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Reports to Senate

The University of Manchester reports annually on the number and nature of cases handled through the appeals, complaints and misconduct processes each academic year by Faculties and Professional Support Services.  The Report is required under the Regulations from the relevant areas, and can be helpful in identifying case trends and responding to Freedom of Information requests. 

Summary of the latest Report

The overall number of cases across the different Regulations represents a small proportion of the total student population.  However, in relation to academic appeals there has been a significant decrease in the number of formal stage cases from 409 in 2017-18 to 315 in 2018-19.  The number of formal complaints received by Faculties has also seen a decrease from 88 in 2017-18 to 76 in 2018-19.  The number of formal appeals received by the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) continues to be significantly higher than the other Faculties with 51% of all appeals being received in this Faculty.

There has been an increase in the number of students progressing cases to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA): 57 cases in 2018-19 compared with 48 in 2017-18.  As in previous years, the OIA found the vast majority of complaints made to it about the University of Manchester to be Not Justified.

Last year’s report commented that during 2017-18, the Differential Attainment Project attempted to explore the experience of Black and Minority Ethnic students/International students in relation to appeals and complaints. The project was unable to access information from case files for research purposes as explicit consent had not been given, but did undertake a number of interviews with case handlers and others involved in the appeals and complaints process.  Work has now commenced on a further project to undertake more detailed exploration of cases, with a view to process improvements related to BAME and international students engaging with the appeals and discipline procedures.

A new version of Regulation XVII (Conduct and Discipline of Students) and its associated procedures was introduced in September 2019.  The Student Complaints Procedure was also further updated in February 2019 so that Dignity at Work and Study Complaints from students are now considered under it.