Guidance for staff on student administration and support
The Proctors will consider complaints raised by students under the University Student Complaints Procedure (PDF) in relation to the following:
The process allows a student to pursue a complaint as an individual or as a group.
If a student wishes to complain about the decision made by an academic body (e.g. board of examiners, transfer and confirmation etc.) they will need to make an academic appeal.
If the complaint relates to admissions, college services, staff and/or student conduct, Oxford SU, research integrity or public interest disclosure, the student need to make their complaint under one of the University’s other complaints procedures.
Before the student makes a formal complaint you should try and resolve the matter with the person or body responsible.
If the matter relates to one of the Bodleian Libraries or another University library, you should raise it with staff in the library in the first instance and thereafter with the Head of the Library in question.
Other University libraries
If the matter relates to a college library, you should pursue it via the college’s procedures, as with any other college matter.
If they feel to do so, the student can take up their concerns with the member of staff directly.
If not, they can take it up with their Director of Undergraduate Studies or their Director of Graduate Studies as appropriate.
If the matter involves one of these individuals and the student wishes to raise it with somebody else, they must speak to the head of department or faculty.
The student may wish to take advice about their concerns from their Senior Tutor, Tutor for Graduates or College Adviser. They can also contact the Proctors’ Office and speak to a caseworker (in confidence and without committing themselves to any action) if they consider making a formal complaint.
Usually, the initial raising of a complaint is successful in resolving a problem. If, the student feels that it hasn’t, or that there’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed in the University system, then they can make a formal complaint to the Proctors.
To make a formal complaint, the student needs to familiarise themselves with the University Student Complaints Procedure and complete a Complaint Form available from the Proctors’ Office website. If it is a joint complaint on behalf of a group, the group will need to nominate a representative to actually make the complaint. Time limits do apply and they should submit their form within three months of when the matter you are complaining about occurred.
The Proctors will open a formal investigation of the complaint. The Proctors will deal with many aspects of the investigation through one of their permanent caseworkers, though they will handle some aspects themselves including all key decisions. Conducting an investigation will usually mean sharing the details of the complaint, including the student's identity, with those responsible for the matters complained about. The Proctors will normally try to complete their investigation within 30 days of receiving the form. The student will receive a written outcome explaining what the Proctor has done to investigate your complaint, their decision and the reasons for it, and any directions or recommendations to address the complaint.
If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, they may be able to request a review of the decision. Finally, after completing all of the University’s procedures, the student may be able to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator. Complaints and appeals - review
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