinator or academic if the matter is of an academic nature.
  • Student Advocacy.

Step 2 - Seek assistance

As a student, you have have free and confidential access to support services to assist you with your concern. These services include:

Step 3 - Initiate action

Speak to the relevant staff member or student to try to work out reasonable and realistic solutions. You can ask a student advocate to help you speak to a staff member. Phone +61 3 9919 5400 or email advocacy@vu.edu.au to request assistance.

If your concern is about a specific unit of study, an assessment grade and/or feedback, you can contact the academic who teaches the unit or the course coordinator.

If you are a higher degree by research student, and your concern relates to your academic studies it is advised that you speak initially to your research supervisor/s or your college’s postgraduate research coordinator (PRC). If you don’t know who the PRC is, ask.

For concerns not directly related to your study you can AskVU, visit VUHQ or call +61 3 9919 6100.

If you are having an interpersonal conflict, or you are feeling bullied, discriminated against or sexually harassed please contact the Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Officers. They can assist you to clarify if your concern is discrimination, harassment or bullying, and explain the University complaints process and options. You can also contact the Student Matters Office, phone +61 3 9919 5007 or email student.matters@vu.edu.au.

Offshore students

If you are an offshore student, you can:

Unable to resolve your concern at the college or local level

You can contact the Student Matters Office if you have:

  • made reasonable attempts to resolve your concern locally with the person concerned
  • believe after seeking advice tha the matter cannot be resolved by you locally
  • believe that you may have been bullied, discriminated against or sexually harassed.

Phone: +61 3 9919 6100
Email: student.matters@vu.edu.au
Mail: Student Matters Office
Footscray Park Campus
Victoria University
PO Box 14428
Melbourne VIC 8001

Lodging a complaint

If you are unable to resolve your issue after using the three step process you can:

When you lodge a complaint online, please provide your contact details, including your VU student email. You will first receive an automatic acknowledgement, then the Student Matters Office will contact you.

Complaint resolution process overview

  1. Try to self-manage your concern first. Self-managing a concern means directly discussing the issue with the staff member, the administrative unit, or the student concerned (as outlined in Before lodging a complaint. For further information please refer to the Student Complaint Resolution procedure.
  2. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint at the self-managed stage, or the matter can’t be resolved locally, lodge a complaint via the online complaint form. Your written complaint will be referred to a University Senior Officer for investigation, becoming University-managed. For further information please refer to the Student Complaint Resolution procedure.
  3. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint following an investigation by a Senior University Officer at the University-managed stage, or with the involvement of the Student Matters Office, you may be able to lodge an appeal against the decision/outcome. You may lodge an appeal by following the Student Appeals Procedure if you have grounds as outlined in Appeals Regulations 2014

If you need more information contact the Student Matters Office.

Phone: +61 3 9919 5007
Email: student.matters@vu.edu.au

External options

The Victorian Ombudsman

The Victorian Ombudsman independently investigates complaints about universities. They are impartial and do not act on behalf of students or universities.

The Ombudsman will encourage you to use Victoria University's complaint resolution procedures first.

Website: Victorian Ombudsman
Phone: +61 3 9613 6222 or 1800 806 314
Fax: +61 3 9614 0246
Email: ombudvic@ombudsman.vic.gov.au
Address: Level 9, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000.

Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission works to resolve complaints about discrimination, sexual harassment and racial and religious vilification.

Lines are open 9am–5pm Monday to Friday, or submit your complaint online.

Phone: 1300 891 848
TTY: 1300 289 621
Email: complaints@veohrc.vic.gov.au

Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission can investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying based on protected attributes.

Phone: 1300 656 419 or 02 9284 9888
Email: infoservice@humanrights.gov.au  
Fax: 02 9284 9611
Online: Enquiry Form or the Small Business Enquiry Form
TTY: 1800 620 241 (toll free)

National Relay Service

Phone: 1300 555 727 (Speak and Listen)
Website: National Relay Service

Translating and Interpreting Service

Phone: 131 450
Website: Translating and Interpreting Service

Privacy & records

For information about how the University protects your information, please refer to the University’s Privacy Policy and Record Management Policy.

Former students & members of the public complaint resolution

Victoria University's Public Complaints Policy will guide you through the process to follow to resolve concerns.

Lodging a complaint

Contact us

Student Matters Office
Phone: +61 3 9919 5007
Email: student.matters@vu.edu.au