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5 Tips for Academic Appeals in Ontario

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

1. Know the Rules of your Post-Secondary Institution

Where you believe there may be a violation of your rights in an academic appeal matter, check to ensure your school has followed its own rules, policies, codes and guidance.

Do not give up just because a member of staff, however eminent or kind, discourages you from appealing.

2. Stick to the permissible grounds of appeal

Make sure that you do have a leg to stand on. Will your appeal be justified?

Everything you write in an appeal form or statement must relate to valid grounds of appeal. Look at the applicable appeals procedure, find the section about permissible grounds of appeal, and go through each one, asking yourself, “does this apply to me?”

3. Evidence, evidence, evidence!

Consider the ways you can provide evidence – beyond your own testimony – to support your assertions. This may include anything from medical evidence to emails, depending on the nature of the case. If you thought the examiner was biased, for example, how would you show this?

Unearthing all the relevant documents to your appeal takes some detective work.

4. Focus on Strong Arguments and Organization

Your goal is to persuade the appeals panel that you have made out the grounds of appeal. Weak points dilute the strength of the more vital points.

Don’t be confined to the small box in the appeals form provided by your post-secondary institution. Instead, use a word processing document (unless expressly forbidden) and write “Please see attached appeal statement” in the box.

Follow the structure:

  • Introduction;

  • Factual Background;

  • Relevant rules, regulations and law;

  • Arguments;

  • Conclusion.

Keep your arguments focused and concise.

5. Get Support

Getting help from your student union or alternate supports available at your post-secondary institution are invaluable. However, keep in mind that these advisers may not be available at short notice (or during holidays).

Specialist lawyers tend to be more highly qualified and can write persuasive statements. Book a consultation with Battick Legal Advisory to learn more about supporting you in your academic appeal.

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