University Complaints

Which universities have issued the most and the fewest formal letters in response to student complaints?

Things sometimes go wrong, even in the best organisations. You need to know which universities are best at resolving disputes internally.

In England and Wales, complaints that cannot be resolved through a university’s internal procedure can be submitted to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

What you want to know is how effectively the university of your choice handles your complaint before the OIA becomes involved.

OIA definitions of complaint outcomes

 Outcome of complaints

Outcome of complaints (source: OIA Annual Report 2014)

Complaints are divided into the following categories

 Complaints by category
Complaints by category 2014 (source: OIA Annual Report 2014)

How have we looked at student complaints?

The Complete University Guide has examined the record of universities in resolving complaints before they reach the stage of potential referral to the OIA.

Some complaints may be frivolous, or based on a misunderstanding, or even malicious.


In Scotland, there is no agency similar to the OIA.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, complaints that cannot be resolved through universities’ internal disputes procedures may be referred to the Board of Visitors for the individual university but only on grounds of new evidence or of a procedural irregularity in the internal process.

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