Do you know your rights as a student at the University of Alberta?
Students have a variety of rights at the University of Alberta, but they are spread out between various university policies and are sometimes hard to find. Below are some key rights that students are entitled to.
- Academic rights cover all aspects of your academic career, including your rights surrounding academic discipline.
- Procedural rights cover your rights if you go through a disciplinary process at the U of A. Procedural rights are different depending on whether you are a complainant (someone making a complaint against another person) or a respondent (someone who is accused of having committed an offence under a University policy). Note that cases of sexual violence are included under procedural rights.
Students' Rights Compared
This research brief, prepared by the Research and Political Affairs department at the SU, outlines the current state of students’ rights at the University of Alberta compared to select Canadian universities (including McGill, McMaster, Bishop’s and Trent) that currently have consolidated rights documents, such as a Charter of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities (referred to as “Code” at McMaster).
Below are the aspects of student rights that the U of A is missing, compared to McGill, McMaster, Bishop’s and Trent:
- Although the U of A provides a thorough course outline in the first week of classes, it is not required to publish evaluation criteria prior to courses starting;
- Undergraduate students are not guaranteed ownership of their intellectual property, while graduate students are;
- Students are not formally entitled to be informed of their academic standing in a course (this is currently at the discretion of instructors);
- Students are not entitled to information on funding, although that information is provided on the U of A’s website in some capacity;
- Students are not entitled to representation on university bodies that make decisions on student affairs beyond the Board of Governors. It is also not mandatory for the university to consult students on student-related decisions: the university does have a consultation guideline it has encouraged its bodies to use, however its use is not mandatory.
A PDF of the document is available here.
Related University policies and disclosure services
- The U of A Calendar, University Regulations and Information for Students
- The Code of Student Behaviour
- The Assessment and Grading Policy; The Grading Procedure; The Access to Evaluative Course Material Procedure
- The Ethical Conduct and Safe Disclosure Policy; the Duty to Accommodate Procedure
- The Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure;
- The Sexual Violence Policy; The Sexual Violence Disclosures and Complaints Procedure
- Disclosure Services, Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights
Please note that the content on these Students' Rights web pages is provided for informational purposes only. It is current as of March 2018. Please carefully review the information on our Disclaimer page prior to using any information from these webpages. For the most recent and up-to-date information we strongly advise you to refer to relevant University of Alberta policies and procedures.