The University of Southampton
Student and Academic Administration

Information for Students

Student Guidance for Complaints and Appeals.

The University of Southampton is committed to ensuring that we provide our students with a high quality educational experience. The Head of Academic Appeals and Student Complaints, part of Student and Academic Administration, is based in Building 37 on the Highfield Campus, and is engaged in supporting the University in this process. Where possible we believe that every attempt should be made to resolve complaints and appeals informally and closest to the point of when the issue emerges. However, we have a formal complaints and appeals procedure through which students may be supported.

The University is keen to learn from the complaints we receive and you can find at the bottom of this page 'You Said We Did' which lists examples of initiatives and actions taken in response to your complaints.

The following act as useful points of reference:

 

Student Complaints

A complaint is defined as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction which requires a response'. The University aims to resolve the majority of complaints and concerns quickly and informally. The Regulations Governing Student Complaints, which can be found on the University Calendar, set out the full regulations and explain in detail the process to be followed by students pursuing a complaint. It is essential that students refer to the full Complaint Regulations, however a simple summary of the process can be found at the bottom of this page. Under these Regulations students may raise complaints or concerns relating to most issues including academic programmes, University Staff, facilities and services.
There a separate Regulations governing Complaints from Applicants and Academic Appeals.

Once a student has completed the internal complaints process the University issues them with a Completion of Procedures letter. Students may submit their complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) for review if they remain dissatisfied following completion of the University's procedures. Usually this must be submitted within one year of the date of the Completion of Procedures letter, but the letter itself will specify the deadline.

 

Academic Appeals

Students wishing to appeal against an academic decision should use the Regulations Governing Academic Appeals by Students. These can be found on the University Calendar and describe in detail the process to be followed by students wishing to appeal. It is essential that students refer to the full Appeal Regulations, however a simple summary of the process can be found at the bottom of this page. 

It should be noted that students may only appeal againts a decision if they can show that they satisfy one or more of the grounds detailed in the regulations. Under no circumstances may students question academic judgement and any appeal based on such will be dismissed.
There are three potential internal stages to the University procedure, however we aim to resolve the vast majority of appeals at the earliest possible stage.

A student may submit their appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) for review if they remain dissatisfied following completion of the University's procedures. Usually this must be submitted within one year of the date of the Completion of Procedures letter, but the letter itself will specify the deadline.

 

Links to Student Complaint Form and Academic Appeal Form

Student Complaint Form

Academic Appeal Form

 

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