OIA welcomes UUK guidance on sharing personal data in harassment cases

We welcome this strategic and practical guidance from UUK on sharing personal data in harassment cases.

This is a complex issue and we hope the operational guidance will support staff who are making decisions in this difficult area. 

We welcome the recognition in the guidance that blanket policies are not the best approach, and the helpful clarification that compliance with data protection legislation does allow for making decisions about sharing personal data on a case-by-case basis within complaints. 

Felicity Mitchell, Independent Adjudicator said: 

“It’s important for students to have an outcome to their complaint, all the more so where the student is complaining about issues such as harassment. It takes courage to report harassment and there can be a high emotional cost. Introducing as much transparency as possible to this process can help students to have more confidence in it, to feel properly heard, and to have a greater sense of resolution to their complaint.” 


Notes to Editors 

For further information please contact Jenn Runde, 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 service 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 our Scheme Rules. 
  4. Our Briefing note provides guidance on handling student complaints involving sexual misconduct, and our Good Practice Framework includes guidance on complaints procedures and other relevant processes such as disciplinary procedures.