University complaints made by students top 20,000

University complaints made by students top 20,000
Students paying £9,000 a year want the most bang for their buck (Picture: Geoffrey Robinson/REX)

More than 20,000 students made complaints to their universities last year, according to a Freedom of Information request made by the BBC.

The request, sent to 142 universities across the UK, asked for the number of complains and appeals had been received since 2010, and it was revealed that they were 10% higher in 2012-13 than they were in 2010-11.

The amount paid in compensation has also risen by over £2 million since 2010.

Universities Minister David Willetts said the data showed that students had adopted a consumer-mentality, demanding more for their £9,000-per-year fee, and more likely to hold their institutions to account when things went wrong.

‘If there are more complaints because students are more aware of what they should expect of funding and are more demanding, then I think that’s a good thing,’ he told the BBC.

‘When there’s a fee of £9,000, the university is obliged to show what they’re doing and provide a decent service.’

The largest proportion of complaints related to degree appeals, but in other cases, students had concerns with course content or structure.

Rob Behrens, the independent adjudicator for higher education, also revealed his office had been receiving up to 25% more complaints each year. In 2012, he received 2,000.

‘I think the decision to raise the fees has had an impact on student thinking,’ he said.

‘Students do see themselves more as consumers than they used to.

They want the best possible degree they can get.’

3 June 2014 | 5:02 pm – Source:

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