OIA publishes Operating Report 2020 and Operating Plan 2021

We have published our Operating Report 2020 and our Operating Plan 2021.

View our Operating Reports and Plans
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We received 2,604 complaints in 2020, which represents a 10% increase on 2019 and once again marks our highest ever number. Despite this and the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, we met all our targets for timeliness of our processes and we closed our highest ever number of cases (2,597), almost 20% more than in 2019.

With in-person events curtailed we continued to share learning and encourage good practice virtually. We delivered a record number of webinars and online events in response to demand and developed our extensive range of online resources for providers, students and their representative bodies. We also consulted on and published a new section of the Good Practice Framework on Requests for additional consideration.

We have continued to work with governments and key organisations in the sector and beyond, drawing on our experience of student complaints to promote fairness for students across a range of issues and in responding to the complex and highly challenging impacts of the pandemic. We have also continued to work towards our longstanding aim of extending access to our Scheme to all who could benefit from it, including through proposed legislation in Wales.

Our Operating Report 2020 records progress against our Operating Plan for 2020. As such it does not fully reflect the context of Covid-19. We will more fully explore this and trends and themes from the year in our Annual Report 2020, which we will publish in the Spring.

Our Operating Plan 2021 is based around our four key priorities through which we fulfil our purpose: reviewing student complaints, sharing learning, working effectively with others and continually developing our organisation. The Plan sets out what we intend to do in 2021 to advance each of these priorities and what we aim to have achieved by the end of the year.


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Jenn Runn, Communications Officer, mediarelations@oiahe.org.uk, 0118 959 9813.

  1. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombuds for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004.
  2. Our Scheme is free to students and has been designed to be accessible to all students, without the need for legal representation.
  3. We have a wide remit to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales, as set out in the Rules of our Scheme.
  4. You can find further information about the Scheme and our work at www.oiahe.org.uk