There have been previous incidents where the review for an appeal form may be unsuccessful. However, there is an alternative option which many students may seek in these circumstances.


What is the OIA?

If you wish, you now have the opportunity to submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).  The OIA are an external, independent body who consider complaints about Higher Education providers from around England and Wales.  The service is free to use and you have 12 months from the date on your outcome letter to submit a complaint, however it can take several months for them to consider your complaint. 


How can they help?

The OIA states that;

“[It} reviews complaints by students about the ‘acts or omissions’ of a provider and decides whether they are Justified, Partly Justified or Not Justified. Before bringing a complaint to the OIA, students must normally first complete the provider’s internal processes and obtain a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter”

This is a good option for students who feel that their appeal form should be reviewed and were not happy with the University’s decision.  The OIA will consider how the University dealt with your complaint or appeal and the decision that was made.

It must be noted that the OIA does not provide a further appeal to the University but rather will consider if the decision was made correctly to the regulations.


Is it guarantee my appeal will go through?

As with the appeals process there’s no guarantee that submitting a complaint to the OIA will be successful, but if it is they can make recommendations to the University on the next steps to take in relation to your case.


How can I contact them?

Look through the OIA’s website to familiarise yourself with what they do, and then if you decide you want to submit a complaint we can advise you further.  Submitting a complaint involves completing the form which can be found on their website:


What issues do they handle?


  • Academic appeals
  • Extenuating circumstances
  • Teaching and facilities
  • Student accommodation
  • Research supervision
  • Welfare
  • Discrimination - race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religious belief
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Placements
  • Maladministration
  • Procedural irregularities
  • Unfair practices
  • Disciplinary matters, including plagiarism
  • Fitness to practice issues


What happens next?

The OIA will confirm if the compliant is eligible before requiring more information from the University and/or the student in regards to the appeal. Most cases will take 6 months or longer to conclude.Consequently, they may  accept information confidentially, for example where the student or the University  request this with good reason, or we may return information to the party who submitted it. Once the OIA has all the relevant information, the case-handler will write to you and the provider to say that the file is complete. We will normally complete our review within 90 days of receiving the complete complaint file. If we consider that the complaint is highly complex then this may take longer.


How can the Education Unit Help?

If you are in need of help in writing a complaint to the OIA, the Education Unit can provide you with the correct information on how to construct a good complaint.