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How to make a complaint against a Uni?

(53 Posts)
Emerald92 Sat 16-Dec-17 21:59:51

Hi - I'm in my final year of my degree in a small class of students (20ish) and without notice our amazing course leader who is also a module tutor and our personal tutor was made redundant. No one is happy. The lady taking over as leader is awful, she doesnt even know our names and the lady taking over the module has no idea what she's on about!

I've just found out that another great tutor is being made redundant. It hasn't been announced yet but we've managed to find out. She's my dissertation tutor and she's been fantastic so far. I'm devastated.

We've voiced our concerns about what's happened but they've been brushed to one side. What can we do? We feel totally let down and unsupported in our final most crucial year.

AnUnhappyStudent Sat 16-Dec-17 22:03:09

I think you may need to google consumer rights and university. I seem to remember one of the students at my uni using consumer law to raise a complaint with them. Good lucksmile

angularmerkel Sat 16-Dec-17 22:03:17

Go to the student union and speak to their advice centre. I would expect that they would support you in a formal University complaint. Make sure you take notes of what's happened, keep them updated and hero any emails that have been sent out. Do not converse with the Uni or any representatives of the Uni verbally, only via email or with an SU rep with you. Any meetings you do have should be minuted and you should check the minutes for accuracy very thoroughly.

angularmerkel Sat 16-Dec-17 22:04:02

Feel free to message me if you need any advice.

Callamia Sat 16-Dec-17 22:05:45

This sounds awful for everyone involved.

You should talk to your programme rep, and to the Student Union to find out what they know.

You can talk to your Head of Department to try and solve the immediate problems.

You can make a formal complaint of these avenues don’t get you anywhere. Your student union will tell you how.

I’m really sad about this. Redundancies at universities are going to increase, and it’s bad news for students.

Emerald92 Sat 16-Dec-17 22:05:54

Thank you, the thing is we weren't even told what was happening. A student was simply emailed to say that 'Lara Croft no longer works at the university and when someone came to 'explain' no explanation was given just who her replacement was.

Bombardier25966 Sat 16-Dec-17 22:07:52

University funding is at an all time low, and with Brexit it is only going to get worse. That will explain the redundancies.

Your university will have a complaints procedure on their website/ in the student handbook. You need to think about what it is you want to complain about first though. Someone not knowing your name is not a grounds for complaint. A change of staff may be but only if you can identify why the change leaves you at a deficit. Also what do you want them to do about it? They're not going to re employ the old staff.

If you want to complain about the new staff then give specific examples of your complaint, x was supposed to be teaching ... but did not know ...

PenCreed Sat 16-Dec-17 22:08:17

If she left that suddenly and you were just told she no longer works there, are you sure it was redundancy? The new person will learn your names in time, the lack of subject knowledge may be just til they get up to speed properly.

Silvercatowner Sat 16-Dec-17 22:11:39

You need to be very clear what you actually want from your complaint. How has this actually impacted your studies and what would you like to happen as a consequence? As a previous poster has said, university funding is precarious and there will be a whole back story to this person's redundancy.

Emerald92 Sat 16-Dec-17 22:16:25

I've spoken with Lara Croft and she told me it was redundancy... Honestly we're devastated that the good tutors are gone and the crap ones remain. The module assignment is due in January and the past 3 lectures have been a waste of time, this new lady is marking it and we feel we need more time but an extension has been refused. The university is absolute shambles! We're well and truly up shit creek.

Hjo123 Sat 16-Dec-17 22:46:59

If you want to complain you should follow the procedures your uni will have in place. As PP have said you can usually do this with the help of your SU reps and you need to be clear about what outcome you want.
If you're dissatisfied with their response you might be eligible to take your case to the ombudsman.
Your concerns about the new lecturer marking won't be grounds for a complaint as normally work is internally moderated by another marker before a sample is seen by an external examiner to ensure marking has been carried ot consistently and fairly. You mark won't be on the whim of one person.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sat 16-Dec-17 22:49:50

The module assignment is due in January and the past 3 lectures have been a waste of time, this new lady is marking it and we feel we need more time but an extension has been refused.

Your assignment isn't due until January, even if it's the first week (unlikely) that gives you plenty of time to get it done. You don't need an extension, you need to buckle down and get the work done. The new lady will mark it according to the marking guidelines. If you are suggesting that Lara Croft would have marked your work differently then maybe that is a clue as to why she is no longer working at the university.

Oh, and most lectures are a waste of time. You're at university, and apparently a third year, so you should know to use them as a guide to directing your own study. If you genuinely are a third year I shouldn't need to tell you this.

DingDongDenny Sat 16-Dec-17 22:50:33

There is a reason the crap teachers are remaining, while the good ones are made redundant. Universities judge staff on research output rather than teaching. This means that the good teachers who care more and put the time in have less research output. The ones who prioritise research and don't care about the students are rewarded for this.

I think students should complain, because the system needs to change.

DingDongDenny Sat 16-Dec-17 22:52:05

Saskia ... I bet you're good at research!

Stickerrocks Sat 16-Dec-17 22:52:34

It's standard procedure in many work places to only announce that staff have left after the event. You can't expect people to know your names straight away, some of us are just hopeless with faces. I have to make a seating plan and I'm scuppered if people change seats. Poor teaching is grounds for a complaint, but you must have specific issues, not a vague discomfort with a new face, despite how unsettling it is.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sat 16-Dec-17 22:56:30


Actually, I am, but I'm a student, not a tutor.

Emerald92 Sat 16-Dec-17 22:58:22

Sorry Saskia, I disagree. IME with this university each tutor has different ways of marking and are looking specific things. Not every piece of work is second marked or externally marked. We know our old tutor and what she wants from this assignment. This new lady has not mentioned our assignment once and seems more interested in discussing her own personal beliefs. Nothing discussed is relevant to the assignment and takes the piss. I'm not the only one feeling like this, we all do.

DingDongDenny Sat 16-Dec-17 22:58:43

The OP does have specific issues - lack of communication and lack of continuity. You have to remember that students pay a lot of money in fees these days. They rightly should expect something for the fees that they pay.

DingDongDenny Sat 16-Dec-17 23:00:55

Saskia - so you are happy that 'Most lectures are a waste of time'

You should expect more

Lunde Sat 16-Dec-17 23:01:05

This is not uncommon - most academic tutors/teachers are not permanent employees but are on short term contracts as members of research projects with teaching only a small percentage of their job. As soon as the project ends - they are redundant and have to apply for new funding.

SoupyNorman Sat 16-Dec-17 23:02:35

You're a final year and your summative assessment isn't moderated or second marked? I find that hard to believe.

Caulk Sat 16-Dec-17 23:03:04

Email your student rep and speak to the Quality Department. What does the programme lead for the department say?

I’m confused about Lara Croft emailing you to say she was made redundant. do you have her personal email address or are you emailing her on her work one, which should have been deactivated if she left.

Emerald92 Sat 16-Dec-17 23:03:20

Tutors weren't on short term contacts they were there 10+ years!

Emerald92 Sat 16-Dec-17 23:04:54

I found Lara Croft on FB and messaged her to say how sorry I was to see her leave and to thank her for all the support she's given.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sat 16-Dec-17 23:05:06

* IME with this university each tutor has different ways of marking and are looking specific things. Not every piece of work is second marked or externally marked. *

Is this a real university in the UK? Because I've studied at two universities, both had well defined marking guidelines and external adjudication, and as far as I'm aware, that is the standard for British and Irish universities. I have never had any work marked in the way you describe. If your university doing something different your problems are far bigger than a change in tutor.

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