Right to an explanation – University of Copenhagen

Right to an explanation

If you submit an application for exemption or a complaint and it is rejected, you have the right to:

  • An explanation
  • A reference to the rules on which the ruling is based
  • Information about the appeals procedure.

Explanations must clearly state why the decision was made. In this way, you know why the decision was made and who to appeal to if you disagree with it.

Read more about the requirement for an explanation and the complaint guidelines in the Public Administration Act (Danish).

The student ambassador’s experience is that an adequate explanation means students have a better understanding of an issue even when applications are rejected. 

In the example below, the study board could have elaborated on why it thought that the fact that the student’s father was ill did not constitute exceptional circumstances.

It could have mentioned the burden of documentary evidence, for example, i.e. that the exam coincided with her father’s illness.

Example of an inquiry to the student ambassador

A student had applied for a fourth exam attempt but it had been rejected. She had failed the second and third attempts because her father was severely ill at the time. She had applied for an exemption after reading on the study pages that an additional attempt was permitted under exceptional circumstances (including illness in the immediate family).

The study board’s rejection stated that it did not consider her father’s illness an exceptional circumstance, but failed to explain the reasoning behind its judgement. The student appealed the ruling, citing the study pages where it said that exemptions may be granted in the event of illness in the immediate family.