Frisky_dingo
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Hi, I would like to hear accounts of people who have made complaints about their university or course, your experience of how they dealt with it and their procedures, the outcomes and why you felt it necessary to raise you voice and were you alone in doing so...
The volume of press out there reporting student complaints is increasing, here are some interesting stories to follow:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22875719

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18425282

http://www.theguardian.com/money/201...-fails-deliver

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...ght=complaints

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River85
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(Original post by Frisky_dingo)
Post anonymously if you wish.
Not possible to post anonymously outside Health, I'm afraid,

I submitted a complaint against my university (specifically two members of staff) in 2009. This was at a time when the university was facing an increasing number of formal complaints, and legal action, made by people with disabilities.

I'd had two years withdrawn from the university during which time I made little progress academically. I found it difficult to access appropriate support during my time at the university, which disadvantaged me in a major way, and the university were pushing me to leave. I was trying to get them to understand that I was disadvantaged by not having any support, and wished to re-sit my second year as an attending student. However, they weren't having any of it.

I therefore submitted a formal complaint which was partially upheld (would have likely been fully upheld, had I been made to withdraw) and some improvements have been made including compulsory staff training. I completed my degree.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I challenged my final degree classification, as it did not seem to me as though my medical note had been looked at at all or taken into consideration. Last autumn, I finally got around to complaining about College welfare and the counselling I had received from the University Counselling Service.

Nothing really came of any of the complaints: on all accounts, I was told no further action could be taken as I supposedly couldn't prove my claims :nah:
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irasa87
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I made a formal complaint against my dissertation’s supervisor, at the University of Dundee (History department). There were lots of reasons. To be able to meet him (my supervisor), I had to ask the Head of School (who ordered him to meet me), because he was always avoiding me with silly excuses.
He was very inconsistent on his comments. Pretty much everything he advised and approved before (during the working process) later on he criticised when marked.
He refused to help me, and said I should learn on my own.
To get some help from him, the Dean had to order him.
During a meeting, I said that didn’t understand some of his review’s comments, and asked him to explain. Then he became quite rude and hostile.
The dissertation’s marking sheet and review were full of errors. The supervisor himself told me that he made some errors marking the dissertation.
During the formal complaint I talked with a several people in the uni, (the Dean, Vice Principal, Academic Affair Secretary) all of them were very supportive, and condemned the supervisor attitude. But officially my formal complaint was not upheld. I submitted written evidences but the uni ignored all of them. They only upheld the complaint for delay of feedback.
At the end I only got an insincere apology from the supervisor for the delay in feedback. (because he was forced).

The university Student Union (DUSA) helped me at the beginning, but quite weird, (when I was going to appeal the university’s decision), in the middle of the complaint procedure they stopped. Suddenly the student union became quite arrogant, and irrational. I asked the union president why they stopped supporting me. He changed his excuse few times and contradicted himself, at the end he said because the complaint procedure ended, the appeal was external. I showed him the uni complaint procedure (which was pretty clear) but he didn’t even look at it. The same happened with the student union’s (DUSA) general manager, and the DUSA Board Chair. They didn’t care what was written in the uni complaint procedure, they kept saying could not help me.
It wasn’t need because it was written pretty clear, nevertheless, I talked with the Uni Secretary and he said DUSA was wrong. They could have helped, because appeal was an internal process and part of the uni complaint procedure.
Anyone could be mistaken some time. But if you tell a person, please check the document because what you say is the opposite of what is written, and the person keep saying the same, then is weird. But if the same happen with few people in the same place, then makes me wonder something was going on.

It wasn’t a nice experience. Most of the time I was unsupported. Academic Affair Secretary told me that the uni censured the supervisor behaviour and will watch him in the future, but will not admit on public. Officially the uni said the supervisor behaviour has been flawless and highly professional. From the DUSA I wasn’t expecting arrogance and weird behaviour from fellow students.
I requested to the uni all info they hold about my complaint (under Freedom Info) and I found that face to face some people told me something but behind my back said something different. When I meet the Dean he was very supportive with my complaint, “that’s unacceptable, you are right, etc”. later on I found an email in which he said didn’t believe my complaint.
In another email from the Dean to the supervisor (they were talking about me), the Dean said, “we have taught him a lesson”.

I’ve learnt from this that the reason/cause of the complaint (the uni in this case) can not be the judge at the same time. It doesn’t matter you are right, you submit written evidences, or something is written crystal clear. The uni, even the student union, still can say no, and nothing you can do.

The university don’t like complaints. They try to solve the problem friendly, even agree with you on your complaint. But officially will not admit that any of its staff has been unprofessional.
I don’t think is right either, that students only complaint when the fees are high, they should complaint every time something is wrong.
I understand student should complaint if they see something wrong. Like anyone who pay a high price for something and don’t get the quality paid. On the other hand I understand students don’t complaint because nothing change, it’s a waste of time. I’m not sure I would complaint again.
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Frisky_dingo
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Bumping this as I'm still hoping to hear more actual accounts of the students widely reported as having made complaints.
It's interesting that despite the statistics, there's not much actual input from those who have challenged institutions.
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Georgie_M
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(Original post by Frisky_dingo)
Bumping this as I'm still hoping to hear more actual accounts of the students widely reported as having made complaints.
It's interesting that despite the statistics, there's not much actual input from those who have challenged institutions.
I didn't make a complaint but I appealed a decisions and it makes you very powerless.

basically I had extenuating circumstances for one essay in my first year all accepted and I submitted it during retakes and got a 2:1, all fine. I was about register the following year when it said I could not because I had failed a compulsory module. Apparently when you get extenuating circumstances you have to retake all aspects of that module, which I was not aware of and so even though I had previously passed every piece of work because I did not resubmit it I failed.

I appealed the decision showing that it was not available in the module handbook or any other material that this would be the case however appeal denied so I had to retake the module that year (they acted as if they were doing me a massive favour allowing me to retake it it at my own cost). they argued that it was available from the university regulations which I understand but I feel it should be in the handbook under retakes (there is a section on this in the handbook which I referred to at the time).

Surprise surprise subsequent years this information was included.
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by irasa87)
I made a formal complaint against my dissertation’s supervisor, at the University of Dundee (History department). There were lots of reasons. To be able to meet him (my supervisor), I had to ask the Head of School (who ordered him to meet me), because he was always avoiding me with silly excuses.
He was very inconsistent on his comments. Pretty much everything he advised and approved before (during the working process) later on he criticised when marked.
He refused to help me, and said I should learn on my own.
To get some help from him, the Dean had to order him.
During a meeting, I said that didn’t understand some of his review’s comments, and asked him to explain. Then he became quite rude and hostile.
The dissertation’s marking sheet and review were full of errors. The supervisor himself told me that he made some errors marking the dissertation.
During the formal complaint I talked with a several people in the uni, (the Dean, Vice Principal, Academic Affair Secretary) all of them were very supportive, and condemned the supervisor attitude. But officially my formal complaint was not upheld. I submitted written evidences but the uni ignored all of them. They only upheld the complaint for delay of feedback.
At the end I only got an insincere apology from the supervisor for the delay in feedback. (because he was forced).

The university Student Union (DUSA) helped me at the beginning, but quite weird, (when I was going to appeal the university’s decision), in the middle of the complaint procedure they stopped. Suddenly the student union became quite arrogant, and irrational. I asked the union president why they stopped supporting me. He changed his excuse few times and contradicted himself, at the end he said because the complaint procedure ended, the appeal was external. I showed him the uni complaint procedure (which was pretty clear) but he didn’t even look at it. The same happened with the student union’s (DUSA) general manager, and the DUSA Board Chair. They didn’t care what was written in the uni complaint procedure, they kept saying could not help me.
It wasn’t need because it was written pretty clear, nevertheless, I talked with the Uni Secretary and he said DUSA was wrong. They could have helped, because appeal was an internal process and part of the uni complaint procedure.
Anyone could be mistaken some time. But if you tell a person, please check the document because what you say is the opposite of what is written, and the person keep saying the same, then is weird. But if the same happen with few people in the same place, then makes me wonder something was going on.

It wasn’t a nice experience. Most of the time I was unsupported. Academic Affair Secretary told me that the uni censured the supervisor behaviour and will watch him in the future, but will not admit on public. Officially the uni said the supervisor behaviour has been flawless and highly professional. From the DUSA I wasn’t expecting arrogance and weird behaviour from fellow students.
I requested to the uni all info they hold about my complaint (under Freedom Info) and I found that face to face some people told me something but behind my back said something different. When I meet the Dean he was very supportive with my complaint, “that’s unacceptable, you are right, etc”. later on I found an email in which he said didn’t believe my complaint.
In another email from the Dean to the supervisor (they were talking about me), the Dean said, “we have taught him a lesson”.

I’ve learnt from this that the reason/cause of the complaint (the uni in this case) can not be the judge at the same time. It doesn’t matter you are right, you submit written evidences, or something is written crystal clear. The uni, even the student union, still can say no, and nothing you can do.

The university don’t like complaints. They try to solve the problem friendly, even agree with you on your complaint. But officially will not admit that any of its staff has been unprofessional.
I don’t think is right either, that students only complaint when the fees are high, they should complaint every time something is wrong.
I understand student should complaint if they see something wrong. Like anyone who pay a high price for something and don’t get the quality paid. On the other hand I understand students don’t complaint because nothing change, it’s a waste of time. I’m not sure I would complaint again.
I didn't actually complain but I often feel that personal feelings get in the way of fair marking for instance I had an exam which was marked as a fail the unit leader just plain didn't like me when I question why I'd failed he pointed out that what I written for one of the questions was "crap" When I resat that exam the next year I had the same question and answered it exactly the same way and got a pass obvously the paper was marked by a different person.

also in collage a lecturer "lost" one of my assignments for a course work unit meaning I'd for some reason my Dad was there when I handed it in when my dad mentioned that on the phone it amazingly turned up this guy also disliked me for some reason oh well.
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Millie64
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I’ve been complaining to my university for 4 mths and they are just ignoring me I’ve even gone to the OIA who rang the university and they said they would contact me this never happened neither, to top it off they have given me no tutorials no help and a tutor who I’ve never seen or had contact with
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