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Title: Contact Details
  Mrs Andrina Gaston

  Student Complaints Procedure (QAHE)


The procedures involved in making a formal complaint about any aspect of academic or other services provided by the University are explained below.  Use the links to access the relevant sections.

Contact details for Student Complaints Liaison Officer

 


Letter to students from the Vice-Chancellor

 

Section 1 Scope of Procedure
   
Section 2 Advice and Representation
   
Section 3 Procedure
   
       Stage 1
       Stage 2
       Stage 3
   
Section 4 Membership of Complaints Review Panel
   
Section 5 Confidentiality
   
Section 6 Further Information and Contact Details
   
Section 7 Other Procedures
   
Table of categories of complaint covered by the Student Complaints Procedure
   
Table of categories of complaint dealt with through other procedures
   
   
Download  CS1 form
   
Download CS2 form

 

 


Dear Student

At the Ulster University we are committed to providing all our students with a high quality educational experience which is fully supported by a range of academic and personal support services.  

Securing feedback from our students on their experience of university life is an integral part of the University’s approach to the development and enhancement of the quality of all aspects of our services.  This is achieved by a variety of means, including student participation in staff/student consultative committees, the use of student questionnaires and the National Student Survey. All these arrangements are designed to provide opportunities for students to comment on aspects of their university experience which they particularly enjoyed and to identify problems or make suggestions for improvement.

In addition, we believe it is important that our students should feel able to express dissatisfaction about any aspect of the services we provide or about the actions or lack of action by our staff.  This student complaints procedure seeks to provide an accessible, fair and straightforward system which enables students to raise concerns and which ensures an effective, timely and appropriate response.  No student will be disadvantaged because he or she has made a complaint in good faith.

The Student Complaints procedure aims to:

  • Be easily accessible;
  • Allow speedy handling, with established time limits for action;
  • Ensure a full and fair investigation;
  • Respect students’ desire for confidentiality;
  • Address all the points at issue, and provide an effective response and appropriate redress;
  • Provide information to management so that services can be improved.

I hope you will find little to complain about during your time with us but if you do bring concerns to our attention you can be sure that they will be treated seriously and every effort made to ensure their satisfactory resolution.

Yours sincerely

 

Professor Paddy Nixon

Vice-Chancellor

 

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1 Scope of Procedure
   
 

The areas covered by this procedure and the route by which you should pursue your complaint are set out below.  In general the procedure can be used to complain about any aspect of your academic experience while studying for an Ulster University award.  The procedure is for the use of currently enrolled students only.  The complaints procedure does not cover the following categories of complaint, for which separate procedures exist:

  • grievances relating to personal harassment or discrimination on sexual, religious, racial or other grounds;
  • requests for reviews of academic decisions;
  • appeals against decisions taken under disciplinary proceedings.

If you complaint concerns one of these matters you should consult the table below for the appropriate procedure to follow.

Table of categories of complaint covered by the Student Complaints Procedure

Table of categories of complaint dealt with through other procedures

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 2 Advice and Representation 
   
 

You may wish to seek help or advice from Officers of the Students' Union, or staff in QA Business School Student Support Office before making a complaint.

You may also find it helpful to contact the Ulster University Head of Partnership for either the Business or Computing subject areas.  Their contact details can be found below.

You have the right to be represented by or accompanied by a member of the University, for example, a student or member of staff, at any stage in the procedure.

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Procedure
     
  3.1

The procedure comprises three stages.  The first stage allows for informal resolution and only where this has proved unsuccessful can Stage 2, which is the first of the two formal stages, be invoked.

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  3.2  Stage 1 
     
   

A complaint may be made by an individual student or by a group of students.  Most can be resolved if properly addressed at local level.  You are therefore encouraged to approach the Ulster University Head of Partnership for your subject area.  In order that a complaint can be dealt with effectively and efficiently it must be drawn to the attention of the Head of Partnership concerned as soon as possible, and normally not later than five working days after the failure in service or the incident giving rise to the complaint.  The complaint may be either oral or written and an appropriate response should be made to you, normally within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint.

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  3.3  Stage 2 
     
   

In the event that you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of Stage 1 you may submit the complaint in writing to the relevant Dean of Faculty using form CS1. This form asks you to provide details of the complaint and of the attempts made to resolve it informally.

Form CS1 should be completed within ten working days of the unsatisfactory outcome of Stage 1 and normally not later than 25 working days after the incident giving rise to the complaint. 

You should receive a written response within 15 working days and this should indicate what action has been taken or is proposed to resolve your complaint or, if your complaint is not upheld, the reasons for that decision. 

 

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  3.4  Stage 3 
     
   

If on receipt of the written response from the Dean concerned you still consider that the complaint has not been adequately addressed you can write to the Student Complaints Liaison Officer on form CS2. This form asks you to provide details of the complaint and of the informal and formal efforts made to resolve it.  Where it is evident that the second stage has not been followed you will be advised that the relevant Dean must have the opportunity to consider and respond to the complaint before further action can be taken. Form CS2 must normally be completed within ten working days of receipt of the response from the Dean.

The Student Complaints Liaison Officer will arrange for a Complaints Review Panel to be established to consider and adjudicate on the complaint and this meeting should normally take place within 30 working days of receipt of form CS2.

The Complaints Review Panel will have available to it all previous correspondence relating to the complaint and any other relevant documentation.  The Panel will meet in private and may wish to ask you some questions in relation to your complaint.  The Panel may also question any members of staff involved and will seek to establish all relevant facts before reaching a decision. 

The conclusions of the Complaints Review Panel will be communicated to you within 10 working days.  The Complaints Review Panel will at the same time send a report summarising the complaint, the action taken to resolve it and their conclusions and recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and to the relevant Dean.  If the complaint is upheld the Dean concerned will be asked to respond to the Vice-Chancellor and to the Chairperson of the Complaints Review Panel within 15 working days of receipt of the report stating what action has been taken or is proposed in the light of the Panel's recommendations.

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4 Membership of Complaints Review Panel 
   
 

The Complaints Review panel will have the following members:

  • Lay member of the University Council (Chair).
  • A Dean/Associate Dean of a Faculty not implicated in the complaint.
  • A Head of an Administrative Department not implicated in the complaint.
  • The President of the Students' Union.

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5  Confidentiality 
   
 

As far as is practicable confidentiality shall be preserved in the investigation of a complaint. Such an approach is in the interests of both the student making the complaint and individual members of staff.

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6  Further Information 
   
 

A copy of form CS1 is provided with the leaflet.  Further copies and copies of form CS2 are available to download at: www.ulster.ac.uk/quality/qmau/complaints.html.  

If you are unsure if your complaint falls within the scope of this procedure or if you require general advice on the most appropriate way to pursue your complaint, the Student Complaints Liaison Officer will be pleased to assist. You can contact the Student Complaints Liaison Officer by writing to:

The Student Complaints Liaison Officer
Room J503
University of Ulster
Cromore Road
Coleraine
BT52 1SA

or by e-mail at studentcomplaints@ulster.ac.uk

You should note that the Student Complaints Liaison Officer can act in an advisory capacity only and will not comment on the validity or likely outcome of your complaint.

Contact details for Ulster University Head of Partnership:

Head of Partnership (Ulster Business School)
Room 03E15
Ulster University
Jordanstown Campus
Shore Road

Newtownabbey
BT37 0QB

Tel: 0044 28 90368359

Mail to: jp.green@ulster.ac.uk

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7 Other Procedures 
   
 

The University Visitor

When a student has exhausted all internal complaints or review procedures, he or she may appeal to the University Visitor. The role of the Visitor is to ensure that the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations of the University have been properly observed and carried out and that natural justice is observed within the institution.  The Visitor is normally concerned with such matters as procedural propriety, fairness, prejudice and irregularity.  However, the Visitor's powers do not extend to matters relating to academic judgements.

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CATEGORIES OF COMPLAINT COVERED BY THE STUDENT COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

NATURE OF COMPLAINT STAGE 1 STAGE 2 (Use Form CS1) STAGE 3 (Use Form CS2)
Complaint about any aspect of: Attempt informal resolution at local level Formal complaint to:   

Course delivery (Undergraduate, Postgraduate)

Discuss with Head of Partnership

Relevant Dean of Faculty

Formal complaint to Student Complaints Liaison Officer

Registry Offices

Discuss with Head of Partnership

Ulster University Deputy Director (Administration & Registry), Room 04F21, Student Administration, Ulster University, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB

"

Examination Offices (excluding requests for the review of academic decisions)

Discuss with relevant Head of Partnership

Ulster University Deputy Director (Administration and Registry (address as above)

"

Student Welfare

Discuss with Head of Partnership

Head of International Student Experience at Ulster University, Room 01F30, International Student Experience, Ulster University, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB

"

International Student Matters

Discuss with Head of Partnership

Head of International Student Experience at Ulster University (address as above)

"

 

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CATEGORIES OF COMPLAINT DEALT WITH THROUGH OTHER PROCEDURES

NATURE OF COMPLAINT  

Complaint about an academic decision (taught courses) 

In certain circumstances you may request that the decision relating to academic progress taken by a Board of a Faculty or a Board of examiners be reviewed.

Full details of the review of decisions procedures are available in the Student Handbook and at the following web address: http://www.ulster.ac.uk/academicservices/student/examinations.html

Complaints relating to sexual, racial or religious harassment or discrimination

If you consider that you have been subject to harassment on the grounds of religious beliefs, political opinion, gender, marital status, having or not having dependants, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnic origin or age you should consult the University's Policy and Procedures on dealing with Bullying and Harrassment (Dignity at Work).  This summarises the University's policy in this area, lists people and organisations from whom you can seek advice and support and indicates how you can pursue any complaint of this nature.  The Policy can be accessed at: http://www.ulster.ac.uk/secretary/policyimplementation/policies/secretary.html

Complaints about the decisions taken under disciplinary proceedings

The procedures covering such appeals are set out in Student Discipline Ordinance XLII.  A copy is available from the Office of the University Secretary and copies are also available at: http://www.ulster.ac.uk/secretary/charter_&_statutes.pdf

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You may contact the Student Complaints Liaison Officer:
   
In writing The Student Complaints Liaison Officer
Room J503
University University 
Cromore Road
Coleraine
BT52 1SA
   
By email studentcomplaints@ulster.ac.uk
   
By phone  028 7012 3213
   
By fax  028 7012 4943 

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