Universities - Bullying & harassment
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Rights guide: bullying & harassement
As a student you should expect your university to provide an environment where people are treated with dignity and respect.
If you experience bullying or harassment at University your first step should be to talk to your personal tutor or other member of staff. Explain the situation and give them an opportunity to help you resolve the situation informally.
If you need advice
You can get help and advice from your local student union or your university’s student advice centre. Your university may also have its own harassment advice service, which can provide help and support.
You should ask for a copy of your university’s anti-bullying and harassment policy, which may be available on its website.You should know
Making a complaint
If the issue cannot be resolved informally, you should make a formal complaint in writing. You can do this through resolver. Include as much detail about your complaint as possible and explain how you would like it to be resolved. Include any evidence relevant to your complaint. You should raise the issue promptly, usually within 6 weeks of the issue occurring.
You may want to ask for a copy of your university’s complaints policy, which should be available on its website. The university should respond promptly to your complaint, usually within two weeks.
Taking things further
If you have exhausted the university’s internal complaints procedure and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). The OIA is free for students to use.
Fill in the OIA complaints form and send them a copy of your resolver case file. Include the Completion of Procedures letter from your university that shows you have completed their internal complaints procedure. The complaints form can be downloaded from the OIA website, www.oiahe.org.uk. You must contact the OIA within three months of receiving the Completion of Procedures letter.
If the OIA agrees with your complaint they will make recommendations to the university on what actions to take. They cannot award compensation to students.
Your final option
If you believe the university has acted illegally you can seek legal advice. You can also seek a judicial review of any decisions made by the OIA.
If you need additional advice
You can get help and advice on making a complaint from your local student union or your university’s student advice centre. Information is also available on the website of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator www.oiahe.org.uk.
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