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Office of Independent Adjudicator - good or bad experiences?

I am a final year student however i failed one of my exams and my appeal outcome was unsuccessful - they didn't accept my extenuating circumstance which was handed in after i discovered i failed - yep i know this is my own fault . I have an ongoing medical condition which the uni are well aware of. I feel like it was unfair the way they disregarded a legitimate medical note and was wondering whether going down the Office of Independent Adjudicator route would be a viable option.

My uni do offer another alternative to present relevant new material which would support my appeal - but i need good reason as to why it wasn't presented before.

What should i do?!!

Any advice?
Reply 1
Did you resolve your case?

I've heard that this is a fairly common problem with university's not accepting evidence after a student takes the exam.

It seems to depend on how reasonable your university is with regards to accepting late evidence. I think unfortunately most are very unreasonable. If they have strict guidelines on it, it is very possible that the OIA will defend the university no matter how unreasonable this sounds.

With hindsight, after taking my complaint to the OIA, I wish I would have got a higher education law solicitor to advise me on the merits of my case as early as possible. I know that the OIA advertise on their website that it isn't necessary but I strongly believe they say this for their own benefit not yours. The one I spoke to quoted £300 - £500 to do this, which is a lot of money but worth it, since it is the student’s job to persuade the OIA your complaint is justified. This is very difficult when you are not 100% sure of the merits of your case. I don't think many solicitors have a legal aid contract for judicial review, although I know that at least one exists.

The earlier you get advice the more options are available to the solicitors, as there are many strict deadlines that have to be met. I would even recommend getting advice during the university complaint stage as the solicitors I spoke to said that this gives them more options and also they notice a shift in the university's and OIAs attitude to the complaint.

I believe the main problem with the OIA is that they do not have to make good decisions, or the best possible answer. They simply have to make a decision. I know this sounds unbelievable but I believe it's true. See the judicial review of Thilakawardhana v OIA to see for yourself, if necessary

Also if your SU is well informed get their help as I strongly do not recommend doing this alone.

Please ask if you think there is anything else I can help with
The OIA do not have a great service, but do go to them. I had a similar situation. The OIA decided that my medical note was valid medical evidence. Do ask the OIA to prioritize your complaint, explaining the situation. You are the law student, so check all the laws they breached (e.g. SGSA 1982 through lack or reasonable care and skill in considering your note - section 13, I think) and also ask financial compensation for it, on top of compensation for distress and inconvenience. Be proactive but polite. Don't be disrespectful to the OIA, no matter how unfair you think they or the University is. I did not get a very good result to my OIA complaint in term of compensation, but they did get the University to accept my medical letter as valid.
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous #1
The OIA do not have a great service, but do go to them. I had a similar situation. The OIA decided that my medical note was valid medical evidence. Do ask the OIA to prioritize your complaint, explaining the situation. You are the law student, so check all the laws they breached (e.g. SGSA 1982 through lack or reasonable care and skill in considering your note - section 13, I think) and also ask financial compensation for it, on top of compensation for distress and inconvenience. Be proactive but polite. Don't be disrespectful to the OIA, no matter how unfair you think they or the University is. I did not get a very good result to my OIA complaint in term of compensation, but they did get the University to accept my medical letter as valid.

The OP has not posted for six years.

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