Students of the University of Luxembourg and applicants to its study programmes have the possibility of appealing against decisions concerning their studies.
An appeal has the objective of contesting a decision regarding study-related matters. These could be decisions taken by a member of the academic staff, a committee, or an administrative body of the University. It is an administrative appeal, internal to the University, distinct from, and prior to a possible appeal before the Luxembourg judiciary.
More about appeals
You have the right to file an appeal against any decision of which you have been notified, which affects you individually and is related to your studies.
Such decisions may concern, among others:
- Access and admission to studies;
- Recognition of prior experience;
- Exams and assessment;
- Progression, re-enrolment, exclusion and graduation;
- Leaves of absence;
- Extenuating circumstances;
- Reasonable accommodation.
An appeal is not:
- A complaint concerning the quality of teaching or of academic services. Such complaints should be made to the member of staff or the department concerned, the respective Study Programme Director, the University’s Education Quality Office or the University’s Ombudsman.
- A contestation of a decision taken under the jurisdiction of another higher education institution, for example during a mobility period abroad.
Appeals must be based on reasonable grounds. There are two grounds on which appeals may be submitted:
- Important facts were not taken into account or were misunderstood when the decision was made:
You have information that, for good reason, was not available to the decision-maker when the decision was made and that may have an influence on the decision.
This information must be relevant to the decision in that it relates to circumstances that substantially affected you, for example influencing your ability to comply with academic rules or meet study obligations or your performance in exams. You should also explain why you were not able to prevent these circumstances. This includes demonstrating why you did not use available means to mitigate the consequences for your studies, for example by requesting a leave of absence, part-time student status or a justified absence from an exam.
You should also explain why you were not able or willing to make this information available to the decision-maker at the appropriate time.
- Rules or regulations were not respected:
You have evidence of a procedural irregularity, an administrative error, manifest neglect of due diligence, or improper conduct.
The fault that you are alleging that the University has committed must be relevant to the decision in that it affected your ability to comply with academic rules or to perform in an exam, or it influenced the judgement of the decision-maker(s).
If you believe that you have been the victim of harassment, discrimination or other misconduct by a member of staff, you can contact the Student Services or the University’s Ombudsman for guidance on the steps to take.
Before submitting an academic appeal, please consider whether your reasons for appealing fit into one (or both) of these categories and meet the criteria outlined above. Your appeal should also provide suitable evidence for the reasons you invoke.
A grade cannot be challenged by solely questioning the academic judgement of the marker. If you have questions about a grade you have received, you should make use of the possibility to inspect your exam and to obtain feedback from the marker. To appeal against the results of an assessment, you should have evidence for a lack of due diligence, impaired/biased judgement or a manifest procedural error by the examiner(s).
More detailed information can be found in the University’s internal regulation concerning academic appeals.
To be admissible, an appeal must meet the following conditions:
- It must be filed with the competent body (either the author of the decision or the Dispute Committee).
- It must be submitted within the applicable deadlines (see below for more information on deadlines).
- It must be submitted in writing, in one of the permitted languages (see below), and it must include the required information (the name of the appellant, the decision that is being appealed, the reasons for the appeal).
- It must fall within the scope of an appeal.
Appeals cannot be used to challenge an academic judgement. You may not submit an appeal because you believe you should have been awarded a better grade. To contest the results of an assessment, you should have evidence for a lack of due diligence, impaired/biased judgement or a manifest procedural error by the examiner(s).
The University does not accept appeals that are manifestly frivolous, insulting or offensive or that violate human dignity.
When appealing against a decision, it is your responsibility to have read and understood the academic rule(s) and regulation(s) on which the contested decision is based.
If the recipient of your appeal asks you for further information or evidence, please cooperate and respect any deadlines you are given. Student Services may be able to assist you if required.
Please note that if you have an ongoing appeal, this does not exempt you from your academic duties and cannot be used as an excuse for not meeting study requirements. The University will notify you if it is decided that you should be granted such exemptions.
The University treats appeals confidentially. The only people involved in an appeal process are those who are directly affected by the appeal, those who were involved in the contested decision and those responsible for receiving, processing and ruling on the appeal.
The University is committed to preventing any disadvantages, discrimination or recriminations resulting from an appeal made in good faith.
How to appeal
Before you submit an appeal, the University encourages you to raise the problem and clarify the situation with your course instructor, your Study Programme Director or Administrator, or the University’s Student Services. If the situation involves a conflict with academic or administrative staff, you may also contact the University’s Ombudsman.
There are two types of appeal:
Whenever possible, appeals should be resolved locally. To this end, you have the option of introducing a non-contentious (Stage 1) appeal to the person or body having taken the contested decision.
Appeal to the dispute committee
If this non-contentious appeal is rejected or not admissible, or if you decide not to pursue this option, you have the right to appeal to the University’s Dispute Committee (formal/contentious or Stage 2 appeal).