The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Complaints

Whilst most students will go through University life without experiencing any major difficulties, unfortunately from time to time some students may come across a situation where they feel dissatisfied or that they have been unfairly treated. Just Ask can offer advice and support to help you raise your concerns. 

What can I make a complaint about?

You can use the University Complaints Procedure if you’re unhappy about something the University has or hasn’t done, or the standard of service provided. Complaints can be about any aspect of the University. 

If your complaint is about bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, assault or discrimination you can use the Unacceptable Behaviour Complaint process, giving you the options of anonymous reporting and support from a Wellbeing Adviser. Contact Just Ask for more information about this process. 

The complaints process should not be used to challenge academic decisions that fall under the University’s Appeals Regulations. If you are concerned about an academic decision the University has made (for example, to ask you to withdraw from your studies or a penalty imposed for alleged plagiarism), contact Just Ask to find out more about making an appeal. 

If you are unsure about whether the complaints procedures are the best way to resolve something contact us at Just Ask to explore your options. 

How can I make a complaint?

If your complaint is about bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, assault or discrimination contact Just Ask for more information as there are different ways to raise this through the Unacceptable Behaviour Complaint process, including anonymous reporting.  

There are three steps to the Student Complaints Procedure: 

  • First, raise the complaint informally with an appropriate member of staff and explore the option of mediation.
  • If that doesn't work, you should make a Local Stage complaint. You will need to fill in a Student Complaint Form and then send your complaint to the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager (student-complaints@bristol.ac.uk) who will appoint someone to investigate your complaint.
  • If you’re not happy with the outcome of the Local Stage, you can ask the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager to escalate your complaint to the University Stage. At this point it will be looked at by a Complaint Review Panel made up of three senior members of staff who have had no prior involvement in your complaint.

The complaints process is explained in more detail in Bristol University's Student Complaints Procedure

How can Just Ask help?

Just Ask will be happy to help you throughout the complaints process. We can give you feedback on your complaint form, support you to identify possible outcomes to request, help you think about evidence to support your complaint and later, once you have an outcome, we can advise about what this means and any next steps that you may want to take.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted your complaint form the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager will then refer the complaint to an appropriate person to investigate it. 

You will then be sent details of the investigation, the findings and the outcome. The University aims to complete the Local Stage within 30 days of the submission of the complaint but realistically it may take longer, particularly at busy times. 

If you’re not happy with the outcome at the Local Stage, you can progress your complaint to the University Stage by requesting this in writing to the Student Complaints and Mediation Manager within 10 working days of receiving the Local Stage outcome. Just Ask can advise further about this.