Student Advocacy provides advice, support, representation and assistance to Victoria University students on a wide range of topics and issues.

Our Student Advocates are also available to consult with Victoria University staff regarding complex student issue and University policy relevant to student matters.

Advocacy Service Charter

It is important that students read the VU Student Charter Policy, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of all Victoria University students.

Our Student Advocates are guided by VU's Independent Advocacy Service Charter, a protocol of Student Life and Wellbeing, which outlines our commitment to providing confidential and independent support to students in accordance with SSAF guidelines.

When advising a student* of Victoria University, student advocates will:

  • uphold impartiality and independence from the University’s decision makers
  • have a duty of confidentiality towards the student
  • represent the student free of charge
  • be guided by the principles of fairness, equity and natural justice
  • act in the overall best interests of the student with regard to the University’s statutes, regulations, policies and procedures
  • have a right to information from the University necessary to enable them to perform their function
  • make sure that the University and the student are both aware of relevant information and issues affecting a matter
  • on request by the student, have the right to speak and make submissions on their behalf
  • be free of any interests that conflict with their role as outlined above.

* a student enrolled at Victoria University includes all students of Victoria University and VU Polytechnic.

How advocacy can help

Please read the following information for details about how advocacy can help you with these common student concerns.

‘Academic misconduct’ refers to any behaviour in breach of VU’s academic integrity standards.

Learn about academic integrity

To learn about what academic integrity is, and why it is so important, we recommend reading the information published in the VU Library Guides.

You can also complete the five interactive academic integrity modules available on VU Collaborate:

Further details are also available in the Academic Integrity Guidelines and the Academic Integrity Policy. A complete definition of ‘academic misconduct’ can be found under Regulation 8 of the Student Misconduct Regulations 2019.

Academic misconduct investigation

If your teacher believes you may have engaged in academic misconduct, they will ask a senior officer to investigate the matter.

The senior officer will invite you to attend an investigation meeting.

You will also receive a written notification to your VU student email account that includes:

  • details of the alleged student misconduct
  • copies of all relevant material such as to ensure procedural fairness
  • the date, time and location of the investigation meeting
  • information regarding your right to be:
    • heard through a spoken or written response
    • accompanied by a support person and/or assisted by a student advocate.

We recommend contacting Advocacy for guidance and advice before your investigation meeting. Depending on our availability, an Advocate may be able to accompany you to the investigation meeting.
Email [email protected]

Post-investigation follow up

When the investigation is complete, the senior officer will make a decision about whether the misconduct allegation is disproven or substantiated.  

If the allegation is substantiated, the senior officer may impose one or more of the following sanctions:

  • issuing you with a reprimand and/or caution
  • recording a failure or zero mark or result or other appropriate mark or result for all or any part of an assessment task
  • requiring you to repeat an assessment task
  • requiring you to refrain from association with a specified person or persons for the purposes of study or assessment
  • requiring resubmission of one or more assessment tasks
  • requiring you to undertake alternative assessment for the unit on terms determined by the senior officer.

In most circumstances, the senior officer will investigate the alleged misconduct themselves.

However, if the allegation is considered to be serious, the senior officer may refer the matter to a Student Misconduct Panel for investigation. More restrictive sanctions, such as a suspension or course exclusion, can only be imposed by a Student Misconduct Panel.

Examples of general misconduct include:

  • providing false information to VU
  • bullying a VU student or staff member
  • obtaining access to VU premises without authorisation.

The complete definition of ‘general student misconduct’ can be found under Regulation 6 of the Student Misconduct Regulations 2019.

General misconduct investigation

The senior officer will invite you to attend an investigation meeting.

You will also receive a written notification to your VU student email account that includes:

  • details of the alleged student misconduct
  • copies of all relevant material such as to ensure procedural fairness
  • the date, time and location of the investigation meeting
  • information regarding your right to be:
    • heard through a spoken or written response
    • accompanied by a support person and/or assisted by a student advocate.

We recommend contacting Advocacy for guidance and advice before your investigation meeting. Depending on our availability, an Advocate may be able to accompany you to the investigation meeting.
Email [email protected]

Post-investigation follow up

When the investigation is complete, the senior officer will make a decision about whether the misconduct allegation is disproven or substantiated.  

If the allegation is substantiated, the senior officer may impose one or more of the following sanctions:

  • issuing you with a reprimand and/or caution
  • a restorative sanction that is appropriate and proportionate in all the circumstances
  • requiring you to refrain from association with a specified person or persons
  • restricting or denying access to some or all of the University premises, facilities services or activities for a period of up to three months
  • requiring the payment for the cost of the damage, or a contribution towards the cost of the damage, caused by the misconduct.

In most circumstances, the senior officer will investigate the alleged misconduct themselves.

However, if the allegation is considered to be serious, the senior officer may refer the matter to a Student Misconduct Panel for investigation. More restrictive sanctions, such as a suspension or course exclusion, can only be imposed by a Student Misconduct Panel.

Your academic progress is regularly reviewed by the University.

Academic progress review process

If you are identified as making unsatisfactory progress, you will be sent an official notification in writing via your VU email address.

This notification will provide specific instructions relevant to your Academic Progress Level. It is important that you follow these instructions carefully. 

Level 1 or 2 notification

If you receive a Level 1 or Level 2 academic progress notification, you should book an appointment with a Student Advisor to create an Academic Action Plan.

Level 3 notification

Advocacy provides support and assistance to students with Level 3 notifications.

You must book a Show Cause hearing immediately if you receive a Level 3 Progress notification. If you have not booked a Show Cause hearing within 5 calendar days, you will be excluded from your course.

Advocacy can help you prepare for your Show Cause hearing. Please email your booking confirmation and an Advocate will be in contact with you shortly to provide support and guidance with the process.
Email: [email protected]

We highly recommend reading:

If you are experiencing circumstances impacting your performance in an assessment, you can request an assessment adjustment, such as an extension of time or an alternative form of assessment.

Short-term difficult circumstances

For short-term or unexpected circumstances, apply for one of the following:​

Long-term difficult circumstances

For ongoing circumstances relating to a disability or health condition:​

Advocacy

If you require an assessment adjustment but you are unable to provide evidence of your circumstances, please book an Advocacy phone appointment to discuss your options.

An advocate can assist you if you have already applied for Special Consideration and you are unsatisfied with the outcome or you have not yet received an outcome.

Please email with your Special Consideration application reference number:
Email [email protected]

If you need assistance understanding your assessment feedback, we recommend reaching out to our Learning Advisors.

You can book a session with a Learning Advisor by logging in to the Learning Hub (select Drop-Ins and choose from the topics listed).

Results review

If you disagree with an assessment result, you might be able to request a review of your result. Please note the outcome of your result review request is final and is not an appealable decision.

To request a review of an assessment result, you must be able to demonstrate one of the following:

  • there was bias on the part of the assessor
  • the assessment was inappropriately constructed or an inadequate basis was provided for completing it
  • the assessment was of a scale or degree of difficulty not commensurate with the level and weighting of the unit
  • the assessor made an error of fact in assessing the content of the submitted work.

Review process

Your Course Chair, or another appropriate staff member, will make relevant enquiries into the matter, which may include discussing the result and the feedback with the student or the assessor.

You will need to:

  1. download and complete the Review of Assessment Outcome Request form (PDF)
  2. submit this via AskVU within five days of receiving your unit results.

Advocacy

Advocacy can provide you with advice and guidance on the Review of Individual Assessment Outcomes Procedure (HE).

Please email a summary of your concerns and any relevant assessment details.
Email: [email protected]

Advocacy can provide you with advice and guidance on the Student Complaints Process.

To understand the steps involved in making a formal complaint, please read through the details of the Student Complaint Process.  

You can also read the Student Complaints Policy and the Student Complaints Procedure for further information.

Lodging a complaint

To lodge your complaint, you will need to:

  1. describe your complaint
  2. describe what you are asking the University to do to resolve your issue
  3. if you have already attempted to resolve this issue, list any actions taken with an approximate date.

Advocacy

To seek advice from Advocacy, please email a draft of your complaint statement and an advocate will contact you to provide feedback and guidance.
Email: [email protected]

VU policies

You may want to refer to the following VU policies for more information to assist you in preparing your complaint statement:

All VU policies and procedures can be found in the VU Policy Library.

If exceptional circumstances beyond your control have affected your academic progress within the past 12 months, you can apply for a remission of the academic results and debt of any units failed within this period.

You will need to provide evidence of your exceptional circumstances, and you must explain how these circumstances prevented you from successfully completing the unit/s of study.

Advocacy

We understand that explaining your exceptional circumstances can be very challenging and talking about your experiences can negatively impact your mental health and wellbeing.

Advocacy can offer advice and guidance on the remission of debt application process, but we do recommend seeking additional support from our team of qualified counsellors during this process.

We recommended beginning the application process by drafting a written statement to explain your exceptional circumstances. 

You can send a draft of your personal statement to request feedback and further advice from an advocate.
Email [email protected]

During your studies, you might receive an outcome or a decision that you are unhappy with or believe to be incorrect.

You may be able to appeal the decision or request a review, depending on what kind of decision it is.

Reviews

All reviewable outcomes have different decision-makers and deadlines.

  • Special Consideration outcomes (3 University business days)
  • Assessment result outcomes (5 University business days)
  • Credit decisions (10 University business days)
  • Remission of Debt outcomes (28 calendar days)

Appeals

All appealable decisions have an appeal deadline of 20 University business days.

  • Student Misconduct decisions
  • Academic Progress decisions
  • University-managed Complaint decisions
  • Statutory decisions

Advocacy

If you are seeking to appeal a decision, we recommend reading the information about Student Appeals before contacting Student Advocacy.
Email: [email protected].

Contact Student Advocacy

Send an email with details of the issue you require assistance with. Please use your VU student email account.

Call Student Wellbeing to request a phone appointment with a Student Advocate.

Email Student Advocacy: [email protected]
Phone Student Wellbeing: +61 3 9919 5400