Annual Statistics for Student Complaints, Appeals and Discipline

Each year, the University of Sheffield produces statistics on the number of formal complaints and appeals handled via its internal procedures during the previous academic year. The statistics also include figures on complaints submitted to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA), as well as University-initiated procedures such as Fitness to Practise and Academic Progress cases.

Feedback from complaints and appeals cases is regularly used by the University to improve its academic and service provision, which may help explain the very high levels of student satisfaction with University services generally.

Comparative Statistics of Formal Student Complaints, Appeals and Discipline for the last 5 Academic Years (1 October - 30 September)

1. Student-initiated formal Complaints are handled by Faculties (academic matters) or Professional Services (non-academic matters) in line with the Student Complaints Procedure. Student-initiated Academic Appeals are handled by Faculties in line with the General Regulations as to Academic Appeals.

Any student not satisfied with the decision relating to a formal Complaint or Academic Appeal may submit a request for a Case Review (the final stage of the Student Complaints Procedure) for consideration by a Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

The figures illustrated on the right relate to all students, i.e. undergraduates (UG), and both taught (PGT) and research postgraduates (PGR).

chart one

2. Academic Progress and Fitness to Practise cases are initiated and handled by Faculties. 

A student for whom a department have progress concerns may be referred to the Faculty under the University's Progress Procedures with a view to the case being dealt with either directly by the Faculty Officer (Progress Concerns) or by a Faculty Student Review Committee (FSRC).

Please note that figures for PGR student progress cases are not provided on the right, as these are handled separately by Research Services. Note, also, that PGR students are not subject to the Regulations relating to Fitness to Practise.

Any student (PGR students included) not satisfied with a Faculty decision made under either procedure may submit an appeal for consideration by the Appeals Committee of the Senate.

chart two
3. Student Discipline Procedures are University-initiated procedures. Depending on their nature, cases may be considered at a full hearing by the Discipline Committee of the Senate, at a summary hearing before a Discipline Chair, or by the University's Investigating Officer under the Discipline Administrative Procedure (introduced in 2011-12 for less serious cases of behavioural misconduct). Any student not satisfied with a decision made under any of the student discipline procedures may appeal to the Disciplinary Appeals Committee of the Senate. Chart Three (Academic Misconduct, Behavioural Misconduct, Disciplinary Appeals)

4.  Any student not satisfied with the outcome of any of the University's internal procedures may submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA).

Chart Four (OIA)