We have today published our Annual Statements for 2018 for higher education providers that are members of the OIA Scheme.
The Annual Statements include information by provider on the number of complaints we received and the type and outcomes of complaints we considered in 2018. This year we have developed the Statements so that it is now possible to compare information from different years for each provider. The Statements also include some information on providers’ engagement with us during the year.
We publish this information to allow providers to look at their own record alongside that of similar providers. The Statements also mean that more information is available to the public about higher education complaints.
Felicity Mitchell, Independent Adjudicator said:
“The Annual Statements are part of our commitment to be open about the work that we do.
We encourage all higher education providers to scrutinise their record in handling complaints and appeals and to consider how they can improve what they do. Our Annual Statements help providers, including their governing bodies, and student representative bodies, to see their own record in a wider context. We hope our Annual Statements will also increase students' confidence in the internal processes of their higher education provider.”
Notes to Editors
- The Annual Statements for 2018 are available on our website.
- The purpose of publishing the Annual Statements is so that:
• more information is available to the public about higher education complaints;
• students can have greater confidence in complaints-handling processes;
• providers can look at their own record alongside that of similar providers; and
• we are open about our own processes
- The Statements provide useful information about complaints and appeals that have reached the end of internal processes at higher education providers and been escalated to the OIA. However they do not give a full picture of complaints and appeals within a provider:
[a] They do not set out the overall number of complaints and appeals that are made by students to their providers, many of which are likely to be resolved through the internal processes.
[b] The data on Completion of Procedures (“COP”) Letters issued must be interpreted with some caution. The fact that a COP Letter has been issued does not necessarily mean that the student is dissatisfied with the outcome. Our Guidance on COP Letters says that providers should issue a COP Letter when a complaint (or appeal) has been upheld, if the student asks for one. Equally, a very low number of COP Letters in comparison to other providers in the same OIA subscriptions band might indicate that a provider is not following our Guidance on COP Letters correctly.
- When reviewing the data in the Annual Statements, comparisons are not necessarily “like with like”. We therefore advise caution in interpreting the data and drawing conclusions from it.
- The OIA is the independent student complaints ombudsman for higher education in England and Wales. Our Scheme is free to students. We have a wide remit to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales, as set out in our Scheme Rules.
- For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.