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If you feel that the University has treated you unfairly, not been supportive of you, has discriminated against you or not provided services which you would expect, you may wish to make a complaint.

If you’re unsure what you should do or don’t know if complaining is the best thing for you the Advice Hub will discuss your case with you and make sure you’re following the right route.

Depending on your complaint there may be other people who can help you. For example, if it is an issue with something on your course, your class representatives might be able to bring it up at the departmental staff/student liaison committee.  

The Complaint Procedure has two parts which are explained briefly below or in more detail here

Stage 1 or Frontline Resolution

Stage 2 or Investigation

What if I'm still not happy?

Stage 1 or Frontline Resolution

This is for issues which are straightforward and can easily be resolved without or with very little investigation needing to take place. They include the kind of thing that would result in an apology, a reasonable explanation of why something has or hasn't happened or another fairly easy solution. You can make a complaint of this kind to any member of staff but it is normally best to approach the person involved or the person above them, in person or in writing. The details of your complaint will be logged and you will normally have an outcome within 5 working days.

Stage 2 or Investigation

If your complaint is more complicated then it will be handled through an investigation. To trigger this stage of the process you can speak to a member of staff or complete a complaint form (which can be downloaded from here).  

The Advice Hub would recommend that you fill in the form as it allows you make sure you've said everything you want to say and supplied evidence that supports your case. We can help you with your complaint if you would like advice on what to include and how to present it.

Once you submit your complaint the University will put someone in charge of investigating what you have raised.  The investigator may ask you to come to a meeting to discuss it and they will also speak to relevant staff and students if appropriate.  Once they have completed their investigation they will write a report and get back to you within 20 working days (this can be extended if the relevant people are not available within the 20 days limit but they will tell you this).

We would strongly advise that you speak to someone at the Advice Hub before making your complaint and so that you have some support while it is being investigated as it can be a difficult and stressful experience for some people. 

What if I'm still not happy?

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can ask for it to be externally reviewed by the SPSO (Scottish Public Services Ombudsman) but please be aware that they will only look at whether the University has followed its own procedures correctly and investigated your complaint properly. They won't change outcomes but if they find faults they can ask the University to revisit complaints.  

If you are unhappy because you feel the procedure has been mishandled than you can address this through the University first but your complaint has to be about a failure in procedure and not simply a request that they look at your original complaint again.

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