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UCU responds to rising number of student complaints

19 May 2009

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The number of complaints lodged by students against their universities increased by 23 per cent in 2008 from the previous year, according to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator's annual report.

Of the 900 complaints, 7 per cent were Justified (compared to 11 per cent in 2007), 16 per cent were Partly Justified (compared to 15 per cent in 2007) and 71 per cent were Not Justified (compared to 65 per cent in 2007).

'Until universities and government are prepared to properly invest in higher education... there is every chance we will continue to see complaints rise, despite the best efforts of the staff on the ground.'
Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

Commenting on the report, released today, UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The number of complaints lodged by students against their universities has once again risen, but we did see a fall in those that were considered justified. We believe that the rising number of complaints demonstrates that students feel more like consumers than learners, little surprise given the increasing cost of a place at university.

'The relatively small number of complaints is a welcome indication of general student satisfaction at our universities. However, UCU believes that all students have the right to a decent university education and access to staff time.

'Until universities and government are prepared to properly invest in higher education, and the people who make it tick, there is every chance we will continue to see complaints rise, despite the best efforts of the staff on the ground.'

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