Employee for the OIA Edits Wiki page Removing All Negative facts about the Company Watch

Pinkisk
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I'm currently doing a bit of research at university and part of this research, which I just started recently involves looking into the Office of the Independent Adjudicator. This is how I stumbled on this issue.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator is a private company that deals with student complaints about universities. Only, it's origins, how it came to be, and its practices are at best questionable and at worst very shady. Up until recently, this shadiness was beautifully summarised in its Wiki page. Now, over the past couple of months this Wiki page has had a drastic makeover. All the negative points about the company have been removed or re-written in such a way as to minimise their significance. Issues like the fact that this company was funded by universities. Issues like the fact that this company is run by individuals who hold senior positions at universities and therefore suffer from great conflicts of interest. Issues like the fact that it rules against students and in favour of universities 75% of the time. Issues like the fact that it drafted its own rules and those rules were put together by Evershed a law firm that specialises in defending universities from claims made against them by students. Issues like the fact that it refuses to make feedback given to it by students about its services public. Issues like the fact that it isn't answerable to the public or the tax payer in any way. All these issues raise serious concerns about its integrity, independence and impartiality.

Now, like I mentioned before, over the past month this Wiki page that detailed all these things has had a profound makeover. A makeover that has seen all these negative things about the OIA disappear or be re-written in favour of a more positive description of this company. I've been following these changes very closely.

I found through the edit history section of Wikipedia that these changes where all being made by a single individual with no history in making edits on Wikipedia besides these isolated edits. This individual, I found is an employee for the OIA:

Over the past couple of months this employee for the OIA has completely overhauled the wiki page for the company removing all the negative things written about it. He has contributed nothing to wikipedia but edits to the OIA page. Interestingly his profile on LinkdIn states that he's a caseworker and investigator for the OIA and also an employee and postgraduate at a university in the UK. His profile states that he promotes "good practice" at the OIA. I wonder if this behaviour of his qualifies as good practice?

Personally, I find this kind of behaviour from a company that is supposedly independent and impartial, a company tasked with pursuing justice for students, wrong. No, wrong is a bit of an understatement, this is shady squared! this is disgusting.

What do you think about this affair? is it right for an employee of a supposedly independent "body" tasked with investigating cases and pursuing justice to edit wiki pages in this way? How does this company qualify as being independent when its employees, its investigators, also work for the same universities it is tasked with investigating?

...

This is a link to the wiki page as it is now after his edits:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office...nt_Adjudicator

If you want to see the Wiki pages before his edits and you don't know how to bring them up using the edit history on wikipedia, please let know. I will try to upload them somewhere.
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student3331
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This is fascinating. I believe needs to be covered in more detail - even publicly, what else did you discover?
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Pinkisk
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(Original post by student3331)
This is fascinating. I believe needs to be covered in more detail - even publicly, what else did you discover?
I've passed it on to a lawyer student freind of mine and he's working on it.

I spoke to him last week and he said that he's done a lot of stuff. He says that this problem like you said is more serious than it seemed to me at the outset. He says what they've done is not isolated and that its been going on for a long time. They've apparently admitted to him after he contacted them, reluctantly, that they pay staff to do things like this online and he's found that they've been censoring and editing the wiki page for a few years now secretly removing any negative things written about them on that page against wiki policy. He says he wrote them a letter and they've refused to address the things that he wrote in it. He says that he's reported them to Trading Standards and Trading Standards have started an investigation into the OIA for 'criminal something or other'. I wouldn't count on trading standards doing anything. These regulators are just useless quangos that are there to protect companies like the OIA from the public as apposed to the other way around. So ya, I'm not sure that that's going to go anywhere. He's also said that he's spoken to Wikipedia about this issue and that they're taking it very seriously. He says that since he contacted the OIA, directly about this matter they've suddenly stopped making edits to the wiki page. That's just insane. I mean, they were up until recently doing edits almost every day. If you go to the wikipage now it has a warning on it :

"A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia's content policies, particularly neutral point of view."

This warning wasn't there before...This is awesome. He says that the guy he spoke to on wiki advised him to contact the media about the issue and he says that he's got a lot of things that still need doing. We're both working on this issue in our spare time, which isn't much time at all, but we're not going to let it go.

...but we're just students and we're going up against these corrupt quangos that have deep pockets and lawyers up the wazoo. So I'm not putting my hopes up on this going anywhere.
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Realstudent246
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This is so interesting. I'm certain this should be explained fully - perhaps beyond this thread, what else do you know?
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Realstudent246
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All these researches must be taking a lot of time. Criminal something or other sounds like it could be serious - or perhaps just a beat up. How's that lawyer student freind doing - any update from them?
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Pinkisk
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(Original post by Realstudent246)
All these researches must be taking a lot of time. Criminal something or other sounds like it could be serious - or perhaps just a beat up. How's that lawyer student freind doing - any update from them?
Hi Realstudent246,

I am still working hard on this issues in my spare time. I am getting a lot of help from my friend. We've also grown in number slightly, which is nice. I hate to do this alone. It's very draining. A family member of mine, who's a lecturer at a university, has now joined our ranks. That has helped shed some light on some issues and open a lot of doors. I haven't approached the media about this issue just yet. I want to make a strong case before doing that.

I have spoken to a number of students who have had issues with the OIA. I'm also in the process of trying to have a friend of mine who had a traumatic issue with their university last year, that led them to attempt suicide, to get involved. This friend 's experience was a huge factor in my pursuing this issue. I've also spoken to a number of lecturers at different universities that are concerned by the OIA and the way in which universities handle complaints by students and its been an issue for a long time. This issue clearly affects a lot of students. I've come across so many threads by so many students about this company. This problem the more I look into it the more it becomes clear to me that it is sadly systematic and pervasive.

I want to do this issue justice. It's not going to be easy. I can tell you that much already, but nothing easy is ever worth having.

Do you have an experience with the OIA?
Do you have any suggestions/ideas/complaints/an experience that you would like to share with me? It'll help guide my research.
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montana2019
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I have had very bad experience with the OIA and I have the evidence to prove a all the corruption and conflict of interest you are talking abouthave you got an email i can contact you on?
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Pinkisk
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(Original post by montana2019)
I have had very bad experience with the OIA and I have the evidence to prove a all the corruption and conflict of interest you are talking abouthave you got an email i can contact you on?
Hi Montana,

I've pm'd you an email that me and my friends have specifically made for these matters.

You are not alone.

These problems at the OIA, as I mentioned before, seem to be systematic and pervasive. It seems like they do their best to have any criticism of their company removed from the internet. Clearly, this company has a lot to hide. Their wiki page the one that my lawyer friend reported, the one that now has warning on it now stating that its been modified by an employee at the OIA against wiki policy, is now no longer the first link you come across when you type the OIA on Google. This wasn't the case before we reported them to wiki. After we reported them to wiki and after wiki edited their page to show that its been covertly modified by an employee at the OIA against wiki policy their company website started appearing as the first link when you search for the OIA on Google. I am not sure why that has happened, but it seems very weird. One of my friends is looking into it, but it seems to me like they don't want students to see their wiki page anymore. Still, these guys are wilfully engaged in highly unethical behaviours. We have a highly corrupt organisation, funded by universities, handling very serious cases involving people's futures, people's lives/careers, engaging in highly unethical, corrupt behaviours online. This issue is a scandal.

If you have had experience with the OIA, that you are willing to share, please pm me or leave a message on here. I will get back to you very promptly!!!
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montana2019
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100% - These guys are wilfully engaged in highly unethical behaviours. We have a highly corrupt organisation, funded by universities, handling very serious cases involving people's careers, engaging in highly unethical, corrupt behaviour.

The OIA are like the last barrier to protect Universities from student complaints and they hence help the University to get away with as much as they can and as a result, the University's simply keep doing what they are doing and to its students. Consumers who paid fees.

OIA are funded by Universities via Tuition Fee payment made by the student (consumer) - since, 2004 and most importantly, the Higher Education Act 2004.

OIA advise Universities on how to deal with complaints and on their complaints procedures - its a massive joke guys.

The OIA need to be called out - this sector is not controlled and students are not protected at all - and rather looked at like money instead of people and the OIA and some of these establishments are abusing students in the process.

(Original post by Pinkisk)
Hi Montana,

I've pm'd you an email that me and my friends have specifically made for these matters.

You are not alone.

These problems at the OIA, as I mentioned before, seem to be systematic and pervasive. It seems like they do their best to have any criticism of their company removed from the internet. Clearly, this company has a lot to hide. Their wiki page the one that my lawyer friend reported, the one that now has warning on it now stating that its been modified by an employee at the OIA against wiki policy, is now no longer the first link you come across when you type the OIA on Google. This wasn't the case before we reported them to wiki. After we reported them to wiki and after wiki edited their page to show that its been covertly modified by an employee at the OIA against wiki policy they paid Google to have their company appear as the first link when students search for the OIA on Google. They don't want students to see their wiki page anymore. These guys are wilfully engaged in highly unethical behaviours. We have a highly corrupt organisation, funded by universities, handling very serious cases involving people's careers, engaging in highly unethical, corrupt behaviours online. This issue is a scandal.

If you have had experience with the OIA, that you are willing to share, please pm me or leave a message on here. I will get back to you very promptly!!!
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Emtann98
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Megajules has a very good thread on how the oia are unfair after bad experiences. I'm sure they would be happy to get on board with this
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Pinkisk
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(Original post by Emtann98)
Megajules has a very good thread on how the oia are unfair after bad experiences. I'm sure they would be happy to get on board with this
I have had a read through her posts, the ones relating to the OIA. They are all very, very interesting, but her account has not been active for quite a while. I've sent her a message. Hopefully, she'll get back to me. I would love to have a chat with her.
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Megajules
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
I have had a read through her posts, the ones relating to the OIA. They are all very, very interesting, but her account has not been active for quite a while. I've sent her a message. Hopefully, she'll get back to me. I would love to have a chat with her.
I have messaged you!
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