Under the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015, HEFCW may become involved in issues with regulated institutions in the following areas:
- Charging excess full-time undergraduate fees
- Failure, or likelihood of failure, to comply with Fee and Access Plan general requirements
- Education of inadequate quality, or where the quality is likely to become inadequate, and
- Failure to comply with the Financial Management Code
We may also become involved where:
- There are issues in respect of a failure by a funded institution to comply with HEFCW’s Memorandum of Assurance and Accountability or
- A relevant higher education body (a university or other specified HE provider in Wales) has failed to comply with its Prevent duty.
We cannot review any areas that are outside of our remit such as disputes between students or staff and their institutions. All institutions have their own complaints and appeals procedures, including on matters of academic performance and staff grievances.
Please carefully read the following relevant documentation before completing our complaints form:
- Financial, governance or management matters – complainants should read the Memorandum of Assurance and Accountability and Financial Management Code.
- Charging of excess fees or compliance with Fee and Access Plan general requirements – you should read the institution’s Fee and Access Plan (available on the institution’s website).
- Inadequate quality, or quality that is likely to become inadequate – you should read the baseline regulatory requirements of the Quality Assessment Framework for Wales.
- Failure by a relevant higher education body to fulfil its Prevent duty – you should read the Prevent Duty Guidance for Higher Education Institutions in England and Wales; the Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (Sections A to D); and The Prevent Duty: Monitoring Framework for higher education providers in Wales. You should therefore also read the institution’s Prevent policies and processes.
We expect that the institutions’ own complaints processes have been completed before initiating our complaints process unless there is good reason that this has been avoided.
If your complaint does not fit the above areas, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) operates the statutory complaints handling scheme for higher education students in Wales and England and may be the more appropriate organisation to contact. It has a wide remit to consider complaints about acts and omissions of its member providers, although the OIA cannot look at complaints about admissions, academic judgment, student employment and matters which are the subject of Court or Tribunal proceedings, unless those proceedings have been ‘stayed’ or ‘adjourned’.
More information about the OIA Scheme, including a list of higher education providers which are members and guidance on how to make a complaint to the OIA, can be found on the OIA’s website.