If you’ve not read it yet, we recommend taking a look at our overview of the OIA Annual Open Meeting. International students remain over-represented in the number of complaints, and the OIA noted a number of learning points that we can all benefit from:
- The importance of informing students at the start of their studies in the UK about institutional complaints procedures. This is particularly important for students arriving late who miss the formal induction process (and often get off to a difficult start which can lead to later problems).
- The importance of careful and thorough checking on reasons for absences before reporting Tier 4 students to the Home Office for non-attendance.
- The need to clarify the (perhaps culturally unfamiliar) concept of ‘mitigating circumstances’ and encouraging international students to seek support as early as possible in the academic year to avoid problems worsening. It was suggested that Students' Unions could have an important role to play in partnership with institutions.
- All students should be encouraged to get support on complaints, problems or appeals from their students' union representatives who are ‘well-informed and informal', familiar with internal procedures and are most often in a much better position to support students than external solicitors.
Read the full blog at ukcisa.org.uk/blog/6256/Healthy-organisations-need-complaints