Student complaints and queries

PLEASE NOTE – there is a difference between a Complaint and an Academic Appeal.  Typically, a Complaint might relate to some aspect of how your course is running, an issue concerning a specific member of staff, or a specific University resource.  An Academic Appeal would more typically relate to a matter concerning the assessment of your work.

This section provides information on student complaints, please see the section concerning Academic Appeals if appropriate.

The University wants every student to have a positive and successful academic and social experience whilst they are studying.  However the University is a large and complex organisation and sometimes things can go wrong.  If that does happen it is always best if the matter can be resolved locally and informally by discussing the matter in a mature fashion with the staff within your programme.  These are staff attached directly to your course and for the most part will be best placed to help to resolve the matter quickly and effectively.

Undergraduate Key Contacts

Postgraduate Key Contacts

Should you find you are not able to resolve the matter in this way, you should arrange to meet with your Subject Group Leader should this not be effective.  If, having first tried all of the above, it has still not been possible to resolve your concern, then the University has formal complaint procedure that you may use, as a last resort.

For COMPLAINTS, please follow the stages below:

Step 1 (Informal)

In the first instance, please remember to discuss any issue, complaint or matter of concern directly with your Tutor, Module Leader or Programme Leader.

Step 2 (Informal)

If STEP ONE has not resulted in a resolution please raise the matter directly with your Subject Group Leader who will be happy to advise and help.

Step 3 (Formal)

If you feel that STEPS ONE & TWO have not resolved the matter adequately, a formal complaint may be submitted to the Dean of School.  All formal complains to the Dean MUST be submitted using a University Complaints Form (available from the Student Office) within 3 months of the incident concerned.  All complaints will be treated seriously and will be investigated by an independent person.  They may result in the case being resolved through action, or dismissed, by the Dean.

Step 4 (Formal)

In the event that you are dissatisfied with the outcome at STEP FOUR, you can request a review of the decision by the Vice Chancellor, at this stage it would be expected that you would be presenting additional information which you feel has been overlooked or not yet fully considered at the earlier stages.

Step 5 (Formal)

Finally, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome once you have exhausted all of the University’s own procedures then you can approach the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).  The University will inform you of how to do this at the appropriate time.  The OIA will not accept a complaint until it has been confirmed by the University that all internal stages have been followed and completed.

This handbook only gives you the most basic information, if you are wishing to make a formal complaint you are advised to read the relevant UH policies (UPRs AS12 Appendix 1, AS14 Appendix III, SA13 and SA05) available at http://www.herts.ac.uk/about-us/corporate-governance/uprs.cfm.

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