News and Press Releases


Judicial Review - Professional conduct and public trust

The High Court has dismissed the claim for judicial review of the OIA’s decision in a case brought by a medical student who was expelled on fitness to practise grounds.

Thilakawardhana Judgment
16 November 2015 - pdf

Future of Quality Assessment

The OIA has published its submissions to:

HEFCE consultation on ‘Future Approaches to Quality Assessment in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Select Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills inquiry into Assessing quality in Higher Education

New Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive, April 2016

The OIA Board has announced the successor to Rob Behrens, who will leave the OIA in April, when his term of office expires. His replacement will be Judy Clements OBE. Judy is currently the Adjudicator for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Valuation Office Agency and the Insolvency Service.

Annual Letters 2014

The OIA has today (15 October) published Annual Letters for 2014 setting out the complaints record of all higher education providers within the OIA Scheme.

The OIA welcomes new members

New legislation (the Consumer Rights Act 2015), brings more students into the OIA Scheme from today (1 September).

Press Notice - New Members
01 September 2015 - pdf

OIA Annual Report 2014

Rob Behrens, the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education in England and Wales, has today (18 June 2015) published the OIA Annual Report for 2014.

Contacting the OIA

We have now moved offices.

All post will be redirected. If you have sent information to us by post this will delivered to our new address:

Second Floor
Abbey Gate
57-75 Kings Road

Our telephone number and email addresses have not changed.

Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) has begun the recruitment process to appoint a successor to Rob Behrens, who will leave the organisation when his term of office ends in spring 2016.

Landmark in reviewing student complaints

New legislation passed today (26 March) will extend the rights of higher education students to seek independent review of complaints and academic appeals.

The Consumer Rights Act brings further education colleges and sixth form colleges offering higher education, and private providers of higher education in England and Wales, into membership of the OIA.

Commenting on the change, Rob Behrens, the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, said:

“The change in the law means that, from September, a student’s right to complain when things go wrong will not depend on where he or she is studying.  For the first time in the ten years of the OIA, this opens the door for students  who were previously excluded from raising issues simply because they had chosen to attend a college or private provider. This is an important development for students and for higher education providers, which will be able to draw on expertise in managing student complaints.”


Public trust and the ombudsman - 10th anniversary series

The OIA has published 'Public Trust and the Ombudsman: the case of the OIA’, written by the Independent Adjudicator, Rob Behrens.

Developing Complaints Handling

The Independent Adjudicator, Rob Behrens, has outlined the history and future challenges for handling student complaints in a new article, published this month in the journal of the Association of University Administrators, Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education.

The article, 'Sailing on the Boundless and Bottomless Sea', explores the growth in student complaints and the steps taken in universities and by the OIA both to learn from and improve complaints handling. It draws comparisons with other sectors, including the NHS and the press, to consider key principles of independence, fairness, transparency and a commitment to early resolution that 'guide the day-to-day work of institutions, students’ unions and the OIA alike in keeping students on an even keel on the stormy seas of higher education.'

To view the final published version please go the publisher's website, or you can download the author's manuscript.

Good practice framework

The OIA has published the good practice framework for handling complaints and academic appeals.

You can view the web version of the good practice framework or download it as a pdf.

Good practice framework
12 December 2014 - pdf

To view older News and Press Releases by the OIA, please go to the News Archive.