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.

Making a complaint

If the issue cannot be resolved informally, you should make a formal complaint in writing, in line with your University’s formal procedures. You can do this through resolver. Include as much detail as possible, including dates, times and places and details of any witnesses. You should raise the issue promptly, usually within 6 weeks of the issue occurring.

How resolver will help

Resolver will record all your emails and phone calls automatically and for free. At each stage of the process it knows who to escalate your case to within the university and when to do this.

If you are not satisfied

If you have exhausted the university’s internal 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

Some forms of bullying, such as harassment or intimidation over a period of time, can be a criminal offence. If you believe an individual or the university has acted illegally you can seek legal advice or contact the police. You can also seek a judicial review of any decisions made by the OIA.

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Helping you with Bullying & harassment

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