Graduation Feedback and Complaints
Cardiff University have created a specific process in which students and graduates can formally raise any concerns or dissatisfaction.
The University are usually very strict with their deadlines, therefore if you do want to make a complaint about your graduation experience, you must do so with 28 days of your graduation day. If you miss this deadline, you will need to explain and evidence very good reason why you could not submit a complaint during the 28-day window, and prior to the date/time of your complaint submission.
How to Submit a Complaint?
To raise a complaint, you must complete this University Complaint Form.
Once you have completed your Complaint Form, you should email your complaint to StudentComplaints@cardiff.ac.uk.
Where possible, we would advise you to provide any relative evidence of your experience. Typically speaking, the University does not accept pictorial evidence to support your complaint. For example, a picture of a queue to collect your gown or to have your photos taken may not be considered as part of your complaint. Whereas, evidence of any booking you may have made to collect your gown or to have your picture taken, may be appropriate to provide as supporting evidence, as well as time stamped evidence of the time in which you were able to use the service in question. Having said this, if you would like to include pictorial evidence to demonstrate your experience, we would encourage you to do so, and provide a context in writing as to the point you are making by providing this image.
Ultimately, we would advise you to provide as much evidence as possible. This evidence should be attached to your email.
Noting that concerns about Cardiff University’s graduation appear to have been well documented on social media and online, the need for evidence to demonstrate your experience may be less integral than in other circumstances.
Complaining as a Group
If a group or cohort of students have been similarly impacted by the graduation day experience you may want to make a complaint as a group.
In order to complain as a group, you must select one person as a main point of liaison between the group and the University.
When submitting a group complaint, in addition to the Complaint Form, you must also complete and send a Consent for Group Spokesperson Form and a List of Group Members Form. Both of these forms have been linked here.
When considering a group complaint, any remedy that the University is offering should be applied to all students listed on the Group Members form. This means that, if the detriment caused to one student, is arguably more significant or impactful than that of their peers, they may need to consider an individual complaint to ensure the remedy they are offered is proportionate to their experience. For example, where students may be requesting compensation for disrupted travel arrangements they may need to complain individually to request that their travel is compensated in full.
How to Write your Complaint?
Appreciating that some individuals have been profoundly disadvantaged or disappointed by the logistical challenges of the graduation day, it is important to draft your complaint respectfully. This means that we would advise you to remain objective and factual throughout the complaint form.
If you are complaining about different factors that have impacted your during this day, you may want to divide your complaint into sections with a subheading to specify each concern that you are referring to.
If there were a series of challenges, you may want to bullet point each factor, and provide a vague timeline of your day, with a summary of:
- What happened;
- What you were expecting/had been told to expect;
- What the failing was of the University in this instance; and
- The impact this failing had on you.
The Student Complaint form has a specific section in which you can request remedies from the University. We would advise you to be specific within this section of the complaint form to allow the University to explore appropriate remedial action that may help to address the complaint(s) that you have raised.
What Remedies Can I Ask For?
The Complaints Procedure does not specify limitations in what students can ask for except they are very clear that you cannot request an academic remedy.
As such, you can request financial compensation through the Complaints Procedure. In this case, financial compensation could refer to:
- Financial loss – where you may paid for a service or an experience that you could not engage with owing to the failings of the University. For example:
- Travel expenses where you missed a train or flight as a result of delays during the day;
- Pre-paid meals or meal deposits where you could not attend the meal as a result of delays during the day;
- Not being able to attend a pre-paid photograph booking or collect your gown as a result of delays during the day.
- Distress and inconvenience – for any challenges during the day that negatively impacted your experience. This is likely to vary on a case by case basis.
For thorough consideration of your financial loss, we would advise you to provide any evidence that you can, to demonstrate any purchases that you made for which you are seeking compensation. This could include confirmation emails, receipts, travel tickets.
Other remedies can include:
- A eritten apology from the University;
- A request to re-run a process that was affected by procedural flaws – this may be unlikely given the scale of the event, but the University may be willing to consider to re-arranging professional photography or School-recognition events.
What Happens Next?
Student Cases will assess your complaint within 7 days and may make 1 or more of the following actions:
- Dismiss the complaint as not justified;
- Offer mediation or restorative approach;
- Request further information, clarification, or evidence;
- Commence a formal investigation;
- Refer complaint for investigation under the appropriate University Procedure, such as Staff Disciplinary Procedures, Student Conduct Procedures or Financial Regulations - Tuition Fee Policy.
If your complaint proceeds to a formal investigation, the Academic Registrar will refer it to an Investigating Officer and inform you of the referral. The Investigating Office will gather information and evidence and compile a formal complaint report. They may ask to meet with you and any other parties relevant to the complaint. They should be given all the information and evidence gathered at stage 1. The timescale for this stage varies depending on the complexity of your complaint and the number of people who need to be interviewed. The Investigating Officer should advise you of the likely timescales in your case. When the report is finished it will be sent, along with all evidence, to the Academic Registrar for consideration.
The Academic Registrar should inform the Head of Student Cases of the outcome of your complaint within 14 days of the investigation being completed. The Head of Student Cases will then send you a letter detailing the decision. The letter should include:
- The decision;
- A clear explanation of the decision (to the extent that the University can share this information) and, if appropriate, any remedy;
- What support is available to you;
- Information on how to take the complaint to the University Review Stage if you are dissatisfied with the decision.
I don’t want to complaint, but I want to feedback on my experience
The University is accepting informal feedback about the graduation arrangements 2022, both positive and negative. To submit informal feedback, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are seeking remedial action from your feedback, we would strongly advise you to consider submitting a formal complaint.
Formal complaints will only be accepted from Cardiff University students or graduates.
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