What are Appeals and Complaints? Is there a difference or are they one at the same?
Appeals and Complaints are your requests against any dissatisfaction you experience in your learning environment as a student of AOU. Appeals and Complaints are not the same, so when requesting for a review you need to be clear about the difference.
When can I complain?
The sooner you complain the better. Complaints that are lodged after a long gap (after one whole academic year) may be difficult to resolve unless backed by strong supportive evidence.
Whom do I complain to?
For your convenience the University has set up an online appeals and complaints system that can be accessed through your SIS (Student Information System) account. You need to complete the available form with all details duly filled in and your completed form will be directed to the concerned authority.
What is the information required from me to complain?
You will be required to fill up an online form and provide all details about the issue that you are appealing or complaining against. You will also be required to provide your student identification details including your name, and contacts, and names and details of any other entity involved in the matter.
What does the complaints process involve once I have complained?
Complaints:You may lodge a complaint any time during the academic year, by completing the University student complaints online form. You must state the grounds for the complaint giving detailed reasons to support his/her case. The student affairs department will process the complaint and forward it to the concerned department(s) for consideration. The concerned department will examine the complaint and it may consult other members of University staff or departments if it is deemed appropriate in particular cases. The Concerned department may find grounds for complaint and produce a report on the case setting out decision on the case and the documentations considered. The report will be sent to the Assistant Director for Administration and Finance or Assistant Director for Academic Affairs based on the nature and subject of the complaints for approval. Upon approval the Student Affairs Office will notify the final outcome of the complaint to the student.
How long would the entire process take?
Since we want to ensure the best for you, the entire process may take from 2-3 weeks. However, you may expect a reply earlier depending on the nature and gravity of your problem.
Is my physical presence in the campus required?
No. All your complaints and appeals may be recorded electronically on the complaints available on the Student Support System (SSS). Unless otherwise required before the complaints and appeals committee your physical presence will not be required.
Is it alright for me to complain against a tutor or staff?
Yes, at no point of time will you be at a disadvantage for having made a complaint. Your dissatisfaction with academic or administrative services is of serious concern to us and we need to hear from you so as to improve matters and assure the quality of services in creating an enabling learning environment.
Will my information be kept confidential?
Yes, complete confidentiality will be maintained regarding your request and no information whatsoever will be revealed to anyone without your permission other than those handling the case.
Can I withdraw my complaint at any time?
Yes, just as you have the right to complain, you also have the right to withdraw your complaint at any time.
What do I do if I am dissatisfied with the AOUs handling of my complaint / Appeal?
If you are registered for an Open University Validated Award Programme and still dissatisfied with the decision of handling your appeal / complaint , you may complain to the Open University.
You will find more information on this process in the Student guide to studying on a programme validated by The Open University.