Complaints and the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus situation has had a serious and lasting impact on many areas of life. Providers, current and future students, and student representative bodies are still facing significant challenges. We have published some information which we hope will be helpful to students and providers. We are continuing to update information as the situation evolves.

If you are a student and you are considering making a complaint to us, you need to raise your concerns through your provider’s internal processes first. We have published some FAQs for students.

We have published some case summaries illustrating our approach to complaints arising from the impact of the pandemic. We hope these are helpful to providers and students’ unions and other student representative bodies.

We also published a briefing note in June 2020 giving information about our approach.

Our role is to decide whether a provider has acted reasonably in all the circumstances of the case. We take into account relevant guidance and advice from the OfS, QAA, UUK, CMA and others, when deciding whether the provider has acted reasonably. We are continuing to engage with NUS and student organisations, and with individual students through our student discussion groups, to better understand students’ experiences and concerns, and to contribute to relevant sector developments.

We continue to deliver our outreach programme virtually through webinars, “on demand” content and virtual visits. We hope to be able to re-start some in-person visits soon. Please check our outreach pages for updates.

Case summaries of coronavirus-related complaints

See our case summaries of complaints related to the impact of coronavirus.

Coronavirus - FAQ for students

We hope you will find these FAQs helpful if you have concerns or are considering making a complaint relating to the impact of coronavirus.

As we approach the new academic year

Some coronavirus-related considerations for the 2021/22 academic year.

Handling complaints arising from significant disruption

Some suggestions about things to consider when handling students’ concerns around significant disruption, for example from the pandemic or industrial action.

OIA briefing note: our approach to complaints arising from the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) - June 2020

Briefing note we published in June 2020 on our approach to complaints arising from the effects of coronavirus.