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Supervision: Responsibility of students - PI091518

A student at the London School of Economics complained to us after the School dismissed her appeal against a decision not to upgrade her to PhD status.

The student complained that the panel making the decision had not considered her supervision, which she felt had been "unsatisfactory" during her first year.

There was no evidence that the student had complained formally or informally about her supervision prior to appealing the decision not to upgrade her to a PhD. When her appeal was dismissed the School informed the student of the process to make a complaint but she did not pursue this. Had the student complained at an early stage there may have been an opportunity for the School to look into and if appropriate address the issues she raised.

We consider that students at this stage of their academic careers can be expected to take responsibility for their own learning and for raising any concerns. In this case we considered that the student’s subsequent appeal submission, based solely on problems with supervision once she had received the panel’s decision, was undermined by the absence of complaints made at the time. We found her complaint Not Justified.