OIA publishes Annual Statements for 2019

We have today (27 May 2020) published our Annual Statements for 2019 for higher education providers that are members of the OIA Scheme.

View our Annual Statements
Physical pie chart on a table

The Annual Statements include information by provider on the number of complaints we received and the type and outcomes of complaints we considered in 2019. 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:

“Our Annual Statements can help providers, including their governing bodies, and student representative bodies to consider the provider’s record in handling complaints and appeals in a wider context.

“Publication of the Annual Statements is part of our commitment to be open about the work that we do. We hope they also increase students' confidence in the internal processes of their higher education provider.”


Notes to Editors

  1. The Annual Statements for 2019 are available on our website.
  2. We publish Annual Statements to:
    • make more information available to the public about higher education complaints;
    • foster students’ confidence in complaints-handling processes;
    • enable providers to look at their own record alongside that of similar providers; and
    • be open about our own processes.
  1. Due to the impact of the coronavirus restrictions, a small number of providers’ Statements for 2019 may be subject to minor changes post publication.
  2. 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. The OIA is the independent student complaints ombuds 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.
  3. For further information please contact mediarelations@oiahe.org.uk.