Most complaints raised by students can be dealt with at Stage 1, an informal process involving discussions with staff in the School or Service where the difficulty has arisen.
If you have an issue with the content of a lecture, or with a lecturer, you should speak to them about it. If you feel uncomfortable about this, then you should discuss the issue with your Personal Tutor or another member of staff in your School.
If you are unable to discuss the issues with the staff in the School or University Service, you may submit a formal Student Complaint (Stage 2) Form to the Head of Academic Affairs.
If the concern arises during a work or study placement, you should raise the matter in the first instance with the member of staff at the workplace or institution in question who is responsible for the placement. You should note that the University’s Student Complaints Procedure cannot be used to pursue a complaint against an external body.
You should always try to resolve a problem or issue as soon as it occurs and should approach the appropriate persons within 10 working days of the incident occurring. Usually, the sooner you raise the concern, the easier it is to resolve.
All information provided will be treated by the University within the normal bounds of confidentiality and in accordance with Data Protection requirements. However, any information or documentation submitted by you as part of a complaint will normally be shared with anyone against whom the complaint has been made or from whom a response is required. Please be aware that if you do not want to share all the details of your concerns with the University within the Student Complaints Procedure, this may result in the details of your situation not being taken into account during the investigation of your complaint.
Yes, normally the person against whom a complaint has been made will be made aware of the allegations being made against them, and will normally be provided with a copy of the complaint against them. However, they won't be given information or documentation about any other elements of the complaint that do not relate to them.
If you wish to make a complaint, you have the right to be accompanied to any meetings by a registered student of the University (including a Sabbatical Officer from the Students’ Union) or by a member of staff of the University (including a member of staff from Advice SU) or University Chaplaincy at any stage in the procedure. The role of the person accompanying you is one of support, not representation, and you will normally be expected to present your own case.
If you are a student against whom a complaint has been made and who has been called to an interview or a meeting in relation to the complaint, you have the right to be accompanied by a member of the University staff or University Chaplaincy or by a registered student.
You can also seek assistance and support from the Students’ Union Advice Centre.
Each student making a complaint shall normally be expected to present their own case.
Complaints from third parties shall only be considered for investigation if it is accepted that there is a valid reason for you not being able to submit or deal with the complaint yourself.
A complaint submitted by one student (the Lead Student) as representative of a group of named students, where the issue/s raised is the same or substantially the same in each case, will be accepted and investigated in accordance with the Student Complaints Procedure. The Lead Student must provide evidence that they are acting on behalf of and with the consent of the other named students. All communication from the University will be with the Lead Student, who will be responsible for disseminating information to other members of the group.
Yes. Sometimes things can go wrong and may not be resolved or there may be no suitable redress. It is useful, however, for such matters to be brought to the attention of the University so that it can investigate and, if appropriate, take steps to ensure that there is no recurrence. Complaints of this nature can therefore act as useful feedback for the University. You can seek advice on whether or not to pursue such a complaint or simply inform the Students’ Union or your class representative who may raise the issue on your behalf.
You can stop the process at any time by speaking to the person dealing with your Stage 1 complaint or by writing to the Investigating Officer or Academic Affairs explaining the reasons for requesting an end to a Stage 2 investigation.
Make sure you seek advice about making a complaint. The onus is on you to present sufficient evidence to warrant investigation under the procedure.
A student who makes a complaint which is found to be frivolous (i.e. a complaint which has no reasonable chance of success) or vexatious (i.e. where there can be no additional remedy beyond that which the student has already been offered) or where the complaint is found to be mischievous (where the motive for making a complaint is malicious, spiteful or vindictive) following investigation under the Student Complaints Procedure, shall be deemed to be in breach of the Conduct Regulations.
You should be careful not to make unsubstantiated or defamatory allegations or comments about other students, members of University staff or any other person. If the University considers that an allegation or comment may be deemed to be defamatory, it may require you to retract the allegation or delete the comment before commencing an investigation.
The University expects that many issues can be dealt with successfully through the Stage 1 process. If you feel dissatisfied with the outcome of Stage 1, or with the way your complaint was dealt with during Stage 1, you may submit a formal Student Complaint (Stage 2) Form to the Head of Academic Affairs.
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11