Please note that this page is regarding complaints to the University. For complaints regarding the Students’ Union please click the button below for more information.
If you feel the University have provided you with a disservice, not acted with due care or have broken a regulation/code of practice then you may be entitled to report through the complaints procedure with the University.
The complaints procedure covers:
- Provision or delivery of programmes and/or modules.
- Provision or delivery of academic, administrative or other services delivered by the University
So you could complain that your accommodation wasn’t fit for purpose or that your module was delivered in a way that was different than advertised. However, you can not complain about your grades or anything academic – you would need to go through the procedure for academic appeals in this case.
The University has a three stage complaints procedures. So, you need to work out what stage you are already at and which stage you need to go through first. Take a look below to see a description of each stage.
How can the Students’ Union help me?
Our Academic advisors are trained in the regulations and can support you through the complaints procedure and how to best raise your complaint with the University. They are able to:
- Look through your statement and complaint and see if they believe you have grounds to complain to the University
- Look over your evidence for you to support your complaint
- Support you in attending meetings with the University at first stage, and second stage
- Support you in writing your stage one, two or three complaint
- Advise you on who best to speak to within the University for your complaint
Establish what stage you are at – the University has a three stage Complaints Procedure and they are sequential. This means that you must have attempted the first stage before you move to the second stage
Stage 1: Informal complaint to seek early resolution
You should attempt to make contact with the relevant member of staff in the department/service to raise your concerns – e.g. module leader or student services. If you are unable to, or unwilling to make contact with them, then you should speak with their line manager as a first point of contact.
We suggest you try and arrange a meeting over email and then take notes in the meeting as a summary of the discussion. Hopefully your complaint will be resolved at this stage but;
- If you are unhappy with the response, you can escalate this to the head of school or manager of the service.
- If you are unhappy with the response from their manager or the department, then you can move to stage two of the complaints process
Stage 2: Formal complaint to the Office of Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulations
You need to complete the Complaint Form, found on the OSCAR website and prepare a statement explaining your your concerns, what happened and what your complaint is regarding. For the best chance of an upheld complaint, we recomend you do the following:
- Write a statement explaining that you have tried to resolve your concerns locally (you’ll need evidence to demonstrate this), what happened, how it impacted you and what outcome you would like. It can often help to create a short timeline of issues at the start of the statement for clarity.
- We suggest you read through relevant codes of conduct, policies etc – you might find that there has been a breach which you can reference in your complaint.
- Gather together supporting evidence e.g. relevant documents, emails etc.
- Send the form and supporting evidence to OSCAR, who will allocate your complaint to a complaint handler.
Stage 3: Complaint Review Panel
Stage 3 is optional and you would only go to this stage if you were unhappy with the outcome or handling of the complaint at Stage 2. You can not progress to stage 3 without completing stage 2.
Stage 3 complaints are considered by a panel of three people who will look at the complaint in it’s entirely and decide on an outcome together.
It is worth us also saying that, if once you have completed the University’s full complaints procedure (ie, all three stages) then you can also take your complaint to an external company known as the OIA. Please email us for more information on this using the button at the top of the page.
What do I need to do first?
Read the University’s Complaints procedure. These can be found on the web-site of the Office of Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulations (OSCAR) https://www.surrey.ac.uk/office-student-complaints-appeals-and-regulation
If you need further help and guidance, or would like the Student’s Union to have a look through your case and statement, we would be happy to. Just get in touch with our advice team!