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Procedural issues: Access to complaints and appeals processes - PI011516

Durham University

A postgraduate student complained that the University had refused to accept a complaint that he had submitted outside the 28 day time limit, and after he had received his final results. The student stated that he had not wished to complain earlier in case this had an adverse effect on his degree results.

We found the complaint Not Justified. The university complaints procedure includes clear deadlines and is widely communicated to students. It is the University’s position that students are expected to familiarise themselves with the contents of its procedures and we do not consider that to be an unreasonable expectation. The procedure also makes it clear the University will deal with complaints "without recrimination". We found that the University had acted within its procedures and that its decision to refuse the student’s complaint was reasonable in all the circumstances.