Student to University Complaints
During your studies there you may decide that you need to make a complaint about your experience. Complaints can be made about the university, a member of staff, or about another student’s unacceptable behaviour. In this section we will take about how to make a complaint about the university or a member of university staff.
Informal Resolution Stage
We recommend that in most instances students try to resolve complaints informally. To discuss your concerns book an appointment with an Adviser and they will advise you on how to do this, and who you should speak to. They can help you prepare statements, and decide on appropriate evidence you can give. 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. This will help get things resolved so you can concentrate on your studies.
You need to complain within twenty working days of becoming aware of an issue, aiming to complete Early Resolution within one month.
If it is not appropriate to complain informally, we can help you to make a formal complaint immediately.
How to submit a formal complaint against the University
All students have the right to make a formal complaint. You may choose to raise a formal complaint if:
- you have tried but failed to resolve things informally
- 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.
- Support you to complete the Complaints form (CS1),
- Represent you at any meetings you may have as part of the complaint investigation process.
- Formal complaints must be made within twenty working days of the completion of early resolution. This period can be extended to forty working days with valid reasoning.
- You should submit your complaint using the CS1 form.
- 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 should respond to your complaint within 20 working days 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. This needs to be submitted within 20 working days of receipt of the response to your CS1, this can be extend to 40 working days with valid reasoning. You are strongly encouraged to speak to a Students’ Union Adviser who can give advice and support you through this stage.
Complaint forms are sent to the Office of Secretary and Clerk who will investigate, or appoint a nominee to investigate, and respond to the complainant, normally within 20 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 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.