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Before you start

These pages will help you to raise serious issues about quality and standards which affect groups of students or a university or college as a whole.

They are for students, staff or others with a direct knowledge of a university or college.

The questions in the tool will clarify if - and how - we can help you.

We do not resolve complaints, or offer compensation to individuals. But students can take individual complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator or, if the student is based in Northern Ireland, the Board of Visitors for Northern Ireland.

Before you can submit your issue to us, make sure:

1. The issue is about standards or the student academic experience

By 'standards' we mean the level of learning your provider requires and how that compares with other providers.

By 'student academic experience' we mean the learning experience that you receive in your provider and how you are supported to progress and succeed.

2. It is a serious issue which affects or, has the potential to affect, a group of students rather than just an individual

We only investigate issues which affect - or potentially affect - a group or groups of students.

We are unable to provide redress or compensation to any individual submitting issues to us. However, we can look at individual complaints for evidence of broader failings in the management of academic quality and standards. Where we consider that these indicate serious problems with the university or college’s systems or procedures, we will investigate them.

The aim of an Unsatisfactory Quality Scheme investigation is to safeguard and improve the overall quality of UK higher education by addressing weaknesses within a particular higher education provider. Those seeking redress or compensation should contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

We don't investigate issues or complaints from individual students about their university or college. That is the role of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

3. It concerns a provider that HEFCE funds or a provider in Northern Ireland 

We are interested in issues related to standards and the student academic experience which have the potential to impact on groups of students.

We can only investigate providers who receive funding from HEFCE either directly or indirectly, or providers in Northern Ireland.

See which universities and colleges we fund

If you are unsure please contact us on: uqs@hefce.ac.uk

4. You have the right relationship with a provider

To submit an issue, you must be either a student, member of staff, or have direct knowledge or experience of the issue. 

5. You have raised the matter formally with your provider. 

If you have queries about this process, please contact us: uqs@hefce.ac.uk or 0117 931 7381.

6. You can supply evidence

You will need to supply evidence to support the issue that you want to raise.