Student complaints procedure
De Montfort University recognises the importance of effective complaints management as both a tool and a source of information for service improvement. The university welcomes feedback from all our students and recognises the right of students or alumni to raise issues of concern about the services provided by the university which may affect the quality of their student experience.
We do expect concerns to be raised in a timely manner. Please see the Student Complaints Procedure in Chapter 9 of the General Regulations for timelines and deadlines.
We would always ask students to raise their initial concerns with the module or programme lead, or their personal tutor in the first instance. Often problems can be quickly resolved after a conversation with the relevant person. If you have trouble contacting the person you wish to speak to please ask your Student Advice Centre for help, or if you are still struggling to make contact you can ask the Academic Support Office to assist you. Contact us on email@example.com.
If you don’t feel you have had your concern resolved after talking to someone, you can submit a formal Stage 1 complaint to the Academic Support Office using the online complaint form. Please keep your complaint text to a maximum of 800 words. The more concise your complaint, and the clearer your expectations of a resolution, the quicker it will be to address your concerns.
The Student Complaints Procedure can be found in the General Regulations and Policies Affecting Students 2020/21 at Chapter 9.
The University is working hard to address concerns relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures. We are updating students regularly and the latest information can be found on our website.
Please read through the above information and the FAQs on the DMU Future page. This information may answer any concerns you have. If you still wish to make a formal complaint please follow the guidance on this page.
Students are advised that they should continue to report serious breaches of the regulations to the university even if the report process discloses minor breaches of the Covid 19 government legislation by the complainant. The university will take a proportionate view of breaches in these circumstances. This will ensure that the University can continue to deal with offences like sexual assaults and serious crime where the risks to all parties need to be prioritised.
Local Resolution – the University will try to resolve the complaint within the department or faculty. Students must complete the complaint form found here which will be accessed by the Academic Support Office and sent to the relevant department to investigate.
At Stage 1 the faculty or directorate will respond to the student directly within one calendar month. If a student does not receive a response within in this timeframe, they should contact the Academic Support Office on firstname.lastname@example.org who will pursue a response on their behalf. Please note this is not an escalation to Stage 2 but a facilitation of a timely response at Stage 1.
Formal Review and investigation by the Office of the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer (or their designated nominee) – students can escalate their complaint if they are not satisfied with the investigation at Stage 1. They must do this by emailing the email@example.com with the reason why they are not satisfied and providing any further evidence they may have to support their case. Escalations to Stage 2 must be submitted within 10 university working days’ of the date of the Stage 1 outcome letter.
Formal Appeal to the University Complaints Committee – students can escalate their complaint if they are not satisfied with the formal review at Stage 2. They must do this by emailing the firstname.lastname@example.org with the reason why they are not satisfied and providing any further evidence they may have to support their case. Escalations to Stage 3 must be submitted within 10 university working days’ of the date of the Stage 2 outcome letter.
Scope of procedure
De Montfort University’s Students Complaints Procedure (SCP) has been developed to reflect the framework of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the Higher Education Ombudsman. It is based on “The Good Practice Framework: handling student complaints and academic appeals” and complements the advice and guidance on concerns, complaints and appeals published by the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
The University recognises the importance of effective complaints management as both a tool and a source of information for service improvement. The university recognises the right of current students and alumni to raise issues of concern about the services provided by the university.
If you want to understand how we process your personal data, and our legal basis for doing so, please refer to our Privacy Notice.
What can be dealt with under the Student Complaints Procedure?
A complaint is defined as “an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more students about the action or lack of action of the University, its staff or representatives, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the University.”
The SCP can be used by students or alumni to raise any concerns or expressions of dissatisfaction about the services provided to them by the University.
Examples of types of complaint dealt with under the SCP:
A complaint may relate, but is not limited, to
- the quality and standard of service provided by the University, including teaching and learning provision;
- failure to provide a service;
- unsuitable facilities or learning resources;
- inappropriate behaviour or treatment by a staff member, student or individual associated with the University (including contravening the University’s Dignity at DMU Policy);
- failure of the University to follow an appropriate administrative or academic process
What will not be dealt with under the SCP:
- academic appeals or other matters that relate to Assessment Board decisions. Appeals against Assessment Board decisions are managed by the Academic Support Office and are dealt with under a separate appeals procedure contained within the General Regulations and Procedures Affecting Students. Any complaint made under the SCP which appears to be an academic appeal will be referred to the Academic Support Office for consideration. If you require further information about the procedure for academic appeals, please contact email@example.com and the team will assist you
- allegations that students or staff are in breach of the University’s Dignity & Respect Policy. Such complaints will be dealt with under a separate process by the Head of the Academic Support Office and/or the Head of Security, and HR in cases of alleged staff breaches.
- a challenge to an admissions decision. This should be raised under the University Admissions Policy;
- complaints about matters which have already or are under consideration by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (“OIA”), a court or tribunal.
If you state that you would like to attempt to resolve the issue(s) through mediation, an independent mediator will arrange meetings involving you and a representative of the relevant department. You have the right to be accompanied to the meeting by a representative of the Students' Union or another member of the university or a member of your family. The mediation meeting will discuss your case with the aim of reaching an agreed outcome.
If an agreement is reached an explanation of the agreement will be written down and signed by all parties. You have the right to think about any proposed agreement for 7 working days and seek advice before signing. If an agreement is reached and signed by all parties the matter is closed and cannot proceed to an academic appeals panel for further consideration.
Click here to view the archived 2019/20 Student Complaints Procedure.