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Disciplinary procedures (non-academic) - CS041903

An undergraduate Student A complained that they had been intimidated and bullied by Student B. The provider carried out a complaint investigation, and then also used its Student Disciplinary Procedure to investigate the matter separately.

At the end of the disciplinary process, the provider recommended “mandatory mediation” between Student A and Student B, and offered a refund of £700 for the classes Student A missed during the complaints process.

Student A complained to us. We decided that the complaint was Justified. This was because the process the provider followed meant that Student A had to wait longer for their complaint to be resolved. The provider did not monitor Student B or follow up on their behaviour when Student A reported that the harassment was continuing. It was not reasonable to insist that Student A should mediate with Student B: the provider’s own guidance notes said that mediation must be voluntary. Student A should have been given the opportunity to challenge the provider’s recommendation.

We recommended that the provider should apologise to Student A and offer £2,000 in compensation for the distress and inconvenience they experienced. We also recommended that the provider should review its Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures.