News Article

Industrial action and your rights as students

Uncertainty around teaching and assessment means that strikes or other industrial action can be a very stressful time for you as a Brunel student.

Uncertainty around teaching and assessment means that strikes or other industrial action can be a very stressful time for you as a Brunel student.

 

The Union of Brunel Students recognises that disruption due to industrial action can have significant impacts on Brunel Students. We want to make sure that you have the information you need to navigate this potentially difficult time. 

 

What are your rights?

 

All Higher Education students are protected by consumer protection law. This means that Brunel University must continue to offer the service they have promised to you and that you are paying for, even during periods of industrial action.

 

Brunel University must also continue to comply with the Office for Students (OfS) conditions of registration during any period of disruption, meaning Brunel University must maintain the quality and standards of their courses.

 

Brunel University should take steps to reduce the impact of strikes by:

 

  • Being proactive in resolving issues related to missed teaching. If teaching time is lost, it may be appropriate for catch-up teaching to be offered at a later time, missed course content to be delivered in a different way, or for partial refunds to be offered to affected students.
  • Taking steps to ensure that you are not disadvantaged in assessment by any disruption. It might be appropriate for coursework deadlines to be extended or moved, or for certain topics to not be examined if they have not been delivered in time.
  • Explaining clearly to you any changes made to how your course is delivered and how they will affect you. You should be informed of the impact of ongoing disruption and be given reasonable notice of any new arrangements.
  • Considering the needs of all students in responding to industrial action, particularly those who may be more affected than others, or may have difficulties accessing replacement learning.

 

We have outlined the steps you can take if you're unhappy with the impact of industrial action:

 

Step 1: Contact your university/college

 

In many cases, issues can be resolved fastest through a discussion with staff within your college. You should raise your concerns with an appropriate member of staff such as a personal tutor, supervisor or module/programme lead.

 

Stage 1 of Brunel Complaints Process is Early Resolution. You should submit your Stage 1 Complaint within 3 months of the incident about which you are complaining. 

 

Your College/Department should respond with understanding and a proactive approach to resolving issues. It is normally in the interests of everyone that issues are prevented before they occur. Raising concerns early gives your provider an opportunity to put things right.

 

Your Stage 1 Complaint should normally take no longer than 14 calendar days to conclude.

 

You can also contact your elected College Vice President on:

 

Step 2: Formal complaint 

 

Problems may not always be effectively resolved through discussion with your College. You have the right to make a formal complaint if you aren't satisfied. Brunel University has a robust complaints process which is easy to access and fair to students.

 

More information on the complaints process can be found here.

 

Stage 2 of Brunel complaints process is a Formal Complaint. You should submit your Stage 2 Complaint to the University within 21 calendar days of the conclusion of your Stage 1 Complaint and (where possible) within 3 months of the incident about which you are complaining. 

 

If you submit a complaint outside of this timeline, you should provide a valid, evidenced reason in your complaint. Your Stage 2 Complaint should normally take no longer than 49 calendar days to conclude. 

 

The Union Advice Service can support you with a stage 2 complaint, you can contact the Advice Service by:

 

Drop ins are available to book online

 

Step 3: Complaint Review 

 

Stage 3 of Brunel complaints process is a Complaint Review. You should submit your Stage 3 Complaint Review within 14 calendar days of the conclusion of your Stage 2 Complaint. 

 

If you submit a complaint outside of this timeline, you should provide a valid, evidenced reason in your complaint. Your Stage 3 Complaint should normally take no longer than 21 calendar days to conclude.

 

The Union Advice Service can support you with a stage 3 complaint, you can contact the Advice Service by:

 

Drop ins are available to book online

 

 

Step 4: Contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA)

 

The OIA is the ombudsman, or independent student complaints scheme, for higher education institutions. If you're not content with the outcome of a complaint to your university/college or believe it has been poorly handled, you can take your complaint to the OIA.

 

The service provided by the OIA is free to students. To access it you must have taken your complaint through your university/college’s formal process and been issued with a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter’. If your complaint is eligible, the OIA will review it and determine whether your complaint is justified.

 

Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education - OIAHE

 

The Union Advice Service can support you with an OIA complaint, you can contact the Advice Service by:

 

Drop ins are available to book online