Advocacy is a professional service of QUT Guild committed to supporting and representing the interests and needs of students in academic matters, navigating university policies and advocating for better quality of education. This year the Advocacy Team are collaborating with Glass on a Kindness Campaign to promote the values of empathy, compassion, and kindness among members of the community. The campaign will consist of a series of articles that will encourage people to engage in acts of kindness towards each other and themselves. Supporting you with kindness and guiding you with knowledge.
This article was written by Student Assist Manager, Emma Surman.
In the real world of higher education at QUT, a dedicated team stands as a beacon of support, diligently working to empower students in their academic pursuits. The Academic Advocacy Team, a group committed to ensuring students’ rights and well-being, plays a pivotal role in addressing a range of concerns, from grade review processes to misconduct proceedings.
One of the primary functions of the Advocacy Team is to provide students with a voice in matters that directly affect their academic journey. They act as liaisons, facilitating open communication between students and QUT. This proactive approach ensures that students’ rights are respected, and their concerns are addressed in a fair and timely manner. Here is just a few of the many areas in which this team serves its purpose.
Academic & Student Misconduct – The Advocacy Team takes allegations of academic and student misconduct seriously. They serve as a source of guidance for students who may face accusations or have concerns about such matters. By offering advice on proper procedures and ensuring due process, they help students navigate this sensitive area, ensuring fairness.
Assignment and Exam Rights – Bringing awareness of student rights when it comes to assignments and exams. The Advocacy Team offers guidance on deadlines, referrals to access equity plans, and avenues for students to voice concerns if they feel their rights are not being upheld.
Complaints – Should a student have a grievance against the university, the Advocacy Team helps them navigate the process of filing a formal complaint. By offering guidance on procedures and advocating for a transparent resolution, they ensure that students’ concerns are taken seriously.
Exclusion & Show Cause – Facing exclusion from studies can be distressing. The Advocacy Team supports students through the “show cause” process, helping them construct well-founded appeals that present their case effectively in order to explain their individual circumstances.
Grade Reviews – If students believe their grades do not accurately reflect their efforts, the Advocacy Team assists in navigating the grade review process. Their guidance helps students navigate the procedures and present their case for reevaluation.
Leave of Absence – Sometimes, students need to take a break from their studies due to personal or health reasons. The Advocacy Team helps students understand the leave of absence process, ensuring a smooth transition out of and back into their studies.
Low Completion Rate – For students utilising FEE-HELP loans, maintaining a specific level of progress is crucial. The Advocacy Team assists students in understanding their options and potential consequences if their completion rate falls below requirements.
Probationary Enrolment – In cases of academic struggle, probationary enrolment may be sanctioned. The Advocacy Team can explain the terms of probation and guide students towards the support that is available.
Return to Study After Exclusion – When students are ready to return to their studies after an exclusion, the Advocacy Team guides them through the process, helping them prepare a strong case for their return.
Special Circumstances – Life can throw unexpected challenges at students. The Advocacy Team ensures that students facing special circumstances, such as family emergencies or significant health issues, are provided with appropriate support and concessions.
The Advocacy Team stands as a reliable partner for students, encouraging an environment where their rights are safeguarded, and their concerns are heard. Through their dedication, students are empowered to navigate the complexities of things such as the MOPP with confidence, knowing that they have an ally by their side.
About the author, Emma Surman, Student Assist Manager at QUT Student Guild Advocacy:
Emma (she/her) is the dedicated Student Assist Manager for the Guild, leading a team of passionate Advocacy Officers at both Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove Campuses. With a Bachelor’s degree in Education from QUT and over a decade of experience in student services, Emma brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. She is committed to providing top-notch support to students and ensuring their voices are heard. Don’t hesitate to explore the range of Advocacy support services available here and tap into the team’s expertise to make the most of your university journey.