Grievance Procedures for Students

Introduction

Grievances can arise when a student is unhappy about his or her personal situation, about tutorials, or about their dealings with other students or with WISC, OSAP or Oxford College staff. A swift resolution of grievances is in the interests of all concerned.

This procedure aims to bring about the resolution of grievances, without recourse to formal proceedings wherever possible and applies to all students on the program.

Associate Students are academically supervised by OSAP.

Visiting Students are academically supervised by their Oxford College and by Oxford University and the normal grievance procedures of the College and University would apply to them; the same is true for allegations of academic dishonesty.

Nothing in this procedure impinges on the legal rights or obligations of staff and students.

Grievances will be regarded as confidential but you must be aware that individuals concerned will need to be interviewed if the grievance is to be resolved.

Grievances which are anonymous or based on rumour cannot be investigated.

For the purposes of this document OSAP students will be considered WISC students (as WISC is the parent organisation).

Equality and Diversity Statement

OSAP, like Oxford University (see above) is committed to the promotion and development of equality and diversity. OSAP aims to provide a working and learning environment which values individuals equally regardless of age, disability, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or religious belief.

Informal Procedure

Before invoking the formal procedure every effort should be made to resolve the issue informally by raising your concerns with the person(s) involved and with a OSAP member of staff who will help and give advice. If this does not lead to a satisfactory outcome, or if you feel unable to discuss the matter with the person(s) involved, you may opt to invoke the formal grievance procedure.
If the grievance has been resolved informally, no record will be kept on file unless both parties wish to have a note of what has been agreed.

Formal Procedure

You may proceed from one stage of the procedure to the next only within the time scales detailed in each stage. If, other than by mutual agreement, the time allowed for any stage has elapsed and no decision has been taken to proceed to the next stage, then the matter is closed.

Stage 1

If the matter has not been resolved informally to your satisfaction, you should arrange to see the appropriate member of our staff who has dealings with housing matters, academic matters, etc. The staff member will establish with you the nature of your grievance. The written record of grievance must be made within one month of the grievance first occurring.

Stage 2

If your grievance is against another student:

The Grievance Form will be submitted within two working days to the President of OSAP. The President will send you a letter of acknowledgement within five working days and conduct an investigation.

Following an investigation, written notification of the outcome will be given as soon as possible, normally within ten working days of the grievance being recorded. The written notification will include reasons for the result, your right of appeal and an explanation of the appeal procedure.

If your grievance is against a member of staff or a tutor:

Your grievance will be referred immediately to the President of OSAP who will investigate the matter and may consult with Oxford College officials who supervise Visiting Students.

Appeals

If you wish to appeal against the outcome of your grievance you should do so in writing within ten working days of the decision of the President of OSAP.

You may appeal to a committee of three Oxford tutors appointed by the President of OSAP in consultation with a Tutor for Visiting and Associate Students. Their decision will be final. Visiting Students are under the academic supervision of their College.

The outcome of the appeal will be sent to you in writing within a further five working days.

It is your right to seek advice from outside OSAP at any stage of the proceedings. An experienced person of your choice may represent you at any stage.

Allegations of Academic Dishonesty

When academic dishonesty is alleged (plagiarism, cheating etc.) the decision will be made by the individual tutor who may enter an appropriate grade in such an event.

If a student wishes, he or she may appeal the decision of the Tutor and have a fair hearing of the matter by a committee consisting of the President of OSAP, the Academic Director of OSAP  and of another Oxford tutor (not the tutor who alleged dishonesty, but that tutor may be present).

In addition, any student may choose an experienced person to represent his or her interests.

In the case of Visiting Students the Oxford college will have its own procedure similar to the above. The student’s U.S. college will also be consulted and may choose to implement its own procedure which may involve suspension or expulsion from the U.S. college.

So far as OSAP is concerned the decision of the committee will be final.

Review

The OSAP President, Academic Director and Office Manager will review the Grievance Procedure annually, to ensure it is being upheld and to suggest improvements based on staff and student feedback.

Publication

The organisation will publish the Grievance Procedure in the student welcome booklet; on the student notice board and on the OSAP websites.

Further Information

You should carefully read the Student Handbook and other information on our websites, along with the housing form, which clearly outlines our policies and procedures.

British Accreditation Council Grievance Procedure

WISC is accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC), which has a formal student complaints procedure in place. This can be used as an alternative to the WISC and OSAP Grievance Procedure, if students wish.

Details about this can be found here: www.the-bac.org/bac-complaints-procedure.

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