Students talking together

Resolving problems

Resolving problems

We will make every effort to resolve problems you may be facing, whether these are problems with the University or with your fellow students.

The Student Resolution Team, can give you advice and guidance on areas covered by these pages. They will be happy to advise  you in confidence and there will be no obligation for you to take action.

Contact the Student Resolution Team at

Alternatively the Students’ Union Advice Centre can provide you with independent advice and support (



The University is committed to fostering mutual respect and understanding between individuals throughout the institution. A positive working environment and good working relationships relate directly to the well-being of staff and students.

Occasional conflict is normal. When this does happen, we wish to support those involved to work together to resolve any disputes and conflicts constructively and speedily. This is why the University has drawn up an internal mediation scheme. Please see the Mediation Policy and Procedures.

What is mediation?


Mediation is a process whereby parties that are in dispute meet and use an independent mediator to work out a solution together.

Mediation is voluntary and will take place only where all parties involved in the dispute agree to participate.

Mediation offers an opportunity for parties to examine the relationship, their concerns and their needs. It is then about rebuilding relationships, rather than apportioning blame.

Mediators support all parties to focus on the future.





    When is mediation appropriate?


    Mediation may be suitable to:

    • resolve conflict involving both staff and student, and student and student
    • rebuild relationships after a formal complaint or dispute has been resolved, or
    • address a range of issues, including relationship breakdown, personality clashes, communication problems, bullying and harassment.

    Mediation may not be suitable:

    • when used as a first resort, as parties should speak to the other person involved before seeking a solution through formal mediation
    • when used to avoid formal student disciplinary action
    • where a decision about right or wrong is genuinely required to resolve a dispute (for example, where there is possible criminal activity), or
    • if an individual raising discrimination or harassment concerns requires the allegations to be investigated
    Further information


    Parties may be referred to the mediation process, or it may be suggested that it is used in some cases of formal complaints or disciplinary matters.

    If you would like to discuss this further please contact the Student Resolution Manager (email:, or the Students’ Union Advice Centre (email:

    For Case Studies and a set of Frequently Asked Questions please refer to the Policy.

    One to One Mentoring
    Male student working in cafe


    If you think that the service you have received is unsatisfactory in some way and you want it to be investigated you can make a complaint. You will never be disadvantaged as a student by making a complaint.

    The Student Complaints Procedure is available to all Buckinghamshire New University enrolled students. You have the right to complain to the University and to have your complaint taken seriously. All complaints will be treated as confidential.

    What can I complain about?


    A complaint may relate to your programme of study, a facility or service provided by the University or actions / lack of action by a member of University staff.

    Examples of issues you can complain about include:

    • Failure by the University to meet obligations including those outlined in course / student handbooks or the Learning Partnership Agreement
    • Misleading or incorrect information in prospectuses or promotional material and other information provided by the University
    • Concerns about the delivery of a programme, teaching or administration
    • Poor quality of facilities, learning resources or services provided by the University
    • If you feel you have been bullied, harassed or discriminated against

    You can’t complain about any of the following:

    • The process or results of the assessment of academic work - instead use the Academic Appeals Process.
    • Concern or dissatisfaction about a decision made under another regulation, such as academic misconduct, disciplinary or fitness to practise
    • Accusing another student of misconduct (not academic misconduct) – in that case the allegation will be dealt with under the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
    • If an employee of the University is accused of misconduct – in that case the allegation will be dealt with under the Employee Disciplinary Procedures.


    Complaints should be accompanied by any relevant or appropriate evidence. Examples may include copies of emails, screenshots, reference to the specific area of a publication, or dates of meetings etc.

    Who can submit a complaint?


    All current Buckinghamshire New University enrolled students can submit a complaint, either individually or as a group to make a collective complaint. For a collective complaint one member of the group must be identified as the main contact and each member of the group must submit their consent in writing.

    Prospective students (i.e. applicants) should instead refer to the Admissions Policy and Procedures for complaints relating to the admissions service.

    Students enrolled at a partner institution should refer to the procedures of that institution in the first place. Complaints which cannot be resolved locally and progress to the Formal Stage will be considered under the Student Complaints Procedure.

    Submitting a complaint


    The complaints process has three stages:

    1. Early resolution
    2. Formal complaint
    3. Request for review

    You should attempt to resolve your complaint locally at the early resolution stage directly with the person or persons concerned, such as your Personal Tutor, Course or Module Leader, or a University service team. This approach is more effective as it offers a quick solution. You must raise you concern as soon as possible, an no later than three months after the issue arose. You should provide full details of your complaint and include any relevant evidence. Your complaint will be investigated and you will receive an outcome in writing within 10 working days.

    If there is no resolution, you remain dissatisfied or the matters raised are particularly complex you must submit a formal complaint in writing on a Notification of formal complaint form to the email address indicated on the form. If your complaint is admissible it will be referred to a Complaint Manager who will arrange for an investigation to be carried out. You will be kept informed at all stages of the investigation. You will receive a formal response which will include any recommendations for resolution and any areas for redress.

    If you are not satisfied with the result of your formal complaint you can request a review of your case. The grounds for a review are limited and specified in the Student complaints procedure. Following this stage you have the right to take further action through the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

    For full information on each stage of the process please refer to the Student Complaints Procedure.

    Before submitting your complaint
    • Speak to someone for advice and guidance. The Students’ Union Advice Centre will be able to advise you on the options available to you and can help you to frame your complaint.
    • Make sure you include all the relevant points in chronological order and ensure that your complaint is detailed and clear. This will make it easier for a subsequent investigation.
    • Be clear and realistic about the outcome you are looking for and whether it is possible for this to be delivered. It will be more difficult to address your complaint if you are unclear, or if you are asking for something that is not possible.
    • Anonymous complaints will not be accepted. All individuals named in a complaint will be made aware of the allegations, will have access to evidence submitted and will be given an opportunity to respond.
    What if my complaint is upheld?


    If the investigation concludes that there should be a remedy offered to address the problems raised in your complaint you will be offered ‘redresss’. Redress will fit the circumstances of your case and may include one or more of the following:

    • an apology
    • an opportunity to repeat the experience under better circumstances (not applicable to academic assessment process or results which constitute academic judgment)
    • the return of tuition fee, or proportion of fee, or other financial compensation
    • the provision of a change to the organisation or nature of the University’s service or facilities or regulations if found at fault
    • any other appropriate action such as counselling or other support.

    Where a complaint is upheld about a named member of staff and finds clear evidence of bad practice, the matter will be referred to the Human Resources Directorate for further investigation to be undertaken by the University.

    Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)


    See under Appeals.

    Related documents

    Student complaints procedure

    Notification of formal complaint

    Request for Review Student Complaint