Scots complaints system places students in command

January 11, 2002

Universities Scotland is set to launch a pioneering independent student complaints system.

A lawyer nominated by Scotland's faculty of advocates is expected to be appointed within the next two months as an "independent reviewer".

Students will be able to go to the reviewer when institutions' internal procedures have been exhausted. Scottish institutions do not have a visitor system.

The independent reviewer would rule on whether institutional procedures had been followed and whether the response to the complaint was reasonable.

The reviewer could recommend that governing bodies launch a further investigation, or reconsider their findings, with governing bodies expected to accept the reviewer's judgment.

The scheme is not mandatory for institutions, but the majority have said they would opt in.

Mandy Telford, president of the National Union of Students Scotland, praised the scheme as leading the way.

But she said: "We are concerned that all institutions sign up to it."

The scheme will be launched for a trial period from this year.

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