This page will guide you through the process for escalating a student complaint.



Complaint escalation processes and advice


The complaint procedure can be complex and a student advocate will be able to confidentially discuss your situation, advise you on the likelihood of the success of any application, and can help you prepare the application itself. Therefore, getting advice from an independent person, who knows the processes of complaints and grievances, and is aware of potential outcomes, is critical.

By discussing your complaint with someone, it will help you:

  • consider whether the complaint is reasonable
  • clarify the details of the matter (including the events that occurred)
  • establish the basis for the complaint
  • discuss and consider what (if any) remedy has been sought already
  • identify the most appropriate process under which the matter should be resolved

Where to get advice

  • a professional Student Advocate
    • The University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) provides an independent advocacy service, the Student Union Advocacy Service (SUAS), funded from revenue generated by the Student Services and Amenities Fee.
  • Stop 1
  • an academic staff member

What you need for your complaint application

When you escalate a complaint, you will need to provide:

  • Your name, email address and contact number
  • Your student number (or indicate if you are a prospective or former student)
  • An indication of whether or not you have received independent advice
  • The category of service that you are escalating a complaint against
  • The service point, or individual that you are escalating a complaint against

You will also be asked to supply the following detail. You will be given the option of uploading your responses in a document, or entering your responses into corresponding form fields.

  • The history of the complaint and your attempts to resolve it prior to escalating the matter
  • The outcome you are seeking
  • The reason for the desired outcome

What happens after submission of your complaint application?

  1. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a case number in an automated email confirming receipt of your complaint.
  2. The escalated complaint will be referred by the University to a responsible officer who will determine the most appropriate way to proceed. This may include seeking to informally resolve the matter on your behalf, initiating a process of mediation, referring the matter to back to the area of the complaint if it has been escalated prematurely, or suggesting that the complaint should be investigated under the University’s grievance process.
  3. Within 5 business days from the date of submission you will be contacted via email and advised of the course of action that has been determined. If the responsible officer considers the complaint is frivolous, or if no grounds or evidence have been provided to support it, the responsible officer will inform you
  4. If the responsible officer seeks to resolve the matter on your behalf, the University will attempt to complete the process within 15 business days from the date of submission
  5. If the responsible officer has determined that the case will proceed with mediation, the mediation will be conducted within 10 business days of the appointment of the responsible officer and the outcome of the mediation will be communicated to you within 5 business days of the mediation discussion

Withdrawing a complaint

You may withdraw the complaint at any time during the complaint resolutions process by emailing and asking for the complaint to be withdrawn. Once a complaint has been withdrawn it cannot be 're-activated', however, it may be re-submitted as a new complaint.


The University collects and uses the information provided for the purposes of addressing students’ complaints and grievances. See the University’s privacy statement. The process also provides valuable information about student satisfaction to the Academic Registrar in relation to University facilities, teaching, student administration and support services.

Begin the application

If you have read the information on this page and you are ready to escalate your complaint, please select the link to the online form below. Once your complaint is submitted through the online form, you will receive an email confirmation of the receipt of the complaint, with your case number and a link to the portal where you can track your case.

Escalate complaint



A complaint is a problem or concern raised by a student who considers they have been wronged because of an action, decision or omission within the control or responsibility of the University.

The subject of a complaint is normally an action, decision or omission within the control or responsibility of the University, that causes a student to feel they have been wronged.

Please login using your Unimelb staff credentials