University grievance process

Grievance means “a wrong, real or fancied, considered as grounds for complaint”. (Macquarie Concise Dictionary)

What does grievance mean in the postgraduate context?
A grievance can be anything from a query which has not been dealt with properly to a serious complaint about any matter concerning a student’s coursework or research candidature at Monash University. A grievance can be administrative or academic, one held by a postgraduate student against another student, a supervisor, a department, a faculty or the University. A grievance may also be initiated by the University against a student.

Examples of complaints by postgraduate students include:

  • Intellectual property
  • Supervision
  • Assessment
  • Authorship
  • Lack of resources
  • Poor delivery of teaching/courses
  • Scholarships
  • Fees
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination

Examples of complaints against postgraduate students include:

  • Lack of academic progress leaeding to non-confirmation or termination of candidature
  • Plagiarism
  • Cheating
  • Misconduct
  • Harassment
  • Non payment of fees

MPA resolution process

The MPA supports an informal approach to resolving difficult situations. The MPA Advocates and caseworkers act as advisors and provide support and assistance for postgraduate students. The great majority of complaints that come to the MPA are settled through an informal process. This may mean contacting all parties concerned and talking about the matter with a view to resolution, or providing ‘behind the scenes’ advice to postgraduates to enable them to resolve the situation independently. Generally speaking most postgraduates are willing to reach a compromise. However, if an issue cannot be resolved informally then formal processes may be invoked. The level of MPA’s involvement will depend on the circumstances of each case. MPA has limited resources and the MPA Advocate or caseworkers will advise students about what MPA can do for them depending on the circumstances of each case.

Formal grievance procedures

The process to be followed depends on the type of candidature and complaint. A student complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with a process, decision or service offered or provided by the University.

There are very useful flowcharts explaining the process on the University Ombudsman website.

The formal grievance process is conducted by email. Each faculty has a grievance officer.

Coursework students

Coursework postgraduates must follow the Complaints and Grievances of Coursework Students Procedures. Also checkout the coursework grievance process flowchart.

HDR students

Higher degree by research ("HDR") candidature grievances are governed by the HDR candidature: Academic and Administrative Complaints Procedures. Also checkout the HDR grievance process flowchart.

Back to top

MPA Advocate Contact Details

The best way to contact one of our Advocates is by via email. For those postgraduates located off-campus or studying via distance education, advice can be provided by email, and supported by phone calls (funded by the MPA).


Sunshine Kamaloni

Benoit Tasse


Robert Rybicki