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Student Complaints

The information and policies accessible from this page relates solely to the conduct of student complaints.

Allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination are managed under the University of Bradford’s Diginity and Respect Policy and Procedure.

This page provides an overview of the complaints process. If you intend to make a complaint you are advised to read the procedures which provide more extensive information about the process.

Should you wish to make a complaint then please contact our department for the relevant forms complaintsandappeals@bradford.ac.uk,

Who can complain

Complaints can be accepted under the Student Complaints Procedure from all students currently registered on a programme of study delivered at the University of Bradford.

Students who have recently graduated, or been suspended, excluded, withdrawn or expelled from a programme of study delivered at the University of Bradford can also submit a complaint. However, this must be submitted within three months of the date of graduation, suspension, exclusion, withdrawal or expulsion.

Students who are studying at Collaborative Partner Institutions should follow the complaints procedure of the partner institution in the first instance. In the event that students studying at Collaborative Partner Institutions are unhappy with the outcome of this process, they may seek a review of their complaint under this procedure.

What are the stages of the complaints procedure

The Student Complaints Procedure is divided into three parts:

  • Early Resolution, which emphasises resolution at the ‘local’ point where the issue arose before it escalates into a formal complaint;
  • The Formal Stage, in which the complaint will be formally investigated and a formal response issued;
  • The Review Stage, in which a formal review of the complaint is undertaken.

Who can I get help from in preparing my complaint submission?

The University recognises that involvement in the Student Complaints Procedure can be a difficult and worrying experience. Support, assistance, and advice on all aspects of the complaints procedure, including the preparation and submission of your complaint, is available to students from the Students’ Union Advice Service (ubu-advice@bradford.ac.uk) or telephone (01274) 233300. The University strongly encourages students to access this support.

Disabled students, including students with mental health issues, who, for impairment reasons, might experience difficulty in accessing any aspect of the Student Complaints Procedure, may seek assistance from the Disability Service (disabilities@bradford.ac.uk).

What is the early resolution stage?

The University aims to resolve most complaints informally. Therefore, in the first instance resolution should be sought from the Faculty or Professional Service Directorate in which complaint arose. Students are encouraged to raise complaints as soon as possible, and ideally within ten working days of the incident, last act or omission which is the cause of the complaint. However, the nature of such complaints can vary widely and therefore complaints at the Early Resolution Stage can be submitted within one calendar month of the incident, last act or omission which is the cause of the complaint.

Complaints at the Early Resolution Stage may be raised orally or in writing. The matter will usually be dealt with by discussion. It is intended that the matter be resolved at this point.

What happens if my complaint isn't resolved to my satisfaction?

If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction you may submit it to the University for consideration via the Formal Stage of the procedure. This should normally be done within one calendar month of the end of the Early Resolution Stage or within one calendar month of the incident, last act or omission which is the cause for complaint.

Your complaint should be submitted to the Student casework Manager via complaintsandappeals@bradford.ac.uk. Complaints should be submitted in writing and should detail the grounds for the complaint, together with a statement of what has been done by the student to seek Early Resolution, what the response or resolution at this stage was and why this response or resolution was deemed inadequate. Where the Early Resolution stage was not invoked, you should detail why the complaint was deemed to be of a nature which makes Early Resolution unsuitable. Any supporting evidence which you have to support the complaint should be appended. You should also clearly indicate the form of resolution or redress sought.

Late submission of complaints at the Formal Stage will only be accepted where in exceptional circumstances which are supported by documentary evidence which is made available to the University (for example, if you were too unwell to be able to submit within the required timescales).

The timescale for receiving an outcome on your complaint will depend on the complexity of the complaint under consideration; however, you should normally expect a written outcome at the Formal Stage within one calendar month of the submission of the complaint. If it appears that this timescale will be exceeded you will be notified of the revised timescale.

You will receive a written response to your complaint which will outline the outcome of the Formal Stage complaint and any remedy or redress offered by the University.

What happens if my complaint is still not resolved to my satisfaction?

If the response to your complaint following completion of the Formal Stage of the procedure is still not acceptable to you, you may invoke the Review Stage of the Complaints Procedure. A request to invoke the Review Stage should be made in writing to the Student Casework Manager (via complaintsandappeals@bradford.ac.uk) within ten working days of the Formal Stage outcome letter. Requests submitted in writing. Before submitting a complaint at the Formal Stage, you are encouraged and advised to contact the Students’ Union Advice Service for independent advice and support (ubu-advice@bradford.ac.uk).

Late submission of requests for the Review Stage will only be accepted where in exceptional circumstances which are supported by documentary evidence which is made available to the University (for example, where a student was too unwell to be able to submit within the required timescales).

The request should explain why the outcome at the Formal Stage was considered unsatisfactory and should include copies of all documentation provided to you at the Formal Stage along with any other documentary evidence pertinent to the request. The request should also set out the grounds on which you are requesting a review at the Review Stage. The grounds permissible are:

  • That there was an irregularity in the operation of the procedure at the Formal Stage which resulted in disadvantage to the complainant.
  • That, on the facts available at the Formal Stage, the decision and outcome were not reasonable.
  • That new evidence has become available which had not previously been disclosed. Consideration of such evidence will only take place in exceptional circumstances and the complainant will be required to explain why such evidence could not be disclosed at an earlier stage of the complaint.

The timescale for a review will depend on the complexity of the complaint under consideration. However, you should normally expect a written outcome at the Review Stage within one calendar month of the submission of the request for the review. If this timescale will be exceeded, you will be notified of the revised timescale.

You will receive a written response outlining the outcome of the Review Stage complain and any remedy or redress offered by the University. You will also be issued a Completion of Procedures letter. This concludes the process within the University.

Next steps

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the Student Complaints Procedure, or a decision not to allow the Formal or Review Stage to proceed, you may seek to have this considered by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. This is done through the Completion of a Scheme Application Form, which may be obtained from the Complaints Manager, or the OIA. The Scheme Application Form must include a copy of the Completion of Procedures letter and should be received by the OIA no later than 12 months after the date of this letter.

Students Complaint Procedure

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team.

Admission Appeals/Complaints Regulations

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team.