COVID-19 formal complaints

In line with Government guidance in response to the initial lockdown restrictions, teaching was moved online from 16 March, campus closed and spring term ended early on 20 March 2020 to ensure the health and safety of all staff and students. During these unprecedented times the University took steps to ensure adequate teaching, learning and assessment continued remotely and students were not disadvantaged academically.

The University did offer the opportunity for students to submit a complaint as a result of the initial lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic by 22 May 2020 if they had been affected in an exceptional way and consideration was given as to whether the University had fulfilled its responsibilities as a result of COVID-19, taking account of the mitigating actions taken to transfer teaching and assessment online.

At the start of this academic year, the University’s ignite teaching method was developed specifically to enable us to be agile and responsive to changing circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the planning and delivery of ignite our priority was and is the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, and to safeguard our local and national communities to the best of our ability.

The University has undertaken extensive work to develop new teaching materials and approaches, enhance specific support services and adapt the delivery of all of our services to meet the many difficulties and challenges the pandemic has caused. We have also put in place measures to try to maintain as much of the wider student experience as possible, while maintaining our focus on keeping you all safe. Throughout this academic year to date, our approach has kept the COVID-19 infection rate in our University community very low.

Following the Government’s announcement in relation to the reintroduction of lockdown restrictions from January 2021, a safeguard package was introduced to help support the progression and outcomes of all of our students.

The University continues to follow Government guidelines and in line with these will not be offering universal refunds of tuition fees. This is because the issue of tuition fee refunds is an important national debate and not one that our University can resolve in isolation. Therefore, we are working with Universities UK and are waiting for Government guidance on this matter. We are writing to the Government in a joint letter with our Students’ Union about this issue.

To date, Government advice has been that universities should continue to charge the normal fee levels, because we are continuing to provide an education leading to degree level outcomes that support future employment opportunities. As we wait for any further guidance, our focus remains on providing you with the best education and student experience we can during this very challenging time.

If you have concerns, including those relating to teaching and learning quality, we would advise you to follow our usual complaint procedure. This encourages students to raise their concerns as soon as they occur and with those most appropriate. For example with a module convenor, personal tutor or Head of School in relation to concerns about teaching quality.

We understand that these are challenging times for everyone and we would like to remind you that we offer a wide range of support services and regularly updated dedicated COVID-19 webpages.