Student Complaints

It takes courage sometimes to speak up. Our advocacy on your behalf is confidential, and we operate independently of the University.

If you are thinking about making a complaint or have already made a complaint, TUU Student Advocates are available to talk to.

The university outlines the Student Complaints process in the Student Complaints Procedure & Policy so take a look at that as well as getting in touch with a Student Advocate.

TUU Student Advocates can assist you with the complaint process by:

  • Providing advice and giving options
  • Assisting with informally resolving complaints if possible
  • Assisting in preparing formal complaints documentation
  • Acting as a support person for students at meetings with UTAS staff and at Review Committees

The Student Advocates provide a free and confidential service for UTAS students. They are aware of university rules and policies and can be a good resource if you need help.

How do I make a complaint?

Before reporting an issue, you have the option to speak to a TUU Student Advocate for support and advice. We will let you know if the issue might be resolved informally through meetings and mediation or whether a more formal approach is needed. In both cases they can assist you.

All formal complaints are investigated by the Safe and Fair Community Unit (SaFCU). SaFCU is a university run service and respond to notifications of sexual assault or sexual harassment, concerns raised in relation to wellbeing or behaviour, reports of misconduct and the lodgement of general concerns or complaints.

Complaints can be lodged here: https://www.utas.edu.au/students/shw/safe-fair-community-unit/incidents

How bad does it have to be for me to complain?

There is no rule saying how bad an issue or concern must be for you to be able to raise it within the University. You can raise concerns at any time. Don’t worry about how ‘bad’ or ‘not so bad’ the situation is, how it is affecting you personally is the most important thing. If:

  • an issue or concern is causing you stress,
  • the issue or concern is making it more difficult to focus on your studies,
  • you feel that you don’t have enough support for your studies or other issues affecting your study, or
  • you are uncomfortable dealing with certain staff in the University (like your lecturer, tutor or anyone else),
    then these are clear signs that there is a problem.

Obviously it would be better for you (and your studies!) if the problem could be resolved.

Lodging a formal complaint isn’t the only way Issues can often be dealt with. Sometimes they can be resolved in an informal way, like with mediation.

Our Student Advocates are often able to assist in communicating with your faculty on your behalf, to resolve issues that may arise from time to time. If a formal complaint does need to be made, we can help with that too.

How do I know that I won’t be marked down, or be treated less favourably in the University if I do complain?

Your TUU Student Advocates are here to support you if you are worried about this, and we are happy to talk to you about whether you choose to make a complaint or not.

Lodging a formal complaint isn’t the only way Issues can often be dealt with. Sometimes they can be resolved in an informal way, like with mediation.

Either way, the University states that it is committed to ensuring that a student may lodge a complaint without fear of disadvantage. UTAS takes your concerns and complaints seriously, and will endeavour to treat them seriously, impartially and to resolve them as quickly as possible.

Remember, the TUU is independent from the University, so you can freely engage with us and if you choose not to take it further our conversations will remain confidential.

How much time do I have? How soon must I complain?

It is much easier for an issue or concern to be resolved if it is brought up as soon as it happens or as soon as you become aware that it is causing problems for you.

There is no specific rule saying when you must start to raise the issue or complaint, whether you do it formally or informally.

Book with a student advocate

TUU Student Advocates are not lawyers, but we help by:

  • listening,
  • providing free, independent, confidential advice,
  • explaining University rules and regulations,
  • stepping through processes,
  • assisting with letters,
  • attending meetings where needed, and
  • appeals.

If you receive an allegation of breaching academic integrity, make sure you read Ordinance 9 in detail, and if you need support please make an appointment with one of our Student Advocates.