What is the Office of the Independent Adjudicator?
The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) is an independent ombudsman who deals with student complaints.
The OIA will investigate matters such as:
- Disciplinary matters, including academic misconduct
- Bullying and harassment by staff
- Teaching and facilities
- Academic Supervision on eg a post graduate course
- Student welfare complaints
- Fitness to practice panel decisions
- Procedural irregularities and / or unfairness in the decision making process
They cannot investigate issues relating to admissions or academic judgement.
A complaint to the OIA must be made within 12 months of a student receiving a completion of procedures letter from the university.
The OIA will first look at a student’s application and its eligibility. If a complaint is deemed eligible for them to investigate, you will be allocated a case worker.
The OIA will ultimately make a decision on whether a complaint against the university is justified, partially justified or not justified. If the OIA find the university at fault, they will advise the university to alter its decision or change its practices. The OIA cannot compel a university to adopt their recommendations but most universities tend to adhere as the risk of publication of their refusal to cooperate is something universities would not wish.
We regularly assist students in making their complaint to the OIA. Please contact us if you are contemplating these routes of complaint and require some further advice or assistance.
If your appeal to the OIA is not successful, the only other route of challenge is that of Judicial Review, where a court will look at whether the OIA decision was irrational or unreasonable.
Judicial review is a complex procedure and there are strict time limits that apply.
If you have a complaint about your university, please contact us for an initial free, no-obligation telephone or email consultation. We can advise you as to your options and you can then decide thereafter, whether you wish to instruct us to assist you.