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A GUIDE TO...

T N E D U T S S T N I A L P COM

Study

2010

Survival

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Students’ Union President Swansea Met Students’ Union, Mount Pleasant Campus Email: president@smu.ac.uk | Tel: 01792 655400 Web: www.metsu.org/academicaffairs


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A GUIDE TO... STUDENT COMPLAINTS This leaflet should be read in conjunction with the University’s Student complaints Procedures, the Verification and Appeals Procedure and your Faculty or Department Handbooks. If you need any future advice for anything on these issues then contact the Students’ Union ASAP! We are independent from the university and are here for your welfare and support needs. A situation may arise where you feel that you have not been appropriately supported during your study, or that your qualification may be damaged through neglect by the University. In cases like this you have the right to complain to the University – this guide is designed as a basis to understanding whether you have grounds for a complaint and if so how to go about complaining.

T GROUNDS OF COMPLAIN

– these are not the only grounds for which you can complain but are here to provide an illustration. Quite simply if you believe you have been unfairly treated or your study damaged then a complaint is worth checking out with the Students Union or your Personal Tutor. • Your lecturer CONTINUALLY cancels lectures without good reason or notice. • Your lecturer CONTINUALLY fails to mark set course work or examinations and/or fails to return within REASONABLE TIME.

• A staff member uses abusive remarks or has harassed you. • A staff member’s words or actions have or could have led to mental or physical injury. IMPORTANT NOTES 1. Time is of the essence! – The Universities procedures have time limits – if your complaint falls outside them it may not be able to be investigated. 2. Don’t keep quiet! Make sure you go and ask for help – particularly from the Students’ Union who are here to support you whatever the issue.

Students’ Union President Swansea Met Students’ Union, Mount Pleasant Campus Email: president@smu.ac.uk | Tel: 01792 655400 Web: www.metsu.org/academicaffairs

Study Survival

2010

Here are a few examples of potential complaints

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How to Complain

The complaints process involves two stages: The Local Stage and the Formal Stage (explained in more detail below). The University expect that matters are attempted to be dealt with on a local level before any formal complaints are made.

THE LOCAL STAGE The first process is known as the “informal procedure” – basically it involves you and usually the Dean of your department attempting to resolve the issue successfully without having to hold formal meetings or put your complaint into an official form. You have TEN days after the issue occurred to raise your complaint with the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean will then follow the University procedures and will give you a suggested response within TEN working days. You may accept this response, however if you are still not satisfied then you may make a formal complaint.

THE FORMAL STAGE

If you inform the Dean that you are not happy with their response they will offer you a STUDENT COMPLAINT FORM (SC/F1). You will need to fill this out and return it to the Academic registrar within FIVE working days – remember the Students’ Union can help you with this. The Academic Registrar will begin his or her investigation and may ask you for further supporting information. You will be informed within FIVE working days of the final outcome. If you are still not happy with the resolution you are entitled to an “Appeal”.

An Appeal If you were not happy with the final decision you must write to the Academic Registrar in TEN working days and apply for an appeal. Once your request has been received the Academic Registrar will form an appeals panel and inform you of the date at least SEVEN days before it is due to be held. You may bring a friend to this panel – it is extremely advisable to take advice from the Students Union regarding this process. The Academic Registrar will inform you of the panel’s decision within reasonable time. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome then you should meet with a Students’ Union officer who will be able to discuss your options with you.

Office of Independent Adjudication for Higher Education (OIA) The OIA is an independent body which can review student complaints. It can only consider cases after you have received a Completion of Procedures letter, which will be issued once the University’s internal procedures have been exhausted. The OIA will not review issues that have not been through the University’s internal procedures first. Please visit www.oiahe.org.uk for further information.

Support from you Students’ Union The rules and regulations governing an appeal can seem extremely complex. If you need any help and support throughout this entire process please contact us. We aim to help you to clarify the rules and regulations and will help you fill in any paperwork. We can also accompany you to meetings with the University if you require support or assistance, and can assist you in submitting an application to the OIA.

Study Survival

2010

Students’ Union President Swansea Met Students’ Union, Mount Pleasant Campus Email: president@smu.ac.uk | Tel: 01792 655400 Web: www.metsu.org/academicaffairs

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