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‘No significant rise in complaints’ about Welsh universities as they hit record levels in England

05 May 2022 2 minutes Read
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

There was no significant rise in complaints about Welsh universities, despite the numbers hitting record levels in England, the body that runs the higher education student complaints scheme has said.

Complaints about university courses in England were at the highest level on record last year, according to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.

However, they noted that “there was no significant change for providers in Wales across this period”.

Complaints about universities in Wales made up a smaller percentage of the England and Wales total in 2022 than in 2016 – a fall from 7% to 5%. However, complaints overall rose from 101 to 138.

In England, complaints saw a significant rise from 1,410 in 2016 to 2,624 in 2021.

In a new report, the OIA said “some students found that they weren’t getting the learning experiences that they reasonably expected” and that they had been affected by the “cumulative impact of the pandemic and industrial action”.

The proportion of complaints that related partly to the pandemic had risen since 2020, accounting for 37 per cent of complaints received, compared with 12 per cent in 2020.

Independent adjudicator Felicity Mitchell said: “2021 was another year dominated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many students experienced disruption to their lives and to their studies, and providers worked hard to deliver learning and support whilst balancing complex considerations and risks.”

She added that the OIA had both received and closed more complaints than before and that she hoped the work had been helpful to students and universities in “these very challenging times”.


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