Complaints by students rise 25
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9 April 2008. Complaints by students rise 25%. Complaints by students against their universities have risen for a third year, the adjudicator has reported . . 19 May 2009. Student complaints rise sharply

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Complaints by students rise 25%

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Complaints by students rise 25

9 April 2008

Complaints by students rise 25%

Complaints by students against their universities have risen for a third year, the adjudicator has reported.

Complaints by students rise 25

19 May 2009

Student complaints rise sharply

The university adjudicator for England and Wales received 900 complaints from students in 2008 - a rise of 23% on 2007 - but just 7% were upheld.

Academic appeals northumbria data

Academic AppealsNorthumbria Data

Recent appeals and complaints received by the school of law

Recent Appeals and Complaints Received by the School of Law

  • Misleading information

  • Allegation of bias

  • Timescale

  • Examination Board Decisions

    • Academic Misconduct

    • PECs

Student appeals and complaints good practice and some ideas on delivery

Student Appeals and Complaints:Good Practice and Some Ideas on Delivery

Linda Armstrong, Registrar, School of Law

Mike Adey, Student Appeals and Complaints Ombudsman



  • Trends; where we are going and likely changes on the horizon

  • What makes for good practice when dealing with an appeal or complaint

  • Examples of the nature of complaints/appeals recently received in the School of Law

The programme

The Programme

  • The National and University picture

  • Doing it Well

  • Criteria by which we will be judged

    • University processes

    • OIA criteria

    • Complaints theory

  • Good Practice in the Process

  • An Example of Practice: School of Law

The context for complaints

The Context For Complaints

  • Increasingly litigious society

  • Increasingly loud ‘Student Voice’

  • Link between fees and expected outcomes

How does northumbria compare with other universities

How Does Northumbria Compare With Other Universities?

Where are appeals and complaints going

Where are Appeals and Complaints Going?

  • Numbers will continue to increase

    • An ongoing trend

    • A tight job market places a premium on a good class of degree

    • Increased tuition fees will raise expectations

Increasing profile of student appeals and complaints

Increasing Profile of Student Appeals and Complaints

  • Publication of appeals/complaints data-the OIA thinking;

    • Publish summaries of OIA decisions, naming the university but retaining anonymity of students and staff


    • Publish an annual summary of the total number of appeals/complaints received by each university and the number going to the OIA

  • Compensation levels likely to increase

  • Students to receive all documents viewed during the investigation of their case

Good practice 1

Good Practice (1)

  • Follow our regulations

  • Make reasonable decisions

  • Three dimensions to “procedural fairness”:

    • Procedural fairness (fairness of appeals/complaints policies)

    • Distributive justice (fairness of outcome)

    • Interactional justice (how treated)

Law school processes systems

Law School Processes/Systems

  • One-stop-shop approach

  • File management

    • Chronology

    • File notes

    • Responsibility

  • Shared drive

  • Meeting student expectations

Good practice 2

Good Practice (2)

  • Do not prejudge

  • Respond to every point the complainant makes

  • Explain your reasoning

    • Clear audit trails

  • Refer to evidence used

  • Explain what further opportunities for complaining remain

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