Right of complaint
All students have the right to complain if they believe a particular service has not met their requirements or expectations. This applies to both academic services (for example, teaching or support) and non-academic services (for example, catering or housing) that are provided by the University.
Timing of complaint
You should complain early on when a problem arises. Dealing with a problem early on may prevent the problem getting bigger and harder to resolve. The University will not usually consider complaints that are made more than three months after the problem has occurred unless a student can demonstrate that there is a reasonable cause for the delay.
Will I be seen as a troublemaker?
Students are actively encouraged to complain when they have a genuine concern. The University undertakes to investigate all complaints in a fair and impartial way.
Before you make a formal complaint
Have you tried bringing your complaint to the attention of a relevant member of the University staff (an informal complaint)? For example if the complaint relates to an academic issue a student could discuss the matter with their personal tutor, module leader or course leader. If the matter relates to a service department then the problem could be discussed with the appropriate manager.
Students can contact Student Representatives who can help students address a range of issues. Further details on how to contact the appropriate Student Rep is available from the Students' Union Academic Coordinator.
However, some matters cannot be dealt with informally or have escalated beyond a 'local' level. Therefore, a more formal, documented approach may be necessary.
How do I make a formal complaint
You need to submit your complaint in writing. You can obtain a complaints form from the Student and School Offices, or from the Students' Union reception. You can also download a form from the University's website here. In the University's complaints procedure this is known as Stage One.
What do I need to put on the form?
- Date of complaint
- Has the complaint been addressed with anyone?
- Your name, address, contact number, course, and student number
- Full details of your complaint, attaching any evidence you have to support your complaint
Where do I send the form?
You should send the completed complaints form to the Head of the Conducts and Appeals Unit at The George (MG Building) or direct to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens next?
You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint within 7 days and then your complaint will be investigated by the Head of the Conducts and Appeals Unit.
You may be asked to attend a meeting with the person(s) investigating your complaint. If you would like support and representation, contact the Students' Union Advice and Support Centre (01902 322038).
You will normally receive a substantive response to your complaint within 28 days (this may take longer during vacation periods).
What if I’m not happy with the outcome of my complaint?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, because you believe that some vital information/evidence has been missed or some more evidence has come to light since the first complaint was made, you should notify the Conduct & Appeals Unit in writing, of your intent to raise the complaint at Stage Two. This must be done within 30 days of the date of written notification of Stage One outcome.
Conduct and Appeals will review the case and if they decide that the complaint requires further review then a resolution panel may be convened. You are entitled to attend this meeting along with a friend or Officer of the Students' Union. The panel will either uphold the complaint in whole or in part or dismiss the complaint.
Complaints that have exhausted the University's complaint procedure may be eligible to be taken to the Office of Independent Adjudicator www.oiahe.org.uk , which is an external body that review the decisions that Universities make regarding student complaints.
To make a complaint to the OIA you must have a Completion of Procedures letter from the University - i.e. you cannot go to the OIA without having gone through the University Stage One and Stage Two procedures first.