News and Press Releases


Good Practice Framework - Consultation

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) has today opened a consultation on draft new guidelines to improve the way that universities deal with student complaints and academic appeals.
The guidance has been drawn up by a working group, chaired by the OIA and bringing together the National Union of Students with university bodies, the Academic Registrars’ Council, the Association of Heads of University Administration and the Quality Assurance Agency.
The draft framework sets out a three stage process with clear timeframes and advice on recording and learning from complaints. The creation of a framework follows recommendations from the NUS, proposals in the 2011 White Paper and the OIA’s Pathway 3 consultation on early resolution in complaints handling, published in 2012.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) has opened a consultation on draft new guidelines to improve the way that universities deal with student complaints and academic appeals.

You can respond to the consultation online or download a response form and email it to

ENOHE 2013 - Conference Report

The OIA have published a report from the tenth Annual Conference of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education. The event covered 'Dispute resolution in Higher Education in turbulent times' and was held at St Catherine's College in Oxford. More information about ENOHE can be found on the enohe website.

Press Notice: OFT report on Higher Education in England

Rob Behrens and the OIA have published a press notice on the recent OFT report 'Higher Education in England'.

Response to HEPI report - Unfinished Business?: Higher education legislation

Rob Behrens has commented on the HEPI report on Higher education legislation, published on 20 February 2014.

Response to the Higher Education Commission report

Rob Behrens has published a response to the proposals outlined in the 'Regulating Higher Education' report from the Higher Education Commission published on 9 October 2013.

OIA Annual Letters 2012

The OIA has today (24 September) published Annual Letters for 2012 setting out the complaints record of all universities within the OIA Scheme. This is the second year that the OIA has published this information.

The letters show the number of complaints and appeals closed by each university, the number that are then taken by the student to the OIA, and the OIA’s findings.

For more information, you can download the Press Notice and the letters for 2012.

Press Notice: Annual Letters 2012

View and Download the letters for 2012

Position paper - Leveson inquiry and independent regulation

Rob Behrens has published a position paper, in association with HEPI, on the lessons from the Leveson inquiry on independent self-regulation.

Three cheers for Lord Leveson
Published 27/06/13 in association with HEPI - 204 KB

Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s Annual Open Meeting and Annual Report 2012

Rob Behrens, the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education in England and Wales, presented his Annual Report on 13 June 2013 at Gray's Inn, London.

Download the 2012 Annual Report

Press Notice for the 2012 Annual Report

OIA complainant satisfaction survey

The report of a survey of student complainants carried out in 2012 is now available to download.

Download the survey

Press Notice: High Court Dismisses Claim In Plagiarism Case

The High Court has dismissed the claim for judicial review of the OIA’s decision in a case brought by Mr Hazim Mustafa, a former student at Queen Mary University of London.

The OIA welcomes this decision as giving clarity on the extent to which the OIA can consider complaints from students in cases which include an allegation of plagiarism.

Felicity Mitchell, the Deputy Adjudicator, commented: “This is an important judgment that confirms the centrality of academic judgment in decisions relating to plagiarism. The OIA's role is to review the process and fairness of plagiarism investigations, not to interfere with that central judgment. ”

For more information, you can read and download the press notice and judgment.

Press Notice: Mustafa High Court Judgment

Download and view the Mustafa High Court Judgment

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