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University complaints rise to 20,000 a year

An investigation by the BBC has shown that complaints about universities has increased by 10% from 2010-11 to 2012-13.

This large increase has been shown by responses from 120 universities in response to 142 FOI requests made by the BBC.

The increase is thought to be linked to the recent increase in tuition fees to £9000 a year with students expecting more for their money. It appears that a large proportion of the complaints relate to appeals about grades. The responses also show that universities are upholding more complaints than ever before with over £2 million of compensation paid out since 2010. The investigation also showed that the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, the independent adjudicator for higher education, has also seen a rise in it's work load. They received 2000 complaints in 2012.

Universities Minister David Willietts is reported to have been happy with the findings as it shows that students are more likely to hold their universities to account when things went wrong; 'When there's a fee of £9000, the university is obliged to show what they're doing and provide a decent service.'

By Emma McClure, education law

If you are having difficulties in relation to your university education our specialist education team are able to offer advice and assistance on a wide range of issues from discrimination to appeals to the OIA. Please contact us on 01616 966 229.