A considerable body of literature has documented the significance of fair treatment in terms of generating trust towards decision-makers across different institutional contexts. It has also been demonstrated that even young children are sensitive to procedural justice, and that experiences of both fairness and unfairness help shape young people’s wider attitudes towards authority. In this paper, we seek to extend these findings into the academic context. We use data from two separate studies of university students in Poland. In study 1 (N = 315), using a survey to capture students’ actual experiences, we find that fair treatment was a stronger predictor of perceived legitimacy of university authorities than were fair outcomes. In study 2 (N = 751), also using a survey of a nationally representative sample of university students, we demonstrate that this procedural effect is mediated by students’ identification with their university, and that trust in academic authorities translates into higher levels of engagement and lower levels of burnout. Academic identification fully mediated the relationship between both procedural and distributive fairness and engagement and partly mediated the relationship between the two dimensions of fairness and burnout. We conclude that the experience of procedural fairness leads students to more strongly identify with their university and thereby enhances their trust in university authorities.