If you are not happy with your experience at University you are entitled to make a complaint about your experience, this could be about another student’s unacceptable behaviour or about the University.
The Students’ Union Advice Service recommends that students try to resolve complaints against the University or other students informally first, book an appointment with an Adviser and they will advise you on how to approach this and who you should speak to. They can help you prepare statements and decide on appropriate evidence, they can also represent you in any informal meetings including speaking on your behalf if you want them to. You should speak to an Adviser as soon as possible after the incident you wish to raise informally, this will help get things resolved so you can concentrate on your studies.
How to submit a formal complaint against the University
All students have the right to make a formal complaint if they have tried but failed to resolve things informally or if the nature of your complaint is not appropriate to be resolved through the informal route. The Students’ Union Advice Service can advise you on the most appropriate route for your complaint. They can support you to complete the CS1 form and represent you at any meetings you may have as part of the complaint investigation process.
- Formal complaints must be made within three calendar months of the incident/event.
- Where the complaint relates to a series of incidents, the complaint must be made within three calendar months of the first such incident.
- You should submit your complaint using the CS1 form found here
- If a group of students wish to lodge a complaint about the same issue, they may do so by completing one CS1 form and attaching a list of names, SID numbers and signatures to the form.
- The Secretary and Clerk’s office will send the CS1 form to the Faculty or relevant support service for investigation.
What happens next?
The University has 15 working days to investigate your complaint and report back to you, if they need more time they will let you know. It is important to engage fully with the complaint investigation to ensure it is resolved.
If the complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, your next step is to submit a CS2 form available here within 15 working days of receipt of the response to your CS1. You are strongly encouraged to speak to a Students’ Union Adviser who can give advice and support you through this stage.
This will be sent to the Vice Chancellor who will investigate, or appoint a nominee to investigate, and respond to the complainant, normally within 15 working days of receipt. It is important to engage fully with the complaint investigation to ensure it is resolved. The Students’ Union Advisers can support you through the CS2 process including attending any meetings with you and if needed speak on your behalf.
What if I am still unhappy?
When the University’s internal procedures have been fully followed and exhausted you will receive from the University a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter’. At that stage you have the right to appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, who will carry out an independent review of your complaint. Details about the OIA and the type of complaints they are willing to investigate are available at their website here.
How to submit a formal complaint against another student
All students have the right to make a formal complaint against another student due to unacceptable behaviour if they have tried but failed to resolve things informally or if the nature of your complaint is not appropriate to be resolved through the informal route. The Students’ Union Advice Service can advise you on the most appropriate route for your complaint. It is important that you know the University’s procedures for student to student complaints, they can be found here.
- Students should write to their Dean of Faculty within ten days of the incident or situation with another student they want to complain about.
- Students are strongly encouraged to speak to the Students’ Union Advice Service before submitting a complaint, they can help you draft your complaint and consider what evidence is appropriate to include in your complaint.
- Alternatively students can contact the Director of Student Services for support in submitting a complaint about another student.
What happens next?
- The Dean of Faculty will investigate your complaint or they can appoint an experienced member of staff to investigate on their behalf.
- They have 15 working days to investigate your complaint about another student and report back to you. If they need more time they will let you know.
- It is important to engage fully with the complaint investigation to ensure it is resolved. You may be asked to attend meetings as part of the investigation process, the Students’ Union Adviser can attend these meetings with you for support and representation.
- The Dean of Faculty will report back their outcome to you, there are various outcomes depending on the nature of your complaint and the findings of the investigation. This may include that the student your complaint is about is subject to the Student Disciplinary process.