We have published our second set of case summaries of complaints that arose from last year’s USS pensions-related industrial action.
The summaries illustrate our approach to this type of case: we consider whether the higher education provider has taken steps to make sure that students are not academically disadvantaged by the industrial action, and what the provider has done to make up for missed learning opportunities. We include examples of how we have approached cases where the students have not followed the provider’s internal processes before complaining to us.
Felicity Mitchell, Independent Adjudicator said:
“It is important that providers mitigate the academic impact of lost teaching, but also that they try to make up for lost learning opportunities. In the cases we have seen, most providers have gone to some lengths to make sure that students have not been academically disadvantaged, and this is good to see. But some providers have been better than others at finding ways to make up for the learning students have missed out on. Some providers have made lecture recordings, podcasts, and additional on-line materials available to students, or allowed them to sit in on other classes. Others have done nothing, and we don’t think that’s fair.
We have made Recommendations in a number of cases for partial refunds of tuition fees and payments for distress and inconvenience where we have decided the student has not been treated fairly.”
Notes to Editors
For further information please contact Sarah Liddell, Head of Leadership Office, email@example.com, 0118 959 9813.
- An embargoed copy of the case summaries is attached. They will be published on our website on Tuesday 14 May. These summaries follow publication of our Briefing Note in March 2018 and the first set of case summaries earlier this year.
- The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombudsman for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004.
- Our Scheme is free to students, and has been designed to be accessible to all students, without the need for legal representation.
- We have a wide remit to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales, as set out in our Scheme Rules.