December 15, 2008

Survey Finds Students Do Not Trust Australian University Ombuds

A study funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council interviewed more than 1500 students and more than 500 staff across a dozen universities found that campus Ombuds programs were not trusted. (In Australia, university Ombuds are classical in nature and serve as independent, impartial and confidential complaint offices.) The findings indicated a number of problems:
  • Complainants felt that their problems were not adequately pursued;
  • Ombuds website design and content were lacking; and
  • Ombuds staff were insufficiently trained.
A key question for the pioneering project, is whether to urge a local variant of Britain's independent national office for student complaints. (The Australian Supplement on Higher Education.)

Although this study looked only at classical Ombuds, it serves as a reminder about the issues that are important to visitors. Organizational Ombuds should pay heed.

Related posts: British Panel Recommends Higher Education Ombuds Programs; Persistent Complaints to Ombuds Offices.

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