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University incompetence, advice needed please. watch

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    Hi,

    This is my first post to the student room.

    I am currently studying on an undergraduate programme and was 'lucky' enough to be selected for a study exchange to Denmark (where I am currently typing from). The thing is, however, it has been dogged with problems since the very beginning, mainly due to sheer incompetence and poor communication, not only between my host university and home university, but also between teams and individuals within my home university. Also, there has been a lack of responsibility taken by relevant individuals. Relevant information, such as what, if any, work for my home uni needed to be covered whilst I am away has not been forthcoming, but this is by no means the only failure of the university in this process. It has also even been hard to establish which member of staff is responsible for what in this whole process, and what my personal responsibilities are.

    Also, whenever I ask a question to clarify a particular issue it seems that the 'relevant' people often not only do not know what the answer is, but haven't even considered it at all in their 'planning'. Many of these questions are the first things that spring to my mind, such as 'how do the credits transfer' etc.

    I have even had to pay an extra £60 (I was lucky it didn't cost more) within the last couple of weeks to rearrange a flight time, because I was told the wrong start date to the term, and only found out the Friday beforehand that I had to be in Denmark on the following Monday. This also meant I had to finish a weeks worth of other commitments in two days, basically meaning minimal or no sleep over 48 to 72 hours, and then jumping straight into the placement the following day. Ridiculous.

    I have challenged, politely, this lack of service from my university, who are charging me £9000 per year to study with, and was met with hostility, and even pulled into a private room where I had voices raised to me and unfounded accusations made against me based on hear say 'evidence'. Accusations such as saying inappropriate things to people which I can say are WHOLLY untrue. This was the only meeting I didn't have in front of 'witnesses' with this particular person, not so strangely. I was also encouraged to withdraw from he process, and had to ask several times for information on the complaints procedure before this was forthcoming.

    On top of this behaviour (which can actually be considered bullying, by the universities very own bullying policy), the relevant team are often not available at important times, and when I spoke to their manager to clarify an urgent question on one occasion, he barely even knew what his team did.

    I am not receiving the correct level of support (or indeed any at times) from my university, so when I had a question about having to change a module because of a grading technicality, and have only had my message passed from one person to the other, I am really beginning to get quite angered. At the end of the day this is my future and although I am still in my 20's I am supporting myself fully without any outside help, so if things go wrong, my LIFE is in real trouble.

    The University do not seem to understand this and nor do they seem to care, and resort to intimidation and threats when I politely challenge their inaction. As a result I am left in the lurch. Please can someone help me understand what my options are here. I also have no confidence in my students union after recent racist and sexist comments where made by their 'welfare and diversity officer' and were not reprimanded whatsoever, even following a great deal of public pressure to do so. Thanks in advance.
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    (Original post by LondonStudent00)
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    Hello. Sorry to hear about this. I would advise contacting the superiors of the people who shouted at you but I should tell you about my experience of bullying: if they're on good terms with their superiors, they will likely not be punished or, at the very most, the relevant person will sit you down with them and ask you to talk it over and that will be the end of it.

    It's a sad fact of bullying that if the bully is an important person, then they are able to get away with it most of the time because of their charisma or popularity. What year are you in now? If you're near the end of your course, it might be advisable to simply tolerate it if proper action is not possible. That's what I did in sixth form but the two are probably not comparable...

    In any case, good luck and I hope it works out for you.

    P.S. Is this the university involved in the Bahar Mustafa scandal a couple months back? O.o
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    Thanks for your message. I'm pretty furious at this point in time. Sometimes I feel like I'm being shafted from all angles with no way of getting any justice. I'm bang in the middle of my course, just starting year 2. Yep, that's the students union all right.
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    There's a (fairly) new online complaints advice site called www.resolver.co.uk . I've not used it myself yet but it looks pretty good and is endorsed by Martin Lewis. Universities are covered (listed under public services). Might be worth a look.


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    Thanks a lot for that website, I'm just browsing through it now and it looks really useful.
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    http://www.oiahe.org.uk/making-a-com...aint-form.aspx
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    (Original post by LondonStudent00)
    Thanks for your message. I'm pretty furious at this point in time. Sometimes I feel like I'm being shafted from all angles with no way of getting any justice. I'm bang in the middle of my course, just starting year 2. Yep, that's the students union all right.
    That's unfortunate because that means it's not really possible to just put up with it with a 'it's only for another year...' mindset. :/
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    Thanks for the link domonict.

    Hydeman - yeah you're right.. its a real pain. It really adds insult to injury when you are liable for £9000 per year as well for the experience. You would think now universities are charging individuals so much to study that they would offer better customer service, however the UK HE system doesn't seem to have caught up with this idea, but have very well grasped the concept of how to collect the cash. It's not like they don't still receive government funding as well, which is of course, going to be coming out of my taxes (and everyone elses) when I graduate lol. It's really quite frustrating when you stop and think about it.
 
 
 

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