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Complaints and appeals procedure

In line with the University of London’s commitment to establish an aligned University of London Quality Assurance Framework, there will be one University of London Student Complaints and Academic Appeals Procedure from 18 April 2016 onwards. This procedure should be followed by students of the International Programmes and the School of Advanced Study.

View our procedure for University of London Student Complaints and Academic Appeals here.

Complaints

We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.

You can make a complaint about:

  • The quality and standard of any service we provide
  • Our failure to provide a service
  • The quality of our facilities or learning resources
  • The unfair treatment or inappropriate behaviour by a student or staff member
  • The failure of the University to follow an appropriate administrative process
  • Dissatisfaction with University policy.
  • Your complaint may involve one or more aspect of the above or more than one department.

There are some things we cannot deal with through our appeals and complaints procedure. These include:

  • A routine, first-time request for a service (you should contact the student advice centre).
  • A request under Freedom of Information or Data Protection legislation
  • A request for information or an explanation of policy or practice (you should contact the student advice centre).
  • An appeal against academic judgement on assessment or admission
  • Examination results - in line with International Programmes General Regulations, the University will not consider complaints against examination results made on academic grounds against the decision of the Board of Examiners
  • An issue which is being, or has been, considered by a court or tribunal
  • An attempt to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision following an investigation
  • Disciplinary processes or academic offence
  • An independent teaching institution - If a student wishes to make a complaint against their Independent Teaching Institution, they should, in the first instance, follow the Institution’s internal Complaints Procedure (this will constitute Stage One of this procedure). As a last resort, the student may make a complaint to the University under Stage Two of the Complaints Procedure.
  • We will not normally treat information received through routine feedback mechanisms – such as responses to questionnaires or surveys – as formal complaints.

Anyone who receives, requests or is directly affected by the services of the University can make a complaint to us.

In the first instance you should raise your complaint through the Student Advice Centre via the Student Portal. It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you raise them as soon as you become aware of the issue:

When complaining please tell us:

  • as much as you can about the complaint
  • what has gone wrong
  • how you would like us to resolve the matter
  • provide evidence relevant to your complaint

Normally, you must make your complaint within twelve weeks (96 calendar days) of:

  • the issues arising, or
  • finding out you have a reason to complain.
  • In exceptional circumstances we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

Our complaint procedure has three stages:

Stage One – Frontline Resolution

We aim to resolve complaints quickly and close to where we provided the service. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong and immediate action to resolve the problem.

If you are not satisfied with the response we give at this stage, we will tell you what you can do next. If you choose to, you can take your complaint to Stage Two of the complaints procedure.

Stage Two – Complaint Investigation

Stage Two deals with complaints that have not been resolved at Stage One and those that are complex and require detailed investigation. These complaints should be made via email sent to A&C@london.ac.uk along with any supporting evidence appropriate to your complaint.

When making a complaint at Stage Two of the complaint procedure we will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and tell you who is dealing with your complaint
  • Give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within twenty working days.

If our investigation will take longer than twenty working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

Stage Three – Complaints Resolution Panel

Stage Three will deal with a complaint that you feel has not been resolved at Stage Two of the complaint procedure, either because there is evidence which could not have reasonably been made available at Stage Two and/or because our policies and procedures were not followed by University of London staff in the handling of your original complaint. Complaints under Stage Three should be submitted via email to ac-stage3@london.ac.uk. Only in very exceptional circumstances will the panel consider a complaint which has not been through Stages One and Two of the complaint procedure.

  • When making a complaint at Stage Three of the complaint procedure we will:
  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
  • Decide if the complaint meets our criteria for convening the Complaints Resolution Panel
  • If appropriate, convene a meeting of the Complaints Resolution panel, consisting of a Chair, a Secretary, an ad hoc member from the International Programmes unrelated to the complaint (but with experience and knowledge of the complaint area) and a student member
  • Meet within twenty working days (excluding University vacation periods) of our acceptance of the complaint at Stage Three
  • Give you a full response of the decision within ten working days of the meeting of the Complaints Resolution Panel.

If the panel will take longer than the agreed timescales, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can escalate your case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Our letter advising you of our decision on your complaint will give you information on how to contact the OIA; their website is http://www.oiahe.org.uk/

We strongly advise any student considering making a complaint to consult the Student Advice Centre (SAC) in the first instance. The SAC can:

  • help you decide whether making a complaint is the best course of action, or whether another procedure may be more appropriate
  • explain how the complaint procedure works, and what the potential outcomes may be

You can contact the Student Advice Centre via the Student Portal or via telephone. The Student Advice Centre is open from 9.00 to 17.00 from Monday to Friday. You can telephone us during these hours on: +44 (0)20 7862 8360