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Complaints and appeals

Student complaints

We want your experience at Solent to be a good one, but sometimes you may feel the services we provide don't meet your expectations. 

It's important you do raise any issues with the University. We may not always be aware of the problems, and your feedback helps us to maintain the standard of experience we want for our students.

A complaint must be made in a timely manner and usually within one month of the incident/event

The student complaints procedure provides students with a means to complain about the services provided by the University whether that is problems with accommodation, fees, facilities or the standard of teaching. The student complaint policy applies to current students or those who have completed their course in the last three months.

Please note, this procedure doesn't cover problems with marks, results and examinations - see the academic appeals procedure, below.

We encourage students to first try to resolve issues informally, as in most cases this is the quickest and most effective way to resolve a problem. There are a number of people you can speak to about your issues and you can find contact details below.

If you have been unable to resolve the issues informally you can submit a formal complaint. You should never be concerned about making a complaint. The University will always ensure that any complaint is:

  • Treated seriously, fairly and transparently, and with impartiality.
  • Dealt with sensitively, in confidence and without fear of recrimination.

Documents

Student complaint procedure

Student complaint form - stage 1

Student complaint form - stage 2

Where to get help

There are lots of sources of help around the University:

The Students' Union advice service

The Students' Union advice service offers free, confidential and impartial advice from the Union’s academic case worker. The academic case worker will also offer you support in any meetings with the University.

Policy, Governance and Information

Policy, Governance and Information oversees the student complaint procedure and also deals with stage 2 appeals. If you need advice on either procedure you can speak to the student conduct, complaints and appeals team.

Email: appeals.complaints@solent.ac.uk
Tel: 023 8201 3808

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Staff will help you resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Academic appeals

When you receive your assessment results you may not always feel the decision is correct. You can submit an academic appeal and ask that the decision is looked at again.

The University is committed to having in place fair, effective and timely procedures for handling student academic appeals and ensuring that students may access these without concern that they may be treated less favourably as a result of an appeal.

You can't appeal 'academic judgement', which the University defines as “A decision about scholarship that only a suitably experienced academic can make”. This means you cannot ask for a review of your mark or grade just because you think it is worth more than the lecturer has given.

You may appeal the decision of a Board where:

  1. New, relevant, written extenuating circumstances are presented (see University extenuating circumstances procedure), supported by appropriate evidence, that for good reason were not originally made available to the Extenuating Circumstances panel, and therefore were not considered at the time of the decision of the Unit Assessment Board.
  2. Processes were not conducted in accordance with current approved policies and procedures or there was other irregularity concerned with the assessment process.
  3. There has been a material and significant error in the recording and/or processing of assessments/results.
  4. There has been a procedural error in the calculation of the award/progression decision; or,
  5. Academic penalties were not applied in accordance with current approved policies and procedures.

Instructions on making an appeal are published alongside your results on your results portal page. You'll also find details of where to submit your form and what the deadlines are for making an appeal. 

Documents

Academic Appeal Procedure

Stage 1: Academic Appeal Form

Stage 2: Appeal Review Form

Where to get help

There are lots of sources of help around the University:

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a great source of advice and can talk you through your results before you decide whether you need to submit a formal appeal. They're happy to help.

They can also provide you with copies of any forms or procedures you need and advise you on the grounds for an appeal.

The Students' Union advice service

The Students' Union advice service offers free, confidential and impartial advice from the Union’s academic case worker. The academic case worker will also offer you support in any meetings with the University.

Policy, Governance and Information

Policy, Governance and Information oversees the query and appeals procedure and also deals with stage 2 appeals. If you need advice on the procedure you can speak to the student conduct, complaints and appeals team.

Email: appeals.complaints@solent.ac.uk
Tel: 023 8201 3808

Student academic misconduct

The University is committed to ensuring the standard and integrity of its awards. Consequently, any allegation of academic misconduct is a serious matter and will be fully investigated.

This covers and instance where you may gain an unfair advantage in an assessment by undertaking any practice of academic misconduct.

Types of academic misconduct

  • Plagiarism
  • Collusion
  • Falsification
  • Replication
  • Taking unauthorised notes or devices into an exam
  • Obtaining an unauthorised copy of an examination paper
  • Communicating or trying to communicate with another student during an examination
  • Attempting to observe or copy another student's written and/or electronic examination script
  • Being a party to impersonation in relation to an examination
  • Submitting a fraudulent extenuating circumstances claim
  • Purchasing of essays from a third party
  • Failure to obtain or breach of ethical approval, where this is a requirement of the assessment

What assessments are included?

  • Individual written assignments
  • Group work assignments and presentations both written and verbal
  • Designs
  • Images used in presentation/assignments/portfolios
  • Any work submitted as part of a portfolio including ideas, designs, practical elements etc
  • Research data, findings and information
  • Examinations
  • Viva Voces

Does academic misconduct have to be intentional?

It is important to note that whether academic misconduct is intentional or unintentional, it is still likely to be deemed academic misconduct. Examples of unintentional academic misconduct are given below:

  • Poor understanding or incorrect referencing
  • Confusion around paraphrasing
  • Cultural differences in academic writing and referencing
  • Fear of asking questions regarding the correct procedure for referencing

Where to find assistance with referencing or writing assignments

Free resources include:

  • The University library has books in the study skills collection on 029.65 Floor 1A. They also have a study skills subject guide page
  • There are online guides on essay writing skills which you can view at Solent Online Learning (SOL) or email succeed@solent.ac.uk.
  • Use Turnitin to check your work before you submit - you can do this as many times as you want while your submission is in draft. For more information visit Turnitin student help in SOL.

Documents

Student Academic Misconduct Procedure

Contact

For any queries about the student academic misconduct procedure please contact the student academic misconduct officer:

Tel: 023 8201 6586, ext. 6586
academic.misconduct@solent.ac.uk

Student disciplinary procedure

This relates to making a complaint about the conduct of a student.

Student disciplinary procedure

Declaration of criminal convictions policy

An explanation of University policy for the declaration of criminal convictions. This includes what to do if you have a criminal conviction that has not already been declared to Solent University or if you have incurred a conviction whilst studying at the University.

Declaration of criminal convictions

Office of the Independent Adjudicator

Under the Higher Education Act 2004 the University subscribes to the independent scheme for the review of student complaints. 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an appeal, complaint or disciplinary you may be able to apply for a review of this to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) providing that the complaint you take to the OIA is eligible under its Rules. You must have competed the University's internal procedures prior to taking any complaint to the OIA.

The OIA publishes Annual Statements setting out the complaints record of all providers within the OIA Scheme. The University's can be accessed here.