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Resolving students’ complaints

Thursday 10 July 2008 Higher Education

Unfortunately it’s inevitable that some students will experience problems during their degree course, whether it’s dissatisfaction with feedback on an essay, complaints about their accommodation or that specific circumstances weren’t taken into account when marking an exam.

Many of these issues can be resolved informally and initially the best course of action may be to discuss them with tutors or your course reps (students who are elected to represent the views of others on their course).

If the problem is more serious, for example if you’ve been accused of plagiarism or you suspect unfairness in the marking process, your university will have its own internal system for making complaints or appeals. It’s difficult for NUS to advise you on what to expect, as procedures vary so widely between institutions, but your students’ union will be able to guide and support you through the process.

If the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction using internal procedures, and you have gone through all the stages of the university complaints procedures and received a 'letter of completion' you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). The OIA is an independent student complaints scheme and is free to students.

You can find out more on the OIA website.