General Information

Supporting Students 

The University is committed to providing a high quality service and encourages its students to raise issues where they have cause for concern. The University’s procedures for dealing with concerns are an important part of our quality assurance arrangements.

Students can approach any member of staff with a concern or complaint, either within their academic department, in Halls, the Students’ Union or any member of central services staff, by phone, by email, in writing or in person. It is therefore important that we all handle issues in a way that:

  • treats concerns and complaints with appropriate seriousness, sympathy and confidentiality
  • encourages rapid and informal resolution
  • is fair to all parties involved, and
  • allows the University, a particular section or department to benefit and learn from the process.

It is the University’s policy to deal with concerns as far as possible at a local informal level. Here are some basic steps to follow should you have to deal with a concern or complaint from a student:

  • Listen to what the student has to say – sometimes just discussing the student’s concerns and explaining the University’s procedures can allay the student’s concerns
  • If you can’t help resolve the matter, guide the student to one of the following:
    • their personal tutor or course leader
    • a Students’ Union Officer or student rep – www.upsu.net
    • a Halls of Residence Student Support Manager
    • a relevant student advice service, such as Counselling, Chaplaincy, Student Finance Centre, Student Housing or Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC) - Student Wellbeing Service
    • a member of the Harassment Advisor Network - bullying advice
    • the University’s Information Disclosure and Complaints Manager, Samantha Hill on ext 3642 or Samantha.hill@port.ac.uk
  • Reassure the student that the complaint will be taken seriously so that they will approach the next member of staff.
  • Tell the student the next step in the complaints procedure and provide them with either the url for the complaints leaflet (see below) or a hard copy of complaints leaflet for students (see below)

Two documents are available to assist both staff and students in dealing with complaints:

Student Complaints procedure: Guidance notes for staff

Guide to the student complaints policy and procedure – for students

Copies of both leaflets are circulated in each academic department, University House, the Library and Student Services. Further copies are available from Samantha Hill.