Section 1 – Details. This is self-explanatory complete list all your details.
Section 2 – Complaint summary. When summarising your complaint, you only need a brief description making clear that you are complaining about the impact of industrial action. If there are any other aspects of your student experience that have been affected due to the strikes you would also briefly mention this here.
Section 3 –Documented Evidence – What evidence do you have to support your complaint (email correspondence?)
Section 4 - Previous Actions – You should briefly summarise what you have done so far to try and resolve this complaint. Who you have spoken to during the informal stage and what prevented the complaint from being resolved?
Section 5 - Your Preferred Outcome. This is where you ask for exactly what you want. You should consider:
Do you want financial compensation or extra/different learning opportunities to make up for teaching lost and/or other contact that was lost?
If asking for additional or other learning opportunities, state clearly what you want. For example, do you want to be able to be offered the chance to receive key course content/opportunities from your module/programme that you missed later? Are their equivalent short courses you feel should be offered later? If so, make this clear and list any relevant courses or module content.
If asking for financial compensation, a good starting point could be to work out from the fees paid for the term, how much you may have paid for the module(s) affected etc. You could then factor in any measures taken by your department to reduce the impact before deciding what amount you consider to be appropriate compensation. You may also wish to consider if you have evidence of any unexpected additional costs incurred directly as a result from the circumstances of the strike action and/or the measures taken by the university to reduce the impact.
For any amount you request, you should consider then reducing this number by 50% to consider that higher education providers must provide and maintain buildings, IT and library facilities, wellbeing and other student support and administration. This is the approach taken by the OIA when awarding compensation/fee refunds for industrial action.
Section 6 – Student Declaration. This section is self-explanatory.
Submitting the Complaints Form. The complaints form along with any accompanying evidence should be submitted to the student campus that you are studying at.
What happens next?
You will receive a letter of acknowledgement and be informed that the investigation into your complaint is about to start. An Investigation Officer will be appointed to carry out the Stage 1 investigation and will contact you if they need more information. The Investigation Officer will write to you and let you know where within the University your complaint has been sent for consideration. You can expect a response within 20 working days explaining the results of the Stage 1 investigation.
What will the reply say?
If your complaint is well-founded or partially founded, you will be offered an apology or other redress if appropriate and the University will explain the measures to be put in place to ensure the situation is not repeated. If your complaint is deemed be unfounded a full explanation will be provided. Guidelines for the Resolution of your Complaint (Student Complaints Procedure) 2017
What if I don't like the result?
You will be invited to respond to the outcome of the Stage 1 investigation. If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can request a review of the decision by submitting a Formal Complaint Stage 1 Review Form. Please be aware that your request must fall within the permitted grounds to seek a review, you must give sound reasons as to why you think the Stage 1 investigation has been unfair or inadequate. Simply not liking the result of the investigation will not be sufficient reason for the review to go ahead.
What form will the stage 2 review of my case file take?
Within 15 working days of receipt of the Formal Complaint Stage 1 Review Form, the Head of Academic Registry will review all the documentation gathered as a part of your complaint to determine whether you may put your case to the University Complaints Committee. Further evidence may be requested at this stage.
What happens next?
The outcome of the Stage 2 review will find either:
that there are no grounds for taking the matter further - if this is the case, the Head of Academic Registry will write to you and inform you of your right to request a final review of the outcome of the complaint procedure under the Final Review Procedure, or
that there are grounds for consideration and further investigation. If this is the case, an independent University Complaints Committee will be convened to consider your complaint.
What can I expect from the committee stage?
The committee will consist of the Chair, a Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominee, a member of the Student Experience Committee from a non-related faculty or office, or a senior representative from a non-related faculty or office, and a representative from the Students' Union Sabbatical Officers. A Secretary will be appointed to arrange the meeting and will take the notes. You may bring a companion with you who may advocate for you, maybe a representative from the Students' Union, a friend or parent, providing this person is not connected to the complaint but this may not be a legal professional or someone receiving payment to attend.
You will present your case and then you will be invited to stay while the University Faculty or Office considers the case and you will be offered the opportunity to respond to questions. The Committee will then confer in private and you will be sent their decision in writing with a full explanation as to how they reached this conclusion. What can I expect the University to do if my case is well founded? The University will apologise for any mistake that it has made and try to ensure this does not happen in future. Each case will be looked at on its merits and a range of outcomes is possible, but the University will always try to achieve resolution. Guidelines for the Resolution of your Complaint (Student Complaints Procedure) 2017.
What can I expect at the end of the formal complaints procedure?
You will get a letter summarising the outcome of the formal complaints process, which could be at one of several of the above stages depending on the findings. You will be informed of your right to request a final review of the outcome of the complaint procedure under the Final Review Procedure.
Final Review Procedure Requests for a final review must be made in writing to the Director of Student & Academic Services within 15 working days from the date of notification of the formal outcome imposed on the Request for Final Review Form, which is available to download via the Student Portal. Full details of the Final Review Procedure can be found on the ‘Student regulations, policies and procedures’ pages of the University website.
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