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Geoff Barker-Read Head of Student Complaints & Appeals.

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1 Geoff Barker-Read Head of Student Complaints & Appeals

2 T he Secretariat The Secretariat comprises four teams: Governance Support Corporate Affairs Legal Affairs Student Cases Together, their primary responsibility is assisting the University Secretary in promoting the best standards of corporate governance throughout the institution.

3 Student Cases team This team is responsible for the administration of the following University procedures: Academic appeals (by taught and research students) Student complaints Special cases of student progress Referred and unsatisfactory students Allegations of cheating and plagiarism Student health and conduct Advice on the regulations for UG and PGT programmes

4 Student Cases team Geoff Barker-Read (Head of Student Complaints and Appeals) Catherine Cho Guy Dixon Jenny Birkinshaw Cheryl Cox Alison Usher

5 Student complaints 89 complaints-related inquiries (35 formal student complaints) Academic provision (course design, content and structure; resources and facilities; assessment; information provided to students) – 15 Quality of supervision and tuition – 2 Failure to meet obligations (Partnership expectations, programme specifications, equality and diversity code etc; individual - such as assurances given to individual students) – 3.5 Deficiencies in standards of service (support facilities; administrative problems) – 11.5 Discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation – 3

6 Student complaints 28 cases resolved or not pursued further within the University: 21 dismissed (in most cases provided clarification of the events) 2 complaints referred to the OIA 4 partially upheld and apologies provided 1 case - modest compensation (module information out of date) 1 complainant still dissatisfied and has sought a review by the OIA 3 upheld and firm apologies provided – all admin oversight or errors. 1 case - an administrative charge was waived. 7 remaining - referred to the appropriate school or service area for a response

7 Student complaints 4 appeals to PVC Student Education / Dean of PGR Studies 2 cases the Secretariat’s judgement was upheld and the appeals were dismissed. 2 appeals upheld: 1 student paid compensation for inconvenience caused by the late withdrawal of a supervisor and for administrative shortcomings; 1 student returned to study at the school’s expense as it was unable to show that it had provided adequate academic support.

8 Academic appeals 147 appeals from UG or PGT students against academic judgements relating to results declared for the Semester 2 or Semester 1 examinations. 97 conceded or upheld 49 rejected or withdrawn (by the student) 1 on hold

9 Academic appeals 10 appeals from PGR students 4 against decisions to fail or award a lesser degree 3 against decision to refer for resubmission 1 against decision not to permit transfer to PhD 1 against decision to withdraw due to poor progression 1 against decision not to allow 2 nd extension of study 2 upheld; 7 dismissed; 1 ongoing 3 subsequently referred to the OIA

10 Other student cases Plagiarism collusion or malpractice: 22 cases 15 found guilty (10 excluded from the University) 4 found not guilty 3 cases continuing Cheating in exams: 13 cases 9 found guilty (8 excluded; 1 repeating year) 2 found not guilty 2 cases continuing

11 Other student cases Student conduct: 10 cases (disciplinary or fitness to practice issues) 1 excluded 7 formal warnings 1 permitted to complete their studies under certain conditions 1 no action taken (student withdrew due to financial reasons)

12 Complaints to the OIA 13 petitions in arising from complaints decisions 10 against academic appeals dismissed by the University OIA dismissed 5 cases and 8 still under review. No issues of concern raised in the Annual Letter

13 Matters arising from student cases No significant rise in the number of taught student cases in the new fees regime Marked increase in number and complexity of PGR appeals More students employing solicitors to in the handling of their appeals and complaints, and appear to be less hesitant in threatening litigation if their cases are unsuccessful.

14 Lessons learned PGR supervisory records still inadequate in some areas Need for greater clarity in student-facing communications; expectations at key stages of candidatures when communicating with students about adjustments for disability

15 Lessons learned Need for better guidance on preparation of academic malpractice allegations Need to exercise greater flexibility and pragmatism in securing a resolution at School level Increasing evidence of students using technology to cheat and to plagiarise: essay mills; online plagiarism checking;

16 Student complaints,

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