Complaints against the university

There may be times during your time at Sussex when you feel dissatisfied about some aspect of your dealings with the University.

Perhaps you feel unhappy with the level of teaching & support on your course, have received an unsatisfactory standard or service from a particular office or department, or maybe you feel you were treated inappropriately by a University staff member.

If so then there are several options which may be open to you:

Academic complaints

Talk to the relevant person in your school

In most cases the best way of resolving any academic-related issues is to make sure that the relevant person from your school or department is aware of the situation. This will probably be your Academic Adviser (Supervisor or Course Convenor if you are a postgraduate).

In addition, every school should have a member of staff who acts as a Director of Student Experience, with the task of overseeing & monitoring academic provision & support within the School. It may be also be worth discussing your issue with your Director of Student Experience.

Have a chat with a Student Rep

The Student Rep scheme is a joint initiative between the University and the Student Union.

Each University department or subject-area should have Student Reps (undergraduate & postgraduate) who are elected by their fellow students to represent their views & interests.

Reps are there to find out about issues impacting on students’ study, and to take this information informally to members of staff within the department, and/or to raise issues more formally at University-level committees in order to bring about positive changes.

Submit a complaint to the University

The University has a formal complaints procedure for students which you could consider using if you have not been able to resolve your issue through other means.

The University will expect you to have raised the matter directly with your school (the ‘level one’ stage of the procedure) before you consider submitting a complaint to the University’s Academic Registrar (the ‘level 2’ stage).

Submitting a formal complaint can sometimes feel rather daunting and stressful. However, you have every right to use this procedure if you feel suitably aggrieved.

It is University policy that a student should not suffer any disadvantage or recrimination, or be treated differently from fellow students, as a result of making a complaint.

The best option would probably be to discuss any concerns you may have about the process with us, in confidence.

Non-academic complaints

The procedure for non-academic complaints is basically the same as for academic ones. Once again, the University’s expectation is that you will raise your issue with the relevant department or office before considering a formal ‘level 2’ complaint.

Residential Advisors (RAs)

If your issue involves University-provided accommodation then you could try raising the matter with a Residential Adviser before considering a complaint.

These are returning students who are placed in University residences by the Housing Office, with the task of ensuring that first year students are able to settle in their new home.

Your Residental Adviser can bring any issue or problem which you may experience in your accommodation to the attention of the relevant University Building Manager. They are also trained peer mediators.

Here to help

If you'd like to discuss your concern further, our Student Advice team are here to help. Our service is confidential and independent from the University.

Student Advice, 1st Floor, Falmer House, University of Sussex.