Universities face more complaints since fee hikes

Students have become more willing to issue formal complaints about their treatment at the hands of universities since the imposition of £9,000 (US$14,000) annual tuition fees, the higher education watchdog has revealed in its annual report, writes Richard Adams for the Guardian.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator, or OIA – which reviews complaints from students in England and Wales – said that appeals jumped by 20% between 2011 and 2012, the first year of the new, higher fee level. "The expectation is that higher tuition fees will lead to more complaints. The increase will undoubtedly provide major challenges for universities, students' unions and the OIA," Ram Gidoomal, chair of the OIA's directors, wrote in the organisation's annual report.

While the bulk of appeals were turned down, the adjudicator decided nearly one in five appeals in favour of the complainant. Compensation payments totalled £190,000.
Full report on the Guardian site