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Procedures for Complaints

The British American University welcomes feedback not only from its students but also from the staff and clients. Whilst most of the feedbacks we receive are always positive, we recognize that from time to time problems do arise and students may occasionally wish to express concern or dissatisfaction with some aspects of the University, its policies or the services provided. We aim to use the feedback gathered from such complaints positively to help us improve the services we offer and to enhance the University experience for all students. At the British American University, the following circumstances need to be distinguished from one another:

  1. Student appeal; where a student is dissatisfied with a formal process which has culminated in a decision, for example, decisions by examination boards, the outcome of disciplinary procedures, or the investigation of examination offences/malpractices. The University has in place appropriate internal procedures for appeals to be considered. Information is given in student handbooks and on the student web pages or available from the students’ advisers, and
  2. Student complaint; where a student has a complaint against the University relating to the delivery of teaching, support services, administration, facilities, or other aspects of the student’s relationship with the University. The procedure outlined below applies to students’ complaints at the British American University. Before embarking on any stage of the procedure, students are strongly recommended to seek advice from their program coordinator or heads of departments who would advise them appropriately.

Both appeal and student usually emanate from grievances. Grievances are formal complaints which the students can file to document their concerns with an aspect of the University. These grievances might be filed also by a staff member as a result of an incident or conflict with a fellow employee. A grievance can be filed by a staff member for nearly any reason, including physical workplace complaints, financial issues like payroll and social circumstances like harassment or bullying. It’s important to outline a formal process for resolving complaints within every organization whether academic institution, manufacturing organization or any company whatsoever so that whoever is concerned knows how to handle the concerns in a professional way. It may also be a good idea to develop a non-retaliation policy  to protect employees or students who make good faith complaints against their manager, co-workers or lecture room whichever is applicable.

At British American University, there are always time limit for raising a complaint whch is generally in the best interests of both the student and the University if complaints are raised as soon as possible after the relevant matter occurred, say the release of a semester result. A complaint will normally only be accepted for consideration if it is informally raised in accordance with the stage of the procedure within one calendar month of the relevant matter occurring. If the student is dissatisfied with the stage outcome, or if the student has been informed that the concern or issue is not suitable for informal resolution, the student shall have 5 working days to submit a formal stage 1 complaint. Note that if a student has not complied with a time limit specified in this procedure, the University will consider whether such student, exceptionally, has good reason for delay. The laid down rule of students’ complaints procedure, which applies to all registered students of the British American University are as follows:

  1. Any student who makes a complaint in good faith will not be adversely affected by the fact of the complaint, whether or not the complaint is upheld,
  2. The student will have a fair opportunity to present his/her complaint and will be provided with clear reasons for the outcome of each stage of the procedure,
  3. It is generally in the best interests of both the student and the university to resolve issues and concerns at the initial stage which is the least formal and lowest stage of the procedure,
  4. The University will endeavor to manage the student’s expectations of theprocess at all cost, 
  5. At the British American University, a group of students may jointly raise a complaint, 
  6. A complaint made anonymously will only be considered under exceptional circumstances,
  7. Where the nature of the complaint makes an investigation appropriate. Disputes regarding matters of academic judgment will not be considered under the student complaints procedure,
  8. The University will implement reasonable adjustments to the procedure where appropriate. Advice and guidance for students are encouraged to seek independent and confidential advice from the university advice service in reading university students’ associations, and 
  9. The complainant may be accompanied by a ‘friend’ to any meeting or interview. The friend shall be, unless otherwise agreed by the person authorized to consider the complaint, a currently registered student, a member of the academic staff of the university, a students’ professional association officer, or a member of the students’ advice service team. If a student is unable to attend in person, they may attend via teleconference.

However, all students are expected to maintain good conduct, in accordance with the University’s rules and regulations for student conduct, during the procedure. In exceptional circumstances, the University reserves the right to terminate the consideration of a complaint as outlined in the procedures for dealing with frivolous and vexatious complaints in appeal of results and students complaints.