How to complain and get compensation from your university

You may have joined your respective university, hoping for good educational growth and facilities. But in the past few months or years, you may not have experienced any of these. In this recent time, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation and the environment of your university may have changed a lot, and it may have disappointed you that you want to get compensation from your uni administration. 

Shockingly, you are not alone in having faced this kind of situation. According to recent studies and surveys, in 2022, more than 2850 complaints will have been registered with the Ombudsman OIA. 

According to the OIA statement, this is the highest complaint number they have ever received. In the same year, approximately $1,116,685.98 USD was given to students as compensation. However, many complaints were excluded from this compensation distribution. 

By seeing this calculation, you can imagine the situation of hundreds and thousands of students and universities. 

What Are The Ways To Make A Complaint To The University?

To successfully file your complaint against your university, you will have to follow many steps and complete various procedures. But before that, you will have to keep a few things in mind. The points to proceed with the University complaint process are;

  • Find the accurate problem. 
  • Search and prepare legal evidence for your complaint. 
  • Try to solve the issue by talking with your college administration. 
  • Do your homework properly. If you have any issues with the management or their service, it is advisable to be factually accurate before fighting against them. 
  • Get as much help as you can from your fellow collegemates.

Steps to Make a Complaint to the University

If you are determined to file a complaint against your university and get compensation, then by following the below-given steps, you can reach your goal easily; 

Talk To Your Management

Before you file a complaint, you can approach your university’s teachers and try to solve the issue informally, because filing a complaint is not an easy task. It may consume so much time and effort beyond your thinking. 

So, it is recommended to talk to the department and come to a conclusion. However, if you fail to reach any conclusion, then no worries. You can get your desired result by following other steps. 

Read Your University’s Complaint Policy Carefully

If you did not get any resolution, then here is the first step that you are required to follow to file a complaint and get compensation successfully.

During your admission, along with the college brochure and documents,  the administration may have given you a copy of their T&C policy (Terms and Conditions), internal policy, or complaint policy.  Read that carefully, and try to understand the situation you are in properly. You can also get the policy online.

Rectify the Grounds of Your Complaint

It is very important for you to understand the situation and know whether the problem you are facing is eligible for a complaint or not. For example, if you have poor marks on your exam, then there is a high chance that you cannot complain about it. However, you can always file a complaint against the poor teaching skills and the college’s malpractices. 

But to proceed with this ground, you will have to do thorough research and prepare all the supporting statements that will guard your case. Along with this, keep in mind that you should always be specific and concise with your thoughts and your case should benefit other students as well. Only then you will stand a chance to win. 

Carefully Check Out The CMA’s Rights for Students

No matter what your case ground is, what problem you are facing from your university’s end. You must take a look at the Consumer and Marketing Authority’s (CMA) rules and regulations for student rights, which were regulated in March 2015. The CMA guide mentions the guidelines for universities that they need to follow. 

You must check the updated version of the guide and see if your complaint/ situation is mentioned in the student rights and complaints section or not. If it is, then there is a high chance of winning the case. 

Know Your Desire From Your Complain

Before you file a case, you must know your desire. Think carefully about what exactly you want from the outcome of the complaint. It is essential to know whether you want someone to apologize for their behavior/action. Or want to get a course fee discount, refund, or cash settlement. 

The complaining procedure is complicated and time-consuming. So, it would be great to know the desire, or else, in the end, you will get a negative result—no gain without an aim. 

However, if you ask for compensation for university issues or cash settlement, then the complaint and cause should be reasonable, justifiable, and realistic. 

Do not Miss Any Evidence

Based on your case, you must have all credible supporting evidence. The evidence could be anything written or virtual. This may include emails, letters, photos, videos, witnesses, etc. 

Along with that, you must have to check your contract paper. In some universities, students sign some papers during the admission procedure. If you also did so, then it is advisable to go through it carefully and check if the university has breached any condition. This can make your case stronger.

Smartly Use Your Resources 

The hassle of winning a case is complicated and can make you so tired that you may think of quitting it. But no worries. You are not alone. You can always get some support. There are some people out there who are assigned to help you—for example, the student union. 

Get all the essential information and contact student advisers, councilors, and other experts who can help you with the case. You can also get help from your parents or law-pursuing friends who can present your case greatly

Submit Your Formal Complaint Carefully 

Write a formal mail to your administration and carefully attach all the collected evidence to proceed with the further proceedings.

While writing the complaint mail, try to be rational and calm. This will become a good asset for your case. Provide the example and situations precisely. 

Get a Complaint Filing Confirmation Letter

The next and one of the most important steps is to collect the Completion of Procedures (COP) letter from your administration as soon as possible. This letter will consist of the confirmation response to the complaint and maybe their decision. Without this letter, you cannot proceed further with the higher authority. 

Pro Tip: Always record all the odds happening in your university. Keep details of all the events, which include meetings and conversations (individual and group). Before you enroll yourself in any educational program, it is advisable to take an insurance policy that will cover all your legal claims.

Take Your Complaint to the Ombudsman

If you are not satisfied with the response of your university, then you can submit your complaint to the Ombudsman. However, the ombudsman that you need depends on your country and state. So check out the ombudsman details accordingly. 

However, you cannot take your complaint to them directly if it is already filed in court. The Ombudsman does not have the power to punish or put fine charges on the universities. They can only tell the universities to take action accordingly.  The university authorities are obliged to follow the instructions. 

If you liked the article and think that it can be a helpful asset, then do share it with your family, friends, and known ones who are facing a difficult situation at their university and want to fight the odds.