April 15, 2013

Head of UK Office of the Independent Adjudicator Urges Closer Ties Between European Ombuds

In an editorial for the Times Higher Education, OIA's chief executive, Rob Behrens says that university Ombuds in European must share best practice to improve resolution of students’ grievances. Behrens explains that an increase in complaints in the context of rising university costs has become a common experience, making the sharing of good practice not only worthwhile but imperative.

In Behrens' view, the adoption of best practices is critical within his jurisdiction.
Despite the excellence of individual staff, complaints handling in English and Welsh universities could be improved by adopting the practice of mediation seen overseas, and the development of written frameworks for good practice in the handling of complaints and appeals. In England and Wales, these are features of pilot projects launched this year in a dozen universities and of a collaborative project to develop a sector-wide framework.
The editorial marked the tenth anniversary conference of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education in Oxford. (Times Higher Education.)

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