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Supervision: Providing supervisory team - PI091516

University of Cumbria

A postgraduate student at the University of Cumbria made a number of complaints about his supervision.

The University was able to demonstrate that the main supervisor had provided regular support and encouraged the student to seek input as his work developed. However it did not inform the student that his second supervisor had left the University and did not arrange a replacement.

The University upheld elements of the student’s complaint and offered to cancel the balance of his tuition fees and refund any expenses which he could evidence.

We considered that the University did not follow the guidance given to students in the research handbook and that this put the student at a disadvantage. There were delays in the way the University dealt with the student’s complaint and this also disadvantaged the student. We found the complaint Partly Justified and recommended financial compensation for distress and inconvenience, cancellation of the outstanding balance of fees, an apology and a review of the complaints procedure.