Students Complain as Financial Services Fail

Student complaints in England and Wales are at a record high, according to the Office for Students (OfS). The watchdog revealed that there had been more than 90,000 complaints in 2020, up by over 20% from the previous year.

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The most common issues raised were related to course quality, registration errors and customer services. In addition, students also expressed dissatisfaction with student finance services and mental health provisions. This reflects students’ challenges due to Covid-19 restrictions and disruption to their studies.

The OfS has stated that they are taking steps to ensure universities are held accountable for providing a good experience for their students. They have set out new standards of consumer protection, which universities must adhere to, offering greater protection of students’ rights and new channels for students to raise their concerns.

The OfS also encourages universities to improve their responses to complaints and take prompt action when issues arise. This includes responding quickly, being transparent about decision-making processes and providing clear reasons for any decisions.

Ultimately, it is hoped that these measures will help ensure a better experience for students in England and Wales and increase trust in higher education providers.

For students looking to make a complaint, the OfS has created an online tool which provides guidance on making complaints and allows them to track the progress of their case. It also encourages universities to consider setting up a dedicated student-facing contact for student complaints.

Ultimately, these measures will help improve outcomes for students in England and Wales and enable them to get the best possible experience from their studies.

In addition to the measures outlined above, the OfS reviews student complaints data to identify trends and good practices. This will help inform their approach to protecting students’ rights and improving the quality of higher education across England and Wales.

With record levels of student complaints being reported, it is clear that action needs to be taken to ensure that universities provide an excellent experience for all their students. The new consumer protection standards introduced by the OfS should go towards achieving this goal. It is now important that these standards are properly enforced so that students can trust in their institution’s ability to respond swiftly and effectively when issues arise. Only then can we ensure a better experience for students everywhere.

What measures has the Office for Students taken to ensure universities provide a good student experience?

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