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Glossary of common terms
FCT Faculty Cases Team ADE Associate Dean Education
UCT University Cases Team APVCE

Associate Pro Vice
Chancellor Education

SEP Senior Education Partner
DEP Deputy Education Partner    

The University makes every effort to ensure each student has the best possible student experience during their time at Exeter. However, it does recognise that at times students may be dissatisfied with an aspect of University life. The Student Complaint Procedure therefore allows student to raise the following matters:

  • A failing in a University service, academic or non-academic
  • Misinformation about academic programmes
  • Poor teaching or supervision
  • Insufficient facilities

If there is a matter that you wish to be investigated but is not covered in the above list, then you should seek advice on the appropriate University procedure to raise this matter.

Only registered students of the University of Exeter can use the Student Complaints Procedure. However, it is possible for a former student to raise a complaint within 30 days of ceasing to be a registered student.

Students are expected to represent themselves and the University is unable to accept complaints from third parties. The only exception to this is at the informal stage where the complainant can ask a member of the Guild or Student Union to represent them if they feel uncomfortable raising their complaint with the person most directly responsible.

Students who want to complain about the same thing can submit a group complaint. In this case students will need to give their expressed consent that they wish to be part of the group complaint (at the formal stage only students who have signed the formal complaint form will be considered as part of the group). The group will need to nominate a member of the group to act as their spokesperson and represent the group during the complaint process. It is also the responsibility of the group spokesperson to report back to members of the group about the outcome of the complaint.

If no member of the group is willing to act as the group spokesperson, they may appoint a member of the Guild or Student Union to represent them through the complaints process.

We do understand that raising a complaint can be a new experience for some students and can also be stressful. Unfortunately, as the team administrating the process Faculty Cases Team (FCT) is unable to discuss your complaint with you. Instead, we recommend that you can contact the Students' Guild Advice Unit on or The Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union on who give you guidance on what you can expect from this process. If your complaint raises a wellbeing concern for you, that you contact the Wellbeing service (Streatham and St Luke’s) or Student Support (Penryn) for support. These teams are experienced in helping our students through this process, so please do reach out for support if you need it.

The complaints process is designed to resolve complaints as quickly as possible to minimise impact on students. The process is split into three stages:

  • Informal stage
  • Formal Stage
  • Review Stage

Students must go through the informal stage as this gives the student to discuss their concerns directly with the member of staff most responsible for the area of work causing concern with a view to remedying the situation as quickly as possible.

Students who remain dissatisfied can take their complaint to the Formal stage where their complaint will be considered by a senior member of staff within the Faculty or Service who has not been previously involved in the complaint.

If a student remains dissatisfied after the formal stage they move to the Review stage, where they can request of a review of their complaint by a senior member of University staff.

I am sure you will appreciate that for data protection purposes we are only able to discuss your case with members of the University who have a genuine business need to know, and we cannot discuss these matters with third parties without your written consent. If you would like someone to be able to speak with us on your behalf, such as a parent or personal tutor, please email the FCT in advance to confirm that you give consent for us to discuss your case. If any third-party contacts us requesting such information, we are only able to respond to them in general terms regarding the University procedure, not about individual cases. As such, when it comes to having a supporter at your meeting, we assume that in inviting them you are happy for them to be privy to the information discussed. Please note it is your responsibility to forward any information you deem relevant for them to support you such as a meeting location, video link, or copies of the work in question. We will not do this for you.