13.4 Procedures for the conduct of the panel review hearing
1. Where a student has indicated that they will be attending the hearing, there shall be no discussion of the case prior to the appearance of the student.
2. The Chair of the Panel shall ask the student and any other persons present to identify themselves and shall determine that any individual who is accompanying the student is able to satisfy the stipulations in the relevant Final Review Procedures.
3.The Chair of the Panel shall then:
(i) Introduce the members of the Panel and other persons present
(ii) Explain the eligible grounds for the Final Review
(iii) State the possible decisions available to the Panel
(iv) Explain the sequence of events should the Final Review be upheld
(v) Explain the subsequent right of independent review by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.
4. The Chair shall invite the student to present the case, summarising the main points so that all present have a common understanding of the basis of the case.
5. Once the student has concluded their presentation, members of the Panel may ask questions and explore areas of interest or concern. When all members of the Panel are satisfied, the student shall be invited to add any further points which they may wish to bring to the attention of the Panel, and the individual accompanying the student shall be invited to speak in support of the case.
6. The Panel shall then interview any other party who is attending the hearing. They shall also be invited to present their views on the case.
7. At the Panel hearing, the Chair has the discretion to declare inadmissible any matter introduced by the student, or by any person accompanying the student, if they deem it not directly related to the contents of the request for review previously lodged in writing by the student.
8. The Chair also has the discretion to declare inadmissible any evidence or information that has not been submitted and reviewed by all relevant parties prior to a hearing. In the interest of fairness, it is important that all parties ensure evidence is submitted ahead of the hearing, so that everyone has the opportunity to review the evidence and respond appropriately. Only in exceptional cases where the Chair is willing, and all other parties give consent, will new evidence brought to the hearing be considered.
9. The student shall then be invited to respond to the evidence submitted by any other party attending and to add any further points.
10. Once the hearing has ended, the student shall be informed of the timing and method of notification of the Panel’s decision. All parties, other than members of the Panel and the Secretary, shall then leave the room. The Panel shall consider the evidence before it and reach its decision. The Secretary to the Panel shall advise the Panel on the options available to it, if appropriate.
11. The options available to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) (or the Panel) shall be:
(i) To dismiss the request for review and uphold the original decision
(ii) To uphold the request for review, in whole or in part, and recommend appropriate action to be taken based on the circumstances of the case.
12. The decision of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) (or the Panel) is final, and the matter shall therefore be regarded as closed. Upon completion of the University’s Final Review Procedure the student will be issued with a final review outcome letter if the final review is fully upheld or partially upheld (and a Completion of Procedures letter if requested by the student within 6 working weeks from the date the outcome letter is issued). If the final review is rejected a Completion of Procedures letter will automatically be issued to the student. These letters will outline the University’s Final Review decision, and will be issued within 5 working days of the decision being made. Upon receipt of this letter from the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee), they will no longer engage in any further discussion of the decision made with the student or any other person.
13. Upon receipt of the fully completed form and associated evidence, each Review should be resolved within 6 working weeks from that date. If it appears that a response will be delayed, students will be informed why this is, and will be kept informed of progress.
14. Once all internal procedures have been exhausted, students who remain dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint may be able to complain to the OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education). Any such complaint must be submitted to the OIA within twelve months of the date on the Completion of Procedures Letter from the University. Please note that students must be in possession of a Completion of Procedures letter if they wish to complain to the OIA. Further information can be found on the OIA website www.oiahe.org.uk or by telephoning or writing to the OIA at the following address:
Second Floor, Abbey Wharf
57-75 Kings Road
Tel: 0118 959 9813