Universities - Procedural irregularities
Who is your issue with?
Explains your rights to you
Helps you prepare your emails
Creates a case file for you
Lets you record all your communications
Lets you know when to escalate your complaint
As a student you should expect a high quality of service from your university or college. If you have a complaint about the academic programme, your first step should be to talk to your tutor or the member of staff responsible. Explain the situation and give them an opportunity to put things right.
Any complaint you make should be treated confidentially and should have no impact on your study or marks.
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.
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 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. Be aware that the OIA cannot rule on areas of ‘academic judgement’, issues that rely on the opinion of an academic expert. This can include issues relating to course content or marking.
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.